As part of the 6th annual “Man-o-Manischewitz” Cook-Off, cooks from all over submitted thousands of recipes using Manischewitz products. And last week I got to attend the live kosher cook-off at the JCC of Manhattan!
Those who attended (including me!) got to taste the five final recipes, and then an esteemed panel of judges chose a winning dish. Highlight of the event: Chef Claire Robinson from The Food Network’s 5 Ingredient Fix was one of the judges, and I was pretty tickled to get to meet her!
The event was really organized and well-run, but I briefly forgot how pushy a crowd of Jews can be when there is food at stake. It was like being at a cousin’s bar mitzvah schmorg waiting for the meat carving station. After waiting for the line and pushiness to dissipate, I got to taste the dishes.
While the official winner of the event was Eric Silberman’s Mod Matzo Ball Soup, my own favorite was Andrew Dorsch’s Torte Vegetali.
You can read bios for all the finalists and try out their recipes here.
A little Manischewitz secret of my own: I only use their matzo ball mix in order to make my fluffy matzo balls! Why mess with a good thing!?
Stay tuned for the 2013 cook off next year and get ready to submit your best recipes.
Sometimes at the end of a long day I just want to go home and watch a nice looking man make me a kugel. My boyfriend’s out of town tonight, so I guess it’s just me and Dave Lieberman and some egg noodles. I might even go crazy and try making this.
This past Sunday, The Food Network aired a special “The Big Waste,” which featured chefs Alex Guarneschelli, Ann Burell, Michael Symon, and Bobby Flay. The chefs were challenged to compete against one another to create a meal for some 100+ foodies, bloggers and other food personalities using only ingredients from farms that would have otherwise been thrown out.
It was definitely an interesting watch (I believe it will be airing another few times this weekend), and perhaps the most disturbing moment was when some of the farmers brought the chefs to see their compost piles: the camera scrolled across piles and piles of beautiful-looking produce, that was considered unusable because it did not appear “perfect” by the average American consumer.
I hate wasting food, and try to do everything I can to use my leftovers in creative ways, so I loved seeing the top-notch meals the chefs put together using discarded tomatoes, chicken and ricotta cheese, among other ingredients.
In the meantime, here are two of my go-to recipes that I use almost weekly in order to make the most out of stale bread, and vegetable peelings. Would love to hear your favorite waste-not tips!
Shannon’s Waste-Not Croutons
- 3 Cups leftover bread, cut into cubes
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper and olive oil (also add the cheese if you’re making the croutons dairy). Toss mixture over the bread cubes, and lay out on a cookie sheet.
Bake bread cubes around 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle over your favorite salad, or serve on top of your favorite soup.
- 4 quarts water
- 3 whole carrots
- leftover carrot peels
- 2 whole celery stalks
- leftover celery stalks
- 1 whole onion
- leftover onion peels
- 3 whole garlic cloves
- leftover garlic peels
- 2 whole parsnips
- leftover parsnip peels
- leftover tomatoes
- fresh parsley
- whole peppercorns
- 4 Tbsp salt
Other vegetables you can throw in: asparagus stalks, brussel sprout leaves, sweet potato, bell peppers, mushrooms and zucchini.
In a large stockpot, add leftover vegetables, parsley and peppercorns. Fill the pot with three quarts of cold water, and cover pot with lid.
Bring soup up to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for one hour. Pour soup through a strainer into a large bowl, discarding vegetables and herbs, then season stock with salt.
Freeze vegetable stock in plastic containers or ice cube trays for up to 6 months.
If you are a Food TV lover like I am, then you are also probably an addict to what I consider some of the greatest food porn out there: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and the endless supply of mouthwatering, melted cheese covered, greasy restaurant visits made by host Guy Fieri. I am not embarrassed to admit that I love watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives as I fall asleep at night, because at least then, I am sleepy enough not to hop in the car and drive to the nearest diner for a late night pig-out fest.
An article from a few weeks ago, found via Queen Blogging Bee Lilit Marcus’ new project Faith Goes Pop, reveals that ultimate nosher Guy Fieri may indeed demonstrate anti-Semitic and homophobic leanings. Gasp!?
The piece is lengthy, though a very interesting read about the evolution of the show. It paints, however, a less than ideal portrait of our spiky haired food lover. The article points to a few statements from Fieri including:
“They were demanding tremendous research from my people, and pictures, but they didn’t want to pay for them,” Page says. “Guy said to me: ‘You know, it’s true: Jews are cheap.’”
Guy Fieri, never one to remain quiet, made a public statement in response to the piece and refuted the claims made in the City Pages piece.
In my view, it is not clear from the pieces whether Guy’s comments were taken out of context or not. Either way, my former guilty pleasure now has a bit of a cloud hanging overhead. Faith Goes Pop points out that, isn’t it Fieri’s brashness that made America fall in love with him in the first place? And that perhaps we shouldn’t be quite so shocked at some of his off color comments. Nevertheless, the jury is still out for me whether my enjoyment of “Triple D” will ever be able to return to its former glory.