Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jewish Holday Cooking... Jayne Wrote the Book

Jewish Holday Cooking. A Food Lover's Treasury of Classics & Improvisations
Jayne Cohen

We got lots of requests for more info about this book after talking about it on the air last week। So here's photos, a recipe and links for our our listeners.

“And then there was the great classic, matzoh brie, pieces of matzoh soaked in milk, squeezed into a delectable mess, and fried to golden curls and flakes--one of the dishes that evokes piercing darts of nostalgia in every Jewish breast and stories of childhood Passovers complete with lightly drunken uncles.” --Kate Simon

Not just for Passover. Like matzoh balls and potato latkes, matzoh brie now makes regular appearances at table year-round

And not just for breakfast। Tony Manhattan restaurants feature entrees of fluffy matzoh brie, chockablock with smoked salmon and sauteed sweet onions, fragrant with dill, or layered with exotic wild mushrooms.

Like the best soul-satisfying starchy foods, matzoh brie is a chef’s canvas, reflecting the image and nuances you choose: served like French toast, flavored with vanilla, cinnamon or almond extract and doused with maple syrup; or frittata-style, sauteed with onions, mushrooms, and sapid tender vegetables like artichokes or asparagus। In fact, I often add some soaked and drained matzoh to frittata recipes--it stretches the number of eggs used, reducing that insistent egginess that spells breakfast to so many of us.

No sweet/savory matzoh brie fault line runs through our house: though I grew up on the sweet, we thoroughly enjoy all versions। Instructions for both follow, and see the Cook’s Note for a buttery caramelized onion matzoh brie, with or without smoked salmon.

4 whole plain or egg matzohs
4 or 5 large eggs (use 5 for a softer, eggier matzoh brie)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Optional accompaniments: Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar (recipe follows), apple or other fruit sauces or compotes (see Jewish Holiday Cooking for several recipes), maple syrup, jam, honey, sour cream, yogurt cream, fresh (unaged) goat or sheep’s milk cheeses, farmer cheese, or cottage .

Please read Making Matzoh Brie and choose the preparation and cooking style you prefer. Break the matzohs, wet them with cold water, squeeze them dry, according to the instructions, and place them in a large bowl.
Beat the eggs until light and foamy। For sweet matzoh brie, season the eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt; for savory matzoh brie, season generously with lots of salt and pepper to taste (keep in mind how bland plain matzoh tastes). Stir the eggs into the matzoh mixture and combine well. If preparing either fluffy or pancake-like matzoh brie, allow the matzohs to soak in the eggs for a while.

In a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (nonstick works well here), heat the butter over medium heat until it sizzles. Add the matzoh batter, either adding it in all at once, like an omelet or frittata, or dropping by heaping tablespoonfuls, like pancakes. Fry until golden brown on the bottom, then turn and fry until done to taste on the other side: either golden and fluffy or more well-done and crisp, according to preferred method. While hot, sprinkle with Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar, or serve with one or more of the other suggested accompaniments।

Cook’s Note: For those who crave whole grains during the holiday, try matzoh brie, savory or sweet, made from whole-wheat matzoh (available kosher-for-Passover). No, it won’t summon up taste memories of McCann’s old-fashioned Irish oatmeal, but it can be a wonderful comfort food when needed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Untitled Document


Cinco de Mayo Sangria... Hold the Mayo!

I recently came across a colorful book by Kim Haasarud, called 101 SANGRIAS & PITCHER DRINKS (Wiley Hardcover; $16.95; March 2008)

Sangria seems to be enjoying a surge in popularity and, as one of our favorite celebratory days approaches, I began eyeballing her recipe for Sangria Rita.

Ah, perfect for a large gathering on a nice warm Central Coast day!

The author recommends topping it off with seasonal fruit items like oranges, lemons, and limes, for a crowd pleasing batch.

As for the wine, any sturdy, young red wine will do. My first batch I used one bottle of cabernet and a bottle of merlot.

Sangria Rita

1 bottle red wine
1 3/4 cups simple syprup
1 1/3 cups tequila
1 orange, cut into half-wheels
1 lemon, cut into half-wheels
1 lime, cut into half-wheels

Combine all of the ingredients into a large ceramic or glass container and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours. Serve over ice. If desired, shake a small amount in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a Margarita glass. Garnish with additional fruit.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wine CPR? New Breathable Glasses!

I've seen all sorts of gimmicks and gadgets that purport to "smooth tannins" or speed up the aeration process or, in the case of a claim from China, age red wine 10 years in 52 weeks by use of radio waves.

Well, this breakthrough in wine aeration science has the stamp of approval from the Culinary Institute of America. So take a deep breath and read on:

Eisch Glaskultur
, maker of Germany’s finest glassware products, announced its new line of fine crystal “Breathable” glassware is now available in the retail and online store ( at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (CIA) The line, which includes several different size glasses, has also been featured at select CIA events.

“Wine industry leaders are very impressed with our line of ‘Breathable’ glassware,” said Alan Zalayet, Partner and President of Export for Eisch Glaskultur. “Its ability to quickly open a wine and bring out its aromatic qualities is something that is exciting and desirable to them. Eisch will soon be a tasting room and restaurant
Last month, the Eisch “Breathable” line was the official glassware for the CIA’s Vintners Hall of Fame 2nd Annual Induction Dinner honoring Paul Draper, Miljenko Grgich, Darrell Corti and Ernest & Julio Gallo.

At the CIA Ecolab Theater last fall, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine Ronn Wiegand hosted an educational event for industry professionals on behalf of Eisch. “I was, of course, skeptical at first of the claims that Eisch Breathable glasses softened wine and enhanced their characteristics within just a few minutes,” said Wiegand. “But I found that they actually do. [They are] a real contribution to the enjoyment of wine.” So impressed is Wiegand with the glassware, that he has partnered with Eisch to develop his own signature line of “Breathable” wine glasses to be released later this year.

Eisch Glaskultur “Breathable Glass” wine glasses (SRP $19 - $27) are currently available at retail
at The CIA at Greystone in St. Helena, CA and online at A variety of innovative new wine decanters from Eisch Glaskultur is also available. Nationwide, Eisch products are available at Bed, Bath & Beyond and at Macy’s headquarter stores.

Founded in 1946 by Valentin Eisch, Eisch Glaskultur has grown into one of the world’s finest and most important glass manufacturers. Today, the company is run by Julia Eichinger-Eisch and Eberhard Eisch, third generation members of the Eisch family.
For more information about Eisch Glaskultur please visit the website at:


If you'd like to try the Chinese radio wave experiment at home, just set your bottles of fine Cabernets, Pinots and Zins in front of your radio each Saturday when our show is on. Better yet, send some bottles to me and I'll place them near the KVEC transmitter and send you an email to let you know how much better they tasted!