In the Spotlight
Reserve Cut at The Setai
In 2000, 12-year-old Albert Allaham emigrated from his native Syria to New York City to live with his brother in Brooklyn. He eventually took up his family trade - butchering. The name Allaham means, "butcher" in Arabic, and the Allahams take pride in the family legend that their butcher business in Damascus began over 200 years ago. The family butcher shop, The Prime Cut, still thrives in Brooklyn, but Albert has taken the business to new levels. And Albert's cousin Joey Allaham is well known for his Prime Hospitality Group which now consists of 7 restaurants in the New York area.
In the fall of 2013 Albert Allaham opened Reserve Cut at the Setai, a 300 seat upscale steakhouse. It is located at 40 Broad Street in lower Manhattan in the heart of the Wall Street Financial District. The space is contemporary – spacious and, elegant, but not stuffy by any means. We were there for dinner on a Monday night in July, and every table of this restaurant seemed to be full. Indeed, we spotted a waiting line as well.
As for the food, our accolades go on and on - each course was exceptional. Our party of 3 enjoyed a sumptuous feast.
Starters included two kinds of sushi: a platter of classic tuna sushi rolls, and Red Dragon Rolls – crab, avocado, almond, spicy tuna with a special sauce. We also sampled the wagyu beef potstickers served with a sweet Thai chili sauce - a memorable dish you should not miss.
For the entrées, the veal chop cote de veau arrived perfectly cooked (medium well) topped with a sweetbread croquette and a sage cognac sauce. The steak, the Prime Reserve Cut was flavorful, and perfectly cooked as ordered (medium rare). Reserve Cut steaks are all prime beef, and aged for a minimum of 36 days in the restaurant's dry aging room. Sides included creamed baby spinach with artichoke hearts and French Fries.
Portions are large, and as much as we wanted to sample items from their extensive dessert menu, we could not eat one more bite. So, if you go, and you should, bring along a large appetite and yes, a wallet to match.
Reserve Cut at the Setai – Open for lunch and dinner
Reservecut.com 40 Broad St., New York, NY 10004
by Guest Contributor Shoshana Ohriner
Over the past few years there has been a rise in the popularity of a paleo diet. So what is the paleo diet? A paleo diet primary consists of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats. It gets its name from the fact that the majority of these foods could have been available to early humans before the agricultural revolution changed the way in which humans eat.
Excluded from the paleo diet are grains, legumes, dairy, processed sugars, and all of the highly processed foods that make up much of the standard American diet. The reason behind removing these things from the diet is not simply to revert to an earlier time. Many of these foods have elements that cause inflammation in the body that can lead to a whole host of health problems, from autoimmune diseases to obesity and heart disease. Many people who adopt a paleo lifestyle (myself included) report significant improvements in their overall health and energy. It may sound limiting to avoid entire categories of food but once you start eating a whole host of fresh, delicious, nutrient dense foods it becomes clear just how delicious and satisfying wholesome nutritious food can be.
That being said, even within a healthy paleo lifestyle, there are occasions that call for a little bit of a treat. These healthy Banana Almond Ice Cream Sandwiches are a truly delicious way to beat the summer heat. They are sweet, creamy, and refreshing, everything an ice cream sandwich should be. My kids absolutely adore these, but I have to admit the adults love them just as much.
Another treat that I like to keep on hand are these delicious Black Forest Coconut candies. The candy has a texture that is kind of a cross between a coconut macaroon and a piece of fudge and a small serving is totally satisfying. The combination of chocolate, cherry and coconut is utterly delicious, and it is lightly sweetened with maple syrup. Even better, the candy can be made in less than ten minutes so it is easy to whip up a batch whenever a craving arises.
Although I am pretty content eating eggs and veggies for breakfast, most days my kids get a bit bored with that and want more variety. I make these pecan muffins as a special treat and they are always a hit. They are great as a quick breakfast or a snack on the go. I always have a bag of these in the freezer ready to throw in a lunch box or snack bag.
Shoshana Ohriner is the creator and author of the popular blogs Couldn't Be Parve (specializing in naturally delicious dairy-free desserts), and Paleo Kosher Kitchen (providing delicious kosher recipes for a Paleo lifestyle). Her recipes and articles have been published in a variety of newspapers, magazines, cookbooks, and websites. She lives in California with her husband and three little boys.
For more great paleo recipes, including healthy gummy candies check out her blog Paleo Kosher Kitchen.
Enjoy these Paleo Dessert Recipes from Shoshana:
Healthy Banana Almond Ice Cream Sandwiches
Black Forest Coconut Candy
Maple Pecan Muffins
The 2014 sofiTM AWARDS
We are delighted that several companies with kosher products have been nominated as sofiTM Award finalists! How wonderful for kosher eaters that prestigious, innovative, quality brands of this caliber have chosen to go kosher, recognizing and embracing the business benefits and growing market for foods with kosher certification. KosherEye has had the pleasure of trying some of these products, and looks forward to sampling the rest sometime soon. And, of course, we will let you know which companies take home the coveted prizes.
The sofiTM Awards, considered the specialty food industry's most prestigious honor, consists of 32 categories. This year, members of the Specialty Food Association submitted 2,737 entries to the contest. A national panel of specialty food experts judged entries. A final round of judging for the coveted awards will be held at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, and winners will be announced at a red-carpet ceremony at the show, the evening of June 30.
And the 2014 kosher certified sofi finalists include:
Classic - Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice
Forbidden rice is an ancient grain, eaten by the emperors of China and thought to give increased health and longevity. It is medium grain heirloom rice, treasured for its roasted nutty taste, soft texture and deep purple color. The rice is high in flavonoid antioxidants, and rich in iron. According to Chinese herbal medicine, it is considered to be a blood "tonifier" Forbidden Rice® pairs with many cuisines – and can be served steamed plain, in a pilaf, stir-fry, salad or pudding.
It is kosher certified, parve, by the Scroll k. For more information visit: www.lotusfoods.com
Confection- Cocomels by JJ's Sweets
Cocomels by JJ's SweetsCocomels are cooked in small batches in copper kettles, and made with fair trade chocolates and organic ingredients whenever possible. The line of artisan crafted, coconut milk caramels—is presented in a newly-designed, "flagship" box, and is gluten free, dairy free, GMO free, vegan and kosher certified parve by Earth Kosher.Cocomels areperfect for a sweet snack, or a small after dinner treat. http://jjssweets.com
Innovation in Packaging/Design - Finalist Late July Organic Snacks
Restaurant Style Sea Salt Tortilla Chips
USDA Organic and non-GMO. This company believes that families have a right to know what's in their food and supports food labeling initiatives. Their nominated restaurant style chips are certified organic, Non-GMO project verified, certified gluten free, nut-free and vegan! The variety we tasted was the quinoa tortilla chip. Crunchy, healthful and of course the packaging was eye-catching!
Late July is a family owned company dedicated to making delicious organic, NON-GMO snacks. Founded in 2003 by Nicole Bernard Dawes & her late father Steve Bernard, the company is celebrating their 11th anniversary ithis year. Latejuly.com (Kof K kosher certified)
Frozen Savory - Uncle Irv's Caramelized Onion Kugel
by Locker Family recipes
All we can say is yumm, Uncle Irv's sure knows his kugel! Kugel, the classic noodle dish passed down from generation to generation, has conveniently made its way to the freezer aisle of the grocery store. The Kugel Company, now lovingly known as Locker Family Recipes has created pre-baked homemade kugels that are ready-to-eat anytime, anywhere. Uncle Irv's caramelized onion kugel has been nominated for the coveted Sofi award. This savory, ready to heat kugel, is scrumptious. It goes well with salmon or fish, or as an entrée on its own. One of our favorite meals was when we paired it with steamed broccoli and enjoyed it for lunch. The kugels are certified OU-Dairy. And the other flavors, don't miss them.
Aunt Nonie's Kugel – Vanilla Cinnamon, (Dessert or sweet side)
Aunt Dotty's Kugel – Lemon Coconut
Uncle George's Kugel – Gluten Free Sweet Potato.
Each variety is accompanied by a memory of a Locker family member. We enjoyed the stories, and, as we have noted, we love these kugels!
Oil - Ascolano Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Lucero Olive oil
Not your average olive oil. This exquisite internationally acclaimed award-winning olive oil from Lucero Olive Oil is the result of three generations of farming and producing olives in Northern California. It is 100% Ascolano Extra Virgin Olive Oil, cold pressed, unfiltered, and naturally grown in Corning, California. Many century-old trees continue to flourish in the Lucero family groves. In fact, we learned that the family has grown a majority of all of the olive trees now in production in Northern California. Ascolano olives are a Tuscan mono-varietal that flourish in the Mediterranean climate. 100% hand picked in late November, the olives are milled within hours of harvesting to ensure the highest level of freshness and quality. We enjoyed this exquisite oil to dress our tomato-mozzarella caprese salad, to dress our margherita pizza, dip our challah and drizzle atop a bowl of simple pasta with tomatoes and basil. So lovely and delicious. Lucerooliveoil.com (Kof K kosher)
Double Nomination for Pastificio Felicetti of Italy:
Pasta, Rice or Grain - Speghettoni Matt Monograno
USDA Certified Organic Product - Rigatoni Kamut Monograno
Kudos to this company for obtaining OU certification on their exceptional pastas. We contend that pasta should be treated like fine wine, olive oil, chocolate and coffee. This pasta from Felicetti of Italy has been recognized in two sofi categories and has attained a double nomination. Both are organic, and exceptional in both texture and taste. The Speghettoni is traditional long pasta, so delicious when we topped it with a classic marinara sauce. The rigatoni is short pasta, perfect for cheesy or sauced casseroles. Pastificio Feliccetti pasta originates in the pure air and water of the mountainous Trentino region of Italy, and is a proud part of Italian culture, formulated for true pasta lovers. http://www.felicetti.it/en/ (OU certified)
Snack Food - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Macaroons by Hail Merry
These Hail Merry macaroons are gluten-free & vegan, crafted with organic Fair Trade chocolate chips, almond flour and organic maple syrup from a family farm in Vermont. Dehydrated at low temperatures and made with pure ingredients, these macaroons are great at room temp or crumbed and mixed into ice cream! This confection was recognized as the Best of Show winner at Natural Foods Expo West 2014. (Star K parve) http://www.hailmerry.com/our-story
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Snack Food - Coconut Snack Bars by Simple Squares
Their motto is "See how delicious simple can taste". This is unfired fare and simple ingredients. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Simple Squares is striving to transform the grab-and-go food culture from "one focused on preservatives to one that embraces whole foods". The nominated organic coconut snack bars contain Cashews, Almonds, Honey, Unsweetened Coconut, Vanilla and Sea Salt. They are raw and paleo-friendly, protein rich, low in sodium and sugar and are a good source of fiber, with no wheat, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and no refined sugars. And yes, they taste great! (Apple K Kosher certified)
The Cuisinart Yogurt,
Sorbet and Ice Cream Maker
Cool, Easy, Indulgent!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for rich, creamy ice cream, especially in the hot summer months. And, how we love it when it is homemade.
Making ice cream is as easy as pie. . . actually easier! All that you need is some space in your freezer to store a compact double insulated freezer canister, and luscious homemade ice cream can be just 30 minutes and one flick of an "on" switch away! We love the Pure Indulgence - Cuisinart 2-quart model. It is so easy to use. Simply mix the ingredients, pour it into the frozen canister and turn on the machine.
And, yes we certainly can help you rationalize the investment in an ice cream maker by explaining its benefits. The ingredients are just as you want them... frozen treats made without corn syrup and artificial ingredients. Cleanup is easy. And, best of all, it is so much fun creating delicious desserts. Enough said!
After trying several flavors, our favorites are still "good ole" vanilla and chocolate... with optional add-ins such as caramelized almonds, chocolate chips and sometimes vodka. (The vodka adds extra creaminess). However, our team of tasters (2 willing children and one husband) voted for vanilla flavored with fresh backyard grown organic mint and chocolate chips. Some of our preferred toppings are strawberry sauce and of course hot fudge with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
We experimented with ice cream mixtures made with heavy cream and whole milk as well as lower fat versions made with 2% milk and a small amount of cream. All were delicious, but of course, who can resist the full, rich creamy variety!
Yes, non-dairy almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk may be substituted for the dairy products, so parve (dairy free) ice cream is also an option. Yes, we think that the Cuisinart ice cream freezer is a "must have" DIY kitchen tool.
- Brushed Metal Housing
- Makes up to 2 quarts
- Fully Automatic - Just add ingredients and turn on machine.
- Spout is large enough to eliminate spills when adding ingredients
- The double-insulated bowl freezes ingredients evenly for consistently smooth and creamy results. Bowl and paddle are removable for easy cleaning.
- Includes ingredient spout, easy-lock lid, mixing arm, two-quart freezer bowl, base with cord storage and instruction booklet/recipe book.
The scoop on how to make excellent homemade ice cream can be found in the ice cream cookbook, The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. This ice cream "guru" provides 256 pages of instructions for wonderful frozen treats, and most recipes involve the use of an electric ice cream maker.
Share your favorite ice cream recipes with us. . . We are sharing our favorites with you!
President Thomas Jefferson’s ice Cream Recipe
Believe it or not, our “quite the gourmet” President Thomas Jefferson enjoyed ice cream as well. Read his original recipe at http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/tri034.html. We’d like to hear your scoop too!
Enter to win a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker on KosherEye. Giveaway ends at 11:59PM, July 20, 2014. If you just can't wait to see if you've won, purchase the ice cream maker here: Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker.
For more information, watch this video:
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Blake Hill Preserves
Taste the Difference
In 2009, Vicky Allard and her husband, Joe Hanglin, founded Blake Hill Preserves. They are third generation English preserve makers, acclaimed for creating award-winning chutneys, jams and marmalades in the Green Mountains of Grafton, Vermont using in season, top quality fruits from local farms. Blake Hill Preserves are made from all-natural, non-GMO ingredients without the use of artificial colorings, preservatives, thickeners or fillers, and now, the Blake Hill Preserves' entire range is OU Kosher certified. The company is one of only a very small number of US-based artisanal preserve makers to receive kosher certification.
Recently, the company was honored with 3 Good Food Awards, including the first ever chutney to win a Good Food Awards from among 1,450 entries in the blind taste tests. Blake Hill Preserves also won two Golds and a Silver for their organic citrus marmalades from over 2,000 entries to the Worldwide Marmalade Awards. Both are record breaking achievements for a US preserves producer. Blake Hill Preserves' chutneys, jams and marmalades are available in over 300 gourmet and specialty food stores including Whole Foods Markets in the North East and Central Market in Texas.
Happily for consumers all over the U.S., the preserves can be purchased online at the website blakehillpreserves.com. Each jar retails between $6.99 and $7.99.
Vicky Allard was kind enough to send KosherEye a selection of her amazing preserves. . . and we report on some of our favorites. (Yes, we are still tasting!)
Raspberry & Hibiscus Jam: Perfectly ripe raspberries and organic hibiscus flower petals combine to create an incredibly fruity and fragrant jam. Finalist in the 2014 GOOD FOOD awards...
We used this as a topping for vanilla ice cream and Greek yogurt, and mixed it with balsamic vinegar and thyme as a dip for rotisserie chicken.
Grapefruit and Lemon Marmalade: Organic grapefruits and lemons are infused with thyme from Blake Hill Preserves' kitchen garden, creating a truly unique, bright and citrusy marmalade. 2014 Silver award marmalade award... This is truly luscious as a topping for toast or English muffins.
Plum & Fennel all Natural Chutney: Inspired by North African cuisine, this is like a richly spiced Moroccan tagine in a jar. Gold winner Good Food awards...
We tried this alongside a brick of cheddar cheese and crackers. Yumm! We plan to serve it alongside lamb chops. Stay tuned.
Orange and 10 Year Single Malt Whisky Infused Marmalade:
2014 Gold Winner – Marmalade awards
Lovely over a flourless dark chocolate cake! Can't wait to try this with baked brie