rebeccafriedman's Profile

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Does anyone have a one-pot recipe for Shabbos lunch that will replace the boring Cholent?

cappucino, does your oven have Shabbos mode? If so, you can make something yummy that has high fat content (i.e. probably a meat-based dish, but I have also successfully done this with cheese lasagna!) and double-wrap it in two layers of aluminum foil (this is to help prevent any moisture from evaporating, a crucial step in preventing dried out/miserably overcooked Shabbos food), then put it in the back of the oven on the lowest temp. of shabbos mode. On my oven that is 170 degrees. This is enough to keep food warm, but definitely not to cook it any further. As a professional chef and foodie, I got really tired and frustrated by good food turning to overcooked bland mush by Shabbos lunch. This solution avoided that. Fatty cuts of lamb and beef work best, but the dish can vary - from an exotic lamb stew (coriander seed, cumin, garlic, spinach, coconut milk, etc.) to a southern BBQ rib dish to more traditional classics - try it. I got rid of my crockpot years ago, and I gave away my blech. They both burn and overcook food terribly, and I would find myself full of anxiety on Shabbat as I smelled the burn or overcooking setting in. Now I know exactly how the food will come out because it basically tastes exactly the same as when I put it in the oven the day before. Hope this helps!

Mar 31, 2010
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Kosher Food in Bloomington, IN

The Chabad Schluchim in Bloomington are delightful - the Chincholkers. If you go, tell them I sent you and please give them my best regards! He's Indian and she's South American, so they are a bit out of the ordinary. Enjoy Bloomington, it's a great American small town.

Feb 17, 2009
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Cholent

I have two secret ingredients:
1. BBQ sauce
2. Liquid smoke

I use very little meat (we try to avoid it for health reasons) and the liquid smoke/BBQ sauce combo goes a long way to "beef" up the flavor. Also, use a good homemade stock to enrich the flavor (I use chicken stock that I make on the fly from skin, bones & fat pulled off the chicken I am making for Friday night)

Hope this helps! Lately I have been making more a of classic french beef stew with lots of wine, herbs, tomatoes and veggies - no barley or potatoes. Served it over organic wholewheat couscous, everyone loved it including the little ones. makes a nice change of pace.

Jan 14, 2009
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Kosher chorizo?

Thanks for the great recipe! Do you have a version that is made with (Kosher) seafood? I need to make a paella with fish for a dairy meal, would love a more authentic recipe. Best, Rebecca

Jan 14, 2009
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Kosher Prepared Pesto

Where do you get this? I really like Paesana products (their marinara sauce is the best on the market, IMHO) and have not seen this one. Thanks!

Jan 14, 2009
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Lack of Kosher Yogurt

I have been a staunch patron of Stoneyfield Plain Organic for a long time, but it is pricey at almost $4/tub. Yesterday I found a new product at Whole Foods - their 365 private label organic yogurt. It was $2.99 tub, OU certified. I will let you know what the kids think after Shabbat, G-d willing. (I don't eat yogurt) FYI - it's really important to buy as much of your dairy organic as possible - even if you are not big into organics, conventional dairy products are not recommended for anyone with small children due to the hormones. Best, Rebecca

Jan 14, 2009
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

pasta factory in teaneck will be meat

Did not know Levana's is closing, but the owner of Pasta Factory is definitely Levana's husband. I am also sorry to hear there is another meat restaurant... oh well.

Dec 31, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

How do the pros wash and dry salad greens?

I'm not sure, but I would think that many places are using triple washed salad greens that don't need further washing (like baby spinach and mesclun). My trick for super clean and dry leaves is to wash and dry as you do, and then carefully wrap the leaves (no patting) in paper towels, place into a large ziploc, and use as needed. The extra time in the fridge seems to allow the greens to dry out a bit. Don't zip the bag all the way so evaporation can occur. Hope this helps!

Dec 29, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Home Cooking

KOSHER WEDDING NYC 200 PPL

Hello and Mazal Tov! I'm happy to help you find a venue if I can, but you need to be more specific: how many people? Does $100 need to include staff/alcohol/rentals or is that just the per head catering price, with everything else added in? What is your budget for a venue? What is the date/time of day? (all of these factors contribute to cost) Most vendors are more flexible these days because of the terrible economy, so you can usually get a better bargain if you negotiate. Feel free to contact me directly as well. Best, Rebecca

Dec 23, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Asian-Garlic Chili Sauce

I hate the packaged sauces, they put in way too much sugar generally, but Sracha is fabulous if you can find it. Walmart carries it, not sure who else has it. It's a Northern California company, supervision is good but I forget the name. If you have just a little bit of time, you can make your own sauce! I whip up a dipping sauce that is so much better than anything I have ever tasted commercially - try it!
I am posting a link to my recipe. It's called Gyoza - (a japanese dipping sauce for dumplings)

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Gyoza-Sa...

Dec 23, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

NJ kosher wedding

I don't know if you already found a place, as this message thread is quite old, but I was very happy at the Woman's Club of Ridgewood. I used an outside caterer. It was inexpensive and lovely, much nicer than a dark, dreary hotel or shul. There is an even nicer club in Glen Ridge. Posters on this board always name the usual suspects for Kosher catering, but I would suggest thinking outside the box. I was very unimpressed by the level of service given by all the major caterers. Snobby attitude, high prices, and unoriginal menus. I wanted to do a dairy brunch (it was a sunday afternoon wedding) and couldn't find anyone willing to do it. I ended up going with a restaurant that does offsite catering. The owner was sweet, accommodating, and professional. As a caterer myself, I was just shocked at how complacent the Kosher catering business is in the greater NY area. now that we are in a major recession, perhaps all that will change, and people will start to get value for their money. I looked at many, many venues while searching and thought that most were institutional, drab, and lacked windows or charm. Feel fee to contact me directly if you want any more information! Best, Rebecca

Dec 10, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Kosherfest

Kosherfest is an annual event. The Fancy Food Show will be in NY in late June. What do you do? I am a caterer & personal chef. A number of us on this board are in the industry. Welcome!

Nov 20, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Kosherfest

Koshergourmetmart - thanks for your comprehensive post! Did you try all the items you listed or were you just including everything to tell people what's new? I tried a lot of the items you mentioned and found them underwhelming, which is why I didn't include them in my post. Some I skipped entirely, such as the frozen sushi (gross!) and a lot of the junk food stations that were just peddling sugar and flour and chemicals. The only exceptions I made to that rule were for Angel & Laromme bakeries, as their dairy products are much tastier and higher end than most of the "haimish" baked goods put out by the parve providers. Just my two cents, for what it's worth!

Nov 20, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Unnatural parve desserts

It doesn't truly "whip" but you can make a fantastic frosting out of tofu - try this recipe:

2 packages Mori-Nu firm silken tofu
1 tbsp honey (I use agave)
1/2 cup powdered confectioner's sugar (I use splenda)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
beet juice/raspberry juice (red frosting)
orange juice concentrate (yellow frosting)
blueberry jam (blue frosting)

Add all together in a food processor or a bowl and blend. If the food processor does not have a whip cycle, then take the resulting mixture and whisk for about 5 minutes. It will give the frosting more body and enough stiffness to cover a cake, torte, etc.

Nov 20, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Dinner Parties on the (Ultra) Cheap

wow! what a fantastic and helpful column. thanks for doing this!

Nov 18, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Features

Unnatural parve desserts

I do a lot of vegan baking for clients, and have found that Earth Balance IN THE TUB works far better than the sticks from a taste perspective (if you find it salty taste the pastry and adjust with a little lemon juice & nutmeg) and ease of use. Just be sure it is VERY cold before you start to use it, as it melts quickly. Incidentally, we use Earth Balance spread (all organic ingredients, no trans or saturated fats) on the Shabbat table, and it is great on challah! My totally nonreligious family cannot tell that it's not butter. (OK, maybe they can tell, but it's really very good!)

I have also had great results using EVOO instead of shortening in pie crusts. This tip came from my nonreligious sister, who was vegan for many years. It works particularly well with blueberry pie - after cooking, you won't notice the olive flavor at all!

To avoid a greasy crust, I always prebake the crust. Just pierce it a bunch of times with a fork, bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. To avoid browning the top part of the crust, I wrap aluminum foil around the edges, hanging over the top 1/2 inch of the crust.

Cooks.com has excellent how-to videos on almost every subject - they probably have one on this as well.

Although I have not tried it, I would steer away from an animal-fat based crust. Who needs all the extra saturated fat?

Nov 17, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Kosherfest

I went (it's only open to the industry) and enjoyed myself. I can't say that it's going to be anything of immediate benefit to the average consumer, because all the great new products are awaiting distributers - that's why they go to Kosherfest! however, keep your eye open for the following products, which were in my opinion, best of show:
Best Organic Product: Elite Naturel Fruit Juices. 100% organic, no sugars added, and unusual flavors. These were sensational - like nothing I have tasted. Whole Foods carries them, and you can always ask your local retailer.
Best New Product Line: Oxygen Imports - I really loved the Fig BBQ & Mango Curry Sauces. Let's hope they get picked up by somebody! In the meantime, check their website oxygenimports.com for other info.
Best New Dairy Product: Atalanta's high end cheese line called Barkanit. Flavored chevre, and so on. Sold at Zabar's, Garden of Eden.
Best Condiment - Delarosa foods has a new line of high end condiments, and I thought their balsamic vinegar was top notch. Not yet distributed anywhere.
Best New Wine - a new South American entrant - Tekiah - hails from Argentina. Produced by Marumatok, not yet distributed. I loved the 2007 Syrah I tasted. Hope they get picked up!
Best New Frozen Food - Linda's Gourmet Latkes. She's a one-woman small company, just the kind of entrepreneur the Kosher community needs to support! A welcome change from Kinneret's bland hash browns, these little latkes are the real deal. You can feel comfortable serving them to family and guests at Hanukkah, nobody will know you didn't grate them yourself. She's only distributed by Whole Foods so far.
Most Promising Untasted Product - Fiorella Pasta Co. At last, a kosher Fresh Pasta! And several whole wheat varieties! They didn't have a tasting station, but the presentation was beautiful, and I am eager to try out their products. Kosher certified dairy and parve varieties. The distributor is Emesco, and so far these high end pastas are available at Whole Foods.
Best New Israeli Imports - Angel Bakeries & Laromme Bakeries! If you daydream about the beautiful desserts you consumed with such abandon while at an Israeli cafe, fear not. Two enterprising Israeli bakeries are now distributing their Israeli-baked items here! They travel frozen, and I was SHOCKED by how amazing the taste is. I could not tell at all that these products had been frozen! They are completely gorgeous, as only Israeli pastries are, with stunning decorations and creative flavors. Truly high end European pastries. While not available to the consumer, you can sample these goods domestically at places like Rabica in Teaneck. (And this particular caterer will soon be featuring these goodies as part of her own dessert offerings!)
Hope this is helpful. If you want further info on any of the products mentioned, just let me know.

Happy eating!

Nov 17, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Meal Mart "amazing meals"

while on a roadtrip, my mother-in-law kindly bought us a dozen or so of these things, and we quickly decided there was nothing "amazing" about them - if you are absolutely starved, then fine, but you would be better served buying a bag of salad greens and a container of cottage cheese and a couple of pieces of fruit than ingesting most of these - taste is poor, quality is low, and nutritional value is questionable. High fat, high salt, high cholesterol. Stick with the Rib steak meal if you must indulge - it was the only meal that tasted good. It's not healthy, of course, but when you simply must have meat on the road, it will do.

Nov 17, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Kosher Indian Comes To Teaneck

This is amazing! Please, whomever gets there first, tell us all about your experience - taste, quality, ambience, pricing - this would be a great option for a special occasion! Also would love to know if they have lamb on the menu, I adore Indian lamb and never get a chance to eat it!

Nov 17, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Thanksgiving without butter? Oy.

Hi BB,

First of all, thanks for taking on the challenge of making your Thanksgiving Kosher! That is so nice of you, and I am sure your family/friends/guests will really appreciate your efforts.

Second, don't worry about the flavor! You will be amazed by how great the kosher turkey tastes without any effort at all. The kashering process involves brining (soaking and salting is part of what makes it kosher) so you will already have a moist bird. You don't need margarine (I NEVER USE because of the trans fats - please stay away from this stuff, as it is terrible for your body) or anything more than a little olive oil to rub on the skin.

Try this recipe out and see how it works out:
Make a paste of a few tablespoons of olive oil, some good quality and FRESH garam masala, kosher salt, paprika, and fresh pepper (using organic herbs will send your taste buds into a tizzy, too!). Rub the paste thoroughly onto the bird, and into the cavity. Stuff the bird with a whole onion. This helps to keep it moist.

Roast it in a pan according to the heat and timing instructions on the wrapper. (I only use Empire poultry - it tastes great, has a good track record in terms of labor relations, and is very reasonably priced.) Be sure to baste the bird with pan drippings several times.

When the bird is finished, remove it from the pan to a carving board to rest. Add 1 cup of dry white wine (must be Kosher - this is crucial!) such as a chardonnay to the pan drippings and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic. Return the pan to the oven for another 20 minutes. Scrape the pan for any drippings that may still be attached to the pan, and pour the reduced sauce into a gravy boat. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you want a thicker gravy, you can add some corn or potato starch, but I like mine more liquid. If you want a darker sauce, add some paprika.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

Nov 17, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Kosher Wedding in NJ

I went through the whole process myself in early 2007 planning my own wedding... it's a real financial nightmare to plan a Kosher wedding in the NY area, no doubt about it. There is no reason for you to spend anywhere near $200 a person! It can be done, and done beautifully, for far less. If you have that kind of money to throw at a wedding, why not spend $100 a person and give the rest as a wedding present to help the couple set up a new home? They'll thank you for many more years to come after the wedding is a dim memory... as far as locations go, why not think outside the box and use a nonprofit historic venue instead of a typical wedding hall, hotel, or synagogue? You'll have to hire more vendors to supply some of the services that would be "included" in a one-stop-shop, of course, but you'll get a far more appealing end result. Using a capable wedding planner is always a good idea. I ended up using a Woman's Club for my own wedding after doing a very extensive location search, and was thrilled with the end results. I'd be happy to discuss more ideas with you offline, feel free to contact me directly - rebeccafriedman@yahoo.com. You can also see some pix from my own wedding at the Woman's Club of Ridgewood, NJ on my website @ www.rebeccafriedman.com. Incidentally, I ended up spending about $100 a person for an entire wedding weekend (we had a Shabbaton in advance) and that included the dress, my husband's vintage tuxedo and top hat, handmade invitations, etc.

Sep 10, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Kosher food Anchorage and Vancouver

Don't listen to the posters on this board, you won't have trouble getting Kosher food! There are two supermarkets in Anchorage that carry reasonably large amounts of Kosher food - one is Natural Pantry (not sure if this name is correct, but I think so) - they carry meat, cheese, fresh produce and lots of nonperishables. The other is the big supermarket chain, whose name I don't recall.

I survived an entire summer in Alaska with the help of these supermarkets! You can easily make all sorts of dishes with a very simple amount of preparation - either in a microwave, using a burner of a stove, or double wrapped in an oven. Of course, if your idea of Kosher food is totally prepared, you will need to bring those self-heating meals with you. Be a little adventurous, eat lots of fresh salads, and enjoy your time in the most beautiful spot in North America! By the way, if you can get out of town, you will find that Alaska really comes alive in the small towns, not the big cities. I loved Talkeetna, the city that "Northern Exposure" is based upon. Calling it a city is an exaggeration - there are only 300 residents. If you get there, check out the Talkeetna hostel and tell Holli, the proprietress, that Rebecca sent you. You'll love it.

Chabad is helpful with Shabbat, but does get a bit overwhelmed in the summer, so please call ahead and make sure to give them a generous donation - they do a huge service to the community.

Enjoy!

Rebecca

May 29, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Best kosher supermarket?

4Great -

I did shop there a bit this summer when we were staying in Monsey... a nice store, absolutely.

Jan 25, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

ISO kosher tamarind paste

Hey PJ! Don't know if you are still working on the tamarind paste issue, but I also had a similar problem. I am a kosher personal chef, and one of my clients wanted Pad Thai. A central ingredient is tamarind paste, and I couldn't find any form of tamarind anywhere in the NY area (I am in NJ so Brooklyn was not an option). I ended up using worcestershire sauce & fresh lime juice and it tasted pretty good, but I was not satisfied. So just yesterday, I found whole dried tamarind beans at the local ShopRite (they cater to a large Hispanic population, and tamarind is used in a lot of different central and south american cuisines)

I am excited to make tamarind paste from scratch, and I am sure it will be useful for lots of different things once I have it. The main objection I have to most commercial products like this is how much sugar they use - I have lots of diabetic clients and am always looking for ways to make things sugarfree. So if you are still looking, see if you can find some pods in your closest Asian or Latin American grocery, and give it a whirl! Here is a recipe (I found it at http://www.bawarchi.com/cookbook/past...):

Ingredients

500 gms tamarind
20 gms. Salt
1 tbsp. oil
2 cups hot water

Method:

1. Clean and soak tamarind in 1 cup hot water.
2. Take care to remove any seeds that may be in tamarind.
3. Boil in same water after 20 minutes.
4. Cool and blend in mixie till smooth.
5. Add remaining water, mix well.
6. Pass through a sieve, removing any fibres, etc.
7. Heat oil in deep heavy pan.
8. Add tamarind paste, bring to a boil.
9. Add salt, cook till a thick coating consistency is got.
10. Cool completely, stirring in between, fill into clean sterile jar.
11. Use as required with dry spoon.

Making time: 45 minutes
Makes: One 1/2 jarful
Shelflife: 3 weeks, refrigerated

Happy Cooking! - Rebecca

Jan 25, 2008
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Best kosher supermarket?

If I develop a client base in LI that would be worth it, I suppose, as those meat prices are great. Do they have anything organic in the meat dept.??

Dec 23, 2007
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Best kosher supermarket?

I have heard good things about the TJs in NJ - one on Route 17 - but have not gotten there yet. However, a client had GREAT feta cheese purchased there, best I have ever tasted Kosher, and it was about $6/lb. So I will have to check it out - thanks for the reminder!

Dec 23, 2007
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Best kosher supermarket?

Deis,

No problem with Whole Foods (other than exorbitant prices!) in terms of produce... their Kosher selections are limited, though, so it is not a one-stop-shopping experience, as I mentioned in the original post. Thanks for your post!

Dec 23, 2007
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Best kosher supermarket?

Thanks for your input, Critic. I have a potential client in Riverdale, and they get their stuff from FreshDirect and the Harlem Fairway. I thought this was a bit far to go for groceries from Riverdale, but from what you are saying, that makes sense. I used to live on 75th & Columbus, I am familiar with that Fairway, and definitely wouldn't want to kill myself parking in that neighborhood!

Dec 17, 2007
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Best kosher supermarket?

I'm a personal chef, and as such, I spend a lot of time buying groceries! I live in Passaic, NJ but have clients around and about the NY/NJ metro area. I'm looking for your votes on overall best supermarket according to the following qualifications:
1. Quality of fresh meat/variety of heckshers (I don't use Rubashkins and prefer to use organic such as David Elliot/Wise)
2. Competitive prices
3. Selection of organic produce (the kosher supermarkets around me don't seem to get Organic yet, and Whole Foods doesn't seem to get Kosher yet!)
4. Accessibility, easy parking, overall shopping experience.

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP, chowhounders!

--Rebecca

Dec 17, 2007
rebeccafriedman in Kosher

Help! Need kosher catering (full service) for sunday brunch on a budget

Hey Y'All!

Just wanted to let you know that my wedding Sunday brunch idea worked out really well - Levy's of Manalapan NJ did a great job at a very reasonable price and everyone was very pleased with the food - not to mention the fun of having dairy at a wedding! I'd recommend them highly.
Thanks for all your input. Here's a picture from our chuppah.

Best,
Rebecca

PS we are in Chicago now, Kosher restaurant wasteland! :-(

Apr 19, 2007
rebeccafriedman in Kosher