SJ Scores a Knockout: Holiday Feasting & Jewish Fish For Christmas Eve

December 25th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

After a long day of exhausting travel, Holiday feasting began upon arrival at the Brooklyn home of SJ, Exquisite Maiko, Handsome Haru and enchanting Teru. Jolly welcome. HG/BSK found comforting warmth in bowls of SJ’s chickpea, rosemary and tomato soup. This soup is SJ’s creative take on the classic Marcella Hazan recipe. Rather than leaving the garbanzos whole, SJ adds real Spanish chorizo to the basic ingredients and blends the whole thing into a smooth and earthy soup, redolent of rosemary and finished with cubes of crisp guanciale. This was followed by an exuberant platter of varied cheese from the Fairway market and lots of red wine and vodka. Plus, splendid Tuscan salami and Spanish ham. Delight. Thoughtful SJ gave HG/BSK a bag of bagels and bialys plus Ben’s Scallion Cream Cheese (the best!) for breakfast in HG/BSK’s temporary Prospect Heights home.

SJ scored again with the traditional fish feast on Christmas eve with the usual Jewish twist. SJ, in his annual ritual, finished DJing at 4:30 am and headed right to Russ & Daughters so he could be first on line on Christmas Eve day. R & D is a New York landmark for herring and smoked fish and knowing SJ sourced a feast and motored it bak to the family gathering in Riverside, R.I. Here were some of the goodies: Nova Scotia smoked salmon; smoky New Zealand smoked salmon; Gaspe Nova smoked salmon, whole Dutch herring; pickled herring; wasabi tobiko; smoked yellowfin tuna; sable, whitefish salad, creme fraiche, wild Alaskan red salmon caviar; American hackleback black caviar. The fixings: Lemon wedges, chopped onion, thin sliced rings of onion, capers, scallion cream cheese, regular cream cheese. The breads: Bagels, bialys, buttered toast (for the American caviar); thinly sliced Baltic dark rye bread. Wow. To drink: Prosecco; white wine; rose wine; Tito’s vodka; Bass ale. Big time feast. Opened a few presents (that’s the family custom). No room for dessert. Off to bed for big time morning present opening and reprise of the evening feast (plus SJ’s super potato latkes). HG is convinced that no family celebrates the holidays with more joy and culinary delights.


Bagels? Feh!

May 4th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Mark Bittman has a nice opinion piece in the New York Times about the perennial Holy Trio (pardon the sacrilege) of Jewish comfort food: Lox, Bagels, Cream Cheese. HG is a bit of a contrarian and curmudgeon on this subject. HG loathes bagels. HG shares this dislike with his late parents, both Jewish immigrants from Belorussia. Every Sunday morning throughout HG’s childhood, HG and his father would stroll to West Kingsbridge Road in The Bronx. They would separate. Father went to the “appetizing” store for Nova salmon, sable, sour pickles, black olives, cole slaw and potato salad. HG went to the bakery for bialys, onion rolls (pletzels) and sliced Jewish rye bread. (Mom had gone to Daitch Dairy the day before for cream cheese and baked farmer cheese). HG picked up the Sunday Times, Sunday News and the Yiddish-language Jewish Daily Forward. Home for the feast at a table with a steaming pot of coffee, a pitcher of freshly squeezed orange juice and a bottle of Hennessy Brandy. A morning of down home Jewish culinary delight. And, not a bagel in sight.


Feast Of The Fishes

December 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s an HG family tradition: A smoked fish and caviar feast on Christmas Eve. So, courtesy of New York’s Russ & Daughters and the magic of Fed Ex, there was a festive and abundant table. Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon and Sable (best in the world) and Whitefish Salad and Red Salmon Caviar and Smoked Salmon Tartare and Capers and Sliced Onions and Herring (Schmaltz and Maatjes) and lemons and ground pepper. New York bagels and bialys, of course. Aakavit, vodka and beer and white wine. SJ made a big batch of superb blini from a Canal House Cook Book recipe. Topped them with caviar and a choice of creme fraiche or Mexican sour cream (extra thick).

Some thousands of miles away The Riva Family was in a small town in Italy (near Naples) dining on shucked oysters, crab salad, grilled scampi, pasta with bivalves and crustaceans. Plus various broiled, sauteed and fried fish. In New York, Restaurateur Daughter Vicki supped on caviar and champagne.

Today, the emphasis will be on The Big Bird and yummy gravy. Pass the stuffing and SJ creamy mashed potatoes.

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