Category Archives: My Most Favorite

We Be Jammin

I am so happy to be back blogging.   I have such a great week coming up! I’m teaching my first cooking class demo, attending a ‘foodie’ wine and food show, and TRYING to finish up my brochure which includes a menu and calendar of my cooking classes.
This past week I also made these awesome linzer tart cookies.  I usually like to make desserts when I have free time and then put them in freezer so I can always grab them at a moment’s notice.  These cookies will not be going to anyone’s house for dessert for two reasons…
1)      These are a tad laborious and for 30 cookies it takes about a hour.  
2)      They disappear at a fast rate from my freezer by a certain “someone” who happens to love linzer cookies.
I mentioned these cookies a while back in another post mentioning that I had tasted the best linzer cookies at a food show from My Most Favorite restaurant.   When I had the motivation to make these cookies, their restaurants cookbook is the first place I looked.  Well, with a few adjustments to my own liking, these were a first time hit! 
If you know of a linzer tart lover, I highly recommend making these cookies.  The almost shortbread like cookie, tart, and slight nuttiness, makes these delicate cookies really special.
Linzer Tart Cookies
1 C. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Cinnamon
8 TBS. Earth Balance
1/4 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Almonds, finely ground
1/2 C. Hazelnuts, finely ground
Fruit Preserve (I recommend Raspberry, but I used Sarabeth’s Plum and Cherry Jam)
Powdered Sugar, for dusting
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the margarine and granulated sugar on medium speed until fluffy.  Gradually add the flour and cinnamon and beat on low speed until dough comes together in a ball.  Add the ground nuts, scraping the sides of the bowl until incorporated.  May take a few times scraping the sides until fully incorporated.  Roll in the shape of small disk and wrap in plastic wrap for a few hours until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter.  Hint: use the wide end of a pastry bag tip to cut the middles out of half the cookies.  Bake for 12 minutes or until just set.  Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.  Sprinkle the cut out tops with powdered sugar.  Place a teaspoon of preserves on each bottom cookie and place a sugared cutout on top.  Can be stored in the fridge for 1 week or a month in the freezer….if they last that long.

The Kosher Food and Wine Experience!

The Kosher Food and Wine Experience is the second best day of the year (Kosherfest is the other best day).  Sold out, the KFWE had over 1,000 attendees!  I was one of the lucky ones that had a press pass.  Thanks to Alibabka, I was able to get into the show an hour early to taste everything and talk to the chefs and owners of the restaurants and wineries before the stampede of the paying attendees arrived.  Being press, with only an hour to taste 200 wines and over 20 restaurants, as well as speak to chefs and Vintner’s, pre planning was required.  I first hit up all the restaurants in order to fill my stomach before the alcohol (we all know what alcohol does to an empty stomach…no need for further discussion).  As always, there were the ones that stuck out and the ones that didn’t bring their game.  The wines had the same pattern as the food, but tasting 200 dollar bottles of wine next to 30 dollar bottles was an eye opening and palette rebirth in itself.  The Kosher Food and Wine Experience is not only a taste tester’s heaven, but a great place to make connections and meet other foodies.  
5 hours after we arrived, I left content, very happy, tipsy and satisfied.  Thanks KFWE for my third wonderful experience at your show. I look forward to next year!

Best Wines  (in no particular order)
I tend to like reds if you can’t tell.

1)  Yatir (Israel) – Forest 2007

Approx Retail Value: $85.00
2)  Binyaminia (Israel) – The Cave 2006 (I happen to own a bottle) 
Approx Retail Value: $65.00
3)  Chateau Leoville Poyferre (France) – St. Julien 2003
Approx Retail Value: $190.00

4)  1848 Winery (Israel) – Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Special Reserve
Approx Retail Value: $40.00

5)  Shiloh (Israel) – Mosaic 2006
Approx Retail Value: $67.00
6)  Alexander (Israel) – Alexander The Great Amarolo 2007
Approx Retail Value: $100.00
7)  Barkan (Israel) – Superieur Pinotage 2007
Approx Retail Value: $65.00
8)  Domaine du Castel (Israel) – Petit Castel 2009/2010
Approx Retail Value: $42.00
9)  Pacifica (Washington/Oregon) – Pinot Noir 2010
Approx Retail Value: $30.00
10)  Drappier (France) – Carte d’or Champagne
Approx Retail Value: $44.00

11)  Herzog (California) – Single Vineyard Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Approx Retail Value: $40.00

12)  SerrallesUSA made incredibly tasty mixed drinks.  I am in the process of finding those recipes.  I would love to make that passion fruit cocktail!

Best Food (in no particular order) 
The food at the show was modern classic. Meaning classic dishes with a modern twist.  They had everything from push up cake pops to syringes with sauce (you would squirt the syringe in your mouth and then pop the food in).  The chefs made bite size tastings of their best showcased dish. 

1)  AviGlatt (Lower Manhattan/Brooklyn) – Captcha Fish Salad
A lime and coconut white fish ceviche.  Light, refreshing and tasty!

2)  ETC. Steakhouse (Teaneck, NJ) – Barbecue Oxtail
Braised oxtail with house made bbq sauce and crushed red mashed potatoes.

3)  Gemstone Catering (Tri-State) – Herzog Oak Barrel and Mesquite Smoked Turkey
Jack Daniels infused whole grain mustard and cranberry chutney, sweet yam mash and cowboy gribenez.  It’s
like the best thanksgiving you have ever had (in a bite size portion)!

4)  Got Cholent? Inc. (Tri-State) – French “Chaud-lent” Cassolet with Duck Confit
I’m usually not a big fan of cholent, but duck confit in cholent…I think YES! They had a kiddush club array of cold herring and a caviar bar there as well…It’s heimish turned classy.

5)  Guilty Pleasures (Tri-State) – Bana-Bana Chocolate
Sounds a bit peculiar, but it is actually fabulous!  The emphasis was more on the chocolate and did not have an overwhelming banana flavor.

6)  My Most Favorite (Upper West Side, Manhattan) – Raspberry Linzer Cookies
Light, sweet and delicious!  I am currently trying to perfect this cookie…if only I had this recipe!

7)  Pardes (Downtown Brooklyn) – Smoked “Grow and Behold” Ribeye Tartar, Soy, Enoki and Rice Krispies
I have never tried beef tartar before, and this was a great experience.  Wonderful, flavorful and tasty combination.  This one was definitely a party in my mouth.

8)  Pardes (Downtown Brooklyn) – Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart
First of all, lemon meringue pies are one of my top three favorite desserts.  From the flaky crust to the tangy lemon curd, this was a delightful bite size treat that I look forward to having again at the restaurant.

9)  Pomegranate (Flatbush, NY) – Signature Dip Bar
It was a buffet of dips!  My favorites included:  The Purple Eggplant Dip (the color was a gorgeous purple), Kalamata Olive Tapenade, Dill Dip, and Jalapeno Pepper Dip.

10)  Sushein (Lower Manhattan) – Sushi, Crispy Kani Salad and Fresh Tuna Cake, Crispy Meat Wontons
The fish was of great quality and the sushi and wontons were fantastic!

11) Tevere (East Midtown, NYC) – Carciofi all Giudia
Artichokes, Roman Style.  One of my favorites of the evening!  I went back for seconds, but alas and understandably, they were finished.

Me and my friends, editors and foodies at KFWE