Archive Page 5

19
Jan
15

Jewish Food Festival at the JCC in Richmond, VA


Yesterday was the first day of the annual two day Jewish Food Festival, held at the JCC (5403 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23226 – Tel: 804.285.6500), presented by Knesset Beth Israel (6300 Patterson Avenue, Richmond, VA 23226 – Tel: 804.288.7953) with supervision by the Moro d’Asro, Rabbi Dovid Asher.

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One of the various stations preparing food in the kitchen

One of the various stations preparing food in the kitchen

Carrot kugel, broccoli kugel, latkes and stuffed peppers... MmmmMMm!

Carrot kugel, broccoli kugel, latkes and stuffed peppers… MmmmMMm!

Donut Holes, Homentashen, menorah cookies, rugelach and more!

Donut Holes, Homentashen, Menorah Cookies, Rugelach and more!

There was so much to choose, but I started with a plate of brisket, potato latkes and a ouple of knishesk. I followed with a combination of lamb and turkey shawarma with roasted vegetables wrapped in a laffa. The portion were nice sized, in fact I’m afraid the only way to get rid of the weight I gained would be to walk all the way back to Brooklyn.

Among the various booth, and being a foodie, there was one which really got my attention, Ginger Juice

It was hard to decide which flavor to buy...

It was hard to decide which flavor to buy…

I tasted various of their juices, including Giving made from beets, pears and ginger. It reminded me so much of my mother’s (aleha haShalom) borsht – a taste nobody had ever been able to replicate…. until now. Another flavor I liked was Goodness which consisted of kale, apple, celery and mint. Who knew kale and celery could taste this good?!?!? When I finally got ready to go home, I picked up a bottle of Glitzy (pineapple, apple, pear). Needless to say, it didn’t last very long.

This event was truly a feast for the palate, the eyes and the nose!

CS

29
Dec
14

CANCELLED!!! A Night of Jazz, Comedy, Truffles and Wine


WE ARE SORRY TO INFORM YOU THAT
A Night of Jazz Comedy Truffles & Wine –December 29th, 2014
(at Zanger Hall, 347 West 34th Street in Manhattan)
HAS BEEN CANCELLED 
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DUE TO THE SUDDEN ILLNESS OF ONE OF OUR STAR PERFORMERS.
ALL PURCHASED TICKETS WILL BE FULLY REFUNDED AS WE PROCESS THEM WITHIN THE NEXT 48 HOURS. CREDIT CARDS SHOULD REFLECT REFUNDS WITHIN  A WEEK.
WE SINCERELY APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE THIS MAY HAVE CAUSED.
CIRCUMSTANCES WERE BEYOND OUR CONTROL.
THE EVENING WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR A LATER DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US: 646.463.0803

21
Dec
14

The Story of a Wooden Menorah…


Yesterday, Shabbos Chanukkah – Parshas Mikeitz – my shull‘s Rabbi, Rav Chaim Aryeh Stamm ended his drosho with a story, as he always does. There was something about it that made me want to repeat here; it is a true story that happened not too long ago in upstate New York, only the names have been changed.

Harry Jones, the local town’s mechanic, had achieved the American dream through had work and dedication. He had a beautiful wife and two sons, a nice house, a dog, a successful business and two late model cars. Life was good, his neighbors liked him; his two boys were studious and had many friends. But… Harry… had a secret that no one in town suspected. Harry was born in Warsaw and named Hershl Miller or Heshy, as his parents and siblings called him. Harry Jones was really a Holocaust survivor, a Jew!

Heshy was the youngest of five brothers and three sisters. His siblings were always teaching him games, walking him to cheder or just happened to be there whenever he’d get in trouble. all that idyllic life ended abruptly when the Nazi hordes marched into Warsaw. Rav Yerucham Miller and the whole family were crammed into a small apartment with three other families. There was never enough food; daily “selections” soon became the norm and families were torn from each other to be sent to different labor camps. Through all these tribulations, the Millers managed to maintain a semblance of normalcy; Shabbos was still a fairly joyful day, and whatever food was available somehow tasted better.

Three days before Channkkah the Nazis barged into the apartment and took Heshy and three of his brothers with them. A few hours later the boy found himself in the Auschwitz death camp. Thirteen year old Heshy grew up very quickly during the next three year of horror, surrounded by sickness, death and the stench from the crematoria. He couldn’t understand why Hashem did not deliver his people as he’d done many a time before. How could the Almighty ignore the voices, the cries, the prayers of thousands of Jews? Somehow, he managed to survive and as soon as the war ended he set out to find his family. Once again, he told himself, the Millers would sit together on Shabbos amidst song and delicious foods as the candlelight and its warmth surrounded them. All too soon he realized that no one but him was left, his life, his dreams had all been destroyed.

Whatever faith he still had, now crumbled. If Hashem had so utterly abandoned him, he would abandon Hashem. On reaching America, his connection to anything Jewish was discarded. Harry Jones as he now called himself soon learned the trade of mechanic earning enough to pay for college and room and board. After a while he met a girl with a very similar life story, and married her. They moved to upstate New York and kept the secret of their origins deep within their hearts, never revealing it to anyone. Being hard working, honest, and dependable, Harry built a reputable and successful business. For the next 15 years, all went well and the memories in his heart started to become blurred, but then something happened…

As Jason – Harry’s oldest – was about to turn 13, his father told him that on his birthday he would take him to the mall to choose whatever young Jason might like – price would not be a consideration. Of couse the young boy was excited with the idea and couldn’t wait for the day.They had barely entered the mall when Harry realized Jason was not at his side. He found him a short distance away, his face glued to the window of an antiques store.

Dad, this is amazing! Come see this!

Come, Jason, why would I care about some old junk? Besides, the toy store is nearby.

But Dad, look at it, this is soo cool! What is it?

Harry gave a quick glance and saw his son looking at a handcrafted wood menorah. Some long buried memories painfully emerged in his mind, but he wasn’t ready to face the past…

I’m gonna check it out,” Jason hurried into the shop and headed straight for the wooden menorah.

Harry followed his son hoping to dissuade him. “Dad I want this for my birthday,” said Jason, as he held the menorah in his hand and looked at it in fascination. Nothing his father said, could dissuade the boy. “You said I could have anything, this is what I want!” Harry couldn’t understand what could possibly draw the boy to an object he could not even play with and which he had no idea how to use? But he’d made a promise to his son, and however distasteful it might prove, he would keep his word. As he approached the counter, the man behind said, “That item is not for sale, sir. You see, it’s actually a ritual Jewish lamp, a menorah. Jews light it on the holiday of Chanukkah. This one was handcrafted from woodchips during WWII, and will likely be worth a great deal of money for its historical value someday.

Harry did not want the menorah, but his son pressed on, “Dad, you said I could have anything no matter the price. This is what I want!” Harry had no choice, he had given his word and was not about to break it. He haggled with the man until he reached $1400, at which point the storekeeper realized that he couldn’t ask for much more, or he would risk getting nothing.

Jason was all smiles as, together with his father, he left for home. Jason went to his room with his new toy and tried to figure how to play with it, while Harry sat down in the kitchen to talk to to his wife. Suddenly a loud crush from the upstairs room was heard, Harry fearing the worst run up. His fears realized, the menorah had fallen and shattered into many pieces. He was about to berate his son, but saw on the boy’s face that he was already punishing himself. “Let me help you clean this up,” muttered Harry. As he was picking up the pieces, he found a rolled up piece of paper in one of the hollowed arms of the menorah. Curious, he fished it out and found a note in Yiddish. He read it as he became gradually pale and paler. Harry screamed and fainted. It took a while before he could recover enough to stay conscious without fainting again.

What did the note say?” asked his wife; Harry read it to her: I made this menorah with the hope that I will light it on the first day of Chanukkah. I don’t know if I will make it through the next seven, or to the next Chanukkah. I have concealed this note in the hope that whoever finds it will say Mishnayos for my soul, and try to perform as many mitzvos as possible for me. it is the only hope I have left.
– Rabbi Yerucham Miller, son of Rabbi Hershel Miller.

My father’s name was Yerucham Miller,” Harry said, though his tears, “and I was named Hershel, after my grandfather. My own father made this menorah!

Does that mean we are Jewish?” asked Jason

Yes,” said Harry, “and today is a special day for you. It was your Bar Mitzvah, something I never thought you’d have, but things are going to change now. The Almighty sent me this note and the message burned itself directly into my heart.

Harry Jones, once again became Heshy Miller; he moved his family to a Jewish community where they slowly began to practice what Harry and his wife had once discarded from their lives. Heshy Miller is today a talmid chochom…

Gentle reader, is there such a thing as a coincidence?!? Is not Hashem‘s hand guiding us every minute of our lives, even if we don’t see it?

CS

[When I asked Rabbi Chaim Aryeh Stamm where this powerful story came from, he told me he found it in Stories That Warm the Heart by Rabbi Binyomin Pruzansky.]

18
Dec
14

Gil Marks’ Zvingous or Sephardic Beignets


In keeping with the Hanukkah season, and in paying homage to my friend Gill Marks‘ memory, I perused his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food where I found the following recipe for Zvingous: 

Detail from photo at:
http://honeyandschmaltz.com/stories/gil-marks/

Detail from photo by: http://honeyandschmaltz.com/stories/gil-marks/

From pages 634-635:

[..]In the middle Eastern manner, the fried balls are dipped into a a honey or sugar syrup, while the French serve then with a warm jam or filled with pastry cream. Cooks add a little more flour to zvingous dough than is typical for cream puff dough, producing a sturdier pastry that will not dissolve in syrup. The dough is not made with much sugar, as too much sugar results in overbrowning.

These pastries are a traditional Hanukkah treat, also known in in Ladino as Zvingous de Januca (of Hanukkah), and, in honey syrup, popular for Rosh Hashana. A Passover version is made by substituting matza cake meal for the flour. After a baked version of zvingous was mentioned in a 1999 New York Times Hanukkah article, the pastry suddenly earned attention among Americans.

Sephardic Beignets (Zvingous)

ABOUT 24 MEDIUM OR 36 SMALL FRITTERS [PAREVE OR DAIRY]

cup water
tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (7.5 ounces) high gluten flour, sifted or 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup fine semolina; or 1/2 cups matza cake meal
1 teaspoon grated orange and/or lemon zest (optional)
4 large eggs, at room temperature (3/4 cup)
Vegetable, sunflower, or peanut oil for deep-frying
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar , cinnamon sugar (2/3 cup sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon), or cup atar*

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, oil, sugar, and salt to a rapid boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the flour all at once , and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball, about 1 minute. Return to the heat and cook on low heat, stirring, until the dough dries slightly, about 1 minute. Let cool completely, about 10 minutes. If using, add the zest.

2. Beat the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition . The batter should be soft yet stiff enough to retain its shape. It is ready when it drops with difficulty from a spoon. Let cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

3. In a large pot, heat at least 1 1/2 inches oil over medium heat to 375 F.

4. Dip a tablespoon or teaspoon into the hot oil. In batches, drop the batter by spoonfools from the oiled spoon into the oil, using a second spoon to scrape it off, and fry, turning, until puffed and golden, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove with a wire-mesh skimmer or tongs and drain on a wire rack.

5. Sprinkle the beignets with confectioners’ sugar or dip hot ones into the cooled syrup or cooled puffs into hot syrup. Serve warm.

From page 27

* Atar

ABOUT 2 CUPS

2 cups (14 ounces) sugar, or 1 cup sugar and 1 cup honey
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice, rose water or orange water

In a medium, heavy saucepan, stir the sugar, water, and lemon juice over low heat until the sugar disolves, about 5 minutes. Stop stirring. Increase the the heat to medium, bring to a boil, and cook until mixture is slightly syrupy and reaches the thread stage or 225 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. If using rose water, stir it in now. The syrup keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

18
Dec
14

Gill Marks – Ponchkes, Bolas, Bumuelos, Buñuelos, Sufganyot, Doughnuts – A History


I arrived in Richmond, VA, (from Uruguay) in 1962 as a teenager. Every Shabbos and yom tov we would davven at the same shul as the Marks family. One of their kids was a very serious young man by the name of Gil, yes, that same Gil who left us on Friday, December 5 (Yud Gimmel Kislev) past. I interviewed Gil Marks (alav haShalom) a few times over the years, and it wasn’t until the second time I had him on my show that we recognized each other. Gil was an incredible researcher, historian, a good friend and a best selling author of 5 books including James Beard Award Winner Olive Trees and Honey (A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World) and his much praised, much applauded, Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Shortly before Gil Marks‘ untimely demise, at 62, he corrected the galleys of his 6th book. I hope we will see it published soon.

Following is a video in which I interviewed Gil at the Kosher Food and Wine Extravaganza 2012:

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As we are now in the third day of Chanukkah, I felt it appropriate to check out his Encyclopedia of Jewish Food on the subject of sufganyot. Why? Because no one else has ever been so thorough in describing our traditional foods and their origins as Gil Marks.

From pages 256-257

[..]Fried foods became a Hanukkah tradition in recognition of the miracle of oil. Sephardim and Mizrachim typically prepare various fried pastries or doughnouts (bimuelos or lokmas). In many Sephardic communities, members of wealthier families bring trays of sweets to less fortunate ones. In Morocco and Egypt these trays include zangula, deep fried batter poured into hot oil in a thin spiral, similar to Amish funnel cakes, and coated with a combination of either cinnamon and sugar or honey. [..]Turkish families serve a dessert similar to a doughnut called burmuelos. [..]Italians make fritelle, deep-fried diamond shaped pieces of dough that are dipped in honey.

[..]Ashkenazim fry latkes (“pancakes,” levivot in modern Hebrew), blintzes and doughnuts.  [..]In the twentieth century, the Polish jelly doughnut ponchik made its way to Israel, taking on the name sufganyot, and subsequently emerged as the most popular Israeli Hanukah food, sold throughout the eight-day festival at almost every bakery and market.

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As a kid, growing up in Uruguay, we had two types of sufganyotBolas and Buñuelos. Gil wrote, as follows, in his Encyclopedia [page 58]:

[..] The original medieval bola consisted of croquettes of yeast dough or mashed soaked bread deep-fried in oil, the round shape its Ladino name [bola=ball]. Over the centuries the simple fritters developed into an assortment of both fried and baked cakes and pastries.

Bolas, in my days, were fried balls of sweet dough sprinkled with powdered sugar which – occasionally – came with a thin layer of chocolate or dulce de leche, on top.

Buñuelos (again, during my childhood and teenage days in Uruguay) or Bimuelos (or Bumuelos, or Birmuelos), as Sephardim refer to them – Ponchkes, my Galitzianer Poilische mother (ob”m) would call them – as Chanukkah came around – would be filled with jelly, custard or (my favorite!) dulce de leche. As kids we couldn’t wait until the next year to enjoy the filled buñuelos! 

On page 51, he writes:

Bimuelos emerged as a Sephardic cultural icon. A very popular song from Israel is the Ladino “Vayehi Miketz  Burmuelos con Miel,” a parody from a woman’s point of view of the biblical tale of Joseph interpreting the dreams of Paraoh, which is read in the synagogue on the Sabbath of Hanukah: ” ‘And it at the end”; Burmuelos with honey; Pharaoh made them, and Joseph ate them, Pharaoh fell into the river and Joseph went to the bath, Pharaoh went to the cemetery, and Joseph went to the wedding.”

In Israel, I’ve enjoyed sufganyot filled with jelly. Hardly anything is more delicious than a sufganyah that is still warm…

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As Gill Marks writes, the sufganyah has been around since the late 15th century [page 565]:

In 1485 the cookbook Kuchenmeisterei (Mastery in the Kitchen) was published in Nuremberg, Germany, and in 1532 was translated into Polish as Kichmistrzostwo. Besides serving as a resource fot postmedieval central Europeean cooking and being one of the first cookbooks to be run off Johannes Gutenberg;s revolutionary printing press, this tome contained what was then a revolutionary recipe, the first record of a jelly doughnut, “Gefülte Krapfen.” This early version consisted of a bit of jam sandwiched between two rounds of yeast bread and deep-fried… [..]Whether the anonymous author actually invented the idea or recounted a new practice, the concelpt of filling a doughnut spread around the globe.

[..]At that time, sugar was still very expensive and rare in Germany, so savory dishes were much more practical, even for the middle class. In the sixteenth century the price of sugar fell with the introduction of Caribbean sugar plantations. Soon sugar and, in turn, fruit preserves proliferated in Europe, all the more so with the introduction of sugar beet factories in the nineteenth century. Within a century of the jelly doughnut \’s initial appearance in Germany, every northern European country from Denmark to Russia had adopted the pastry, although it was still a rare treat generally associated with specific holidays. Much later, someone in Germany invented a metal syringe with which to inject jelly into already fried doughnuts , making the treat that much easier, neater and diverse. In the twentieth century, machines were developed to inject doughnuts two at a time or in mass production. [..]

Personally, I find food history and traditions fascinating, I can easily understand why Gill Marks loved that field so much. His friendliness, his encyclopedic knowledge and readiness to answer any questions, are sorely missed already…

CS

17
Dec
14

A Night of Jazz, Comedy, Truffles and Wine


UPDATE: EVENT CANCELLED!!!

On the evening of December 29th, The Kosher Scene will present A Night of Jazz, Comedy, Truffles and Wine, with proceeds to benefit the Puah Institute. The evening will feature the Sol Yaged Band, Broadway’s David Serero as Master of Ceremonies. David has made his mark as a singer and as a comedian throughout Europe and now in the US. Chef Sara Black will serve us a delightful menu featuring the queen of mushrooms… black truffles!

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The Puah Institute, experts in the world of Jewish fertility, is devoted to helping people with fertility, intimacy and genetic challenges fulfill their dreams of building a family. Puah supports thousands through counselling, education and lab supervision to prevent potential human error during fertility treatments. Puah provides couples personal counselling, free of charge, in a sensitive, caring environment al pi halacha.

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Please come Monday evening, December the 29th. Doors open at 6:00pm, the show starts at 7:00pm. Come and enjoy great music, great singing, great comedy, great food and great wines, while you help the Puah Institute in its mission to help those who wish to build a family but find themselves unable to. Make your reservations today!

Hope to see you all there,

CS and SYR

01
Dec
14

The Loft Steakhouse


Back in August, Costas Mouzuoras, my good friend and walking wine encyclopedia at Gotham Wines and Liquors, told me he “tasted the best kosher steak ever and one of the best in all of New York.” “Where?” I asked. “Some place in Brooklyn called The Loft,” he answered. This past week, I finally got around to visiting The Loft Steakhouse (1306 40th. Street, Brooklyn; NY 11218 – between 13th and 14th Avenues in Borough Park – Tel: 718.475.5600). kosher-scene-copyright-copy22

The couple at the table next to mine were true oenophiles, but the fact that the restaurant could accommodate their tastes speaks volumes.

The couple at the table next to mine were true oenophiles, but the fact that the restaurant could accommodate their tastes speaks volumes.

I started my repast with the Crispy Beef appetizer…

Crispy Beef - Looks good and tastes better

Crispy Beef – Looks good and tastes better

It consisted of slow braised beef, crisped and smothered in a fantastic, tangy ginger galze, with a vegetable saute of crimini mushrooms and sugar snap peas. It was a very worthy introduction to the dish to follow.

I continued with a medium well Delmonico Steak…

Just the way I like it!

Delmonico Steak – Just the way I like it!

A delicately seasoned, beautifully marbled steak, cooked to perfection, tender and juicy, served over superbly seasoned mashed potatoes, and topped with thin strips of caramelized onion.

I ended the meal with a Napoleon, though beautifully presented, it was not a worthy crown for this meal. It was quite good – and more than acceptable at a lesser eatery – having been completely spoiled by the two dishes that preceded it I expected a richer taste…

Beautiful and unusual

Beautiful and unusual

I washed it all down with a Rum Punch

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It was made with tropical fruit juices, nutmeg, bitters, rum and strawberry syrup perfectly complementing a superb dinner.

Temur, my waiter, was very knowledgeable and made great suggestions. Service was impeccable. Prices were not cheap, but well worth it. I’ll just have to go back again and again, to taste the rest of their menu.

CS

11
Nov
14

Kosherfeast 2014


Last evening, once again, Esti Berkowitz and Roberta Scher (unfortunately Roberta was unable to attend) hosted their annual Kosherfeast. This year it was held at the old Streit’s Matzoh factory in the Lower East Side.

We met a lot of old friends and new faces…

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Esti Berkowitz and Naomi  Stein Nachman welcoming the crowd.

Esti Berkowitz and Naomi Stein Nachman welcoming the crowd and opening the awards ceremonies.

Brent Delman, from thecheeseguy.com, purveyor of some of the most delicious cheeses from the US, Europe and Latin America…

Brent Delman and his award

Brent Delman and his award

Jeff Nathan from Abigael’s Restaurant, pioneer of kosher TV cooking shows and Estee Kafra, cookbook author…

Awaiting their awards

Awaiting their awards

Shlomo Klein (Chief Marketing Officer) and Shifra Klein (Editor-in-Chief) from Joy of Kosher magazine…

The couple behind Joy of Kosher magazine's everyday functioning.

The couple behind Joy of Kosher magazine’s everyday functioning.

Herzog Wine Cellars Winemaker extraordinaire…

Joe Hurliman

Joe Hurliman

Mindy Erreich, media person, from Prime Hospitality Group

Accepting the award for her company.

Accepting the award for her company.

Chef Sara Black

Chef Sara Black

Caterer (Asparagus Catering) and Private Chef

Cookbook author and the Pastry Chef who taught us how to bake with friends…

Elizabeth Kurtz (Gourmet Kosher Cooking), Pastry Chef Paula Shoyer, Kim Amzallag (Forwards' Advertising Manager)

Elizabeth Kurtz (Gourmet Kosher Cooking), Pastry Chef Paula Shoyer, Kim Amzallag (Forwards‘ Advertising Manager)

We can’t possibly put up every photo, nor can we remember every person that was there but, notable among many other attendees, were Menachem Lubinsky of Lubicom – the brain behind the annual Kosherfest, Jay Buchsbaum of Royal Wine Corporation, Alison Nathan of Abigael’s, Gloria Kobrin (Kosher by Gloria), Asher and Judith Girshberg of De La Rosa, David Mintz from Toffutti, and many, many more.

‘Twas an evening to remember!

CS

09
Nov
14

Chef Sara Black at JCC Rockland – Part 2


Last evening, under Micki Leader‘s able orchestration, JCC Rockland presented another installment of their 2014 Festival of Arts, Books and Culture. The evening opened with journalist and author Allen Salkin‘s talk about his book – From Scratch: The Uncensored History Of The Food Network – and video presentation about the Food Network. Renowned Chef Peter X. Kelley, a local restaurateur, was interviewed next by Mr. Salkin, as he recalled his TV battle with Chef Bobby Flay and his victory over him. He also introduced his smooth, exquisite Slovenia Vodka.

Chef Sara Black

Chef Sara Black

The highlight of the evening, however, was Chef Sara Black‘s cooking demo. Four participants were chosen and they cooked four recipes of the thirteen dishes that Chef Sara and a whole slew of volunteers cooked up on Friday for this motzey Shabbos presentation.

Chef Sara‘s menu for the evening included:

  • Pita Bread
  • Tomato Eggplant Salad
  • Moroccan Matbucha
  • Moroccan Spicy Salad
  • Assorted Cheese Balls
  • Spinach & Pear Salad, Feta & Toasted Pumpkin Seed
  • Green Salad with Toasts and Goat Cheese
  • Brown Rice Noodle with Chives, Carrot Strips & toasted Walnuts
Salmon Carpaccio with Olive oil and Fresh Herbs

Salmon Carpaccio with Olive Oil and Fresh Herbs

  • Stuffed Mushrooms Served with Remoulade Sauce
  • Deep Fried Avocado with Vinaigrette Sauce
  • Salmon Carpaccio with Olive oil and Fresh Herbs
  • Tuna Tartar with Wasabi Sauce
  • Baked Salmon Coated with Basil and Sea Weed
  • Grilled Antipasti
Tuna Tartar with Black and White Sesame Seeds

Tuna Tartar with Black and White Sesame Seeds in Wasabi Sauce

The last two photos were of items cooked by the four people selected to demo some recipes under Chef Sara’s direction.

Chef Sara gave out three ultra easy recipes and here are my two favorites:

Moroccan Spicy Carrot Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • harissa or hot pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Peel and slice carrots into rounds. Cook until semi soft. Shut off heat and let carrots sit for 5 minutes more.
  2. Drain carrots well… Toss with oil, garlic, paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste (add harissa/hot pepper, if you like). Serve at room temperature.
The Chef putting Chef's hats on her demo volunteers.

The Chef putting Chef’s hats on her demo volunteers.

Israeli Eggplant Caponata

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 3-4 tablespoons canola oil
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley ingredients and season to taste.
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup or tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Slice eggplants (do not peel) into 1/4″ rounds. Sprinkle with oil. kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Bake until eggplant is translucent, about 20 minutes or so. Let cool slightly.
  4. Toss remaining ingredients and season to taste.

Delicious food, great conversation, funny videos, great company… What a beautiful evening!

CS

07
Nov
14

Levana’s Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Bread Crumbs Topping Recipe. Gluten-Free Variation


A couple of weeks ago, Chef Sara Black and I had the pleasure of dining with the famed Lévana Kirschenbaum at her apartment. She graciously agreed to let me post the recipe of my favorite dish of the the evening.

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Bread Crumbs
Gluten-Free Variation

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Pastasalad2

I love the robust flavor of  cauliflower, and the roasting intensifies it even further.  I use frozen cauliflower, as it is already cut, cleaned, and every bit as delicious and nutritious! Attention Gluten-Free readers: This is for you too!

Although this dish needs no help from the usual pasta suspects to be fantastic, feel free to jazz up this recipe some more with one of the following: Minced anchovies or sardines, capers, grated parmesan, toasted nuts. In this case make absolutely sure to include no salt in your recipes, as one of these additions will be amply enough to salt the whole dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds frozen cauliflower florets, larger pieces cut smaller
  • 6 slices bread, any kind including GF
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1 bunch flat parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 good pinches nutmeg
  • 1 pound pasta, boiled and drained (rice noodles or other GF pasta OK), 1/2 cup cooking liquid reserved
  • ¼ cup more olive oil
  • Pine nuts, for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment and spray with vegetable spray. Spread the cauliflower florets in one layer on the cookie sheet, and spray again generously with vegetable spray.
  2. Line another cookie sheet with foil or parchment. In a food processor, using the pulse button, process the bread, olive oil, garlic, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg, until you get coarse crumbs. Place them on the second cookie sheet. Place both sheets in the oven, using upper third rack for the crumbs, and lower third rack for the cauliflower. Bake about 25 minutes, check a couple times on the sheets. The crumbs might be ready first. The cauliflower should be nice and dark.
  3. In a platter, toss the pasta with the cauliflower, the reserved liquid, the crumbs and the added oil, and serve hot. Top with pine nuts.

Together with the Branzino fish entree we had next, we washed it all down with a delightful bottle of red – Ramon Cardova Rioja. Just like every time I ate Lévana‘s homeit was a meal to remember!

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS




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