masteraleph's Profile

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Reserve Cut

Mike's (which is now midtown on the East Side)?

(note- expensive, but if Reserve Cut and PG are in the running, no worse)

Apr 28, 2015
masteraleph in Kosher

UWS NYC odd-kosher-food event

Yak and locust sound fairly exotic to me..

Apr 17, 2015
masteraleph in Kosher

UWS NYC odd-kosher-food event

Right- if they actually had the weird stuff being mentioned, I'd be incredibly interested- but it doesn't seem like they're going to.

Apr 16, 2015
masteraleph in Kosher

Holyland Matzo - where to find in NYC?

I think I just saw some at the Yonkers Whole Foods- might want to call and ask at the Manhattan WF.

Apr 06, 2015
masteraleph in Kosher

KFP Greek Yogurt

FWIW, I've had the Norman's before, and it had roughly the taste and consistency of wallpaper paste (or at least, I assume that's what wallpaper paste tastes like). I like Greek Yogurt, but this year we just bought some of the KFP Dannons- they won't really be what I like, but at least I can be assured that it will taste like something- mass produced something, but something.

Apr 03, 2015
masteraleph in Kosher

Can Rum(/Rhum/Cacha├ža) be Drunk on Passover?

This isn't really a question, per se- Ron Zacapa Solera 23 would be kosher, in general, if you'll drink sherry/port/other wine cask whiskey (which some kashrut organizations will allow, and others won't), so it's really a question of asking your rabbi about this issue.

As for the dark rum issue- that's because they're concerned about companies adding things like caramel coloring. I wouldn't really be concerned about it with Ron Zacapa.

For AdinaA- think sweet scotch, for a flavor palette. The aging in oak casks gives it what I would usually think of as a whiskey flavor, but with the sweetness of a good rum. This one in particular is not particularly harsh, and it's obviously not smokey, but that's more or less how I'd think of it.

FWIW- I drink it during the year (and will drink sherry cask scotch, as well), but I put it aside for Passover on the basis of general Passover paranoia. There's probably no halachic reason to do so, but I'm also desperately looking for Spectrum brand unrefined coconut oil, rather than anyone else, since it's the only one the OU verifies is KLP without a specific KLP mark on the label. Chalk it up to Passover craziness.

Mar 29, 2015
masteraleph in Kosher

Slow cooker that fits particular requirements

Thanks to all who commented- we've decided to try a slow cooker suggested by a friend, that's related to the one DuffyH suggested- the Cuisinart PSC-650. Unlike Rival, Cuisinart actually makes a claim for how hot it gets on various settings- a maximum of 200F on low, and 185F on Simmer, both of which should work better than the Crock Pots that hit 212 on low (the Chow review actually claims cooler temperatures than that, but again, the low is still good).

Will update once we've gotten it and used it a few times- chicken soup is probably the first thing up, and then a stew or two to follow.

Mar 28, 2015
masteraleph in Cookware

Passover desserts question

There was some discussion of mousse in previous years (including one of backing it), but I thought I'd throw out an option my mother in law uses sometimes:

8 eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar
9 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and grease springform pan
Melt chocolate and allow to cool so that it is liquid but not overly hot
Beat separated yolks with 2/3 cup of sugar until light and fluffy (hand mixer makes this go more easily; can be done by hand, or on Yom Tov with a rotary whisk)
Add chocolate slowly and set aside
Beat separated egg whites until soft peaks form; add 2 tbsp sugar and beat until stiff peaks form
Carefully fold egg whites into chocolate mixture- you want it to remain as fluffy as possible
Put half into the springform and bake for 20-25 minutes, until it has solidified (it should still be quite fluffy). Put other half in a bowl in the fridge.
Once cool, top the baked part with the unbaked part and return to fridge until serving. If preparing ahead of time you can freeze it; it will freeze and unfreeze quite quickly.

It's not at all dense- though it is technically flourless and functionally a cake, the bottom is essentially a chocolate souffle, topped with mousse. We make it all year round, and people are astounded that there is no flour or any other grain based starch.

For the person who just asked about lemon mousse- I know it's not lemon, but hopefully it can help fill the same spot.

Mar 28, 2015
masteraleph in Kosher

Slow cooker that fits particular requirements

Because low fully boils on our slow cooker. Cooking overnight, we lose as much as a quart of water, and boiling food for that long is a problem foodwise (not healthwise, obviously).

Mar 23, 2015
masteraleph in Cookware

Slow cooker that fits particular requirements

After having had one cooking SNAFU after another with our slow cooker (a Crockpot Smartpot, circa 2006), my wife and I are in the market for a replacement.

The main issue is that we are observant Jews, which throws a few wrenches into what might be an ordinary process. It means that we tend to do a lot of overnight cooking (so that food can be ready for lunch on the Sabbath, with the cooking starting the day before), typically soups or stews, and that we can't adjust anything to do with the cooking on the Sabbath. So the basic requirements are:

1) No automatic shutoff for cooking, or at least the automatic shutoff is 20 hours or more.

2) Does not actively detect the temperature (so ones designed to function with a probe are out).

3) Cooks without boiling- the "old" Crock Pots, that tended to cook at temperatures under the boiling point, would have worked fine, but ours will eventually bring anything to a rapid boil when set on low, even when full of liquid. My understanding is that Rival upped the power to deal with liability issues, though I've seen mentions that there may be some available now that don't have this issue?

Mar 21, 2015
masteraleph in Cookware

kosher goat cheese

At least here in the NY area, the Cheese Guy is producing a goat cheese. We saw it at the 97th st Whole Foods the other day, so it's definitely making its way out there, but the Cheese Guy does seem to be a NY area (plus maybe a few other places in big cities) product. Note that he does have some goat cheese under KORC- the stuff I'm referring to is in packages like the TJ's stuff, and under the OU.

Feb 18, 2015
masteraleph in Kosher

Kosher wine at Whole Foods Market

Usually Skyview Wine and Spirits, in Riverdale, NY. Which may not help you (you say below that you're in Dallas), but it tends to offer good prices, a large selection, and very good recommendations if you're in the NY area

Feb 17, 2015
masteraleph in Kosher

Best parve sliced "cheese?"

Carlos and Gabby's has some sort of "cheesy" sauce they use on their Philly Steak subs and some other things. I don't think they're even using any sort of fake cheese, though- just some sort of creamy high fat sauce with the right amount of salt.

Jan 30, 2015
masteraleph in Kosher

CH broke the site: how to fix it

Thanks here, as well.

Dec 20, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Crafted -- new bagel etc place on UWS

We were there on Sunday. The food was fine, but there were a number of things on the menu that they didn't have, and it took quite a while to be able to order- the kitchen seemed overwhelmed. Seating was also in very short supply. I know they're setting themselves up as a market, but it seemed like most of the customers I saw would have been happier with fewer displays of dry goods like nice candies and chips and more seating.

Dec 11, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Does kosher kombu and wakame exist?

Sorry, yeah, I meant whether it has a hechsher. With Eden in particular, it appears that there are multiple products- there are Wakame flakes, which are precooked and not hechshered (but I've seen around more often), and there are the 2.1 oz bag of Wakame, which are raw and are. They also have something called Mekabu, which is apparently some sort of Wakame as well, and hechshered, but I don't know anything about it.

Oct 29, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Does kosher kombu and wakame exist?

Eden also makes kosher Wakame, but not all of the sizes are checked, so it can be harder to find. I've found it at Fairway before.

Edit: Natural Import, which you can order directly online, also seems to have it available, in larger quantities (though still usable at home- not really restaurant quantity).

Oct 27, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Kosher at LAX ??

There are also kosher CBTLs in Terminals 6 and 8 (I didn't actually know there was one in T7), with similar stuff to what SoCal Mother reported (sometimes with different sandwiches, and of course toasted bagel/cream cheese too). Basically, you're fine if you're flying United, Delta, or some of the Alaska flights and have a bit of time (T 6-8 connect directly and T5 connects through a tunnel), but if you're flying anything else, you're out of luck.

Oct 17, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

bleu cheese

Does it have to actually be French? The Cheese Guy does a couple of blue cheeses, and there's a brand I've seen around called Danablu. I've seen these at a variety of places in the NY area (you'll need somewhere with a decent cheese selection, though). Or are you referring to dressing, as some people below seem to think?

Oct 03, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Place on Long Island for 10-15 to eat after an unveiling?

We're planning my grandmother's unveiling for a Sunday in November; it's going to occur at the Farmingdale cemetery where she's buried.

Afterwards, family members want to get together to talk about her, and as a bit of a family gathering for lunch. Nothing formal needed, but being able to make lunch reservations would be useful.

Any suggestions? It doesn't have to be too close to Farmingdale, and everyone is heading back towards NYC in some capacity, but not necessarily into Manhattan, so something on Long Island would be preferable.

Sep 30, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Are all Dunkin Donut stores kosher? Or must they have a hechsher?

I think that what you're trying to question is whether the one at 259th and Riverdale Ave (that's the Kosher one, it's attached to a Baskin Robins) is committing false advertising for advertising sausage egg and cheese, etc. In the store, at least, they're pretty clear about it being veggie sausage egg and cheese.

Sep 21, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Hot water urn recommendation

It basically stops the water from reboiling. Up to you, or your rabbi, whether that's likely to be an issue.

Sep 09, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

kosher draft cider

FWIW, we had the Apple and Honey yesterday- very nice, sweet but not too sweet. It went very quickly at the party we were hosting.

Sep 08, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Pardes: new menu section, attentive service, creative small plates still amazing

We went tonight, as an early birthday present to me.

We started with an amuse-bouche of tuna tartar, avocado creme, "crispy rice" (basically puffed rice), cucumber and basil. Very good, very light, and a great way to start.

Next we had a seared white tuna, dehydrated, raw and pureed cucumber, seaweed powder, ume plum puree, matcha oil, saltwort, and shaved dried tuna. The tuna was just the right texture (mostly still raw with a delicate searing around the edge), and the cucumber cut the saltiness well- possibly slightly too salty, but still excellent. There was some unmentioned fresh basil that really helped it along as well.

Gurnard tartare, vanilla, watermelon salad, jerky, and water ice, with seaweed popcorn. This was one of the two stars of the night (non-dessert, at least). The watermelon ice, in particular, made for a phenomenal contrast and was something I'd never have thought of, and chef Moshe always finds interesting things to do with popcorn. In this case, it was perfect- sweet and cold watermelon, soft fish, crunchy but light popcorn.

Two more dishes then appeared basically at once. The first was a sweetbread fricassee, candied orange peel, lamp bacon, basil, caper, fennel pollen, and panisse. Also very good, but not quite right- I've been trying to figure out what was off about it, and I think it was the caper disrupting things- it was a touch too vinegary (my wife's description- "has a hint of what I dislike about bad gazpachos"). We definitely finished the whole thing, though. The other dish that came then was the other star of the night- Lamb "ham," nectarine and fennel salad, vanilla oil, grilled baguette, coconut "mozzarella," pistachio, anise, and hyssop. Here too, the flavors really melded together- the nectarine, fennel, and lamb in particular tasted very bright together, with just a hint of meaty saltiness that was well balanced.

Finally, we had a risotto of tomato and saffron, lamb shank, shaved lamb heart, poached egg, and cashew "cheese," which was served with a thyme sauce. This reminded me a little bit of "greens, eggs, and lamb," which was at one point a staple on the Pardes menu. Excellent and wonderfully prepared, with great creaminess.

We also had two desserts- one, a yellow peach tarte tatin, with lamb fat pate sucre, chamomile ice cream, white and donut peach salad, and dried peach, the other a plum and pistachio clafoutis, aerated lavender creme caramel, plum salad, and red wine/plum/beet puree. We loved both of them- the peach dish was a little heavier, and the lamb definitely was present, but it was still clearly a dessert. Very, very good.

My wife had a white sangria, and I had a glass of mead. The former was, in my wife's words, "everything a late summer sangria should be"- nectarines and grapefruit, with some vanilla. The mead was wonderful- clear honey taste but with hints of raisin (the good, plump kind, not that there was any actual raisin in it).

I do have to say that the service was much better and more attentive; I didn't see anyone have their plates mixed up (this was a problem in the past), and waiters were generally coming by tables with reasonable frequency. It did seem like there was often someone missing from the hostess station- there were a few times when people came in and waited a minute or two until anyone came over to them, but after seating, people were well attended. They were also good about describing the dishes, though one of the waiters in particular seemed to be having trouble pronouncing things ("tartare," for example). We came at 7 and it was relatively empty, but it was mostly full after about 8. It didn't seem like parties of two had any real problem getting seats even without reservations, but on the other hand, one or two more parties of two, or any parties of four, would have had a problem.

All in all, a really great experience...though I do still miss the 13 course tasting menu.

Sep 02, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

kosher draft cider

Another new one- Strongbow Apple and Honey Cider, with the KF actually printed on it. Found at Skyview Wines and Spirits in Riverdale NY.

Aug 31, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Gardein went kosher!

As a note- some of their products, such as the mandarin "chicken," show up from time to time at Costco, in a huge bag that's much cheaper than individual TJ's ones. But I haven't seen any on the East Coast; only in California (CA Costcos seem to have a much better variety of frozen vegan food, though- go figure?)

Aug 28, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Is Kosher Cheese also Vegetarian (i.e. without animal rennet?)

Animal rennet in cheeses made in the US is phenomenally uncommon. Much more common to run into animal rennet in European cheeses.

Aug 10, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Whatcha Eating Tonight?

Cold strawberry soup and omelettes.

Aug 05, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

9 days dinners, lunches - what are you eating?

We have the somewhat odd situation that we are moving at the same time, so food is somewhat limited in terms of what we can do easily.

In terms of specific stuff that's particular to cold weather- we're doing a zucchini ricotta tart with potato crust (see How To Cook Everything Vegetarian)- better warm, but it's pretty good cold. We were able to get some fresh artichokes, so we're having those at some point. Smitten Kitchen has a smashed chickpea salad that we're having with home-pickled red peppers and homemade bread as open faced sandwiches, and we did Smitten's Spring Salad with New Potatoes for a lunch. The other stuff we're doing is not specific to summer- homemade pizza, lentil dishes (though a lentil stew could work), etc.

Jul 28, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher

Kosher Food at Newark Liberty Airport (EWR)

Bought at which store? Cibo Express has similar sandwiches at JFK in the American and JetBlue terminals, but it'd be useful to know where you got it.

Also- c-25? I thought that C gates at Newark started at 70.

Jul 18, 2014
masteraleph in Kosher