Master Spice Blender Lior Lev Sercarz, Film Maker Roger Sherman, Jewish Cookbooks Doyenne Joan Nathan and Chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav restaurant in Phildelphia share stage for Let's Talk Israeli Cuisine at Skirball Center in New York on November 18.
It will not be all talk.
You will also be able to sample dishes from Joan, Lior and Michael.
Roger will be moderating conversation and showing clips from his upcoming film, The Search for Israeli Cuisine...
Event starts at 6:30 PM
Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased HERE
That Crazy French Woman and evangelist of natural wines, Isabelle Legeron, is crossing the Atlantic from her London base to promote the release of her book Natural Wine (Cico Books, July 2014) in the U.S.
Some details courtesy of Chambers Street Wines:
"We are delighted to welcome Isabelle on Thursday, November 13th, from 5:00 to 6:30pm for an in-store tasting and book signing of Natural Wine, which already graces our shelves. As always, these preliminary celebrations are open to all and free of charge. The festivities will continue at acclaimed downtown restaurant Contra, where a custom six-course tasting menu will be paired with some of the most influential producers of natural wines featured in Isabelle's book. We’ve had a couple of other dinners at Contra and they were a huge hit - expect delicious, satisfying food from Chefs Jeramiah Stone & Fabian Von Hauske and the warm, expert hospitality of Wine Director Jorge Riera.
Gossamer-winged dinner tickets are $180, which includes meal, wine, taxes, and gratuity. Dinner begins at 7:00pm. Contra is located at 138 Orchard Street (between Rivington and Delancey Streets); New York, NY 10002. "
Call Chambers Street Wines at 212 227 1434 for Tickets...
(* Photo of Isabelle and the Georgia amphoras from That Crazy French Woman site)
Mussels in Cider
Dijon, crème fraîche, tarragon
Prep Time: 30 Minutes // Total Time: 30 Minutes // Serves 8
In Blainville-sur-Mer, a tiny town on Normandy’s Cotentin Peninsula, there’s a quirky little restaurant called La Cale, whose official street address is “La Plage,” or, simply, “the beach.” It overlooks the tidal flats that stretch five kilometers into the sea—an area that accounts for more than 10 percent of France’s oyster production—but at high tide, when all traces of aquaculture disappear, it’s simply a beachfront bistro with a few legs of lamb on an open hearth. It’s homey, complete with picnic tables and a “serve yourself ” rule that explains why patrons cut their own bread, fetch their own water, and choose their own wine from a shelf next to the bar. The rule does not explain why the room is adorned in giant needlepoints of various nudes, both male and female, but the artworks add a je ne sais quoi that I’d miss if I returned to find them replaced with something more modest.
When you order mussels there, they come in the pot they were cooked in, steamed in cider and topped with a generous dollop of crème fraîche, which whoever has thought to grab a ladle gets to stir into them just before serving. This recipe is similar. And as you do at La Cale, you should eat a small mussel first, then use its shell as a utensil to pry the mussels out of the remaining shells.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 cups dry hard cider
3 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, for seasoning
¾ cup crème fraîche
½ cup loosely packed whole tarragon leaves (no stems)
Crusty bread, for serving
In a large, high-sided saucepan or soup pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, add the cider, then increase the heat to medium-high.
Add the mussels and cook, covered, until they begin to open, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and begin transferring the mussels that have cooked to a large bowl, stirring and prodding until all the mussels have opened and have been transferred to the bowl. (Discard any mussels that do not open.)
Increase the heat to high and simmer the cider for 3 minutes, or until it has reduced by about a third. Season the liquid to taste with lemon juice and salt, then reduce the heat to low. Return the mussels to the pot, add the crème fraîche and tarragon, and stir gently until the mussels are warmed through and coated with the cream.
Serve immediately, with the bread.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus, Menus and Stories -Sasquatch Books, September 2014- by Renee Erickson with Jess Thompson- Photographs by Jim Henkens)
Late October- early November cooler evenings call for warm soups.
Here's one you can serve straight or spiced up.
This North African soup combines a simple stew of onion, cilantro, and spiced chickpeas with
toasted bread chunks, turning humble to sublime, especially if you set a poached or hard-boiled egg on top. Liam and I like it for a satisfying after-school snack, even for 2 or 3 days running. I put a spoonful of spicy harissa and a sprinkle of capers on mine. Liam takes his straight. We try to say “We love leblebi!” three times fast, with full mouths and true hearts.
4 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
Crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup roughly chopped cilantro stems and leaves
2 garlic cloves, sliced or chopped
¾ cup chopped or grated tomatoes or ½ cup roasted tomato puree (page 184)
6 cups cooked chickpeas, with their liquid (2½ cups dried)
Small handful of Rustic Oily Croutons (page 25) per bowl
1 poached (page 33) or hard-boiled (page 30) egg per bowl
Ground cumin (optional)
Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
Harissa sauce (opposite; optional)
Heat a soup pot over high heat. Add the oil, then the onion and salt. Stir, lower the heat, and cover the pot. Check and stir after a few minutes, letting the liquid on the lid drip back into the pot to keep things steamy. Lower the heat if there is any browning going on, and re-cover.
Cook like this until the onion is tender, about 15 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, cilantro, and garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes to stop the garlic from browning and cook for a couple minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the chickpeas and enough of their cooking liquid to cover by 2 inches, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Put 2 ladles of soup in a blender or food mill and puree (careful—it’s hot). Return to the soup pot and stir in to thicken the leblebi slightly.
Taste for seasonings and add water or any reserved cooking liquid if it’s too thick.
To serve, put some croutons in each soup bowl. Ladle in the leblebi and top with a poached egg or a halved hard-boiled egg. Sprinkle with a little ground cumin and oil and capers if you like, and pass a bowl of harissa sauce to spoon over at the table.
Tubes of prepared harissa, like some kind of practical joke toothpaste, can be found at Middle
Eastern markets. At Asian markets, I buy sambal oelek—the chili paste that comes in a little jar with a green top and a gold label with a red rooster on it—and make a quick harissa by stirring 3 tablespoons of it with 1 or more pounded garlic cloves and 6 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil.
For a more nuanced harissa sauce, mix 2 tablespoons paprika or any other mild chili powder with enough hot water to make a thick paste, about 3 tablespoons. Stir in 2 tablespoons pounded garlic and 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil. I often want a splash of red wine vinegar in there and sometimes will add some ground cumin and cayenne if it needs heating up. A tablespoon or two of currants or raisins, plumped for 10 minutes in hot water, adds a sweet counterpoint.
(* Recipe excerpted from Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell -William Morrow, October 2014)
Boat with whale, walrus and Renee Erickson drops anchor at Maiden Lane restaurant in New York on October 21, 2014.
Or to make it less 'Noah's Ark', celebrate publication of A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus, Menus and Stories (Sasquatch Books, September 2014) by joining Seattle chef Renee Erickson for a cookbook-dinner at Maiden Lane...
Menu above, $65 for cocktail party dinner (drinks not included), $40 for book
New Yorkers Get 3 Chances To Know Why You Should Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef in October.
They can see and ask Massimo Bottura why on following dates at 3 locations.
Saturday, October 11 at 11 AM as part of Identita Golose at Eataly
Chef Seminar with Massimo Bottura and Daniel Humm.
Ticket price: $125
Tuesday 14 October at 2.00pm at The Culinary Institute of America
Lecture and book signing with Massimo Bottura.
For more information, call: 845-451-1543
Tuesday 14 October at 8.15pm at 92nd Street Y
In conversation with Wylie Dufresne followed by Q+A and book signing with Massimo Bottura.
Ticket price: $30
Visit Event Page for tickets and more information.
All 3 events celebrate the publication of Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef (Phaidon Press, October 2014) by Massimo Bottura...
Chef Bottura also makes stops at chi Spacca in Los Angeles on October 7, Cuoco Restaurant in Seattle on October 8 (details via Book Larder), Tosca Cafe in San Francisco on October 9 (tickets via Brown Paper Tickets), Balena Restaurant in Chicago on October 15, and last a cooking demonstration and wine pairing ($80) at Whole Foods Lamar in Austin on October 16, followed by (free) book signing at Noon on October 17 at same Whole Foods...
- Spend a Sunday night in the courtyard at Bacchanal with wine and music. Bacchanal has mostly gypsy jazz from a varied line up on Sundays, favorites: the Courtyard Kings.
- Take a walk down Magazine street and explore all of the independent shops and restaurants.
Magazine street restaurants picks are Lilly’s Vietnamese for spring rolls and grilled pork vermicelli, McClure’s BBQ for his smoked meats and selection of sauces. Make sure that you get some mac and cheese and stewed collards. Stein’s Deli, just ask for a SAM on seeded rye, grilled, you can thank me later. Martinique Bistro, Bistro Daisy, and Square Root. Bakeries include La Boulangerie and Rivista for a quick breakfast, breads and pastries to go or lunch.
- Rebirth Brass Band on Tuesday nights at the Maple Leaf.
-Get a half and half shrimp and oyster po boy from Domilise’s, just make sure that you come hungry.
-Check out the art galleries on Royal Street. Angela King gallery offers a good mix of contemporary art, Alex Beard Gallery has bold graphics based art, and my daughters love his animal prints, also Sutton Galleries.
- Beat the New Orleans heat with a stop at Hanson’s Sno-Bliz. My favorite is Satsuma with condensed milk.
- Spend a part of Tuesday or Saturday morning at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market checking out what is fresh and local. You get the best buys when produce is in mid-season and farmers have a lot of it. I love all of our local producers because of their passion for what they do. Some of these farmers and producers include Accardo’s Gourmet produce for heirloom tomatoes and peppers, Bellegarde Bakery for ciabatta and country breads, Cajun Grain for their brown jasmine rice and rice products, and our local dairies Ryal’s and Progress Milk Barn.
- Come to New Orleans at least once for Jazzfest, it’s an amazing time of the year in the city.
- Angelo Brocato’s for spumoni in Mid City.
- For a quick lunch, grab a muffuletta at Central Grocery and head down to Riverfront Park.
- Wake up without a cappuccino or cortado from Spitfire coffee on St.Peter street.
- Don't leave local butcher shop, Cleaver and Company, without getting a bag of their hot cracklins.
- Don’t you dare miss a Friday lunch at Galatoire’s.
- Don't hesitate to spend an entire day exploring the National WW2 Museum. It is an amazing experience.
- After a night of music, get your strength back with tacos from food truck Taceaux Loceaux. My personal favorite is "Messin with Texas".
- As any New Orleanian will tell you, don’t waste your time on Bourbon Street. There are too many great neighborhoods in the city to explore.
- Don't think that you can come to New Orleans and not explore the city’s cocktail culture. French 75 bar, anything that Chris Hannah is pouring including their namesake cocktail and Ellipses and Dash, Sylvain for Sazerac and cocktails using the house made cola, Cure favorite is Mexican Bus Ride, but really anything they suggest based on your preferences., also Sobou with Barrel aged cocktails, and the Big Chief, these are all great places to do your research.
- Forget about tourist bus tours. Take in history of the city on foot, there are a number of great walking tours and museums that will offer information on the city’s past.
- Let's not forget City Park. With New Orleans Museum of Art and its Sculpture Garden, walking trails, and sporting opportunities there is plenty to do and see.
(* Photos of Martinique Bar and Three Muses from their websites, all others from their respective Facebook pages)
Here's something with a beer essence.
Steamed Fish with IPA and Pineapple Salsa
This dish uses IPA and a mix of fruity, spicy ingredients to steam a piece of white fish. It then serves a pieapple salsa on the side, which is made with the same IPA- It's best served in soft tacos or tortillas with some chopped avocado on top. The fish recipe is per person with the filet being wrapped in individual foil parcels.
For the IPA and Pineapple Salsa:
¼ of a fresh pineapple, chopped into small pieces
1 green chili pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
A handful of cilantro (coriander) leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp (30ml) IPA
For the Steamed Fish
1 fillet white fish (such as cod or haddock)
Juice of ½ an orange, plus 1 thick slice of orange
2 garlic cloves
½ fresh chili pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
1 in (2cm) piece of fresh ginger, chopped into matchsticks
1 star anise
A few cilantro (coriander) leaves
1 tsp clear honey
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp (30ml) IPA
1 The salsa is best made an hour or two before you eat. To make the salsa, mix all the ingredients together apart from the beer and then leave in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Add the
beer to the salsa just before serving—this ensures that you get the maximum amount of beer flavor and fragrance.
2 To steam the fish, preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C/Gas 6. Put all the steamed-fish ingredients on top of a piece of aluminum foil and wrap them up until you have a neat parcel. (I recommend doublewrapping for this: simply take two sheets of foil and fold up the edges to create a parcel.) Place the parcel on a baking tray and cook for 25–30 minutes. Remove the fish from the parcel when you’re ready to serve.
3 To serve, I like to put the fish in some soft tacos, spoon over the salsa, and then add some chopped avocado. It’s great with a glass of IPA.
(*Recipe reproduced with permission from Beer and Food by Mark Dredge- Ryland Peters & Small, Dog & Bone imprint, Spring 2014- Food photography: William Lingwood)
Rawia Bishara in her Maftool recipe from Olives, Lemons & Za'atar (Kyle Books, February 2014) reminisces on her parents making the pearly couscous by hand at home when she was growing up.
The Romance of Maftool
My father was a rather chivalrous man, particularly when it came to my mother. His gestures were not necessarily showy or grand, but they were nothing if not charming. One of my favorite memories of my parents is tied to the ritual of making maftool, a pasta that is often incorrectly
referred to as Israeli couscous here in America. Given how much patience and diligence is required to make the grains by hand, it is clear proof to me just how important food was and remains to our culture.
In our Nazareth home, my mother started making this pearly pasta early in the morning. The first step was roasting and grinding her own spices. The aroma of caraway, anise and cumin floated in the air. She filled a huge stockpot with either lamb bones or whole chickens, vegetables, the spices and water. While the water came to a boil, my mother shaped the pasta. She stood while rolling a bit of wheat flour with drips of water in the palms of her hands over a sieve, continuously sprinkling flour and water in her palm until the granules were the size of BB pellets. She would then coat the pasta with clarified butter to prevent the grains from sticking together while they steamed in a colander set in the pot of boiling stock. The fragrant stock perfumed the maftool before the two
were combined in a bowl. Layering flavors this way was the key to my mother’s memorable cooking. She insisted on spicing and perfuming every component of a dish.
Maftool is made with what seems like an absurd amount of pearl onions. Peeling them is one of the most time-consuming steps in making the dish. For my parents, though, it was the most charmed. Because he hated to see her cry, my father always stepped in to tackle the mountain of onions on the kitchen counter. This may not seem especially gallant these days, but back then, men simply did not carry their weight in the kitchen. Watching my dad peel all those onions made me swoon. As a little girl, it just seemed so romantic! The most endearing part of the process was not that my father saved my mom the burning eyes and endless tears, but that he’d close the kitchen door while he was preparing all of those onions because he didn’t like anyone seeing him cry.
“Watching my dad peel all those onions made me swoon. As a little girl, it just seemed so romantic!”
Palestinian Couscous with Chicken, Chickpeas and Pearl Onions, MAFTOOL
It used to be that the whole family gathered to make homemade Maftool. These days, almost no one makes it by hand, which is not surprising, since the process is very involved. Maftool is truly a one-dish meal—there are never pickles, sauces or salads served with it because the chicken, chickpeas and onions are like side dishes themselves. I prefer fresh pearl onions, but if you need to speed things up, use the frozen variety.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
6 teaspoons ground caraway seeds
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon sea salt or to taste
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 chicken (21/2 to 3 pounds), cut into 4 or 8 pieces
10 tablespoons olive oil or 4 tablespoons ghee
2 pounds fresh pearl onions, peeled, or frozen pearl onions
4 yellow onions, chopped
1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled (see page 21) or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 pounds maftool (see opposite) or Egyptian rice
In a small bowl, combine the caraway, allspice, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon. Rub half of the spice mixture all over the chicken. Set aside the other half.
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 6 tablespoons of the oil or all of the ghee over medium heat. Slip the chicken pieces into the pan, skin-side down, and sear, leaving them untouched for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown. Turn over and sear the other sides, 5 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the pearl and yellow onions and saute until the onions begin to take on color, 5 to 7 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot, pour in the chickpeas and 3 quarts water, raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and, using a spoon, skim o% the foam from the top, trying not to skim o% any spices along with it. Cover and simmer until the chicken is about to fall o% the bone, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir in the lemon juice and set
the pot aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet with a lid, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice, stir to coat and saute until the grains are snowy white.
Stir in the reserved spice mixture and until fragrant. Pour in 6 cups of the chicken broth from the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the rice is soft, adding more broth as needed, 15 to 20 minutes.
To serve, spoon the rice onto a large, rimmed serving platter and arrange the chicken, chickpeas and onions around it.
(* Recipe reproduced from 'Olives, Lemons & Za'atar' by Rawia Bishara -Kyle Books, February 2014- Photography by Peter Cassidy, all rights reserved...)