The Ultimate Potato Kugel

March 27, 2010

by Rachel Perlow

Jason asked me to share my recipe for potato kugel with you all. This is the best potato kugel you will ever eat. It’s a pain in the ass to make, but so worth it. Originally, it was created for Rosh Hashanah in 2005, but I made it for the next couple of Passovers as well. However, since we have started eating more healthfully, I have avoided making it. It is just too damn good, I can’t trust myself to be near it. Let alone making the extra dish to keep at home. Oy!

But please, you make it, enjoy, don’t think about all the carbs and fat, saturated fat at that. Go for it, and think kind thoughts towards me as I go without. Sniff. (Is the Jewish guilt coming through loud and clear?)

I was inspired by a couple of recipes, including one from our dear friend Melissa Goodman, combining them with Jason’s inspired idea to add caramelized onions. And schmaltz. You’ve got to use the schmaltz.

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The Pizza of Affliction

March 26, 2010

Matzah Pizza of Affliction by you.

Ah yes. The Matzah Pizza.

Many gentiles know of Matzah, and that Jews eat it on Passover. However, even those that do know of Matzah and when it is consumed probably do not realize that Matzah is not just consumed during the Seder itself, but for seven days during the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread.

That means if you are an observant Jew, you are stuck with eating this stuff several days after the turkey and brisket leftovers have all been consumed.

While Matzo meal is used for a number of enjoyable culinary applications, such as the beloved Matzo Ball Soup, and Kugels, Matzot themselves don’t rate particularly high on the enjoyment scale on their own.

Oh, there’s Matzo Brei,  but at that point the physical properties of the shitty cracker in question have been completely transmuted into something resembling French Toast.

So Jews have been trying for an eternity to do something ELSE with Matzot. Sometime in the 20th century, American Jews got the idea of using  them  for half-assed salami sandwiches, PBJs and the like.

And then in the 50’s or the 60’s the Matzah Pizza came, which no sane pizza enthusiast would ever put in their mouth or even remotely call a Pizza. Especially since virtually all Matzah Pizzas were made with horrible processed jarred sauces which were Kosher for Passover knockoffs of stuff like RAGU or Pizza Quick.

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Matzo Brei 101

March 26, 2010

Here’s another classic resurrected for the Chosen People… Foodies. Enjoy.

— Jason

Matzo Brei — some people like to eat it just during Passover, but I like it all year round. To me, it’s the ultimate breakfast food. Both savory and sweet, it combines both aspects of French Toast and scrambled eggs in one package.

The version we are going to do is a savory version which we’ll top with syrup. You can also do a strictly sweet version, but I think the whole notion of that is insipid — you really want the contrast of the savory and sweet together.

The first thing you’ll need to do is take half a box of plain matzos (which you can buy year round), crack them in half, and then half again, and soak them in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes.

Then you want to drain them in a colander so they are just soaked and a little soggy, but not swimming in water.

Are you ready to make the greatest Hebrew contribution to breakfast and brunch cuisine? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link for more.

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Sister Steven Oh The Time Has Come…

March 22, 2010

A few weeks ago I wrote about whether or not Apple will allow the iPad to be an “Open Market” for content providers other than Apple’s own iBooks.

So I did a bit more investigative research, and found out that the good news is that at least for now, the answer is Yes. The bad news? Sister Steven isn’t going to allow you to consume anything naughty. Bad content supplier, Bad! WHACK! You shall now recite the iPad End-User License Agreement ten times as your penance. Thank you Sister Steven, can I have another?

Click Here to read the rest of this article at ZDNet Tech Broiler.


Partying with Daisy Martinez

March 6, 2010

Last night Rachel and I were privileged to attend the launch party for Daisy Martinez’s new cookbook, Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night: Bringing Your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes.

This book is a bit of a departure from her previous and excellent cookbook, Daisy Cooks! in that the dishes are more oriented towards entertaining and she’s really put a serious creative spin into it. The previous book was more of a foundation or introductory type book to Latin American cuisine — this one really makes it take off like a supersonic jet blaring reggaeton music on its way into the stratosphere.

The party occurred at Don Coqui, a brand-new and massive  high-end Puerto Rican restaurant in New Rochelle, New York owned by Jimmy Rodriguez, who is among the most prominent Latino chefs and restauranteurs in the country. Jimmy has opened several Latino restaurants over the last ten years, including Sofrito restaurant in New York City. Rodriguez has now devoted his energies entirely to Don Coqui, and rightfully so.

I never thought a Puerto Rican place would be a destination restaurant in the burbs of the New York metro area, but there it is. It’s also got an entire floor and kitchen dedicated to catering, so it’s a great place to have parties.

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NJ Dining: White Manna (UPDATED)

March 5, 2010

Welcome, Anthony Bourdain:No Reservations viewers! I’ve added a number of shots to this post that I took during the filming of “Obsessed”. Enjoy.

White Manna
358 River St, Hackensack, NJ
(201) 342-0914

Fast food is not something I indulge in frequently, and when I do, I tend to prefer the classic Americana kind rather than the big chains. White Castle is an exception, just because of the uniqueness of the product.

If the hours are right, and the moons are properly aligned, and my stomach says “throw your best at me, you son of a bitch!” then I head over to my very favorite Jersey burger place of all — White Manna, on River Street in Hackensack.

 

White Manna as seen in daylight. Photo by “Daniel”, eG Forums

White Manna is a tiny little diner structure that can seat about maybe 15 people, tops. The story goes that the original was built in 1937 prior to the 1939 Worlds Fair exhibition in Flushing, NY, was then used at that event, and then later moved to New Jersey. The Hackensack location is not the original, it was built in 1946.

The “Original” location in Jersey City also serves hamburgers and was started by the original owner of both restaurants, however they are no longer related to each other.

All this historical stuff aside, it’s pretty much acknowledged by everyone who has been to both that the better burgers are at the Hackensack location.

When Tony Bourdain asked me where we should go eat when arranging our interview for No Reservations, I could only think of one place — the tiny little belly bomb joint which has over the last few years probably accrued more web traffic on this blog than any other.

There’s No Reservations at White Manna. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Podcast #16 and #17: Tony Bourdain

March 5, 2010

Note: This interview took place in 2006, but I’m bringing it to the foreground because it might be of some interest to our readers. It’s a private side to Tony that you might not otherwise get a glimpse of on his TV show.

Click Here to Listen to the Tony Bourdain Off the Broiler Podcast (Part 1)

Click Here to Listen to the Tony Bourdain Off the Broiler Podcast (Part 2)

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What they use to hunt wild boar in Ghana

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Tony’s not giving up on smoking, even if he has to leave the country to do it.

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Miami Ink tattoo #1

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Miami Ink tattoo #2.

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A dime bag of Hua Jiao, Sichuan Peppercorn.