Smoked Trout Salad

photo: thetasteoforegon

1 pound smoked trout, skinned and filleted
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon capers, mostly drained
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon paprika

Blend together all ingredients in a food processor until a smooth paté forms. Transfer to container; cover and chill for 24 hours before serving.

POPBAR



POPBAR is the chic-est pop you will ever have!

I am an official “popaholic” now! Didn’t know it until last week when I visited the coolest new trend in artisan cold desserts in NYC called Popbar. Artisan ice creams are not new, although very popular, but none are as cool and fun for adults and kids as Popbar, located in the West Village of NYC. I met Reuben Ben Yehuda there, one of the creators and owners of Popbar and he gave me and the kids I brought an amazing tour and tasting of all that Popbar has to offer. Imagine this: the freshest flavors in pops, including peach, passion fruit, mixed berries, mint, coconut, chocolate, pistachio, blood orange, vanilla and much more, available as either gelato, yogurt, or sorbetto pops. That’s not all! Now dip or half dip them in what they call “Poppings” – like dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate (Yup! Its real white chocolate) and then other natural toppings, I mean “poppings” (no gummy bears, or rainbow sprinkles here), chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles, chopped nuts, pistachios, and more. Hundreds, maybe thousands of options; my time there was definitely too short!

Reuben Ben Yehuda, owner of Popbar with all the best GKC tasters

Popbar was opened in May of 2010 by two European Jews, Reuben Ben Yehuda and Daniel Yaghoubi, one from Italy and one from Germany and was immediately recognized and featured by the Food Network. At my visit to Popbar, I asked Reuben, “What makes these pops so fantastic?” He said that they took 2 years developing the concept and recipes. Each flavor is made with fresh ingredients – some from Europe (like the pistachios), and all are made in the store in the West Village so they have total control of taste, texture and the final product. Most of the pops are sold within 24 hours of being made. Also, the experience is so special and specific for each customer, some eat them plain and savor the delicious flavor and others create the most incredible and endless possibilities of combinations. I first had the peach, topped with white chocolate and almonds. So summery, and the hint of rich white chocolate made it decadent. Next I moved on to my daughter’s mixed berry plain, a perfect blend of berries, and then to coconut, which is so impressive. It tastes like real coconut, not highly sweetened unnatural and imitation coconut. I am not sure if people really appreciate the complexity and deliciousness of real coconut but this is it. Dipped in chocolate it was heavenly, without all the calories and fat of ice cream (okay the chocolate dip added a little but, hey, I had to splurge a bit).

There is my white chocolate dipped peach pop!

Popbar pops are not something I want to have every so often when I make it to the village but every night. Lucky for me they make them to go in a six-pack thermal bag and they deliver in NY to homes and businesses. They even do parties with mini-pops all over the Tri-State area including Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Call them, check them out in NY, or visit their website for details. And go hungry; you will want to taste a bunch!

Popbar
5 Carmine St. (at 6th Ave.)
New York, NY 10014
212 255 4874
Pop-Bar.com

Popbars are kosher certified by National Kosher Supervision under Rabbi Mehlman

Milkshakes

photo: foodbeast.com


Before summer ends we feel compelled to do a piece on that summertime favorite of kids and adults alike – the milkshake. Nothing beats that thick, calorie-rich (I once read the calorie count at Baskin-Robbins and I still haven’t recovered from the shock!), cold drink. I mean, let’s face it; isn’t that the real reason you bought a blender??!!! So here’s to indulgence – for just one afternoon, throw caution to the wind and make everyone’s favorite treat. There’s a flavor and a design for every taste. Here are some of our favorites.

Chocolate Milkshakes
Vanilla Milkshakes
Cappuccino Milkshakes
Creamsicle Milkshakes

Vanilla Milkshakes

photo: visualphotos.com

This is the basic building block of milkshakes. You can change the flavor of the ice cream or add your favorite fruit to create a completely different beverage.

3 cups ice cream
1-1/2 cups milk (it will definitely be richer with whole milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons sugar

Blend all ingredients on low to medium speed in blender and serve. Makes 2 servings – don’t forget to share!

Best Foods to Eat Before a Fast

What is it about fasting that makes us all so obsessed for days before the fast? I am not referring to the spiritual side (as that is worthy of the obsession) but the food aspect. Did you know that most healthy adults could survive many days and up to a month without eating? Regardless, days before the fast, I am reducing my caffeine intake and worrying about how I will manage. I have heard of all sorts of “fast survival” techniques, from caffeine suppositories, extra strength Excedrin without water (that’s my personal favorite), drinking coffee right before the fast to fool your system and give it caffeine for the morning, eating 2 tablespoons of honey before the fast, and crazy carbo loading. Everyone has their own strategy; tell us what yours is so we can share it with our readers.

GKC consulted with the experts (now who is an expert faster???) and here are our tips and recipes for a successful fast.

- Lots of Water. The discomfort from fasting is actually not from fasting but from lack of fluid. Super hydrate before the fast. Drink a great deal a day or two before as well and then really fill up with fluids before the pre-fast meal.

- Reduce caffeine intake. The headache associated with fasting is from caffeine withdrawal. One week prior to fasting start reducing your caffeine intake to about 1 cup a day or drink decaffeinated teas and coffees to fool your system. If this is too tough, seriously consider the caffeine suppositories or an aspirin before the fast to rid yourself of those headaches.

- Eat Normal Sized Meals. Overeating will not stave off the effects of hunger and may make you more uncomfortable. The excess fluids needed for your body to process large meals may also lead to dehydration which is counter productive. So while we eat numerous meals before the fast and a pre-fast meal, do not overeat.

- Eat carbs; yup, it’s true. Complex carbs like those in pasta, breads, rice, fruits and vegetables, are best for maintaining energy levels during the fast. The also help your body absorb water more efficiently so eating carbs will help you stay hydrated. Whole-grain products and fruits and vegetables with fiber are best because they digest slower and keep you feeling full longer.

So what are you making? One friend serves Pizza, and another serves salmon, rice, and whole-wheat pasta.

I’m making some of these…
Salmon Burrito
Angel Hair Pasta with Mixed Tomato Sauce
Watermelon Tomato Salad with Mozzarella Cheese and Lemon Dressing
Zaatar Salmon
Lots of fruit for dessert
Sorbet
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Emuna loves to break the fast with…
Classic White Bread
Minestrone Soup

Salmon Burrito


This is a great weeknight dinner or lunch anytime. I like to eat it sometime before a fast because it is filled with carbs but also has some healthy protein in it. Its great with smoked salmon too but that may be too salty before a fast.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 red pepper, sliced and cut in half
1 cup diced tomato
8 ounces cooked salmon fillet (I use whatever is left over from a weeknight salmon dish), cut into bite-size pieces or smoked salmon
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
4 large (burrito-size) flour tortillas, warmed
Salsa (optional)

1. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add eggs and milk; scramble in skillet. Cook until barely set, then stir in salt, pepper, chives, red pepper, tomato, and salmon.

2. Spread 2 tablespoons cream cheese onto center of each tortilla. Spoon warm egg mixture over cheese, dividing evenly. Roll up burritos, tucking in ends. Serve with salsa if you like.

Angel Hair Pasta with Mixed Color Tomato Sauce

photo: Kana Okada

The tomatoes are so ripe and delicious this time of year. In this recipe we used different color tomatoes to give it more color and flavor. If you only have Roma tomatoes or Vine Ripe red ones the recipe still comes out very tasty.
2 tablespoons pure olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large shallots, minced
1 pound yellow tomatoes, diced
1 pound ripe green heirloom tomatoes, diced, or vine ripened red ones, diced
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 sage leaves, finely chopped
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, or 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes.
In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with the garlic, shallots, basil and sage. Season with salt.
In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain and transfer to the large bowl. Toss well with the butter; serve.

Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Mozzarella Cheese and Onion-Lemon Dressing

Watermelon and tomatoes are so good for a pre-fast meal. They both contain a lot of water to keep you hydrated.

3 cups watermelon, cut in chunks
3 cups tomatoes, cut in chunks
3 green onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 cup good quality mozzarella cheese, cut in ½ inch pieces

Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste. Toss the watermelon, tomatoes, onions and cheese. Add the dressing, toss and serve.

Nine Days

When the nine days arrives, it seems to be the signal that summer is almost over (even if there are still many weeks until school starts!) and, even more importantly, it seems that Rosh HaShanah is right around the corner (stay tuned for our great High Holiday menus and restaurant recipes!) But I’m getting ahead of myself. Right now the goal is to participate in the mourning for the Temple in Jerusalem by not eating meat or drinking wine yet still preparing healthy and tantalizing meals for our families. At GKC, we empathize with that goal and want to share with you some of the recipes we are serving. We would love to invite you all over but the next best thing is making these dishes and drinks yourself.

Just because we can’t have wine doesn’t mean we can’t have other drinks. This Spicy Bloody Mary is one of my new favorites.

There’s nothing that says Nine Days about these Butterscotch Cookies but they’re so good, it doesn’t matter.

A little fish, a little salad, a cold soup…and the nine days will be over before you know it.

Butterscotch Cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together margarine and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. On low speed, add flour and baking soda. Stir in nuts and butterscotch chips. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on greased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly. Bake for about 12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

If you’re still in the mood for cookies, try your hand at these Double Ginger Cookies.

Fillet of Sole

photo: thesouthinmymouth

This is worth breaking the budget for; it is delicious in its utter simplicity.

1 cup flour
8 (4-ounce) sole fillets
Salt
Pepper
4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

Sauce:
½ cup butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Mix flour with salt and pepper and place in shallow dish. Dredge fish in flour. Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add fish and cook until golden. Flip over and repeat with other side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Add butter for sauce to skillet (for very clear sauce, pour off drippings and wipe skillet clean) and cook until melted. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice. Spoon gently over fish. Eat slowly and savor.

For other delicious fish dishes, check out our index.

Apple and Ginger Salad

The addition of yogurt makes this a dairy salad, and therefore perfect for this time of year.

3 apples, chopped (can be a combination of Granny Smith and Fuji or Gala)
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
½ cup vanilla yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ cup chopped toasted pecans

In a large bowl, toss together apples, water chestnuts, celery, cranberries and crystallized ginger. Whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar and ginger. Pour over salad and mix well. Refrigerate until serving time. Sprinkle with pecans.

Fruit salads are just right in the summer time; for variety try this one also.

Mango Gazpacho

photo: myrecipes.com

If you like mango (I do; my husband doesn’t), then you will probably really enjoy this refreshing summer soup.

2 cups diced mango
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 seedless cucumber, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 small jalapeno, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Purée mango, orange juice and olive oil in a food processor. Mix with remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

If you have a husband like mine or if you are just looking for an alternative, try this Cantaloupe and Fruit soup.

Pareve Milk


When it comes to alternative milks the options seem endless today – soy milk, rice milk, gluten-free options, nut milks and coconut milk. Readers often ask which to use and when. We asked GKC contributing nutritionists to weigh in on how they stack up nutritionally and we added our best GKC advice on what works well in cooking.


click to view larger

In the Heat of the Summer: Cool Kosher Granitas

Everyone loves sno-cones, those paper cones of crushed ice with colored, (very) sugary syrup poured on top. No child’s party is complete today without a sno-cone machine! And I frequently see adults flocking to the counter and pretending their child needs two! That’s fine; they are so fun and refreshing on a hot summer’s day. But for those of you who wanted something slightly more sophisticated, the grown-up version – granitas – couldn’t be easier, not to mention better and fresher tasting (no offense to sno-cone purveyors intended). Try these recipes to impress your family and friends. Serve them for dessert on Shabbos lunch with some cookies or on their own  in the middle of a hot afternoon.

Blueberry Granita

Coffee Granita
Strawberry Granita

Or try our Watermelon Granita.

Blueberry Granita

photo:myrecipes.com

The freshness of the ingredients makes all the difference!

5 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Purée the blueberries and sugar in a food processor. Stir in water and lemon juice and pour into a glass rectangular baking dish. Cover and freeze. Every hour scrape and stir the mixture with a fork until evenly frozen – about 4 hours. Scrape into martini or other attractive glass dishes for serving. Serves 8 to 10.

Strawberry Granita

1 cup simple syrup (purchased or you can make your own by dissolving ¾ cup sugar in 1 cup hot water)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups sliced strawberries (about 1 pound whole)

Stir lemon juice into syrup. Purée strawberries in food processor. Stir in syrup and pour into rectangular glass pan. Freeze until icy, scraping with fork every 45 minutes to 1 hour. Totally freezing takes about 4 hours. Keep covered and in freezer until ready to serve. Scrape into glass dessert dishes for serving. Garnish with a sprig of mint if desired.

Coffee Granita

photo: samsglobalmedia

This couldn’t be easier – but it tastes so good!

3 cups hot brewed coffee
¾ cup sugar
1 cup pareve whip
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Stir sugar into hot coffee until dissolved. Cool and pour into shallow glass pan. Freeze, scraping with fork every hour until icy and frozen – about 4 hours. In the meantime, beat pareve whip until fluffy. To serve, scrape granita into glass dessert dishes. Garnish with a dollop of whip and a sprinkling of cinnamon. This makes 4 to 6 servings and can easily be doubled for more people.

Restaurant Review & Recommendation: Pardes


We live in a time when most of us who live in larger Jewish communities have so many choices of where to dine. Cities are bursting with restaurants yet finding that unique eating experience is rare. Pardes, located in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, New York is quite an extraordinary dining experience. First, the style is casual yet chic; chilled out like the neighborhood. The menu changes each evening as the Chef, Moses Wendel, sees what is fresh and what those choices spur creatively. (We have been tracking him for about two years already as you may remember. GKC raved about Wendel stealing the show at the Royal Wine Kosher Food and Wine Show in NY 2 in 2010. Wendel went on to open the much acclaimed Basil and now has his own restaurant, Pardes) The food presentation is fabulous, with bright white plates of all different shapes and gorgeous food with vibrant color and stimulating texture . And finally, the general vibe is “enjoy the food” since it is served as it’s prepared, individually, not all at once, and with no rush to get you out. For a bunch of neurotic multi-tasking New Yorkers, this meant it was time to relax and just enjoy – which we did thanks to some delicious and unusual food and good wine.

We went with 4 other friends so we had a lot of food to try. Chef Wendel’s menu is unbelievable with dishes like “Grilled Treviso, beef heart, poached egg, red pepper” (the poached egg sat in the middle of the dish – btw, huge food trend in the treif world- incredible flavor and I never thought I would taste beef heart, super tender, melt in your mouth), “Duck with Root Beer, peanuts, celery, Ras el Hanou and Harissa”(Moroccan hot chili sauce), “Wild Tasmanian Sea Trout, red pepper sauce, corn crepe, pistachio leek fondue”, “Bluefish Bergamot (that’s a citrus fruit and when was the last time you saw bluefish on a menu?), and so much more. The trout was prepared perfectly with a seared crisp top and a soft, flavorful center. I had wanted double the amount of the pistachio leek fondue, which was hard to share with the others. Each dish is prepared individually and is spiced with intense flavors that balance and compliment the other flavors and yet never overwhelm the dish as a whole. The Beef Cheek Pizza, with 24-hour roasted tomatoes and fresh basil, was a particular favorite. Even my husband who does not enjoy spicy food found the flavor and intensity so perfect. Another highlight was the “roasted corn, grapefruit and fennel salad”. Sprinkled with arugula and sitting on a bed of corn pudding and mizuna (Japanese lettuce), and topped with corn bread croutons, I was sold on this restaurant at this course. Even the crispy fries are unusual, as they are served with this delicious onion parsley garnish, and amazing dips like garlic truffle mayo and smoky red wine ketchup (I really want to package and buy these for home use!)

Pardes was a food lover’s fun evening, as it was an evening to enjoy taste, presentation, and great company (people were sitting and eating all night). Get there to taste the summer’s freshest food and go often because Chef Wendel will surprise you each night with a an incredible creation you will certainly not find anywhere else. One of the best new great kosher restaurants around, for sure.

Finally, one last treat, with all this wonderful food, the bill was a very reasonable $380 for 6 people including wine and dessert.

Enjoy!

Pardes
497 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
718 797 3880
Monday thru Thursday, and Sunday 12 pm – 11 pm

Kosher July 4th Recipes: Celebrate the Red, White and Blue!


We have our flag up in front of our house and a great place secured to watch the fireworks. The meat has been prepped for the grill and friends and family invited. There is just something special about July 4th – there is gratitude and camaraderie in the air. And, as always, food. We’ve already shared with you some of our favorite barbecue recipes in recent columns so today we’re going to go for the red, white and blue! Enjoy these kosher July 4th recipes under the starry summer sky – wherever you are!

Pareve Blueberry Cheesecake
Peach Raspberry Cobbler
Strawberry Tart
American Flag Cake
Red Velvet Cake

Pareve Blueberry Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup margarine, melted
3 (8-ounce) packages tofutti cream cheese
1-1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
4 eggs
1 cup tofutti sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups blueberries
1 cup pareve whip
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons tofutti sour cream
Extra blueberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted margarine and press into bottom and slightly up sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Reduce oven to 300 degrees. Beat together tofutti cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Beat in flour, then eggs, one at a time. Add tofutti sour cream and vanilla. Gently stir in blueberries. Pour batter into crust and bake for about 1 hour an 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set on wire rack. Cool for after 30 minutes; run knife around sides to loosen. Cool completely, cover and chill for at least 8 hours.

Beat pareve whip until stiff peaks form, gradually adding the 2 teaspoons sugar. Fold in the 2 tablespoons tofutti sour cream and spoon over cheesecake. Garnish with blueberries, if desired.