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Chef Zachary Engel Part 2

Episode 29

 

Guest: Chef Zachary Engel

Chef Zachary Engel Part 2

Chef Zach joins me in Part 2 to talk about his new restaurant endeavor in Chicago – building Galit, his first restaurant from the bottom up. The goal: to bring fine dining, as in Israeli Cuisine to Chicago. 

 

Hard Work + Focus + James Beard Award = New Restaurant Galit!

Hard Work + Focus + James Beard Award = New Restaurant Galit!

Episode 28

 

Guest: Chef Zachary Engel

Hard Work + Focus + James Beard Award= New Restaurant – Galit!

What’s it like to be a young Chef with a dream to open your own restaurant? I thought it would be interesting to get inside the process and to hear first hand about what it takes to find yourself in a new city about to open your own place. I talk with James Beard winner Chef Zach Engel about his path to Gailit, his new restaurant opening in Chicago in early 2019. This is Part 1.

 

Beets with Black Garlic Tehina, Pumpernickel and Dill

Beets with Black Garlic Tehina, Pumpernickel and Dill

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. red beets
  • 1 lb. chiogga or candy cane beets
  • 4 slices pumpernickel rye bread
  • ¼ + ⅛ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Morton’s Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed ground
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed ground
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 cloves black garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Morton’s Kosher Salt
  • 1 ½ cups raw tahini (preferably Soom brand)
  • 1 ½ cups ice cold water
  • 3 sprigs of dill

Instructions

  • For the Roasted Beets:
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. Make sure all the tops are removed from the beets and wash them under cold water to remove any dirt but don’t peel them. Toss the beets in 1 tablespoons salt and ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil in a large mixing bowl.
  • Place the beets in a single layer in a large baking dish. Add any excess water from the bowl to the pan. If you don’t have excess water, then add a ⅛ cup to the bottom of the pan. Wrap the edges of the pan tightly in foil.
  • Bake the beets for about 1 hour. To check them, gently lift the edge of the foil and place a small knife inside. If the knife slides in very easily they are done. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 15 minutes. (If they’re not fully cooked put the foil back around the edge of the pan and check them every 15 minutes).
  • Once the beets are cooled but still warm, remove the foil. With a dry dish towel in your hands, gently rub off the skins of the beets and place in a large bowl. Gently rinse any excess skin off in cold water.
  • Cut the beets into ½-inch slices or cubes and set aside or refrigerate if using later.
  • For the Pumpernickel Crumble:
  • Change the temperature on the oven to 225 F.
  • On a baking sheet, lay down the slices of pumpernickel rye bread. Drizzle the ⅛ cup of extra virgin olive oil on the slices and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt and the caraway and dill seeds.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until very crispy. Remove and cool fully.
  • Break the dry pieces into chunks and place in a food processor with a blade. Pulse at 3 second intervals for about 2 minutes until it becomes a medium crumble.
  • For the Black Garlic Tehina:
  • Crush the garlic cloves on a cutting board with the side of a large knife and add to the lemon juice. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the garlic cloves and any peels from the lemon juice. Place the lemon juice in a blender with the black garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon of salt. Puree on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
  • In a stand mixer with a whip attachment, whip the raw tahini for about 5 minutes on high speed.
  • Decrease the speed to medium and slowly drizzle in the black garlic-lemon juice. The tehina will get very grainy and tight in texture but will get smooth immediately after.
  • Slowly add the ice cold water with a steady stream. Once all the water is incorporated, turn the speed on high for 5 minutes. You’ll see the tehina become smooth and glossy and become very airy like an aioli or a mousse. (Note: It’s best to add most of the water but not all of it. You can always add more if you would like it thinner).
  • To Assemble:
  • Pick the dill from the whole sprigs and chop very lightly.
  • Place the tehina on the bottom of the plate in a large circle. Toss the beet pieces in a little olive oil and salt and spread on top of the tehina. Sprinkle the pumpernickel crumb with a heavy hand and then follow with the chopped dill.

This recipe is based on a traditional salatim seen all over Israel with some bold flavors. It’s great for large parties and easy to make some of the components (or all of them) a day or two beforehand for less time in the kitchen while hosting!

Kugel and Kitchens with Stacey Ballis!

Kugel and Kitchens with Stacey Ballis!

Episode 27

 

Guest: Stacey Ballis

Kugel and Kitchens with Stacey Ballis

I’m back with culinary writer Stacey Ballis. It’s time to talk about Jewish food and for Stacey that means Kugel. Now you can choose to make your favorite family recipe OR you can try Stacey’s favorite. She is kind enough to provide some essential kugel pointers too! Be sure to listen till the end of the episode when Stacey discusses her kitchen re-do and all the things you’d want to consider if you were redesigning your own dream kitchen.

Culinary Fiction & Food Talk with Stacey Ballis

Culinary Fiction & Food Talk with Stacey Ballis

Episode 26

 

Guest: Author, Stacey Ballis

Culinary Fiction and Jewish Food with Stacey Ballis

I’m in conversation with author Stacey Ballis of culinary literature fame. In this episode I learn about Stacey’s most important food mentor and how she managed to publish her first novel seemingly with little effort. Who does this? And she shares a great recipe for Tomato Pudding with me. All in all a fun conversation.

Tomato Pudding
Serves 8

2 cups dried bread cubes, crusts removed
1 stick melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup orange juice
1 large beefsteak tomato or 3 roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the dried bread cubes in a casserole dish. Pour melted butter over them; toss to combine. Combine brown sugar, tomato puree, orange juice in a saucepan. Heat to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour hot mixture over bread cubes. Layer a thin layer of tomatoes over the top, and sprinkle with salt. Bake until puffy and the corners of the bread cubes are browned, 35-40 minutes.
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Tomato Pudding

Happy Anniversary to The Big Schmear!

Happy Anniversary to The Big Schmear!

Episode 24

 

Guests:Be Surprised!

Happy Anniversary!

August marks The Big Schmear’s 1 Year Anniversary. Why not celebrate by sharing some great moments from a year’s worth of fun episodes with all of you. Join me for a trip down memory lane…and thank you all for listening. I’ll have more to share later in the month too. It’s been a great year.