Turns out, James Deen has hobbies. And those hobbies include food.
The Jewish porn star is now the face of a culinary web series, aptly named “James Deen Loves Food.” Produced by Woodrocket.com (a porn/comedy site that is definitey NSFW), past episodes have shown Deen coming up with the world’ most expensive burrito, ordering the entire menu at his local Burger King, and testing which brand makes the superior Ketchup. Oh, and he also sampled various serial killers’ last meals.
“I am a Jew! Of course I love food,” he told Heeb magazine in a recent Q&A. “I am pretty sure if you don’t, they stop inviting you to the meetings and drop your credit score.”
So, with Passover coming up, it’s fitting that Deen’s latest culinary venture has a Jewish theme: Ramen Matzo Ball soup.
According to the chef, the final product was “pretty good. It was definitely more on the ramen side. But the extra sodium added some flavor that normal Jewish cuisine lacks.”
If you have tickets for the Super Bowl at the MetLife Stadium this Sunday, and you’re planning to munch on some kosher snacks while watching the battle between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, you’d better bring some extra cash: This stuff’s not cheap.
As the Forward reported, this year’s event is likely to be the most kosher Super Bowl ever. A significant number of the ticket holders for the 82,000 seats are expected to be Jewish; the stadium features a praying area — and a solid selection of kosher food.
But it comes at a hefty price: The kosher caterers charge $13 for a turkey or chicken wrap, $13 for chicken wings and $11 for a hot dog with chips (Hebrew National, of course). And don’t forget to tip! If you want to save money, we recommend a knish: The dough snacks go for $6 per piece.
After shelling out $1,000 (at the very least) for a ticket, $13 for a wrap might actually seem a bargain. If not, you could always bring your own food.
Sherryl Betesh’s Kibbe Nabelsieh: Meat-Filled Bulgur Shells
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups fine bulgur wheat
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for frying
Lemon wedges, for serving
All good Jewish kids know that nothing beats your bubbe’s brisket.
That heartwarming philosophy is basically the premise of Mo Rocca’s cooking show, “My Grandmother’s Ravioli, ” which pays tribute to the culinary wizards behind each family’s recipes.
There are a handful of New York City landmarks that most people recognize: Lady Liberty. The Chrysler Building. And Katz’s Delicatessen.
Opened on the Lower East Side in 1888 and purchased by the Russian Katz family in 1903, the delicatessen famous for its orgasmic pastrami sandwiches, its Friday evening frankfurters ‘n’ beans and its Cel-Ray soda is one of the oldest continually operating businesses in New York City. And, at the ripe age of 125, Katz’s is still going strong: each week, the deli serves up more than 10,000 pounds of pastrami, 6,000 pounds of corned beef, and 4,000 hot dogs to locals and tourists alike. That’s a lot of cow.
Katz’s has attracted its fair share of attention over the years. But no one had ever written a book about it until now. In September, current part owner Jake Dell wrote the introduction to Katz’s: Autobiography of a Delicatessen in which he traces the famed storefront’s evolution from a tight-knit neighborhood joint to a star-studded celebrity hangout at the height of the early 1900s Yiddish theatre boom to a can’t-miss tourist attraction in the oughts. Large-format, full-color photos by Baldomero Fernandez detailing every nook and cranny of the restaurant accompany Dell’s text.
When it comes to publishing food or cookbooks, it’s usually the restaurant chef or owner that approaches the publisher with an idea. But in the case of Katz’s, Dell said, it was Bauer and Dean Publishers that, a few years ago, came to him. With the big anniversary fast approaching, Dell thought the timing was perfect.
“It was kind of a no-brainer,” he said.
A once in a lifetime holiday that combines two of the most tasty holidays is a really serious event. Latkes, presents, lighting the menorah, making stuffing, and a turkey on the same night? Talk about a lot of pressure. We’d totally understand if you’re just not feeling up for making pumpkin sufganiyot. And we think you’ll family will understand too once they see some of your other options.
Restaurants aren’t taking Thanksgivukkah lightly. They’re bringing out the big guns in the form of challah stuffing, burnt marshmallow challah donuts, sweet potato latkes, and more. With delectable options like these, it’s a shame we won’t see them again for 79,000 years.
WASHINGTON — Eli’s Restaurant, a popular kosher eatery in Washington D.C., frequented by politicians, lobbyists and government workers, may have a date with the wrecking ball.
According to a petition being circulated on Change.org, its “current storefront will be demolished as part of a redevelopment plan.”
The petition, which had 100 signatures as of Tuesday, wants the owners to know “how important it is that they find a new location in DC and continue to serve the downtown Jewish community.”
The restaurant has been serving corned beef sandwiches, hamburgers and soups at its location near DuPont Circle, at the southeast corner of the intersection of N and 20th streets, NW, since 2004.
Efforts to speak with the restaurant’s management were unsuccessful.
At least one other kosher eatery is open in downtown Washington — in the local JCC.
It could be just another store renovation in Berlin’s thriving Mitte-district. But Keren Shahar-Karbe is beaming as she walks through the empty rooms of a former art gallery. Some walls have holes and cables stick out of them. “So much has already changed,” Shahar-Karbe said, visibly excited.
In September, the 34-year-old Israeli started renovating the retail space with the two large windows and a door that opens to tree-lined Torstrasse, a street filled with cafés and shops. A few weeks from now, Shahar-Karbe, who currently runs the kosher catering service Keren’s Jewish Kitchen together with her husband, will be opening her own kosher Israeli café and bistro in this space. It aims to be a place for Berlin’s growing Israeli community as well as lovers of Israeli food and culture to connect and hang out.
The house belonged to a Jewish family until they were dispossessed by the Nazis. In the early ’90s, it was used as a squatter camp for anarchists. Now it is back in the possession of the original owners, who live in Israel. Shahar-Karbe plans to put up a plaque commemorating its history — right next to the library of Hebrew books and gallery of Jewish art for which she has dedicated the backroom.
Shahar-Karbe, a Jerusalem native, is a gastronomy veteran. “I did the whole circle around the kitchen work,” she says. She started working next to her studies during high school, and has since worked as a dishwasher, waitress, cook and baker. From early on, she would help her grandmothers in the kitchen, where she learnt to prepare typical dishes of the Mizrahi cuisine — some of which are still her favorites today: kibbeh (stuffed croquette), jachnun (rolled pastry) and bourekas (filled pastry).
It wasn’t until she moved to Berlin five years ago — “for pragmatic reasons”, she points out — that she turned her passion into full-time profession. “I tried all sorts of directions in my life,” said Shahar-Karbe, who also worked with children, as a mortgage consultant and in a bike shop, just to name a few. “But always the kitchen somehow came back,” she added. “And finally I had to say, well, that’s where I am.”
Read Shahar-Kerbe’s recipe for Shakshuka With Feta Cheese
In August, I left Brooklyn and moved to the North Dakota-Minnesota border where my boyfriend, Nick, is a fifth-generation farmer. I arrived just in time for harvest, so with Nick’s 14-hour tractor shifts, our Shabbat meals have been improvised, eaten out of Thermoses, and rustic. (“Rustic” is just my glorified way of saying that bits of soil from the field may or may not have made their way onto our utensils by the time we ate.)
What the locals don’t specify when you’re warned about the brutal winters here is that soup weather arrives much earlier than it does in Brooklyn. Which is something to celebrate; you take what you can when the tales of -40 degree temperatures start circulating. And so my favorite Shabbat meal thus far was a few weeks ago during navy bean harvest. It consisted of a simple but filling soup, shared with Nick during a very bumpy chisel-plowing ride.
The soup is a lentil soup, and it’s one that I made nearly every week during soup weather when I lived in Brooklyn. I’d add kale from the Grand Army Plaza greenmarket and sausage from Fleischer’s; this time I added kale from the farmstead garden and sausage from a local turkey farm. Both renditions were amazing.
Perched up on our little tractor seats, two spoons and one Thermos, our first bites instantly brought us back to Brooklyn in the fall. It was the kind of nostalgia that you really only get from a warm comforting dish, and it came on like a strong drink on an empty stomach. As the sun went down, we gobbled up that soup, and I peered out the tractor window where the crops stretched into the horizon. It wasn’t a traditional Shabbat, and admittedly it wasn’t totally restful either, but it was indeed memorable, beautiful, and delicious.
Click here for Molly Yeh’s recipe for lentil, sausage and kale soup to warm those cold Shabbat nights.
If you’re an American Jew, there’s a pretty good chance that somewhere, somehow, someone in your family made dinner on the Lower East Side.
Though the area has been home to a countless nationalities and ethnic groups, it holds a special place in the hearts of American Jews, many of whom can trace their first foothold in the country back to “the old neighborhood.”
On June 5, the Tenement Museum celebrated its 25th anniversary, and the 150th anniversary of the restored building at 97 Orchard Street, which housed over 7,000 people from more than 20 countries from 1863 to 1935.
As a tribute to the many sights and smells imprinted into the tenement’s walls, the gala was set up as an edible timeline, a “taste of the tenements,” catered by current local vendors and restaurants and inspired by the neighborhood’s residents. Here’s a window into what they would have been eating, and where you can find those treats today.
When you can cook Shabbat dinner for 30-40 people, opening a restaurant is a cakewalk. Or so it seems for chef Einat Admony of Taim and Balaboosta fame, whose third restaurant, Bar Bolonat, will open in “hopefully mid-July” on the corner of Hudson and 12th Avenue in New York’s West Village.
The Forward’s Anne Cohen recently spoke by telephone with Admony to talk about what “New Israeli” food means to her, if she ever gets tired of cooking it, and how this restaurant is different from the others.
She even gave us a sneak peak at the menu… Judging by her descriptions, we should start counting down the days to “mid-July.”
How would you describe the food at Bar Bolonat?
New Israeli cuisine mostly, it’s very playful. It’s a little more elevated than Balaboosta. Over there is going to be a lot of twists on traditional food.
Take a tasty tour through New York’s Holyland Market for Israeli staples from amba to za’atar. [Serious Eats]
Healthy, fall ingredients like carrots, quinoa and caraway seeds combine to re-imagine the traditional kugel four times over. [The New York Times]
Ever tried a vegan Reuben before? Locali, a “conscious convenience store” in Los Feliz, Calif., uses tofu, pickling spices and Daiya cheese for a clever, cruelty-free copy. [LA Weekly]
FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver: statistics savant, presidential pick predictor … food blogger? His Burrito Bracket blog from back in the day puts tacos from his (and President Obama’s) Chicago home in an NCAA-style bracket. [Grub Street]
In 1432 a Venetian captain, Pietro Querini, returned home after surviving a terrible shipwreck off the Northern coast of Norway, and described for the first time the stocfisi (dried salt cod) he had tasted in the remote islands where he’d been nursed back to health. His description probably went largely unnoticed at the time, given the abundance of fresh fish in the waters of the lagoon.
Baccalà (stockfish) is a particularly tough kind of dried salt cod, sold by the slab. It became such a staple in Europe in the Middle Ages that it supported the expansion of trade routes with the New World; soon it was popping up in the traditional dishes of areas as diverse as Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, West Africa, the Caribbean and Brazil.
However, it wasn’t until the 1500s that Venice becomes its main point of distribution. The Council of Trento (1555), prohibiting meat to Christians on Fridays, probably gave it a little push; so did the Spanish Portuguese Jews and conversos who settled in Venice after the expulsion, and were already accustomed to eating it. As a matter of fact, for a while it was considered (like pickled fish) a “Jewish food,” which could draw the unwelcome attention of the Inquisition.
Although carrots often play a supporting role in the culinary world, I’ve long appreciated them in their own right. As a baby I turned a subtle hue of orange from consuming so much carrot puree, and as a child I happily mimicked my favorite cartoon character, Bugs Bunny, by chomping on carrots every chance I got. Apparently the world has caught up, since a recent New York Times article declared carrots the new Brussels sprouts.
Carrots probably originated in Afghanistan from a purple variety thousands of years ago, and have been enjoyed for their culinary and medicinal purposes ever since. Today they’re more popular than ever, with the average American eating nearly 10 pounds per year, according to a USDA report on the subject.
Though they have a long history, carrots don’t appear alongside the seven species of the Old Testament, and Gil Marks points out in The Encyclopedia of Jewish Cooking that “The carrot, never mentioned in the Talmud or Midrash, was a rather late arrival to the Middle East and Jewish cookery.”
With the explosion of craft beers in the past five years, it was only a matter of time before an intrepid soul conquered the final brewery frontier: Queens, New York. Rich Buceta and the team at Single Cut brewery are opening a 5,000 square foot brewery there later this month. And the star of the Single Cut lineup? Matzoh-based beer.
“The folks at [local pub] Queens Kickshaw came up with the idea for this beer as a tribute to the Jewish tradition of eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve,” brewmaster Rich Buceta explained. The brew, which is made by mixing Szechuan peppercorns and matzoh into the malted barley mash, is dubbed a “White Lagrr,” perhaps because of the ferocious kick that the spicing will bring to it.
Aside from creating what sounds like the perfect Chanukah beer, Buceta plans a number of other yet-to-be-revealed concoctions. “We’ll be aging several beers in rum barrels, as well as brewing a number of Belgian-style ales,” he said. But the heart of the brewery lies in hoppy ales, like the Halfstack India Pale Ale that clocks in at 6.6% alcohol by volume. They plan to release a seasonal “Fullstack” IPA that’s even more alcoholic — a whopping 8.6%.
From crispy fried gribenes to the mouth-puckering sorrel soup, schav, too many of the foods loved by our Jewish ancestors have fallen to the wayside. Help the Forward’s Ingredients columnist, Leah Koenig, elect the top 10 traditional Jewish foods/dishes (Ashkenazi, Sephardic or other) to rescue from culinary oblivion and bring back to the contemporary table. Nominate your favorite lost treasures by posting comments here, or send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Then watch for the final list in the March 11 issue of the Forward.
This article is cross-posted from the Joy of Kosher.
Shifrah Devorah Witt and Zipporah Malka Heller are the mother-daughter team that co-authored “The Complete Asian Kosher Cookbook.” As they grew in religious observance and began following the laws of kashrut, they were not willing to give up the Chinese food and Asian dishes they love. The inspiration for their cookbook was born.
Joy of Kosher: How do you explain the Jewish people’s love affair with Asian food?
Shifrah Witt: You know the joke. The Jewish man and the Chinese man are talking and the Chinese man says, “My culture has been around for 2,000 years.” And the Jewish man says, “Well my culture has been around for 3,000 years.” And the Chinese man looks at the Jewish man and asks him, “So what did you guys eat for the first thousand years?” This joke describes my love affair with Asian cooking. My earliest memories of eating are in dark Chinese restaurants with my parents. I don’t know if that explains the Jewish love affair but it certainly explains ours.