Sunday, January 29, 2012

A recipe – Wild Mushroom Quesadilla (Bier International)

Friday in Israel is a special day. You can't find that atmosphere anywhere else on the planet.
The smell is different, the people are different, the time moves differently, slower, relaxing, prepares you for the afternoon nap, which is a must, and then you can actually start your weekend.
My Friday routine didn’t change, week after week. I used to wake up (no alarm clock!) have my first coffee, and at 12 o'clock I went to eat Hummus at the same place and the same plate, probably the same table….
Then beer, and one more, it could end in 2 beers or much more, depends on the group of friends around. Drunk on Friday afternoon, it is such a good feeling. Only then, I was ready for my nap…

My first visit at Bier International reminded me of that feeling. Beer. Friday noon, good music and good food, what more can you ask for?
Bier International is a bar / restaurant, located in west Harlem; and as it called, it is all about international – the beer, the food and even the music. The idea of the place is matching beer to food and food to beer.
The menu includes dishes like Berliner Currywurst, Moroccan Chicken Salad, Pan-Seared Catfish Tacos, Grilled New York Steak and Eggs, Sausages from 6 different countries (!!!) and more.
On the drinks section you can find dozens of beers, tap and bottles, international and domestic, lager ale or stout...
The lovely Chef Adriano Flor Santos made for us Wild Mushroom Quesadilla; a dish as I like – healthy, easy and fast!

Ingredients (for one person)
¼ cup of Shiitake mushroom - diced
¼ cup of Oyster mushroom - diced
¼ cup of Portobello mushroom - diced
4 table spoon olive oil
2 cups of cheese blend: Mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan
4 tablespoon chopped cilantro
One 10 inch flour tortilla (you can use corn tortilla or whole-wheat tortilla)
1 teaspoon paprika

1.   Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add assorted mushrooms. Sautee till tender 
2.   Let it cool off, then drain the liquid 
3.   Place the tortilla on a cutting board 
4.   On half of the tortilla, spread evenly the cheese blend, add the mushrooms and cilantro. Fold the other half of the tortilla to cover the ingredients 
5.   Heat the oven too 350 - 400 degree 
6.   Take a brush deep it in olive oil and brush topside of the quesadilla, and lightly sprinkle some paprika on the top 
7.   Place the quesadilla on a quesadilla platter and put it in the oven for about 3 - 5 minutes until it is nicely crispy!


Bier International: 2099 Frederick Douglass Blvd (at 113th St.), Harlem, New York,  212-280-0944.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A recipe – Quinoa with Green Peas

People think that healthy food is complicated to make, but this recipe will show you the opposite!
It is simple, it is fast; even the directions are short, and it is healthy and tasty.
Yes, it is quinoa, and many of you don’t like it, but I am telling you – give it a try, you are going to love it!

1 Large onion
4-5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of quinoa – washed (treated like a rice)
2 cups of water
1 cup of peas (frozen or fresh)
15 sprigs mint, chopped (leaves only) – not a must but it makes the dish much tastier
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

1.     Chop the onion and garlic and sauté in olive oil until golden.
2.     Add the quinoa and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and bring to boil.
3.     Cover and lower the heat. Cook for 10 minutes.
4.     Add the peas, mint and spices and simmer 10 minutes.
5.  Serve hot
 Homage to Irving Penn, and thanks to Adam Fuss

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A recipe – Orange soup

I live in denial! As long there is no snow, I can’t internalize that the winter is already here.
Every morning before I even open my eyes I check the weather, and if it is 34 F degrees and up, it is ok. 
I don’t know how 34 F (0 C degrees) became my comparison point – is it cold or is it ok?
Suddenly I realized - it’s not okay, even 40 degrees is too (F***) cold!

2 potatoes - peeled and cubed
3 - 4 carrots - chopped
1 sweet potato - peeled and cubed
½ acorn squash (or same size piece of pumpkin) - peeled, seeded, and cubed
½ cup of small red lentils – washed
2 cloves garlic - sliced
5 cups of water
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt & pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

1.     Heat the oil in a large pot; add the garlic and the carrots and fry while stirring.
2.     Add while stirring the potatoes, sweet potato, squash and in the end the lentils. Stir all together for one minute.
3.     Add the water and the cumin, salt and pepper, stir and bring to boil, cover and lower the heat. Cook for 30 minutes.
4.     Turn the heat off.
5.     If you have a hand blender – blend all together in side the pot until desired consistency. Turn the heat again and bring to boil.
If you have a blender – pour the soup into the blender container and blend for 2 minutes until desired consistency. Pour the soup back into the pot and bring to boil.
6.     Garnish with parsley or seed mixture to serve.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A recipe – Fish with chickpeas, potatoes and carrots

My father doesn’t like the smell of fish, and he also had a childhood phobia of fish bones.
My mother never argued.
The result is that I ate fish for the first time when I was in my 20’s!
I don’t want to say that we didn’t eat well during my childhood. On the contrary, my mother is a brilliant cook and people say she makes the best Gefilte fish (fish balls made from a mixture of ground deboned fish).
I stopped eating gefilte fish when I was a kid after my grandmother asked me to buy a fresh fish for the holiday dinner. In those days you would choose the fresh fish from the aquarium and few minutes later it would be chopped and wrapped in paper.


1 Lb Cod fish (or Grouper) cut into thick slices
3 – 4 medium size potatoes – sliced like a French fries
3 carrots – sliced like a French fries
½ cup of chickpea (before soaking) – soak over night and cook for 30 minutes before using
4 cloves crushed garlic
Bunch of parsley (or coriander – stronger aroma)
2 ½ cups of hot water
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
5 tablespoon olive oil

1.     Heat the oil in a large wide saucepan; add the garlic and fry while stirring.
2.     Add the potatoes and carrots and stir for 3-5 minutes. Add the cooked chickpeas and stir for one more minute.
3.     At the same time – mix in a bowl: hot water, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper. Pour into the saucepan.
4.     Bring to boil, cover and lower the heat. Cook for 20 minutes.
5.     Take half of the vegetables out of the saucepan and put them into a bowl. Add the parsley evenly into the saucepan.
6.     Carefully add the fish, cover with the vegetables from the bowl, and cook cover for 20 minutes.
7.     While cooking, once in every few minutes, pour some of the sauce over the fish
8.     Serve with rice or couscous.