As the snow flurries fell during the third (or fourth?) storm of the year just around the start of Spring, we both found ourselves craving the same warm dish: Pati Jinich‘s Matzo Ball Soup with Mushrooms and Jalapeños.
Maybe it’s the zing of the jalapeño chilies or the nuttiness of sesame oil and grated nutmeg that make these matzo balls so tasty. Just one tablespoon of sparkling water adds the perfect plump and fluff. We found ourselves negotiating over the last matzo ball for lunch. Try this recipe for Passover, or any time of the year. Here is a link to Pati’s recipe which can also be found in her cookbook “Mexican Today.” (link) Or, cut and paste:https://patijinich.com/recipe/post_1/
Even though neither of us grew up in an Italian-American family, we both have adopted the celebration of the Feast of Seven Fishes as one of our holiday traditions. Called “Il Cenone or La Vigilia,” the emphasis on fish comes from the Catholic religion’s centuries-old rule against eating meat on Fridays to honor the sacrifice of Jesus. The number “seven” refers to the seven sacraments, although there are varying opinions on why this specific number matters.
To our delight, we attended a dinner hosted by Santa Margherita USA with wine writer, Anthony Giglio, at Aunt Jake’s in Soho. It was a small group of industry friends, and Anthony kept us engaged with amusing stories about growing in a very traditional Italian-American family. We always enjoy seeing Anthony and his entire family at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and this dinner was a wonderful way to catch up in a more intimate setting.
The dinner was abundant with the appropriate number of fish dishes and almost as many pastas, all paired with different wines. While we know the Feast of Seven Fishes has nothing to do with the “seven deadly sins,” this meal was sinfully delicious! Our special thanks go out to Lisa Friedman at Santa Margherita and to Anthony Giglio for putting us in the holiday spirit.
Whether your holiday feast centers around fish, meat, game or vegetables, we hope you enjoy it pleasure. And, save room for dessert!
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, starts December 12. For those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, we hope the upcoming eights days are filled with joy and plenty of latkes, the traditional pan-fried potato pancake served during Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle that a single jar of oil found in the Temple lasted for eight nights.
Classic potato latkewith sour cream with Gewϋrtztraminer: “The spicy off-dry notes of the Gewϋrtztraminer will accentuate the subtle spices of the latkes.”
Sweet potato latke with applesauce with Viognier. “The floral notes will accentuate the round sweet tones of this dish, while the notes of lychee and apricot will match and accentuate the crisp sweet tones of the applesauce.
Cheesy vegetable latkes with sour cream: “A Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend has earthy, spicy and pepper notes that will match the earth and cheesy flavors of the latke.”
We’ve interviewed both Victor Schoenfeld, Golan Heights Winery and Micha Vaadia, Galil Mountain Winery on our podcast series, The Connected Table SIPS! In case you missed them, here are the iHeart.com links:
Victor Schoenfeld, winemaker at Golan Heights Winery, is a pioneer in the application of new technology and wine making techniques who has developed some of Israel’s most sophisticated viticultural advancements, from irrigation management to wind generated electricity. Founded in 1983, Golan Heights Winery has had a major role in developing and nurturing Israel’s modern wine culture Podcast link.
Micha Vaadia is chief winemaker for Israel’s Galil Mountain Winery located in the Upper Galilee, an ancient region with a new wine culture. Established as a joint venture in 2000 by Golan Heights Winery and Kibbutz Yiron, green living is a way of life at Galil Mountain. Podcast link.
Two annual events always signal the holiday season for me aside from Thanksgiving. Both are seasoned with sentiments of delicious years past and take place the same week.
The first is the third Thursday of November with the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. For four years I had the honor- and challenge- of creating and staging Beaujolais Nouveau arrival happenings for Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. Preparation started months in advance well before the first grapes started to bud on the vines. Each year we attempted to stage an uncorking ceremony more inventive and outrageous than the last. By Thanksgiving I felt like I’d given birth and was flat out exhausted from pulling off all the multiple events, but, oh, what fun! Here’s the list:
The Beaujolais Biker Brigade (2008): The wine was delivered/escorted by chefs and Harley Davidson Hogs on motorcycles from the southern tip of Manhattan to Bouley Restaurant in Tribeca. A similar event was held in Miami the same day.
Peace, Love & Beaujolais Nouveau (2009): The wine was delivered by hippies escorting vintage Volkswagon buses and staging Sip-Ins in New York and Miami.
Cirque Nouveau (2010): The wine was dropped into Franck Duboeuf’s arms by a trapeze artist in a room filled with contortionists and acrobats.
Year 4: Art Nouveau (2011): A vintage Cadillac custom painted by graffiti artist, Kaves, delivered the wine into giant warehouse turned art gallery filled with hip hop dancers.
These days the celebrations lean toward tasteful wine and food events with more refined fanfare. The dinner we attended November 17 at Bouley Botanical in Tribeca featured a spectacular menu by Chef Daniel Eddy of Rebelle and an evening of festive toasts amidst wine industry friends. We had the chance to catch up with Franck Duboeuf and his wife Anne.Georges Duboeuf was in Japan for the arrival celebration which is one of the largest in Asia. It’s a wonderful tradition that always puts us in the mood for the holidays, toasting friends and being thankful for our deliciously abundant life. Kudos to our friends, Marsha Palanci, Cornerstone PR, and Kimberly Charles, Charles Communications, who now carry the PR torch for Duboeuf’s very special delivery.
The second event is Citymeals on Wheels Power Lunch for Women held at The Plaza Hotel November 18 attended by a Who’s Who of leading ladies in NYC, including many who work in the wine and food industry. This year’s 30th annual lunch honored Citymeals on Wheels Co-Founder and Chair Gael Greene who has been a guest on this show (Here is the link).
Gael Greene has raised over $410 million for Citymeals on Wheels in its 35 year history, and she never stops. This year’s Power Lunch for Women has raised over $1 million providing 136,000 meals for New York’s homebound elderly.
It is always an honor to be among such talented and well meaning leaders of our city to support this important cause. New York City is home to over 1.4 million seniors. 66% of them are women since we ladies tend to outlive men. But, 73% live alone; 40% never leave their homes; 8% have no one to talk to. Citymeals on Wheels fills the void of isolation and provides physical and emotional nourishment through meal deliveries and conversation. Just $1,200 covers the cost of a full year of meals for one person. These days that’s four dinners at a top NYC restaurant if you carefully order your wines.
Citymeals on Wheels’ “Chefs Deliver”program brings together a rotating cast of culinary stars who, once a month, lend their talents to Citymeals – cooking and often personally delivering meals right to the doors of homebound elderly New Yorkers.