Archive for the 'Argentina' Category

26
Oct
10

Kosherfest: Day 1


Today was the opening day for Kosherfest at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, in Seacaucus (NJ). Not only was the number of exhibitors bigger than ever, but so was the attendance. There is no question that the kosher consumer is more and more demanding, both in the number of items as well as in their quality. I only stayed for a few hours, as I had prior obligations so I decided to go for some unusual or otherwise interesting items.

First, however, we decided to meet some of the cookbook authors we reviewed recently and had interviewed over the phone and on radio.

Paula Shoyer, Pastry Chef par excellence, cookbook author

Paula Shoyer, recently had her The Kosher Baker published by Brandeis University. It is one of the most beautiful kosher cookbooks both SYR or I have ever seen.

Susie Fishbein, the top kosher cookbook author and whose Kosher by Design series sold globally in numbers comparable to the world’s top cookbook authors was there too…

Susie Fishbein being interviewed, at the Kolatin gelatin booth by TJC TV

We reviewed a pre-publication copy of her newest – Kosher by Design Teens and 20 Somethings (due to hit the stores on October the 27th!) – yesterday.

Quite a few exhibitors used the occasion to launch new lines, among them we were happy to see that Lévana Kirschenbaum finally and officially put her new bakery products on the market. At the beginning of the summer SYR and I were among the exclusive few who got to taste these delicacies…

Lévana demostrating her new products

As I searched for unusual products, I spotted these unusual bottles of Tequila…

Kah Tequila... guaranteed to get your attention!

I then tasted the middle bottle of the Agave 99 line…

Smooth and flavorful

Next I did a tasting of the Secreto line of wines from Argentina.

Secreto - Vinos kasher de Argentina

I first tried their Malbec (80% Malbec – Argentina’s most famous wine grape – and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon); I followed it with their Cabernet Sauvignon (80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Malbec); next I tried their Trivarietal (50% Bonarda, 25% Malbec and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon). I found all three to be excellent selections, especially in their price range ($10-$12).

I then saw a line of medicinal teas from Spain, Helps by Pharmadus.

A nice line of special teas for children, women's needs, and a whole lot more.

Next we saw Tammy Polatskek‘s new line of superbly designed dishes under the Carmona label.

Beautiful, unusual, contemporary

Beautiful, contemporary shapes that will greatly enhance the pleasure of any meal, the beauty of any table.

Before we left we passed by the booth of Happy Hearts Wine

Some great wines from some of Israel's smaller wineries...

They distribute Israeli wines from from small boutique wine producers like, Odem Mountain Winery, Or Haganuz Winery, the Mony Estate Vineyards, Dovev Winery, Hameshubach Winery, and the Efrat Winery. Their selections were quite good, I was familiar with some of their labels already.

We didn’t cover as much as we would have liked, especially after some very interesting products we sa, but I’m going back tomorrow and I expect to cover far more ground.

CS

05
Oct
10

Dulce de Leche


I grew up in Uruguay where Dulce de Leche is even more popular (and deservedly so!!!) than peanut butter was ever a favorite here in the US. A cousin sends me this delight, directly from Argentina, every few months and I look forward to it just as a junkie longs for his fix.

Looking through David Leibowitz‘s blog, I came across this mouth-watering recipe which uses Dulce de Leche and I can’t wait to try it!

Chocolate-Dulce de Leche Flan

Adapted from My Sweet Mexico (Ten Speed) by Fany Gerson

Serves 8 to 10

3/4 cup (210g) dulce de leche

For the cake layer:

3/4 cup (150g) sugar

3/4 cup (110g) flour

1/3 cup (35g) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk or plain whole milk yogurt

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 egg, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the flan layer:

1 can (12 ounces, 340g) evaporated milk

1 can (14 ounces, 395g) sweetened condensed milk

4 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC.) Lightly brush or spray an 8-inch (20cm) porcelain mold or cake pan (not a springform pan) with oil.

2. Smear the dulce de leche around the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place the mold or cake pan in a larger roasting pan, which you’ll use as a double boiler for baking.

3. To make the cake layer, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk or yogurt, vegetable oil, 1 egg, and vanilla.

5. Use a spatula to stir the wet ingredients into the larger bowl of dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Scrape the batter in the mold, over the dulce de leche.

6. Make the flan layer by blending together the evaporated and condensed milks, the 4 eggs, the vanilla, and salt, until smooth.

7. Over the back of a large spoon (like a big mixing spoon), pour the flan mixture over the cake layer, using the spoon to diffuse the custard as you pour.

8. Cover the mold or cake pan loosely with foil, fill the roasting pan with very hot water, so it reaches halfway up the side of the mold, and bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out relatively clean.

(Note: I found the flan took considerably longer to bake than 50 minutes; mine took practically an 1 1/2 hours. So being checking it at 50 minutes, but note that it may take longer.)

9. Once done, remove from the oven and carefully lift the custard out of the water bath wearing oven mitts, then let the flan cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate the flan until ready to serve.

To serve: Run a knife around the perimeter of the flan, then set a cake or dinner plate overturned on top of the mold or cake pan. Holding both the mold and the plate, flip the two simultaneously and shake gently, until you hear the flan release. Remove the mold. And remaining dulce de leche can be smeared back over the flan.

Storage: The flan can be kept for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Well gentle reader, I know what I’m preparing tonight! I better go shopping, right now, for some missing ingredients…

CS

12
Feb
10

El Gaucho Steakhouse


Walking into El Gaucho Steakhouse, (4102 18th Avenue; Brooklyn, New York 11218; Telephone: 718.438.3006) brought back many fond memories from my childhood in Montevideo, Uruguay. The authentic decor, the food, the aromas… ah…

A detail of the wall mural

The meal consisted of some favorites from my childhood and adolescent years… yeap, these dishes were just as good as I remembered them… maybe even better!

I started out with their Empanada Casera de Carne. A turnover with beef and criolla sauce and a salad. It has a crispy exterior, and a very flavorful interior.

I followed with a Chorizo Parillero.

Chorizo Parillero and the authentic ambiance at El Gaucho Steakhouse

It was juicy and very aromatic!

For the main I ordered their mock Filet Mignon.

Filet Mignon

This cut is made from the eye of the ribeye, I ordered it medium. It was served with potato puree and mushroom sauce, garnished with minced scallions and mixed vegetables.

For dessert, I ordered their cake of the day.

Chocolate Cake and Ice Cream

It consisted of a hot molten chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream with chocolate topping. A fitting crown for a meal filled with memories and tastes of yesteryear. A true delight for decadent pleasures!

I washed it all down with a very good 2006 Layla Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina.

El Gaucho Steakhouse has a well stacked cellar with a nice selection of Argentine, Italian, American, French, Israeli and Australian wines, all kept at the proper temperature.  Mr. David the owner got his education in a restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They have a large Argentinian parrillador (grill) on premises and the Chef himself is from Argentina.

The food was delectable, the memories came flooding amidst the decor and the aromas… I’ll be back!!

CS




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