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The Quick Sip on Kosher Wine for Passover

The Quick Sip on Kosher Wine for Passover


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Passover is just around the corner. Paralyzed with uncertainty at the shelves lined with dozens of options, some consumers simply grab the first bottle of sweet red square-bottle wine in front of them and head home relieved they made a safe choice that won’t violate any of the kosher laws.

This ritual happens every year, but it doesn’t have to. These days, thanks to dedicated kosher wine producers, you certainly don’t have to sacrifice taste for Torah doctrine. With a knowledgeable wine seller as your guide, you can find exceptional red, white, rosé, and sparkling kosher wines for Passover that will comply with the rules and add a wonderful dimension to your meal. With so many options, we’ve put together our own Quick Sip Guide to Kosher Wine that includes recommendations even the fussiest wine expert will enjoy. L’chaim!

So here's the Quick Sip on Kosher Wine for Passover

· All kosher wines must certified by one of the thousands of reliable, recognized bodies responsible for kosher certification.

· Just printing the words “Kosher” or “Kosher for Passover” does not make a wine kosher.

· Kosher wines must bear the symbol of the certifying body on the wine label.

· Some of the symbols to look for on certified kosher wine include OU, OK, Star K, and Circle K.

· All wines labeled “Kosher for Passover” are kosher, but not all kosher wines are kosher for Passover. Learn more about the difference in our article the Skinny on Kosher Wines.

· Mevushal wines are kosher and may be served at Passover, but cannot be used as sacramental wine or on the alter.

· Not all wines from Israel are kosher.

· To see if a wine is kosher for Passover, look on the back label of the wine bottle. You should see one of the kosher symbols with a small “p” right on the logo or next to the logo.

Here are our wine suggestions for Seder

Sparkling Wine

Few things say “celebration” like a lovely glass of bubbly, so why not begin Seder with a crisp, refreshing French Champagne or prosecco from northeastern Italy? Seder is a celebration of triumph over impossible adversity and this annual event deserves a glass of wine that suits the mood. We’ve chosen two lovely options with two different price points for you to consider.

Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé NV Champagne France ($89): Historic, elegant, and in a class on its own, this is a rosé for the ages. Made from 100 percent pinot noir, this wine is versatile enough to pair with a range of dishes and is the perfect wine for a toast. Wild fraises des bois and creamy brioche notes give it depth and crisp minerality.

Bartenura Prosecco NV Veneto Italy ($18.99): Made with Glera grapes, this is a light, lively, dry wine with just enough effervescence to put everyone in a jolly mood. Think white peach and creamy, golden delicious apple notes.

White Wine

Goose Bay South Island Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand 2012 ($19.99): Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand has a distinct grapefruit or citrus profile that makes it the perfect wine to pair with a range of foods. This one is a crisp, juicy mouthful of bright grapefruit that’s hard to resist.

Hagafen Cellars Chardonnay Napa Valley California 2013 ($23.99): This luscious white wine seems earmarked for consumers who steadfastly cling to California chardonnay like a security blanket. It will satisfy the need for oak and pass muster for those who prefer Old World chardonnay.

Rosé Wine

Don Ernesto's Beret Rosé Napa Valley California 2014 ($24.99): Ernie Weir, wine grower and owner of Hagafen Cellars, aka Don Ernesto, makes the perfect rosé for your Seder dinner. Crisp like a white but with the depth of a light red, this is made with 100 percent syrah grapes and can be used as a cocktail wine or with your meal.

Red Wine

Hagafen Cellars Syrah Napa Valley California 2012 ($32.00): For the price, this is a “bluff wine,” or a wine that tastes more expensive than its price tag and can even fool the experts. The wine’s dark cherry and blackberry notes, bracing acidity, and firm tannins make for a dynamic duo with roasted lamb. It’s a sensational marriage of aromas and flavors.

Hagafen Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley California 2011 ($48.00): If you just can’t imagine Seder without a California cab, then make this kosher kicker your go-to wine. Produced using estate-grown grapes, it’s a BBR — big, bold red — with a huge personality. Toasty oak plays on the palate in tandem with cassis, woody herbs, and spicy grip from the tannins.


Passover Recipes

Salmon is a heart-healthy alternative to ham or pork. And with its crispy matzo topping, it&aposs Passover-friendly!

How to Cook Salmon

Salmon is a light, flaky fish that can be served any day of the week. Watch this video to learn how to prepare it.

Green & Gold Quinoa Salad

Zucchini (the green) and corn (the gold) brighten up your regular quinoa salad. Serve with lemon wedges so everyone can zest it up to their liking.

Potato Scallion Soup with Fried Matzo Dippers

No dinner rolls? No problem. Our fried matzo dippers are so good that they&aposll make you forget about leavened grains. Dip them in the soup, serve them as an appetizer or just crunch away on them as you cook.

Cucumber Salad with Dill Sour Cream

Wisk together dill, sugar, sour cream and apple cider vinegar for a light and creamy salad dressing. Be sure to let the cucumbers drain for at least an hour before tossing with the dressing.

Brisket with Sweet-Potato Tzimmes

This traditional sweet Jewish brisket is a home run. Serve it with a dark red wine.

Roasted Sweet Potato & Carrot Puree

Put the first five ingredients in a pan and top with the broth. After baking, the veggies should have absorbed the broth, making them ready to be pureed. Top with fresh parsley and finely chopped carrots.

Matzo Ball Soup

There&aposs nothing better than traditional matzo ball soup. Just tweak our recipe for Meatball soup by swapping in crushed matzo. Garnish with fresh dill and lemon wedges.

Calabaza Squash

Toss some pecan or hickory wood chips into the grill to give the squash a deep, smoky flavor. This smoked flavor will pair nicely with the sweetness from the honey and rice wine vinegar vinaigrette, as well as the golden raisins.

Roasted Chicken & Cauliflower

This meal is the ultimate dinner. With less than five ingredients, and only one pan needed, it eliminates almost all of the hassle.

How to Roast a Perfect Chicken

Want to know how to roast the perfect chicken? Watch Chef Marc Murphy&aposs how-to video.

Quick Tilapia in Parchment

For a light and refreshing baked tilapia, simply season with Old Bay seasoning, EVOO and lemon juice. The parchment paper acts as a pouch to keep all of the snap peas and corn inside.

Salad Recipes

Long gone is the boring side salad. Check out our favorite salad recipes for lunch or dinner. They&aposre bountiful, flavorful and sure to keep you full!


A kosher-for-Passover wine you’ll want to drink all year

The back story: Wine is central to the Jewish holiday of Passover, particularly the communal feast known as the Seder. And the wine that’s typically served is a kosher-for-Passover one — meaning it adheres to the dietary laws that govern the faith and holiday alike. In years past, such wines were usually sweet and syrupy. But more recently, a number of dry and sophisticated offerings have hit store shelves. It speaks to the booming U.S. kosher-for-Passover marketplace, which is growing 8% to 10% annually and now tops $1 billion, according to Lubicom Marketing Consulting, a company that tracks kosher sales. (And the U.S. doesn’t necessarily have the most variety: In Israel, there’s even a Passover-themed Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.)

All this has set the stage for Covenant, an enterprising label out of California that makes both kosher and kosher-for-Passover wines (there are some slight differences between the two designations when it comes to vino). It’s also the rare kosher brand that has garnered serious praise from wine geeks: Robert Parker, the well-known critic, has given ratings as high as 93 points for Covenant’s Cabernets. Little wonder the label has seen a huge spike in demand since releasing its first vintage in 2005, with sales increasing from 500 to 6,000 cases annually.

For its newest line, called The Tribe, Covenant aimed to produce a sip that met yet another kosher standard. The Tribe wines — there’s both a Proprietary Red ($38) and Chardonnay ($32) — are not only kosher and kosher-for-Passover, they’re also “mevushal” (Hebrew for “cooked”). According to Jewish law, wine made in such a fashion is the only kind that can be considered kosher even when served by a non-Jew. It’s an important consideration for highly observant Jews who dine out regularly.

The problem, of course, is that “cooked” wine can suffer in the taste department. So Covenant winemaker and co-owner Jeff Morgan tapped a quick heating method, called flash-détente, that doesn’t get in the way of the grape, so to speak. “It is less intrusive,” he says. If anything, he finds that flash-détente seems to bring out “brighter” and “juicier” qualities in the wine.

What we think about it: There’s no doubt that The Tribe wines are a far cry from that bottle of Manischewitz Concord Grape we’ve had at many a Seder. We sampled the Proprietary Red, a blend that combines Syrah, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel varietals. Sure enough, it’s juicy and fairly sip-worthy — a medium-bodied wine with lots of cherry and spice flavors. If you’re willing to break with the super-sweet tradition of Passover, it might merit a place on your table. (Oh, and the bottle is suitable beyond the holiday, too.)

How to enjoy it: This is a red wine that’s nowhere near as big as Cabernet, so it can pair with lots of dishes, traditional or otherwise, at the Seder table. Think everything from gefilte fish (a kind of Jewish-style seafood sausage) to tzimmes (a sweet side dish made with carrots and dried fruits). It would also go well with brisket, the most classic of Jewish entrees. (And winemaker Morgan even has a brisket recipe in his new cookbook, The Covenant Kitchen: Food and Wine for the New Jewish Table.) Happy Passover!


Ask the Expert: Kosher Wine and Kosher Mevushal Wine

Question: When I&rsquom at my local wine store I sometimes see bottles marked kosher and sometimes kosher mevushal. My wine guy says the mevushal stuff isn&rsquot very good. What&rsquos mevushal, and why is it bad?
&ndashDavid, Boston

Answer: L&rsquoChaim, David! Answering this question requires a nice glass of vino. You don&rsquot mind if I type and sip, do you?

In order for wine to be kosher, of course it has to contain only kosher ingredients. And according to traditional Jewish law, once the grapes are picked and brought to be crushed, only Shabbat-observant Jews can be involved in making the wine. From crushing to bottling, kosher wine must be handled exclusively by observant Jews.

Why the strict rules about only Jews? Because in the past wine was often used by pagans in their offerings to idol gods. When something good happened, you&rsquod pour some wine out on the ground as a symbolic thank you (if you were an idol worshipper, that is). The rabbis who set up the rules for kosher wine wanted to make sure that Jews never got a glass of wine that had been associated with an idolatrous offering, so they required that only Jews be involved in handling kosher wine.

Even after these rules were set up, some people worried that if you had a nice glass of kosher Chardonnay at a Jewish wedding, it&rsquos possible that the non-Jewish waiter or waitress might have spilled some of your Chardonnay in an idolatrous practice, while your back was turned. The solution: Mevushal wine. (Shulhan Arukh, YD 123)

Mevushal (literally &ldquocooked&rdquo) wine has been heated to the point that idol worshippers wouldn&rsquot use it for their nefarious purposes. It turns out even idol worshippers had standards for their wine. They wouldn&rsquot use wine for an offering if it had been boiled because boiling wine removes much of the flavor. So the rabbis ruled that in order to avoid the possibility of a Jew ever drinking wine that was idolatry-associated, only cooked wine could be served to a Jew by a non-Jew.

Today, people don&rsquot do a lot of pouring wine out for the gods. Still, because of the previous rulings by various halakhic authorities, some people are uncomfortable with a non-Jew pouring them a glass of kosher wine. So mevushal wine is often served at events where non-Jews will be doing the pouring and serving of wine. This stance, of only serving mevushal wine when non-Jews will be serving, is the norm among Orthodox Jews, and those who follow the regulations of the Conservative Movement&lsquos Committee on Jewish Law and Standards.

The good news is that making a wine mevushal no longer entails actually boiling anything. I spoke with Scott Shumaker, the wine manager at kosherwine.com, and he told me that in order for wine to be called mevushal these days it&rsquos heated up very quickly in a process called flash pasteurization.

Red wine gets up to a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit (white wine gets a slightly lower temperature) for less than a minute and then is cooled down very quickly in order to limit the amount of damage the heat might do to the flavors in the wine. This procedure is based on a responsum from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein who ruled that flash pasteurizing could be counted as making something mevushal. There are other rabbinic authorities who have differed from this opinion, but in America today the most commonly held opinion is that of Rabbi Feinstein.

Your wine guy is right that many people don&rsquot think highly of mevushal wines, but Scott is my wine guy, and he recommended the Segal winery Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Binyamina Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve, both of which are mevushal, and sell for about $20 a bottle. The best kosher wines on the market these days aren&rsquot mevushal, but Scott says there are some pretty good mevushal options out there. I would take his word for it, but really, maybe I should do some sampling just to be sure.


One of the important rituals and traditions of Passover centers around the Seder plate. Each item on the plate symbolizes a tribulation that the Jewish community has faced—our guide to the traditional and modern seder plate outlines each one. And don&apost forget to try our Haroset recipe, a chunky sauce of apples, walnuts, honey, and few generous splashes of kosher sweet wine.

It&aposs no surprise that our second dish also includes matzo�ter all, it is a classic Passover food and there are so many inventive ways to cook with it. Our favorite just might be this comforting matzo ball soup. Speed up prep by using store-bought broth. Then let the matzo balls simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal.


In this Susan Spungen recipe, halved and roasted sweet potatoes are topped with a glaze made from citrus juices and zest, honey, cinnamon, ginger, prunes and a big pinch of salt, mimicking the flavors of the traditional stew tsimmes. Make it for Passover and you may want to make it all the time.

This brilliant Melissa Clark recipe is adapted from the molecular gastronomist Hervé This and has only one ingredient: chocolate. Slowly melt high-quality bittersweet chocolate in water, then whisk it vigorously in a bowl over an ice bath for three to five minutes until it becomes fluffy and thick — et voilà!


The Seder Plate

Homemade Preserved Horseradish

As tempting as it might be to pick up a bottle of prepared horseradish from the grocery store, it's almost as easy to make it from scratch. It takes just three ingredients—chunks of horseradish root, a little white vinegar to keep it from browning, and a pinch of salt—and a few minutes of pulsing in a food processor or blender. Make it now, and you can use it straight through the holiday—the pungent condiment will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about three weeks.

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiling an egg may seem like the simplest of tasks, but it comes with a number of possible pitfalls: chalky, green-tinged yolks rubbery whites and, worst of all, the shell that refuses to pull away. Our heavily tested technique will save you from all of those dreaded outcomes. For easily peelable eggs, with firm but tender whites and nicely cooked yolks, start them in boiling water, then simmer for 11 minutes, shock in ice water, and remove the shell under running water. Or, even better, try steaming them instead.

Traditional Ashkenazi Charoset With Apples and Walnuts

This classic Ashkenazi charoset is so tasty, you'll be tempted to scarf up all the leftovers once the seder is over, and so simple that you may just start making it all year long. Combine diced apples and chopped toasted walnuts with a cup of sweet red Passover wine, plus plain or lightly toasted sugar and a pinch of spices, and you're done. We like to use a mix of sweet and tart apples, like a combination of Fuji and Granny Smith, for a balanced flavor.

Sephardic-Style Charoset With Dried Fruit and Nuts

Unlike the Ashkenazi version, Sephardic-style charoset incorporates dried fruits rather than fresh apples, and a wider variety of spices and nuts. Ours blends a red wine–simmered mixture of dates, dried apricots, and raisins with roasted almonds, plus a bit of fragrant orange blossom water. Chopping up the nuts and fruit in a food processor speeds things up, but make sure to leave a few chunks for texture.


Passover Recipes

Charoset, three ways – This tropical charoset incorporates some of the best Hawaiian flavors and is a sweet enough for a light dessert.

Haroset, diaspora – The use of charoset in Passover recipes has evolved as the Jewish diaspora spread across the globe.

Eggs, red – white eggshells absorb brilliant pigment from steeping for hours with skins from brown, or better yet, red Spanish onions.

Haroset (with dried fruit) – Using a variety of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, dates, also bananas, these recipes expand our understanding of what haroset may be.

Haroset (with fresh fruit) – includes at least one type of fruit or more. The fruits can be fresh or dried or both.

Haroset, sherry – tasty Haroset is made with walnuts, cinnamon, liquid artificial sweetener and sweet sherry.

Haroset, Syrian – sweet date-based, Syrian-style charoset for Passover seder

Haroset, tropical – An unusual haroset, in that it is cooked.

Matzah, seasoned – many ideas for you to make the best Passover dessert that you’ll crave all year long.

Appetizers

Deviled Egg Cobb Salad with Smoked Salmon Tartines – this cobb salad with salmon is an addicting mix of salty, bold, and zesty flavors.

Fresh cod cakes – A quick and delicious cod and matzah fish cake recipe.

Gefilte fish, smoked whitefish with lemon-horseradish sauce

Japanese Kamaboko (Fishcake)-Inspired Gefilte Fish – These fish patties are an excellent first choice for your seder meal or a great snack in the afternoon.

Matzah ball soup, with asparagus and shiitakes

Tori Avey’s matzah ball soup – This Passover recipe makes a thick, tasty broth that is suitable for serving with matzo balls.

Matzah balls – A jewish classic that can be compared to a traditional dumpling for Passover soup.

Matzah Brei with Onions, Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche – shaped like a Spanish tortilla and mixes traditional Jewish flavored onion, smoked salmon and creme fraiche.

Matzah Meal-Crusted Quinoa Cakes – Packed and coated with matzoh balls meal, fast pan-fried cakes

Mushroom dip – Creamy dipping has all the taste of stuffed mushroom caps with onions

Salmon sushi (served with chipotle marinade for ceviche, beet salsa and cucumber yogurt sauce) – This is a genuine Passover recipe that gives you a combination that is as beautiful as it is delicious!

Soup, beef stock – this flavorful vegetable soup includes beef broth and filled with vegetables.

Soup, spinach-mint – very delicious soup topped with mint leaves for a fresh topping

Dinner

Asian Meatballs – a great alternative and non-traditional Passover dish.

Bagels, Passover – Bagels are prepared with matzo meal that is cooked, and are suitable for Passover.

Brisket, easy onion-braised – brisket braised with onions for a simple, flour-free gravy.

Brisket, southern dry-rub – Nothing is quite like a smoked brisket and there is no alternative to the current dry rub smoked brisket recipe.

Brisket, stove top – Cooked brisket on the stovetop

Kugel, Apple Matzah – A traditional dessert kugel recipe for Passover with apples

Kugel, dairy matzah – Kugel has been a staple of Jewish cooking for centuries

Kugel, farfel – Usually served at the Passover dinner, Farfel kugel is a Jewish pudding, but can be consumed at any period of the year.

Kugel, Passover noodle – This Kugel is baked and made with noodles.

Kugel, Potato with Preserved Lemon – Savory Potato Kugel with Preserved Lemon for Passover

Kugel, sweet vegetable – This Vegetable Kugel is full of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and more.

Lamb shanks – a cheap cut of meat that is madeb est when cooked slowly.

Lamb, roast (for Easter–not kosher for Passover) – flavor-packed lamb roast recipe with potatoes.

Latkes, matzah meal and cottage cheese – cheese latkes that are perfect for Passover.

Macaroni and cheese, Passover-style – a delicious and enjoyable substitute for pasta during Passover.

Matzah Chilaquiles – stewed tomatoes and eggs that make a match made in heaven.

Matzah brie primavera – a classic Jewish dish of fried matzah.

Matzah pizza – a quick and easy Passover recipe to make.

Mojo, a Puerto Rican garlicky sauce

Pot Roast, Cranberry – An easy, tasty braised beef recipe, roasted with fresh cranberries

Rolls, Passover (Abrams) – the equivalent of Passover popovers.

Rolls, Passover (Korman) – kosher rolls that suit and taste great for Passover.

Sea bass in lime cream sauce – A delicious green onion, lime and cilantro cream sauce is mixed with the fish.

Spinach Farfel – Farfel is a typical Passover meal and comes in various types.

Dessert

Burmolikos, Bulgarian Matzah Puffs – soft, mild egg and matzah puffs, fried in oil.

Brownies, Passover – the perfect Passover dessert.

Cake (Hungarian chocolate walnut torte) – a luxurious and moist confection of chocolate.

Cake, cocoa cream layer – it has a whipped cream filling and chocolate icing on three layers of chocolate cake.

Cake, Fanny’s flourless chocolate – typically eaten at Passover, a pleasant relief from the usual macaroons and sponge cake.

Cake, Hazelnut Brown Butter – quick, unpleasantly simple and ideal for Passover.

Candy, rocky road – perfect for gift giving during the Passover holiday.

Chocolate Berry Pies (grain-free and vegan) – incredible vegan gluten-free pie crust and exquisite filling.

Chocolate icing – use this rich chocolate frosting with any of your Passover desserts.

Cobbler, strawberry rhubarb – This Passover recipe also comes courtesy of Lorraine Shapiro, very delicious!

Compote, spring – this fresh compote features not just citrus, but rhubarb, raspberries, and prunes.

Compote, strawberry-orange, with stuffed dates – a pleasant, light and flavorful way to end the Passover meal.

Sponge cake – topped with strawberries and whipped cream. Best served as dessert at a seder.

Sugar, Passover confectioners’ – contains cornstarch and is not kosher for Passover.

Vegan Funfetti Cheesecake Bites – these delicious cheesecake bites are the perfect treat for Passover.


Torah of Food

Join guest chefs and educators to explore the connection between food and Torah through text study, farm tours, cooking demos, permaculture workshops and lively Shabbat services. All kosher meals are included and are from ethically sourced, farm fresh ingredients.

Presenters include cookbook author, restauranteur and teacher, Levana Kirshenbaum, and Michael Solomonov, James Beard Foundation award winning chef and owner of Zahav and Citron and Rose, Philadelphia.

Click here for more info and registration. Use discount code “friend” for $50. off weekend fee.

Expand Your Chocolate Horizons

Chocolate Fest at 92Y in New York —may just have you drooling as you taste and chat with some of the world’s most talented tastemakers. Sip a chocolate cocktail, pair cheese with confections, sample rare treats and savor classic French pastries.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Click here for more information and tickets. Click here for a list of the impressive line-up of producers.

Come for Dinner Y’all

City Grit Southern Style Shabbat Dinner

City Grit is a culinary salon in NoLiTa and brainchild of Sarah Simmons, recently named one of America’s Greatest New Cooks by FOOD AND WINE MAGAZINE.

Sarah’s delicious Southern-influenced Shabbat dinners are a super special, multi-course dinner featuring her take on traditional Jewish classics.

Kosher Like Me? Not a problem. Specify VEGETARIAN when registering here.

When: Friday, April 19th at 7:30pm
Where: 38 Prince (between Mott and Mulberry)
Price: $55, wine and beer available for purchase

Israel Sustainable Food Tour

May 22-27, 2013

Enjoy six glorious days touring Israel and experiencing the sustainable food movement first hand through a partnership of Hazon and the Heschel Sustainability Center.

VISIT food growers and producers

MEET change makers, activists, chefs

EXPLORE issues of food justice

TASTE the most inspired food

Click here for more info. and to register.

Time to Sign Up for your Summer CSA

Sport Hill Farm, an organic farm in Easton, CT, has announced that registration is open for their weekly, summer CSA (running early June-Mid October). Pick up will be at Westport’s Wakeman Town Farm, Fridays, 1-7PM.

Find more information and Register while shares are still available.

Leave your Passover Seder to the Experts

Looking for restaurants offering Passover Seders?

Prime at the Bentley (500 East 62nd Street at York) AND Solo (550 Madison Avenue btw 55th & 56th Streets) both offer strictly kosher Seders in NYC.

  • Seders will be held both nights. The Seder includes 3 courses, a Seder plate, Hagaddah and option to be with a Rabbi holding a communal Seder ($149/person + tax and tip AND $85/child under 10 years old + tax and tip)
  • Call for reservations. Solo : (212) 833-7800
  • Prime at the Bentley: (212) 933-9733

The Ultimate Passover Gift Box

Add flavor and laughs to your Seder when you bring along or ship ahead Gefilteria‘s fresh, artisanal Gefilte fish, carrot citrus horseradish, sweet beet horseradish (all kosher), a copy of Old Jews Telling Jokes (maybe not so kosher) and a matching apron to humor your host. Click here to order while supply lasts.

Brazilian Cooking Taste and Demo

Leticia Moreinos Schwartz, Brazilian Chef and cookbook author, will demo and share tastes of her Brazilian specialties at a women’s cooking event in Westport, CT. Event will be kosher.

Click here to register. Location will be sent upon registration.

Second Night Seder at Balaboosta

On Tuesday, March 26Th Balaboosta will join forces with Chef David Tanis (New York Times columnist) and Pastry Chef Keren Weiner (Il Buco) to present an inventive second night Seder dinner.

The celebration will include a five course Seder dinner , wine pairings and live music by Shahar Mintz and Naomi Less.

$120 per person including wine pairing

Vegetarian options are available if requested in advance. The lucky afikoman finder will be rewarded, of course!

The festivities begin at 6:30 PM.

e-mail [email protected] for reservations.

Maple Sap is Flowing

Warmer days and cool nights of early spring prompt the sap to flow. Learn about it at

Warrup’s Farm (organic) in Redding, CT. as they demonstrate how sap is collected and made into syrup.

NYC Vegetarian Food Fest

The Metropolitan Pavillion

Click here for more info and a full schedule of vendors and activities for kids and adults.

Jewish Iraqi Kubbeh Pop-Up

The After Hours Kubbeh Project is a pop-up serving Jewish Iraqi comfort food in a creative environment. The Kubbeh Project will live for only 3 weeks at Zucker Bakery in NYC’s East Village. Executive Chef Itamar Lewensohn, Cafe 48, Tel Aviv, will be creating new takes on traditional kubbeh.

All meat is kosher and vegetarian options abound. Click here for more info.

Serving dinner beginning at 6 PM at Zucker Bakery, NYC

March 1-21, 2013

Get this Purim Fete Started

Chef Russell Moss is cooking up sweet and savory combos you’ve never dreamt of for this celebration! Think oven roasted tomatoes with cinnamon and jalepeno, for starters.

Martini pairings will heighten the festive mood, no doubt.

February 22, 7 PM until who knows when…

Nosh, Walk and Learn

Join Context for a walking seminar with docent Jennifer Abadi, chef, cooking instructor and cookbook author on February 12, 10 AM- 1 PM.

This Jewish Cuisine and Culture walk will lead participants to the great culinary landmarks of the Jewish Lower East Side. We’ll be sampling knishes, smoked fish, bialys and pickles that reflect the Jewish immigrant experience in NYC from the early 20thc- 1960’s.

Click here for tix and more info.

Chocolate Lovers Taste for a Great Cause

Calling all chocolate lovers and do gooders! Join in a sweet tasting event at the Fourth Annual Chocolate, Dessert and Wine Lovers’ Evening to benefit the Shelter for the Homeless in Stamford, CT.

Meet local companies, creators and producers.

Stamford Marriott Hotel and Spa

All Under One Roof

Kosher Food and Wine Experience celebrates its seventh annual tasting event. Indulge in noshes from the tri-state’s best kosher restaurants and caterers. Sip on wines and spirits from more than 2oo providers.

Come hungry and ready to whet your whistle!

Winter Harvest Menu at Kosher Pop-Up

Dan and Yair Lenchner are at it again with their seventh pop up restaurant featuring winter harvest ingredients at their best.

Six courses will be served including pan fried sweetbreads with black truffles, smoked short ribs or seared sea trout, wild mushroom dumplings and more. Top it off with grilled pears graced with coconut milk caramel, kataifi, quince and cranberries.

Watch it all come together while eating in the kitchen at The Foundry, Long Island City.

$100 pp including a choice of wines

Date Night Competition

Competitive couples ramp up your creativity and speed as you cook under the watchful eye of The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts‘ master chefs. Bring your game on as you face the market basket you’ll be given. Can you and your partner handle the pressure?

Winners score a $150 gift certificate towards a future class at this kosher culinary school in Brooklyn.

Loaves of Love

Thursday, January 24, 2013

7 PM at Chabad Center, 79 Newtown Turnpike, Westport, CT

Join with other women for this inspirational hands-on challah baking event. Each participant will make 2 challot one for your own Shabbat table and one to share.

This evening is dedicated in loving memory to the precious children who lost their lives in Newtown, CT.

Click here for more info and to register.

Tales from the Kitchen

Savory stories, nosh and schnapps will be served up at Beyond Bubbie‘s star infused event at 92Y/Tribeca, Wednesday January 16 @ 7 PM.

Come hear personal food stories from Mo Rocca, Carla Hall, Joan Nathan and a hilarious cast of others, including you!

Click here for more info and tix.

Gefilte in Stores, Finally!

At last! The Gefilteria‘s small batch, sustainable Gefilte loaves, spicy carrot or beet horseradish and bottled kvass products are available in stores around NYC. These old world, traditional Jewish foods have been re-thought and re-created for modern tastes by the dynamic Brooklyn based team. Click here for store locations. Tasting is believing!

Not By Bread Alone

CREATED & PERFORMED by NALAGA’AT THEATER DEAF-BLIND ACTING ENSEMBLE

In Not by Bread Alone, the world’s only professional deaf-blind acting company takes the audience on a captivating and magical tour of their inner world. As bread is kneaded, formed, and baked on stage, these extraordinary storytellers convey their memories and dreams, mixing reality with fantasy, grandeur with ridicule, in a journey that ignites the senses. Reflecting the daily activity at the company’s own Nalaga’at Center for the Deaf-Blind in Tel Aviv, this unique, immersive experience features a local version of their acclaimed BlackOut Restaurant, operated in complete darkness, and the sign language-only Café Kapish, which will be open 1 hour prior to curtain.

Olio Nuovo Celebration and Tasting

In Italy, olive harvest and crush is cause for celebration.

Enjoy a complimentary tasting flight of just pressed oils at Olivette’s tasting room and shop, Darien, CT. through December 31.

They’ll be sure to walk you through it. You’ll surely love this Italian tradition.

Chinese and a Movie on December 25

Is this your family tradition?

Join other tribe members at 92YTribeca for this movie classic and an all-you-can-eat, sumptuous vegetarian, Kosher buffet provided by Buddha Bodhai.

12:30pm – Doors open
1pm – Back to the Future
3:15pm – Back to the Future Part II
Food from 12:30pm until it is all gone.
Both screenings will be on BluRay.

Ticket Price: $25 in advance/$30 at the door. Click here for more info. and tix.

Saugatuck Grain and Grape Champagne Fundraiser

December 22, 3-8 PM

Saugatuck Grain and Grape, Westport, CT, will be donating at least 10% of proceeds from Bubbles, Bubbles and More Bubbles, champagne tasting, to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

RSVP on their Facebook page and join neighbors and local merchants. A contribution of $5.,to help boost the proceeds, will be requested at the door.

“Let’s Brisket!”

“Let’s Brisket”, is scheduled for Tuesday , December 18, 6PM at the Center for Jewish History, NYC

Mitchell Davis, James Beard Foundation, will moderate a panel exploring brisket history, origins, trends and cooking methods.

A reception featuring Erin Patinkin’s brisket inspired cookies from Ovenly, will follow.

Click here for tix and to see who’s on the panel. You’ll be impressed!

Latkes and Vodkas

Sweets from Cake Suite

Eight layers oozing chocolate ganache for eights nights, rich and buttery Chanukah cookies, challah with white chocolate bits!

Contact Michelle at Cake Suite, Westport, CT, to place your special order for your Chanukah festivities.

Some non-dairy and gluten free items available. Chanukah begins December 8!!

A Venetian Chanukah

Cooking Demonstration and Tasting with Alessandra Rovati, food historian, cook and writer at www.dinnerinvenice.com.

Wednesday December 5, 7 PM.

Learn about Chanukah traditions, taste the unique flavors of this Italian region, and learn to make items your family will be wow’ed by!

Click here for more information and to register for this delicious evening in Westport, CT. Location will be disclosed upon registration.

Hudson Valley Veggies and Berries

WinterSunFarms Winter CSA Pickup at Wakeman Town Farm, Westport, CT

December to April, Second Thursday 1-7pm Dates: 12/13, 1/10, 2/14, 3/14, 4/11

WINTER CSA may include: Sweet Corn, Butternut Squash Puree, Green Beans, Peppers, Tomato, Blueberries and Pea Shoots. All veggies and fruits were harvested at Hudson Valley farms this summer. Crops were flash frozen to provide summer freshness all winter long while supporting local farmers.

For more info and sign up click www.wintersunfarms.com and check Westport, CT as your pickup point!

Make Your Feast Local

Special Thanksgiving Market Day for Connecticut locavores seeking the freshest ingredients and prepared dishes from our favorite vendors!

Arrive early on Wednesday, November 21 at the Westport Farmers’ Market, for best selection

10-2, Imperial Avenue commuter lot

Westport, CT.

Hear the Sizzle

Is your latke making style nouveau or more like Bubby’s?

Mail your favorite latke recipe to [email protected] by November 19. The winner will fry ’em up on December 10 at the Fourth Annual Latke Festival at BAM and win a Breville Scraper Mixer Pro Stand.

Check out the tasty company you’ll be in and get frying!

Eat, Drink and Think Like… Leonardo da Vinci

Learn about Leonardo’s Milan in 1495 and taste historically accurate foods and wine with Jane Tylus, NYU Professor and Italian Renaissance specialist, and Ross King, author, Leonardo and the Last Supper, 2012. Click here for info./tix. November 4, 2012- 2-4:30 at the 92Y Tribeca, NYC. Edibles prepared by 92YTribeca Executive Chef Russell Moss.

Pre-program kick-off:
Pine nut butter cookies
Coffee and tea

Post-talk reception:
Tile fish with lemon, butter and orange
Roasted mushroom crustini
Bread salad with parmesan cheese mint, thyme and parsley
Blackberries and honey
Italian wine

Give Back During Foodie Fest

Greenmarket Table Class and Lunch

Join Melissa Roberts for a hands-on cooking class highlighting ingredients sourced from the Westport Farmers’ Market. This 3 course Autumnal celebration will incorporate fruits and veggies that may not be on your radar yet. We’ll eat it together, and learn how to navigate the market and take advantage of the season’s bounty. Lunch will be kosher and vegetarian/dairy.

October 25, 11:30-1:30 at Chabad of Westport

Class is being held at 159 Kings Highway North. Click here to register.

Haute Truck Food

Are you hankering to taste dishes that temp you from food trucks you pass each day? Dan and Yair Lenchner are hosting another pop-up kosher event at The Foundry in Long Island City on October 17. They’ll be cooking up selection of haute street food in their kosher catering kitchen with the likes of Israeli Sebich, Indian Meen Mapas, Tunisian potato brik, Mexican fish tacos, Jamaican jerked sea bass and more. Wine, global beer and cocktail selection included. For reservations and more info contact [email protected]

Community Plates Fall Ball

Community Plates is hosting a blowout of a party, on October 9, to raise much needed funds for their efforts. Check out their mission to connect surplus food from restaurants and other sources to food-insecure households in CT. Learn more and buy tickets here.

Sukkot Over Manahattan

Just in time for Sukkot, Prime at The Bentley is popping up on the rooftop! A 60 person Sukkah,with 360 degree views of Manhattan on the scenic UES, is Prime’s latest digs. Enjoy the views while indulging in tasty Kosher culinary treats including sushi, crudo offerings and Mediteranean fish straight from the charcoal grill. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Call: 212-933-9733 for reservations.

The Heat Is ON!

92STY Street Fest (Lexington Ave. between 79th-95th)

Street Fest Sunday, September 23, 2012, 12-5. Tong to tong contest at 1:00.

Come taste the 3 top kosher grill recipes in NYC !

Sample and Savor CT.’s Local Flavor

Celebrate the freshness of CT. farm fresh foods during Farm-To-Chef Week, September 16-22. Click here for list of participating restaurants. Among them are a couple of veg and raw favorites, including Bloodroot and Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe.

Pharoah’s Daughter

Middle Eastern syncopation meets hip chick world music vibe as Batya Schecter and Pharoah’s Daughter comes to CT.

Saturday, Sept. 8 @8:3o PM, open to the public and free

Under the stars at the Levitt Pavilion, Westport

Rain Location: Conservative Synagogue, 30 Hillspoint Rd., Westport

Gefilte Talk

“Deconstructing Jewish culinary mythology one dish at a time.”

We’ll be re-thinking it and tasting it in advance of Rosh Hashanah. Mitchell Davis, James Beard Foundation, will moderate the panel of artisanal gefilte makers and chefs.

Center for Jewish History, NYC. September 6 at 6 PM. Click Gefilte Talk for more info and tix.

Register now for Hazon Food Conference

2012 Hazon Food Conference, December 6-9, 2012 (Hanukkah), Falls Village, CT

The Hazon Food Conference explores the intersections of Jewish tradition and contemporary food issues, with the goal of supporting leaders to create healthier and more sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond. This annual event brings together passionate people who are working for sustainable food systems in their own lives, communities, nationally and abroad. Come learn and be inspired!

REGISTER now for pre-Labor Day discount.

Doc’s Organic Maple Syrup

The Westport Arts Center winds up their Lunch-Escape series on the deck on 8/22, 12:30-1:30. Lunch is available, along with a convo about local producers.

Join Dottie from Doc’s Organic Maple Syrup, along with Westport Farmers’ Market Manager, Lori Cochran Dougall, as they explore topics pertaining to organic and the local food scene.

Kugel Comfort

The First Annual World Kugel Day Festival will include a kugel cook-off and lots of tastings to the tunes of Rocky Mountain Jewgrass. Anyone who can attend at the Mizel Museum in Denver, AUGUST 19, 2-5 PM, please let me know!

CT Farm Tour At Your Own Pace

The 4th Annual Easton Farm Tour will take place on AUGUST 11, 10-3. Enjoy a self-guided tour to more than 10 farms and enjoy petting zoo, pony rides, tastings, farm stands and pick your own. Celebrate local!

SONO Bakery Owner Shares

SONO Bakery owner, John Barricelli, will share baking secrets, and nibbles at the Westport Arts Center during their Lunch-Escapes series, Wednesday, August 8. The gathering meets on the deck, overlooking the Saugatuck River, 12:30-1:30 and it’s free. Consider buying his beautiful and thorough book, The Sono Company Baking Cookbook, and support your local bakery.

Farm to Table Dinner Tickets for Sale

Local chefs will serve up their most creative and freshest fare at the First Farm to Table Dinner at Wakeman Farm, Westport, CT, on September 15.

Area farmers and vendors are donating the goods so that funds may be directed to continue implementing and expanding youth and community programming.

Tix are on sale Friday, August 3 . Hurry! This is one party you will not want to miss.

Hello Out There on the Left Coast!

Herzog Wine Cellars presents another International Food and Wine Event at the winery in Oxnard, CA.

A wide range of extraordinary wines will be paired with the best bites from the on site, highly acclaimed, kosher Tierra Sur restaurant. Buy tix for the August 2 event early and let me know how it is!

The Gefilteria in the Old Neighborhood

The Gefilteria will take the Hester Street Fair by storm with their Old World Sampler Plate on July 28 and August 11, 10-6. These “purveyors of boutique gefilte and old world Jewish foods” are about more than just pickles!

Teens Cook Kosher

The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts (CKCA) will be teaching teens to cook, over 5 days in NYC. Session runs August 6-10 and will focus on technique, skill development and deliciousness, culminating in a cook-off to rock the UES. Check out their other offerings, too.

Nuts for this Product

I’m in love with these nut butter products! Jason’s is available in jars and single pack squeezables. They’re perfect for camp lunches and pocketbooks. And more: they’re Kosher, GF, vegan, dairy free, GMO free and delicious. Click here to find them.

Learn to Put “Em Up

Learn about canning and preserving farm fresh veggies on July 14 as Sherri Brooks Vinton, author of PUT “EM UP, conducts 3 hands on workshops. All sessions are at Sport Hill Farm, Easton.

Lunch will be catered by Chef Cecily Gans, The Main Course, LLC. Cost: $55. Register early.

Home Baked Flavor from a Mix

Tribes-A-Dozen has just released a product called: Voila! Hallah Egg Bread Mixes. Three varieties, Traditional, Wholey Wheat and Simply Spelt, will keep your guests guessing how you manage it all while spending the day at the beach. And it’s certified OU, parave.

Lunch-Escapes in Westport, CT

The Westport Farmers’ Market and Westport Arts Center are partnering on select Wednesdays this summer to present interactive workshops with local food, farm and gardening experts. Check WAC’s site to see the line-up.

Lunch offerings by DuSoleil round out the mid-day break by the Saugatuck River. Don’t forget to visit the art gallery, too.

Mark your calendars: June 27, July 11, July 25, August 8, August 22.

You Shop. Westport Farmers’ Market Benefits.

Dutch Herring Season

It’s a short season for New Catch Dutch Herring, the lightly cured, clean and briny treat available at Russ and Daughters in NYC. Down these small fillets with chopped sweet Vidalia onion and Cornichon pickles while imagining the pushcarts that sold them when our grandparents lived in the same neighborhood.

Al Fresco over the Saugatuck River

Chef/Owner John Holzwarth presents plenty of great choices for veg lovers at the Boathouse Restaurant in Westport, CT. Check out this sublime salmon with a medley of beets, pea shoots, radishes, heirloom bean and kumquats. Local and Seasonal whenever possible. The view of the Saugatuck River, from the balcony, can not be beat.

Tour Talk Taste Local Honey

What makes honey taste like sweet and buttery blueberry blossom? Come learn and taste with Marina Marchese, local beekeeper and honey sommelier. Register for “A Taste of East Coast Terroir” at Red Bee Apiary, Weston, CT. on June 10, 1-3. I’ll be there!

Decadent No-Bake Brigadeiro

Brazilian Chef, Leticia Schwartz, will be teaching lucky Macy’s shoppers how to make Brigadeiro on June 7, @ 1 PM, NYC. Indulge in these fudgy chocolate treats while learning about Brazilian cheese bread and Caipirinhas, limey summer cocktails. Click to learn more about Leticia’s class offerings in CT.and NYC and her book, The Brazilian Kitchen: 100 Classic and Contemporary Recipes for the Home Cook.

Technology and Perserverance

“The U.N. chose the Arava region as a global model for agricultural eduction on saving water.” Here’s why:

There are 600 farms supplying 60% of total Israeli exports in the 112 mile strip of desert between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. Miracle? More.…

Chocolate Fest and Tasting

Sunday, June 3, 7:30 PM at the 92Y!

Culinary historian, Alexandra Leaf says to expect “long established award winners and newcomers in celebration of the beauty and wonder of chocolate.” Unique pairings with wine and cheese will be offered, also. I’ll be there, for sure. Click here for more info. and tickets.

Real Food, Real Farmers

Westport Farmers’ Market is opening for the season on Thursday, May 24 with an all organic and GMO free line up of farmers, small producers, local chefs and community service events. Meet your neighbors and your farmers as you shop and shmooze!

The World of Jewish Cooking

Join culinary historian Gil Marks and writer and cookbook author, Leah Koenig in conversation about Jewish culinary history, holidays,and what’s cooking in the world of Jewish Foods. Click here for more info and to buy tix for this May 15 event at 92Y.

Ode to Israel’s Locavore

Hanoch Bar Shalom, one of the first and greatest champions of using the freshest local ingredients found in Israel, has died. Read Liel Leibovitz’ beautiful essay about why he was so great.

Soul Food from the Middle East

Syrian chef and author, Jennifer Abadi is teaching a 2 part vegetarian class focusing on the flavor packed regions of the Near and Middle East. Learn to make Syrian yellow squash pie with cucumber yogurt sauce and Turkish yogurt cake with semolina and lemon zest, among many other items. Class begins May 21 at ICE, NYC.

Foodstock at Wesleyan

Wesleyan University is gathering food bloggers and writers for Foodstock on Sat. May 5, 9-5. I’ll schedule around the breakout session called, “From lokshen to lomein: the Jewish love affair with Chinese food”. Presenters at the fest include Dorie Greenspan, Ruth Reichl, Jane Stern, Amy Bloom and other luminaries in the food universe.

Ladino Offers Up Tapas and More

Chef Alexandre Petard has opened Ladino Tapas Bar and Grill in Columbus Circle, NYC. He’s offering Kosher, Latin fusion and waking up the ‘hood with bright flavors drawn from South America.

Can’t Get Enough Basil?

Israeli company, Hishtil, has figured out a way to grow a basil tree that will live approximately five years. No more pining away for fresh basil in the winter. Read it here.


Brisket in Wine Sauce

Nothing compares to the rich flavor of brisket, and this recipe couldn&apost be simpler to prepare - a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

When cooking with wine you don&apost want to use actual cooking wine, it&aposs best to find a bottle of an affordable wine that you wouldn&apost mind drinking.  Try a mixed case of budget-friendly kosher wines, you might even find a bargain wine you really like. 

Ingredients

  • 1 (2½-pound) beef brisket, thick-cut
  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1½ cups ketchup
  • 1½ cups dry red wine
  • 1½ cups water

Preparation

2. Rinse brisket and place in roasting pan.

3. Rub paprika, basil, salt and pepper into meat. Scatter onions and garlic over meat.

4. In a medium bowl, mix together ketchup, wine, and water. Pour over brisket.

5. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil, tenting so the foil does not touch the meat.

6. Bake, covered, at 325°F for 3 hours, or until a digital thermometer inserted into the center of the brisket reads 190°F.

7. Let stand at least 15 minutes before slicing against the grain. Serve warm, with pan juices poured over the meat or served on the side.



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