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The Evolution of Jack’s Gourmet Kosher...

 

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In many ways, Jack Silberstein is like many young chefs living Brooklyn’s hip neighborhoods.  With his small beard, fashionable dress sense, and love of obscure meats, as well as his top-notch education at the Culinary Institute of America, Silberstein could be any trendy Brooklyn chef.  But there is one main thing that sets Silberstein apart: he doesn’t work in a restaurant kitchen.  At one point, Silberstein and his business partner, Dr. Alan Broner, were planning a kosher restaurant serving gourmet kosher cured meats, such as chorizo and Italian sausage that Silberstein had been developing.  But they soon realized that the items they had created could be so much more than just a deli.

Jack’s Gourmet hit the first grocery store shelves in 2010.  Starting with five varieties of sausage, plus corned beef and pastrami, Silberstein and Broner relied on word of mouth to get their products noticed.  At Kosherfest, Jack’s Gourmet handed out thousands of samples; besides for being the most talked-about company there, they also walked away with an award for Best New Product and interest from dozens of grocery store buyers.


 

Party Platters In 20 Minutes Or Less

 

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Last year I judged a food competition at the Nachum Segal Network. We had a blast and it was a fun, food-oriented competition among the talented staff at the network. The competition was close. The winner of the Chopped-style competition beat his competitors simply because of ONE unique item he produced: he made the most incredible pickled shallots. It was that one component on his plate that put him in the lead. This reflects a secret of many chefs and party planners. You don’t need to spend lengthy amounts of time making every component. Use fresh, store-bought ingredients and focus your energy on that ONE amazing component and you will have immediate success and awesome feedback from your guests.


 

Decorating Donuts

 

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No time to make homemade doughnuts but want to make a home run party??

Luckily, there are lots of ways to dress up store bought doughnuts.


 

Kosher Sausage Recipe Challenge: Vote and Submit

 

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KOSHER SAUSAGE & JACK’S GOURMET

In recent years, kosher sausage options have expanded tremendously, due to the diligent work of Chef Jack Silberstein and Dr. Alan Broner, co-founders of Jack’s Gourmet. In 2010, Jack Silberstein, a highly successful chef, introduced a variety of ethnic-flavored sausages to the kosher market. These included Sweet Italian, Hot Italian, Mexican-style Chorizo, Bratwurst and Boerewors. Through the years, Jack’s Gourmet has continued to revolutionize the kosher palate with gourmet offerings such as Facon, Spicy Italian-Style Salami, old-world Corned Beef and Pastrami, and a variety of nitrite-free sausage patties and burgers. The general philosophy of Jack’s Gourmet is to use quality ingredients and avoid gluten, MSG, fillers, byproducts, and artificial ingre- dients, which explains the loyal customers and many accolades the company receives. In line with their mission to continually introduce new flavors to the kosher con- sumer’s palate, Jack’s Gourmet has recently released an all-new flavor which premiered this fall: Beef Merguez Sausage.


 

Betting On Winter Greens

 

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Wen I was studying to become a dietitian and cramming for an exam, I followed the mantra “bet on green” whenever I was unsure of an answer on a test. Packed with dozens of vitamins and minerals, it was hard to go wrong then, and even now, I still bet on green. With the winter approaching, most of the colorful tomatoes, corn and squashes begin to disappear off the supermarket shelves, replaced by bright leafy winter greens. Winter greens are green-leafed vegetables, hardy enough to thrive in the colder winter weather. They include chard, collards, mustard greens, escarole, kale and beet greens, among many others. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals and phy- tonutrients, which may help prevent heart disease and cancer.


In 2009, The Center for Science in the Public Interest (a nationally recognized not-for-profit research organization where I used to work) ranked nearly 85 vegetables in order of highest to lowest nutrient content and found kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, and Swiss chard in the top five.


 

Drinking In Fall Colors

 

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Use colors and flavors to infuse fall into your beverages.  The following cocktails look the part; they play on our fall sensibilities by playing off the harvest season in terms of their tastes, colors and connections to our traditions. They can be made into mocktails by leaving out the alcohol and increasing the amount of the mixer so everyone can lift a glass together.

All cocktails make one serving. To make multiple shots for a group and save yourself a lot of time, increase the proportions accordingly and make a bunch at once. Just make sure to shake long enough to chill the entire mixture down.


 

Spicing Up Tradition, Santa Fe Style!

 

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In this multi-cultural melting pot, one enterprising family endeavors to bring a uniquely “New Mexican” spin to generations-old Ashkenazi and Sephardi recipes.


 

Ancient Pans for Modern Flavors

 

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It’s not that I don’t love my mother; she is great. She is smart, interesting, accomplished and fun to be with.  It’s just that she has this annoying habit of recalling my past mistakes and exclaiming: “I told you so!”

It all started in the eighties when I was a know-it-all teenager, and decided to embark on a modernization spree. The first step was imposing the purchase of a microwave oven and a Braun food processor (my mother continued to whisk her mayonnaise by hand, and used the microwave to store cooking books). Next was my “upgrade” from aluminum and cast-iron pans to stainless steel and non-stick Teflon. Still polite, condescending silence (after all, if that was the extent of my teenage rebellion, she considered herself lucky).


 

Using and Taking Care of Copper Pots

 

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What home cook hasn’t dreamed of owning an extravagantly expensive copper cookware set and feeling like a romantic French chef in a Paris kitchen? Let’s admit it: even if you don’t cook at all, such a shiny and gorgeous set would make your kitchen look designer fabulous! In addition to adding a decorative flair, copper conducts heat better than any other material, propagating the heat quickly but evenly through the whole utensil, without any of those annoying burns you get with stainless steel. Copper also lasts practically forever, and like cast iron and clay it boosts the flavor of some particular foods.

And how could I not mention polenta, the symbol of cucina povera (peasant cooking) in Northern Italy – which has recently made inroads in the trendiest New York City restaurants? A basic cornmeal and water mush served on a wooden cutting board, delicious with hearty stews or artisanal cheeses, the best polenta is always made in a heavy-gauge unlined copper pot with flared sides, a paiolo. It’s hard to explain, but the “flavor” of copper is part of “real” polenta, and lends it a depth that’s a
far cry from the blandness of any prepackaged and instant versions.


 

Tips For Cooking With Terracotta Earthenware

 

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When I was little, I remember my Nonna telling me that clay “remembers” all the delicious dishes that are cooked in it, so the older and the more “used’ the pot is, the tastier the result. I would have laughed this off as an old wives’ tale – but my mom, who is a pharmaceutical chemist, confirms that it’s all true, thanks to the porous nature of clay. This means, she adds, that (no matter how gorgeous my authentic Tuscan cookware is, and how many cooking classes I teach) my stew is never going to taste as good as it would have in our family heirloom (one’s I threw away as a rebellious teen).

People have been cooking in clay utensils since the beginnings of time. From Morocco to Italy, from Mexico to Japan, terracotta is favored for slow cooked preparations, from minestrone to stew, from legumes to meat sauces. Unlike metals, earthenware heats up extremely slowly, and releases the heat to its contents just as slowly! So much so, that the food keeps cooking for a while once the heat is turned off.


 

Cocktails Of The Carribbean

 

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Generalizing about “Caribbean cuisine” is difficult once you recognize that the region is actually a mass of islands, most of which have been owned and occupied by various european countries. Over the years, these invaders have added their own flavors, spices and vegetation to the native landscape:

Rum, the undisputed regional spirit of choice, is distilled from the sugarcane that Christopher Columbus brought over to the new World. The spanish were also responsible for introducing the coconut and pineapple to the West Indies. When you look at things this way, the most famous island drink, The Pina Colada, really owes its origins to spain!


 

3 Recipes For The Perfect Burger

 

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There is nothing like a juicy burger, all siz- zling and crackling right off the grill to get the appetite going. I love grilling season and will arm wrestle my husband to see who gets to do the honors.

The Perfect Burger


 

Burgers 101

 

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For such a simple, classic sandwich, there are a surprising number of competing theories on how to make the perfect burger. Chef Mike Gershkovich insists that a true hamburger is made from 100% ground beef. But over at Pomegranate, Brooklyn’s most prestigious supermarket, “meatologist” Ari Heinemann disagrees. At Pomegranate, the most popular ground beef blend is the so-called Perfect Burger, a closely guarded secret recipe involving salt, onion powder, soy sauce and minced onions. And at Wolf & Lamb, Chef Daniel favors a simple mix of salt, pepper, garlic and onion— “seasonings that enhance the natural flavor of the meat, and don’t compete with it,” as Wuensch explained. Both Heinemann and Gershkovich recommend using ground chuck, an affordable and reliable choice.

At Wolf & Lamb, the chefs put aside scraps as they trim top-notch meat cuts like rib-eye and ribs, and then grind those scraps into their famous rib-eye burgers— Wuensch recommends home cooks try the same trick for an affordable way to have burgers made of top-quality meat.


 

A Better Burger – Talking With Chefs

 

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Picture yourself at a barbecue on a lazy summer afternoon. With one hand, you hold a frosty beer; with the other, you bite into a thick, juicy hamburger. Soft bun meets juicy tomato, crunchy pickle and savory, beefy burger in that one perfect bite — THE TASTE OF SUMMER…

That is, at least in theory. Far too often, the burgers I find at backyard barbecues are little more than crusty, blackened pucks of meat drowning in ketchup and mustard. Meanwhile, the humble hamburger is enjoying a haute-cuisine revival at kosher restaurants in New York and across the country.


 

Hybrid Fruits: 3 Pluot Recipes

 

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Pluots are a hybrid of a plum and an apricot and only make an appearance during the summer.

We are thrilled to be presenting you with a true summer fruit and several ways to use it. There are many varieties of pluots, mostly origi- nating from California, and each farm gives their crop a unique name — ranging from Dinosaur Eggs, Flavor Grenade, Dapple Dandy and Flavorglo, just to name a few. Pluots are sweet and juicy with a pink/red interior. They are full of vitamins A and C, and about 40 to 80 calories. Use pluots as you would plums.