The Jew And The Carrot

Deli Shabbats Are Popping Up in Red Hook

By Lucy Cohen Blatter

In a seemingly logical (and tasty) move: Brooklyn’s own Mile End Deli is teaming up with Pop-Up Shabbat, a Jewish-themed pop-up dinner series, to host bi-monthly events at new Mile End’s commissary kitchen on Pier 41 in Red Hook.

Over a year after Mile End’s kitchen/meat processing facility was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, it is entirely up and running (with the help of Fleisher’s butchers, which now shares the space). And there’s a brand new addition, too: A 1,300-square foot event space.

The first event in the space, a Russian-themed “Night Among the Tsars” Shabbat meal featuring salmon coulibiac, potato dill challah with horseradish vodka butter, and a blini flight, prepapared by chef is Boris Dubnov will take place Friday night, February 21.

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Jewish Soups To Warm You Up

By Devra Ferst

thinkstock

When you turn on the weather and hear phrases like “dangerous deep freeze” and “the coldest day on record” there’s really only one thing to do — drag your biggest, heaviest soup pot out of the cupboard, fill it with your favorite meats and veggies and start simmering something, warm, fragrant and delicious.

While we all enjoy a big bowl of matzo ball soup, the Jewish love affair with the ladle isn’t limited to sinkers and floaters. Below are our favorite non-traditional Jewish soups. Tell us about yours in the comments!

Einat Admony’s Tangy Chamusta Soup: Kurdish Jews weather the season with bowls of tangy chicken broth with semolina and beef dumplings, ribbons of Swiss chard and enough lemon juice to fight off any oncoming cold.

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Mile End Deli's Vegetarian Borscht

By Rae Bernamoff

Mile End Cookbook

Reprinted with permission from “The Mile End Cookbook.”

Author Rae Bernamoff: What I love about our updated version of this peasant soup is that it’s based on an actual beet broth—not beef stock, as in a lot of Russian borschts, and not even vegetable stock to which beets have been added. This is a really beet-y, and surprisingly hearty, borscht. And it’s completely vegetarian.

For the beet stock:
6 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound beets (about 2 medium beets), peeled and grated
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
4 stalks of celery, trimmed and chopped
2 Beefsteak or Jersey tomatoes, chopped
3 whole allspice berries
2 teaspoons dill seeds
1 fresh bay leaf
2 or 3 sprigs of parsley
2 or 3 sprigs of dill
1 sprig of thyme

For the soup:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 bunch Tuscan kale or chard, thick stems removed, cut into ribbons
1 carrot, grated
¼ head of green cabbage, trimmed and thinly sliced
Diamond Crystal kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon juice, for serving
Crème fraîche, for serving

Make the beet stock: Combine all the stock ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1½ to 2 hours. When the stock is cool enough to handle, strain it through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down on the mixture to extract all the liquid. Discard the solids and set the stock aside; it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Make the Soup: Pour the oil into a large pot; place it over medium heat and add the kale, carrot, and cabbage. Cook, stirring frequently, until the kale and cabbage are al dente. Pour the reserved stock into the pot and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the borscht hot; finish each bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice and a little crème fraîche.

Serves 6

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Mixing Bowl: Best Hamantaschen; Brisket King

By Devra Ferst

Maia Efrem

From the destruction of Sandy, a Far Rockaway bagel shop rises. [Eatocracy]

A look at Katz’s through the years. [EV Grieve]

It’s almost Purim. Check out this guide to hamantaschen in NYC. [Village Voice]

10 beautiful and edible gifts to give Purim. [Food 52]

Which brisket was crowned king? [Serious Eats]

Head to Mile End when you feel like Montreal-Jewish-Sichuan. [Bon Appetit]

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After Sandy: How's Mile End Deli Doing?

By Lauren Rothman

Courtesy of Rae Cohen

Preparing traditional Jewish deli meats is no easy process. Though a bright red slice of pastrami or dark, moist piece of tongue might look simple by the time it’s served on rye, meats like these have already spent up to several weeks soaking in brine, curing in a chilly walk-in, hanging up to dry or smoking in a precisely-tuned machine.

Noah Bermanoff, chef and co-owner of Mile End Deli in Brooklyn and Mile End Sandwich shop in Manhattan, is intimately familiar with this labor-intensive practice. He’s been serving up exemplary cured and smoked meats at his Brooklyn flagship since 2010.

“It’s not like making a hamburger,” Bermanoff said of his product. “It doesn’t just happen overnight,” he added.

So when Hurricane Sandy wiped out the restaurant’s custom-tailored production kitchen located on Red Hook’s Pier 41 last October, Bermanoff and his team had to make some tough decisions, fast: how were they going to prepare their signature pastrami without a working smoker? Where were they going to hang and cure their meats without access to the kitchen’s 6,500 square feet? How were they going to continue baking bread and bagels now that their oven was destroyed?

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Mile End Recovers After Sandy

By Devra Ferst

There are few Jewish restaurants I love more than Brooklyn’s Mile End. The Montreal-style deli made a name for itself by updating the idea of deli, taking the time and care to smoke its meats in house, bake its own bread and for a long time, drive bagels in weekly from Montreal to hold true to their vision. The team has also been behind some of the most exciting Jewish dinners in the country in recent years.

When Sandy came pounding into New York harbor in November, it devastated homes, communities and the restaurants that fed them. Mile End’s commissary in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn was no exception. The space filled with water, leaving untold damages in its wake.

Eater visited the commissary recently and talked to owner Noah Bernamoff about getting the deli back on its feet. Check out what he had to say in the video below.

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National Deli Summit Talks How To Save the Deli

By Joanna Steinhardt

Joanna Steinhardt

People don’t talk about “delis” anymore. They talk about “Deli,” the culinary genre under threat of extinction — one that a few chefs are fighting to bring back.

At least that was what they were talking about this past Thursday, at the Deli Summit in Berkeley, Calif. The summit was convened (so to speak) by Karen Adelman and Peter Levitt, owners of Saul’s, in Berkeley. They invited owners of three other cutting-edge delis — Noah Bernamoff of Mile End in Brooklyn, Ken Gordon of Kenny & Zuke’s in Portland and Evan Bloom of Wise Sons popped-up in San Francisco — to talk about the pleasures and challenges of running a deli on a panel moderated by Jewish cookbook maven Joan Nathan.

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James Beard Pop-Up Seder Mixes Past and Present Deliciously

By Devra Ferst

Devra Ferst

The sacrificial lamb of the Passover story rarely makes it into the Passover meal other than as a symbol on the Seder plate. But, by serving it as a main course — smoked, smothered in harissa and sprinkled with fresh rosemary — chef Aaron Israel of Mile End Deli enlivened the Passover story for 80 diners at the Seder in the James Beard Foundation pop-up restaurant at Chelsea Market on Tuesday night. The event was one of a number of iterations of the Foundation’s pop-up restaurant, which will host noted chefs for 27 days this spring.

The Passover story, Seder and food are framed in many Jewish circles as things to be reinterpreted each year, by each family or group performing a Seder. Many cooks turn to Sephardic traditions to spice up the standard Ashkenazi staples or even look to other cultures (a co-worker made a Mexican brisket for her Seder this year). But it is rare that cooks look back at Ashkenazi culinary traditions and think how they can reinterpret the Seder classics.

The Beard Seder honored both tradition and innovation through a surprisingly creative and yet familiar meal. Each of the five courses Israel created was inspired by an item on the Seder plate — karpas, haroset, maror, betzah, the egg and zeroah, or the lamb shank. The dishes, which were served communally at long tables, looked deep into tradition for inspiration, bringing modern food sensibilities to the table as well as a handful of ingredients from other traditions.

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Mixing Bowl: Bon Appetit Relaunch Preview, Updated Jewish Fare, Jewish Deli Sandwiches

By Devra Ferst

If you’re like us and cannot wait to see what’s in store for the Bon Appetit relaunch, check out Eater’s interview with the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Adam Rapoport.

Fifteen Boston-area chefs attempted to update Jewish food at the “Beyond Bubbie’s Kitchen’’ event held last Sunday. Tzimmes inspired Japanese yam maki and culinary ruminations on borscht led to a beet salad with blood orange and homemade ricotta, Boston.com reports.

Serious Eats’ ‘Sandwich a Day’ highlights the mother of Montreal deli sammies — Smoked Meat at Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Tzimmes, Sarabeth Levine, Mile End Deli, Bon Apptit, Adam Rapoport, Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen

From Lox to Gravlax

By Devra Ferst

Courtesy of Mile End Deli

There are few Jewish foods in America as iconic as the bagel and lox. We eat it at Sunday brunch, after funerals, for Yom Kippur break fast and at brises. It is a staple food of Jewish lifecycles and traditions.

Rarely, though, is your bagel with shmear actually accompanied by lox. What, you say? Then what have I been eating all this time? In most cases, the answer is smoked salmon.

Lox, which originally comes from the German word for salmon, lachs, and the Yiddish word laks, is actually a salt-cured fish, a method that was used for preserving fish in Northern and Eastern Europe.

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