KosherEye is delighted to partner with Jack's Gourmet offering our readers a chance to win a gourmet selection of kosher deli and specialty meat products. Co–founders Dr. Alan Broner and Chef Jack Silberstein will be offering, monthly, to one lucky reader a chance to WIN a $50 gift certificate valid for any meat... Read more...
Target Introduces New Line of Organic/Natural Products - Many are Kosher
Target has entered the wellness market by introducing its new grocery brand Simply Balanced. Approximately 40% of the new products are organic, and none of the items have hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, synthetic... Read more...
Miracles & Meals with Joanne Caras Season 2 on Jewish Life Television
The TV show Miracles & Meals with Joanne Caras begins its second season on JLTV (Jewish Life Television), on Monday, June 10th. The show shares stories and recipes of Holocaust Survivors. It is filmed in Port St. Lucie at Caras’ home,... Read more...
John Kessler is The Atlanta Journal–Constitution’s food writer and chief dining critic, food columnist and in our opinion, food guru. His columns are always entertaining and chock full of information, opinion and humor. Since tomatoes are starting to come into season, we are once again sharing one of his columns, one of our favorites, on how to enjoy an abundant tomato harvest. And, city dwellers, if you don’t happen to have a garden, don’t fret! Simply buy fresh tomatoes when they go on sale at the supermarket, and follow John’s 10 tips to use them.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - John Kessler offers some ideas on how to use up your tomato crop.
1. Grate them: This is my favorite tomato trick of all time. Cut the tomato in half through the equator, pluck out the seeds with your fingers and grate the cut side against the large holes in a box grater set over a bowl. You will end up with a bowlful of gorgeous tomato flesh and a naked skin in your palm within seconds. What do you do with it? I like to keep going with other vegetables and grate cucumbers, peppers and a little onion for a quick, coarse-textured gazpacho that you season with oil, vinegar, salt and fresh herbs.
2. Roast them: Cut the tomatoes in half through the equator and place cut side up in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the top with chopped onion, garlic and any herbs you like along with salt and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 325 degrees for about two hours, watching to make sure they’re not drying out too quickly. If they’re still very juicy, turn up the heat to 400 and cook a few minutes just until the juices start to caramelize. Pull the skins off with your fingers and pulse to a nice tomato sauce consistency in a food processor. Salt to taste.
3. Salt them: Here’s the best thing to do with tomatoes if you don’t care about seeds and skins. Chop them into a bowl, salt them well (say, one four-fingered pinch per tomato) and let them sit for 20 minutes. You end up with firmer, more flavorful tomato dice and a lot of delicious juice waiting to saturate any ingredients you mix with the tomatoes.
4. Strain them: If you’re fancy-restaurant minded, then make some clear tomato water. Coarsely chop four large tomatoes in a food processor with a couple of teaspoons of salt. Over a bowl, pour into several thicknesses of folded cheesecloth. Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth, tie them in a knot and contrive some contraption that will suspend this bag of goop over a bowl in the fridge overnight. You end up with clear, intense-flavored tomato water for — what else? — an amazing tomato martini.
5. Toss them: Here’s a great use for all those cherry tomatoes that start ripening first. Set a pot of water on the stove to cook pasta. Over a bowl, rip the cherry tomatoes into two to four pieces with your fingers. Add torn basil, olive oil, a crushed garlic clove, salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Take one of those big balls of fresh mozzarella, dice it and toss it into the bowl. When the pasta is cooked, add it to the bowl and toss. Yes, you want Parmesan cheese.
6. Juice them: Heat chopped tomatoes with a couple of ribs of celery and a couple of spoonfuls of chopped onion in a saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes or until very liquid. Press the warm juice through a sieve into a bowl. Season with salt. And if you tell anyone you heard this from me, I’ll lie through my teeth, but when it’s still warm, season with a spoonful of sugar and a sprinkle of MSG if you’re so inclined.
7. Forget Italy, go to Japan: I like to make a kind of mash-up of caprese salad and the Japanese chilled tofu dish called hiyayakko. You ready? Tough. I’m going to tell you about it, anyhow. Alternate slices of tomato and best-quality sliced tofu, firm or soft. Make a dressing of olive oil, soy sauce, seasoned rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic and a touch of sugar to taste. Top with slivered green onions.
8. Freeze them: Remember that tomato pulp from above? Good, now throw four cups of it into the blender with a half cup of cilantro leaves, the juice of a couple of limes and a squirt of sriracha sauce. Pour the resulting goop over a cookie sheet and place it in the freezer. Every 20 minutes or so, scrape the frozen edges to the center of the pan with a fork. When you have nothing but red flakes of crystallized ice, you have spicy tomato granita. Place in a covered container and freeze until ready to eat.
9. Cream them: I bet you don’t draw attention to the fact, but you love Campbell’s cream of tomato soup the way you love, say, “White Wedding” by Billy Idol. Have you ever made your own cream of tomato soup? Then start sautéing a chopped big onion in butter in a pot. Add a couple of cloves of minced garlic and four to five big tomatoes, chopped. Add a spoonful of tomato paste and three to four cups of chicken or vegetable stock. Add two spoonfuls of raw rice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, until rice is cooked. Puree in the blender, strain the skins through a sieve and reheat in a saucepan with salt, pepper and a healthy glug of cream or half-and-half. You already know how to make the grilled cheese sandwich.
10. Get corny with them: You know that tomatoes and corn really, really like each other, right? Well, remember that bowl of diced salted tomatoes wallowing in their juice I just had you make? Great. Add the kernels cut from a couple of ears of corn, some torn basil, some olive oil, a good shot of red wine vinegar and some shaved pecorino cheese. When it’s ready, invite me to dinner.
The creativity and photography on the web is amazing – For those of you who have not yet explored Pinterest, you simply must!. It is a Disneyworld of visuals- a feast for the eyes. This feature all about "designer"ice cubes was inspired by Pinterest postings and of course, the queen of creativity, Martha Stewart.
It's almost summer and time to think COOL. Layered, infused, rainbow or striped ice cubes are fun to make and perfect for warm weather entertaining. The cubes are simply made of several ingredients. Each ingredient is frozen separately and layered Each color/flavor is frozen, and then topped with another colorful layer. Yes, as Martha would say, it's a good thing!
Ice Cubism (Yes love those words!)
• Use store bought juices such as Ceres brand and Natalie's. Pour liquid into an ice cube tray. Fill each cube about 1/3 full for 3 layers, ½ full for 2 layers. Freeze until each layer is solidly frozen. Once frozen, pour or spoon another flavorful colored liquid over the top, and freeze again. Repeat with the third liquid layer. When the cubes are frozen, remove and add to your drink of choice. If the drink is already chilled your gorgeous cubes will last longer.
KosherEye is weighing in on the Knaidel controversy. Any phonetic spelling of this treasured, traditional Jewish delicacy is correct because it is actually a translation of a German-Yiddish word... much like Chanukah, Hanukkah, Shabbos, Shabbes etc. However, the major question remains: Which are preferable -- sinkers or floaters?
Try these recipes for Matzo (or should we say Matzoh) Balls:
Legendary Chef Julia Child introduced the whisk (or whip, as she called it) to Americans in the 1960's*. Until then, most of our mothers and bubbies used a fork... likely a dinner fork, to mix, combine and beat. But, as most everything dear Julia recommended, American cooks became fans of the whisk, and learned to use and appreciate this multi-tasking tool that can aerate, whip, beat, emulsify, deglaze, and mix.
However if you have recently shopped for a whisk, you have likely discovered that there is a huge assortment of shapes, sizes, designs and materials. The world of whisks has come a long way since Julia whipped it into our lives.
So let's become whisk savvy. KosherEye has worked (ok- played) in our kitchens with several whisks, provided to us by Rösle, a company, which offers a variety of stainless steel and/silicone whisks, crafted for an assortment of uses. But understanding which whisk was best for which task, was a learning experience, a fun one at that.
A bit about Rösle: Rösle makes a variety of excellent kitchen tools and cookware. These whisks are all made of durable 18/10 stainless steel, that won't react with foods, and are dishwasher safe. Some shapes are available with a silicone coating as well. And, they all have a lifetime guarantee.
From the Rösle whisk collection:
Egg Whisk - Wide spacing of the fine wires and a slender handle produce light and airy results when whisking mixes of liquid or semi-liquid consistency. Suggested for batters, cream mixes, sauces and soups.
Balloon Whisk/Beater - The robust handle in combination with flexible, densely positioned wires; suggested for mixes of thick or semi-liquid consistency, especially for whipping cream and egg whites for meringues, soufflés and cake batters.. This whisk incorporates air and body into foods, and according to Gourmet.com is the whisk that Julia Child made famous. It is suggested for recipes that call for combining dry ingredients, like flour, salt, and baking powder or baking soda: It distributes and helps break up any large bits, often eliminating the need for sifting. Many say that if one can only have one whisk, this is the one.
Flat Silicone Whisk - The flat shape of this whisk is especially suitable for stirring small quantities, and is heat resistant up to 500°F. This whisk's loops are arranged in a flat pattern so that they cover the large surface of shallow fry pans or roasting pans—perfect for mixing roux's, pan sauces and gravies.
Jug Whisk - This whisk, similar to a balloon whisk but more slender, is ideal for whisking in narrow containers and glasses. Food and drinks can be quickly and easily stirred. Suitable mixing most liquids, including shakes and salad dressings.
Twirl Whisk - This flexible spiral shape moves up and down and facilitates airy beating of mixes, reaching the base and all corners of a narrow container. It is especially suitable for processing small quantities of liquids such as sauces, dressings and gravies.
If you are planning to buy only one whisk – which whisk should it be? The experts are mixed on this. Some suggest the balloon whisk; others the jug whisk, and some couldn't live without their egg whisks. Our thoughts: Think about why you need a whisk, and select the one that best suits that job. Most are very versatile. Or, of course, you can buy them all! Click on the whisk below to buy Rösle whisks:
*AND NOW... a treat for you dear readers. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, and watch Julia cooking up a dairy cheese soufflé with her wire whip.
Zoku™ Slush & Shake Maker
KosherEye is always searching for new kosher products and culinary gadgets, and we instantly knew we had spotted one while attending the January, 2011, AmericasMart Gift Show. There it was – the Zoku Quick Pop Maker, a fun, colorful, very happy, popsicle display in the middle of winter. And, yes, this innovative tool proved to be a huge success with both kids and adults!
KosherEye has made a new discovery and what a find it is! We try to follow up on suggestions from our readers, and so when a KosherEye friend recommended Papergoods.com we checked it out. We found a huge online store of disposables, paper and plastic goods for entertaining, everyday use, Shabbos and special occasions. In fact, we were so impressed that we contacted the company – requested samples and decided to share this site with our readers. Our sample order was shipped promptly and arrived intact. (According to comments on their site, this is the norm!) We don't know how they do it, but orders $49 and over are shipped free. Freight for orders under this amount, cost only $5. And, for even more savings, yes, KosherEye is very frugal-minded, we love their weekly "steals and deals".
A bit about the company: Sholom, the founder of Papergoods.com was brought up in a family of 9 children. His education includes yeshivas in the U.S. and England. While growing up, he shared many of the weekly supermarket shopping experiences with his mom and siblings, laboriously dragging home groceries and paper goods. So, as an adult, Sholom, realized how convenient, time saving and budget friendly it would be to have paper goods delivered. The option of affordable delivery was common for large offices, but not realistically affordable for families, especially small families. Thus, along with a childhood friend, he founded PaperGoods.com.
Selecting a Breadmaker can be confusing – especially if one has not previously owned a bread machine. So many choices - one paddle or two? vertical loaves or horizontal loaves? A machine that makes a 1 lb. loaf or a 2 lb. loaf? Size of actual machine? Ease of use? Settings? Decisions... decisions... decisions!
So let's talk! We have recently tested the newest model, of the Zojirushi (pronunced zo-jih-ROO-shee) bread maker, the Virtuoso BB-PAC 20. In fact, since we have grown so attached to it, let's use its nickname, the Zo. It has moved to a position front and center in our kitchen, right up there with our stand mixer, Vitamix, Coffee Maker and food processor. Not only are we busily making whole wheat bread for weekday sandwiches, challah for Shabbos, and cinnamon rolls (yumm) much too often, but we have also made jam. strawberry jam to be exact. So simple! Making jam was so easy, that we plan to progress to blueberry and peach jam later this summer.
I love spring. It's the tentative, yet warm, wet kiss of seasons. Who doesn't want the weather to warm, the sprouting bulbs to wend their way through the earth to find sunlight, and bare trees lining streets to explode into canopies of green? Yet, for me spring comes with one long melancholy sigh as I realize I will be seeing much less of my slow cooker over the next several months and much less of the comforting fall-apart meat I love that is the result of the low-slow process the utilitarian cooker gives us. While I was researching, testing and planning weeks of spring recipes for my blog, foodfixkitchen.com, I came across a recipe for a lamb stew that starting me thinking about a classic French "navarin printanier" we made in culinary school. Navarin means lamb or mutton stew and when vegetables are added, particularly blushing new spring vegetables like asparagus, baby turnips and English peas, that's when the "printanier" or spring part comes in.
With a little tweaking of the recipe normally done in the oven or stovetop, and the help of the smart new Cuisinart 6-quart Multi-Cooker I was given by Cuisinart recently to play with, I am happy to report a wonderful spring excuse for slow-cooking!
We look at the Emile Henry bakeware and ovenware line as providing heirloom quality pieces for our kitchens. They are culinary accessories that although sometimes pricey, can last a lifetime and beyond. If a bride adds these to her gift registry, she can be confident that she will not have to purchase replacement pieces for a very long time. The company too is confident in the quality of its products and offers a 10-year warranty.
Our newest Emile Henry culinary wonder is the roasting/lasagna dish we have been testing. It is versatile, and our "go to" ovenware casserole dish for baking or roasting family sized entrees, sides or desserts. This rectangular baking dish is durable, functional and stylish. It multitasks...going directly from freezer to oven, to table, and then into the sink for a hand washing or into the dishwasher. And, due to the hard glaze, cutting and slicing in the dish is possible without the worry of damage or scratches. It is also resistant to chipping. Whew!
We tried our recipes in a large 16.7" x 11" – 3.8 quart family-sized dish, deep enough to hold mounds of ingredients, large enough to feed a crowd. We like the deep colors of the glaze – ours is in the sand color. Although this rectangular shape is popularly known as a "lasagna" dish, we think that its versatility reaches far past lasagna, useful for any casserole or layered recipe. Since we used ours for meat, we plan to purchase another for dairy. There will be no problem confusing the two, since there are many colors and sizes from which to select. In fact, for our dairy cooking, we likely will select a smaller one.
Since 1850, Emile Henry's ceramic bakeware and tableware has been made in Marcigny, France. It is still made from high fired Burgundy clay, a type of natural clay superior for conducting and retaining heat, keeping food warm longer than traditional bakeware. Emile Henry cookware and ovenware is most definitely a KosherEye gift yourself gift others culinary selection. Any cook, beginner or seasoned will treasure this in the kitchen.
When I read about the Manischewitz Cook-off I just couldn't resist entering. I was researching ways to gather funding for my daughter's education, and a $25,000 grand prize (cash and Maytag appliances) would surely help. I really did not think that I would become a finalist but, I do have a knack for creating original recipes that appeal to family and friends- a talent I do not take for granted. I created my original recipe inspired by a picture I had seen of a Panini that was so thin it looked like matzo, not bread. I added mushrooms, mango and balsamic flavors as the sandwich filler.
The contest rules encouraged simple, simple, simple – 9 ingredients, 3 of which had to be Manischewitz products. I found it easy to enter under these rules because I like to limit my ingredients anyway, and often take shortcuts for ease in cooking and preparation. Using Manischewitz products was not a problem for me, because they are readily available, and I find their quality superior to other similar products. I especially enjoy the broths to make soups, rice dishes, and also as ingredients in flavorful reductions.
Imagine how surprised and excited I was to receive the initial phone call from the Manischewitz PR representatives asking me questions specifically about my use of products and my reason for entering the contest. And then, I was even more excited when they told me that I WAS a finalist and I would be flying to Newark, New Jersey to compete on contest day, March 21st.
Prior to the trip, I tried to learn as much as I could about the Manischewitz Company, the history, the employees, the CEO's and their mission statement. I took being a finalist seriously and really felt they chose me and the other finalists to represent their company. After all, our recipes were all to be showcased on the Manischewitz site. I was honored.