Tuesday, October 17, 2006

EBBP #6 Parcel Received from Real Epicurean

Today when I left my house I finally saw that I got the post office notice letting me know I have a package waiting for me. I could not resist and though I was awfully late for work I decided to go fetch it! I was very impatient to see what I got. There were two packages from Scott at Real Epicurean The first thing which really excited me was to see "Royal Mail" print on the box. I am such an anglophil that anything that has to do with the UK just moves me (I know it might sound stupid but since I was 12 I am just in love with the English culture and people).
Anyhow, I was running very late so stopped a cab and could not wait for the moment I will get to work and finally open my two!!! Parcels.
So what have I got??? (I will add pictures later, don't have the camera with me)
Although Scott keeps apologizing for not having much time to put into this parcel, I still find it awesome and exciting!
I got: Hobgoblin Ale which Scott tells me is one of the finest beers in England. Normally I don't drink beer, but this I will have to try. I am not a great connoisseur of beer/ale but I definitely have to develop this skill, so this is a good starting point! Thank you Scott... Besides I collect special bottles, so I will definitely add this bottle to my collection, because it signifies my first EBBP :)
The second item was Lincoln & York Coffee It seems like a very good one, and it is perfect for me as I drink a lot of coffee and I just bought my first Stovetop espresso maker, I can't wait to try this coffee in the new coffee maker.
The third item is Pipers Crisps - It brought a smile upon my face as it is very English to eat crisps and drink beer... I also love the packaging with the cows on it, and the idea they are produced only 6 miles away from Scott's house.

The fourth item is Polish Sauerkraut - a reminder of Scott's Polish wife Malgosia. It is funny as I am 1/4 Polish myself, I think my father would be delighted to eat some Original Polish Sauerkraut, as he hardly ever get to eat Polish food since he married my mother. Cheers for that!!!
The Fifth item - which I am very eager to try is the Patteson's Chutney. This is also the fist time I will have Chutney at home, I love to eat it but never bought or prepared one at home. Many thanks to Scott and Malgosia for a LOVELY parcel of their local foods, made me very very happy, can't wait to get home and open all the jars and packages.
And of course thanks to Johanna for organizing this round of EBBP, go read the roundup its lovely!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

PASTIS another culinary stroke of genius

I think I never been to two very good meals in two very good restaurants in such proximity as last Sunday and last Monday.
Last Sunday evening I went to Nanuchka (which I wrote about in my last post) and last Monday I went to PASTIS
I had to organize a farewell event for my boss and the idea was to have an Art Gallery Tour and to end it in one of Rothschild's blv. Restaurants. The boulevard on its on is beautiful, it is one of the nicest streets in Tel Aviv where there are many "BAUHAUS" houses. (In 2003 Tel Aviv was announced to be a world heritage center for the Bauhaus architecture movement). You might read more about it in UNESCO's site, as well as on the "White City" home page, I find it very interesting. Due to this award many of the houses have been renovated in Tel Aviv and with the renovation many new places were open. Rothschild street as I mentioned already is full of good restaurants and Cafe's. I had so many options to choose from but decided to go for PASTIS. I heard and read many good critics on this place, especially about their sea food dishes that I had to try.
Since we were 12 I had to arrange with the place a special table. The restaurant manager was extremely nice and gave me a real good offer for lunch. We could not eat "a la cart" because it would be difficult for the kitchen. Instead he gave me the loveliest menu which consisted of 4 types of starters (in the middle of the table) a choice of 8 main courses (each of us could choose whatever he/she preferred) and 3 types of deserts also in the middle of the table.
Everything was extremely delicious!!!
I particularly loved their Pate dish served with fig vinaigrette. For my main course I chose their bass filet which had an extremely delicious rich cream sauce. The deserts were all memorable (you know me I have a sweet tooth...) We got 3 GORGEOUS deserts: Tiramisu (I never ate such a good tiramisu in my entire life), Pavlova and Chocolate Bomb (chocolate ball filled with cream brulee). All of us agreed that the meal was excellent, and we didn't even try their specialite (sea food)... So add PASTIS to your list of restaurants you must visit when you come to Israel!
Pastis: 73 Rothschild st. Tel Aviv 972-3-5250773

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

EBBP # 6 Update

I am sooo excited!!!
Jeanne at Cooksister has just received my parcel and blogged about it in her very eloquent fashion, she also took pictures of what I have sent and it is quite exciting to see something you sent described and photographed by someone you don't know at all... I am touched!!! And in general very enthusiastic about this whole EBBP idea!!!
Here is the AWAME recipe I sent Jeanne along with my parcel:
For the dough:
4 cups all purpose flour
15 gr. dry yeast/ 30 gr. instant yeast
3/4 cup corn flour
3 table spoon sugar
1/2 tea spoon salt
2 cups water in room temperature
Oil for deep frying

For the syrup:
3 cups sugar
2 cups water
Juice from one lemon
A few drops of rose water

1. Prepare the syrup ahead by cooking the water the sugar and the lemon juice on a medium heat, add the rose water at the end after you remove it from the stove.
2.The dough: put all the ingredients in a bowl kneed until receiving a smooth mixture. Let the mixture rest until it doubles in size. After the dough has doubled beat it for two minutes, let it raise again and after it doubled beat again for 2 minutes (total of 3 times you mix and let it rest).
3.Heat the oil, take some of the mixture with a tea spoon, and use another tea spoon to slip it into the oil (you might wanna grease the tea spoon so that the mixture won't stick). Fry the little balls until they receive a golden color. Remover from the oil and leave outside so that the extra oil will drop off (I normally use a strainer), then put the balls in the syrup and serve either warm or cold…. People can't resist them!

Hopefully my parcel will arrive soon - I can't wait to see what I'll get...Andd then I could blog about it!

I was asked by Simonetta to give the recipe for thecinnamonn pistachio cookies.
It is a recipe by Karin Goren who gained real fame in Israel lately with the publication of her lovely desert cook book, (it is in Hebrew so no point of linking to it really).

240 gr. soft butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 spoons honey or silan
3 egg yolks
3 cups allpurposee flour
2 tea spoon cinnamon
1 tea spoon mincedcardamomn (or ginger - in powder)
1 tea spoon baking soda
1/4 tea spoon salt
1 cup pealed pistachios

1. Mix butter, sugar, honey (or Silan)and egg yolks in the foodprocessorr.
2. In a bowl mix all the dryingredientss excluding the pistachios, add the dryingredientss to the mix of the butter (stage 1). Mix it in pulses not in acontinuouss press, untilreceivingg crumby mixture. Add the pistachios and kneed the dough until you get a dough ball.
3. Roll the dough into long cylinders (3 cm in diameter), wrap each cylinder with a clingfilm and put in the freeze for an hour. (You can also leave it in the freeze for as long as you want and each time bake just a few cookies).
4. Warm an oven for 180c.
5. Cut the cylinders into 2 cm slices, arrange the cookies on a baking tin and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool the cookies and keep them in a close container outside the fridge.

These cookies are absolutely gorgeous and I guess you can play with the spices you decide to put in. Simonneta, if you do bake them please let me know how did they turn out... How odd... After I translated the whole recipe from Hebrew I found an exact same recipe in English in Williams-Sonoma's site, they call it Pistachio-Spice Cookis so in order to stay on the safe side I added a lead to their site... Someone is a copycat!!! In any case there are pretty pictures in the Williams Sonoma site and perhaps the English version is better than my falter translation but it is too late at night for me to change all of this post so please excuse me.
Good Night

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Nanuchka - A Georgian Experience in Tel Aviv

Culinary and the Food insustry in Israel evolved immensely since the 1980's. It is true that during the 80's my life just started (if to be precise,exactly in 1980) but luckily I was born into a family with real passion for gourmet food and eating out. Anyhow, during the 80's there were just a few very good restaurants around. In the 90's the restaurant business really started to bloom. Since I did not really reseach the subject scientifically I can just write my own assumptions for this change. I believe that by 1990 more people traveled abroad, the IT industry started to boom, and the industry in general. Israel started to go out of the economic depression it experienced during the 1980's and so people had more money to spend on the good life, a new generation of eaters naturally evolved from these processes. Israelis are well known for their "traveling bug" and it is very aparent also in the type of food we eat and the restaurants that open around here. I believe and I hope no one will hang me for that, but Tel Aviv seems to be the culinary center of Israel. The most posh, expensive and famous restaurants are located in the city. Actually I think one can count the number of street corner that don't have a cafe', restaurant or pub on them on one hand. Living in Tel Aviv and being a lover of good food, an an amature cook myself will supply me a lot of writing materials for the blog.
This time I want to write about a very unique restaurant called NANUCHKA.
I celebrated there my last birthday and it was terrific. A friend of mine and her husband are on a visit from London... I tried to think where should I talk them and thought Nanuchka will be perfect. I did not hear about many Georgian restaurants around the world and thought they would love it. From the moment you entered Nanuchka you know you have entered into a different world. Some people might hate it, but I simply adore it. The owner Nana has thought about every little and the end resault is a real Georgian/ Balkan/ Gipsy feel to the place. The ruling design can be purly defined as eclectic, which creates a magical and mysterious atmosphere to Nanuchka. The food is also mysterious to someone who is not from a Georgian restaurants. So coming to Nanuchka is like going on a journey to a far away authentic place, yet with a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. The dishes are diverse, served beautifully and are simply delicious ("to die for" :))
Among my favorite dishes are the filled dough dishes. I will try to spell the names correctly in English but if I don't please forgive me.
There is the "Chinkali"/"Hinkali" , its like dumpling, you can have meat chinkali or cheese chinkali. Both are very good but I prefered the cheese one better. The other delicacy is the "Khachapuri". I read a few Hachpuri recipes and the preparation of the dough is rather difficult, similar to the preparation of puffy pastry. Because I have never cooked Georgian food at home I can't write any recipe (I don't like to write recipes I never tried at home), but I did fid a site that has some recipes if someone would like to try at home, so here is a link to Georgian Cuisine Recipes

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Euro-Blogging By Post #6

It is the first time I gonna participate in Blogging by Post event and I am extremely excited about it.
Since I will be sending off my parcel tomorrow only I cannot say much about it. But I promise I will add more "meat" to this post once the package will reach its destination.
For more info please browse Johanna's blog
My Parcel is on its way... I want to write all about it but am afraid to ruin the fun, if the recipiant will accidentally browse into my blog, so maybe I should wait with it for just a while, I am very very curious about the parcel I will get. I know it is coming from the UK, since I love the UK and British people and culture especially I cannot wait. In addition to the excitement about the food I will be getting I am very excited to be getting something from the UK... My last visit to London was 3 years ago and I really miss this city and the atmosphere there. Hope this parcel will calm my yearning.
I happen to cook quite much lately but I hardly write about it anymore because I feel my blog is very dull.