Posts Tagged ‘food’

Braised Short Ribs with Dried Fruit

Posted: December 9, 2011 in Food
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This was dinner last Friday night.  I posted a picture on Facebook and a few people asked me for the recipe so I decided I’d put it up here. Since I never actually wrote down a recipe for this and was improvising at the time, bear in mind that cooking is are and not science.


1.5 kg Short Ribs (What the Israelis call Asado)

Braised Short Ribs with Dried Fruit

Braised Short Ribs with Dried Fruit served with mashed potatoes

20 shallots, peeled

1 head garlic, peeled

20 dried apricots, quartered

10 seedless prunes, quartered

1/4 cup craisins

1 cup Jack Daniels

1/4 cup honey


3 whole cloves

20 whole peppercorns

6 whole allspice

Salt, pepper, vegetable oil


Heat a medium sized pot (it needs to be big enough to hold all the ingredients).  While the pot is heating, season the ribs with salt and pepper.  Once the pot is very hot, put about 1 tbsp of oil in (don’t worry if it starts smoking – the pot should be that hot!) and then sear the ribs on all sides to a nice brown color.  Once the ribs are brown on all sides, take them out and put them on a plate.  Put the shallots in and brown them on all sides, add in the garlic and then the fruit.  Add the whiskey and then put the ribs back in.  Put in the honey and add water until the ribs are covered.  Put in the peppercorns, allspice and cloves.  Bring to a boil and then simmer on a very low heat for about 2.5 hours.  If the level of the liquids drops too low, add more water until the meat is covered.  If, when the meat is done there is still a lot of liquid, bring the heat back to high and reduce the liquid.

Holiday Recipe – Matzo Brie

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Family, Food
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This is the traditional breakfast for Jewish families everywhere during Passover. It’s essentially French toast made from matzo. Personally, I like to eat it with jelly. My wife – for some reason – likes to eat it with cottage cheese. Every family has it’s own recipe and tweaks. This is the recipe that my father taught me when I was just a kid.


  • 1 board matzo
  • 1 egg
  • hot water
  • Salt, pepper, oil
  • Directions

  • Soak the matzo in the hot water until it is softened. Strain.
  • Add the egg to the matzo and mix well. Season to taste.
  • Fry in the oil until golden brown on both sides.
  • Comments
  • This is a minimum recipe. 1 board of matzo is probably a bit too much for one person, but not enough for two people. Just do some math to figure out who many is right for your table. I generally use 3/4 boards of matzo per person (ie – one board for 1 person, 2 for 2 people, and 3 for either 3 or 4 people.)
  • Some families like to serve it up us big pieces – either making pancake size individual ones, or large ones and cutting a piece for each person. My family tradition is to cut it up like scrambled eggs.
  • Unlike french toast – where I make different batters for sweet and savory – this works well with either jelly or a more savory topping like cottage cheese. Choose whatever you like.
  • This is the one time of year where I really hate living in Israel.  I understand that the large majority of the population is Jewish.  I understand that a fair percentage of that population keeps kosher for Passover.  But not everyone does.  I don’t understand why the sale of products that aren’t kosher for Passover are outlawed.  Shouldn’t I – as an adult – be able to buy a beer if I want?  The other 358 days of the year I can – but for this week, it’s illegal to sell one.  If I want bread, well I guess I’d better bake it myself – that’s the only way I’m really going to be able to find it.  I can understand the major supermarkets – which only sell kosher products – making the transition.  But the ones that don’t keep kosher still have to take the products off the shelf.

    In this modern day of choice and freedom – why is such a basic choice – like what to eat – being regulated by the government?  I’m not saying I’m going to eat that bread (OK. I probably will but that’s besides the point.) but why, if I want to go to a non-kosher restaurant and order a BLT do I have to get it on Matzo?  It’s time to go to the supermarket and stock up on cereal, bread and flour – because next week there’ll be none to be found.


  • 4 Chicken Breasts, in cutlets
  • Tomato Sauce
  • 1 loaf bread, cut into cubes
  • 2-3 stems of basil, leaves only
  • 2-3 stems of oregano, leaves only
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • flour (for dredging the chicken)
  • oil (for frying)
  • 3 balls fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • Put bread, herbs, garlic, Parmesan, salt and pepper into a food processor and chop until you have uniform bread crumbs.
  • Beat the eggs with a little bit of salt and pepper
  • Season the chicken with a little bit of salt and pepper
  • Dredge the chicken through the flour making sure that each cutlet has an even, thin coating.
  • Dredge the chicken through the egg, letting all excess egg drip off
  • Dredge the chicken through the breadcrumbs making sure that each cutlet has an even coating.
  • Heat about 1cm oil in a frying pan until it is nice and hot (if you drop a cube of bread in, bubbles should start forming almost immediately)
  • Fry the chicken cutlets until golden brown on both sides.
  • Coat the base of a roasting pan with tomato sauce
  • Place the chicken cutlets in the roasting pan and cover them (don’t smother – you should see the brown around the edges) with tomato sauce.
  • Place the cheese on top of the cutlets – you should be able to see the tomato sauce on the cutlet after you place the cheese.
  • Bake in a pre-heated 180C oven for about 20 minutes – until the cheese starts to brown.
  • For Kosher alternatives – you can use eggplant instead of chicken. If you do, slightly salt the egplant slices and let them sit for a few minutes before dredging in flour.

    This is one of my family’s favorite recipes. I tend to serve it with spaghetti – or some other pasta – in the same tomato sauce. Because my family likes the fried chicken cutlets so much, I tend to make 2-3kg of chicken cutlets and then freeze what didn’t make it into the roasting pan – we just reheat it later and eat. While I tend to like making my own bread crumbs you can use store bought. If you do use store bought -get unseasoned and add the seasoning yourself. The seasoning of the breadcrumbs can have a big effect on flavor – just make sure that any herbs you use (whether fresh or dried) are chopped extremely fine.
    Bon apetit! 

  • While I must admit it took me a while (and tweets from a lot of different people) before I actually saw it, this has to be one of the best videos I’ve seen on YouTube for a while. While obviously these parents have way too much time on their hands to be able to something like this, I must admire the creativity it took to put together. When I went to YouTube to copy the link I saw that it had well over 2.3 million views so far. Rovio must be proud. Instructions for making the cake can be found at  So with no further adieu, bon apetit and let the games begin!

    Making a good pizza

    Posted: February 2, 2011 in Food
    Tags: , ,

    It’s been a month and I haven’t even done one food post.  Shame on me.  This is dedicated to all the people in my twitter feed who were talking about making pizzas yesterday.  I’m not going to give any recipes (unless I get requests) just some tips.


    The most important part of the pizza is…the crust.  Here are some things you have to do to get a good crust on a pizza.  First you have to roll the dough thin – good pizza has the dough rolled out to about 1/8th of an inch (3mm).  Next – don’t put on too much – the more you put on the less bubbles there will be (and the bubbles are yummy!  Make sure to leave some margins for that crisp edge, I try to leave about 1 inch free of sauce and toppings around the circle.  nd finall – and most importantly – use a pizza stone.  A pizza stone is – for those of you who don’t know – a stone that you put in the oven about 30 minutes before you put the pizza in (while the oven is hot) and it helps to simulate a pizza oven.   Ideally you put the pizza directly on the stone (this is why in pizzerias they use the metal nets) and you’ll get a great crust.

    Next you have sauce and toppings.  Make the sauce you like.  I’m from NY and the pizza sauce there tends to be a sweet basic tomato sauce.  If you want to use store bought, go for it, but make sure it’s one you like.  I would highly discourage the use of sauces with mushrooms or peppers or the like – toppings go on top of the cheese, not below.  Use the toppings you like – but sparingly.  The more things you put on the pizza, the less the dough will rise in baking, be aware of how much you put on.  Also, if you put on too many individual items, you lose the individual flavors and it all becomes a blob.

    Pizza is probably the most individual food we have – everyone loves it and everyone loves it a different way.  Making pizza isn’t hard and can be a lot of fun – it’s a great thing to do with the kids.  Have fun and bon apetit.