Archive for the 'hechsher' Category

02
Dec
10

Natural Village Cafe


Warm, welcoming, classy, delicious… these four words give us a faint idea of my impressions of Natural Village Cafe (2 Avenue I – across from Shoprite Supermarket – Brooklyn, NY 11218; Tel: 347.492.5337 or 347. 417.6424). The restaurant is cholov Yisroel and pas Yisroel, with a mashgiach temidi and under the certification of Harav Meir Goldberg of the Va’ad Hakashrus d’Flatbush.

Upscale atmosphere, organic fare, beautiful and healthy in every possible way...

Nina Shapir, who presides over this eatery is truly a fascinating personality, the personal journey that changed her life and motivated her to open this establishment is full of commitment and dedication.

Fourteen years ago, Mrs. Shapir – a very young mother of three – found herself sick and unable to move, unable to cope. It was not a question of being financially overwhelmed, any such concerns were well taken care of. Medical tests and treatments produced no positive results, on the contrary things inexplicably kept getting worse. She met Harav Chay Azoulay, from Herzliya, who told her the real malady was not physical but rather one that affected her neshama. After some thought, trying to make sense of Rav Azulay’s words, she went on a detox diet with the help of healthfood stores, intent on ridding herself of all negative energies. This decision was followed by six very hard weeks before she saw any measurable improvements but soon after she was her old active, curious, intelligent, enterprising self again.

At this stage, Nina decided to help others who, though similarly afflicted, may not be aware of the real source of their health troubles. She went on to study Healing Arts at The School of Natural Healing in Utah from which she graduated. Seven years ago her first organic restaurant opened its doors. Her partner, however, was not frum and it proved frustrating eventually Nina bought her out. In 2008 she moved to the present location which combines her personal philosophy, her exquisite sense of aesthetics and the true love of a foodie for superb fare. She also has an an office adjacent to the restaurant where she treats the many in search of natural healing.

The restaurant sports geometric patterns on its walls and ceiling, with warm earth tones that give us a clue to the owner’s style and personality. Chef Bobby Brabaloni is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America – America’s foremost Culinary School – a fact which becomes obvious when you see the presentation, smell the aromas and taste the wonderful flavors.

My companion and I started our early dinner with a dish of Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

It consists of white mushrooms with sauteed onions, creamy pesto sauce, melted mozzarella and feta cheeses with a kick of chopped parsley. It was a perfect opener to a memorable meal.

We segued with their Village Pizza

Village Pizza

It came in a sesame crust, red onions, mushrooms, two types of mozzarella cheese and their very own red sauce. I know pizza, I’m a pizza addict and I must confess this one ranks among my favorites. My companion also found it delicious.

Next we had their Salmon Salad…

Salmon Salad

A superbly tasting salad fresh romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, grilled salmon, pan sauteed red inions, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms with a subtle teriyaki sauce. A fitting crown to our meal!

Wholesome food, warm ambience, reasonable prices, a nice bakery on premises… I know I’ll be back again and again.

CS

Natural Village Cafe on Urbanspoon

22
Feb
10

Interesting Products


Being a foodie I’m always on the lookout for new or interesting products. I recently came across a company with over 1400 products many, many of which have good, globally accepted, hechsherim. That company is Roland Foods.

I tried four of their products in various dishes and liked them!

Mandarin Oranges, Fire Roasted red Peppers, Capers, Oven Roasted Tomatoes

I found quite a few uses for the Oven Roasted Tomatoes Marinated in Oil with Garlic and Oregano and here is a very simple, delicious recipe by SYR:

Penne Rigate con Pomodoro Arrestito

Penne Rigate con Pomodoro Arrestito

3 cups penne rigate (you can substitute your favorite pasta)
4 cloves chopped garlic
8 ozs. shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
1/2 lb Roland oven roasted tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the chopped garlic, until golden brown, in olive oil.

Bring water to a boiling point, add a half teaspoon of salt, (it keeps the pasta from becoming bland), add just under a capful of oil (will keep the pasta from sticking to each other, if you use more than a capful it will make the pasta soggy), add the pasta and cookal dente stirring frequently. How do you know that the pasta is ready? Look at the pasta box’ recommended cooking time and start testing about 30 seconds before the lowest recommended cooking time. If you gently toss the pasta against the wall and it sticks… it’s ready!

A couple of minutes before the pasta is ready, warm the oven roasted tomatoes with some of their own oil.

Drain it, put on a serving dish, while hot about half of the shredded mozzarella, the sauteed garlic, the chopped oregano, chopped basil, the tomatoes and the rest of the shredded cheese. Add salt and pepper as needed. Garnish according to your own taste, we used cheery tomatoes Serves 4.

You’ll find the oven roasted tomatoes give this simple dish a delightfully delicious, rich taste.

Next SYR made a salad with the can of Whole Mandarin Oranges.

Mandarin Orange and Cubed Mango Salad

Mandarin Orange and cubed Mango Salad

One can of Mandarin Orange, one cubed mango, fresh red lettuce, fresh romaine, radicchio, arugula, craisins, cherry tomatoes and diced fresh cucumber. Colorful, refreshing, delicious!

Next we tried a variation on the traditional bagel with lox and cream cheese.

Lox and Cream Cheese Bagel

Every day I pick up a dozen dozen bagels, still hot, with that just baked aroma at: Bagels & Cheese (1304 Avenue M; Brooklyn, NY; Telephone: 718.998.8778), this morning I did so as well but I added lox and cream cheese. For the photo above we added Capers to the lox a bit of tangy, lemony, flavor. We added a Fire Roasted Red Pepper to the cream cheese. The pepper was surprisingly sweet. The whole combination made an incredibly succulent bagel sandwich.

We liked these four products tremendously and we will be using them in a variety of old and new recipes.

CS




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