Greek style Butterflied Whole Chicken

lemon greek chicken

This recipe is a Greek inspired dish. very easy to make and tastes delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Whole chicken butterflied but still connected
  • Juice from 1 lemon + zest
  • 1\2 cup of olives
  • 2 tbls butter flavored margarine
  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tbls oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper

Recipe:

  1. Pre-heat oven on 175c.
  2. Combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon, lemon zest, salt, pepper and oregano and mix together until the flavors merry.
  3. Butterfly your chicken(that it still stays connected)4786714136_aa6e78f628
  4. Put the chicken on a baking dish and place the butter under the skin covering the chicken breast.
  5. Brush the marinade on the chicken and place the olives  on the chicken.
  6. Place the chicken in the oven and bake uncovered for an hour and fifteen minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy!

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Home made Mall Pretzels

Mall pretzelAfter departing from the states, I really missed soft mall pretzels. These are great  with a bit of pretzel salt or coated with garlic salt or onion salt. Once finished, dip the hot pretzel in a hot beer cheese sauce(recipe to come), peanut butter, mustard, melted butter or whatever you fancy. So I looked around and finally after a collaboration of different recipes I came up with this:

Ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (45 degrees C) 
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 8 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt or Atlantic sea salt for topping

Recipe:

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand until the yeast has dissolved and bubbles appear, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center, or place in your mixer; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two more tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees C. Grease 2 baking sheets.
  4. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water; set aside. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape.pretzel_shape
  5. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes.

These pretzels freeze nicely so I recommend to make a double batch and enjoy!

 

All you can eat Chummus in Jerusalem

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Yesterday walking around Jerusalem, a friend of mine and myself, we’re debating where to grab a bite to eat. Being photoIsraeli and such my friend recommended eating chummus. Now what does that imply? You get a bowl off chummus and some pitas and eat the chummus like a bowl of cereal. So what do you do when you’re hungry? You go to an all you can eat chummus place called Abu Yoyo(www.rest.co.il/RecordPage.aspx?RestID=15816) off Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem.
1613968_662010807192764_1969883251_nThey have a couple of options for toppings on the chummus but everyone at the table needs to eat to enjoy the all you can eat chummus. It cots minimum 22 shekel per person without extras(those cost extra, but if you want more you can get it with a classic topping) So I got for round 1 a ground meat topping(31 Shekel) and my friends got a classic chummus topping with whole cooked chickpeas and another got his with Ful, which are broad beans cooked with classic Egyptian spices. The chummus is made fresh to order which makes this place really great. They serve the chummus with fresh and hot pitas, schug(a hot pepper condiment) pickles and olives, and fresh cut tomatoes and onion quarters.
So, how was it? It was ok. For a place that is dishing out the amount chummus that
they are the food is good. The ground meat on my chummus was done ok, just a bit under seasoned. Same for everyone else’s bowls. But for the price you’re paying for all you can eat chummus isn’t bad. I got the classic chummus for round 2, and the same story just a bit underseasoned but it’s nothing a bit of salt can’t fix. They also do bottomless beer with chummus for 59 shekel which will make you night even better!
All in all it’s a good time out to enjoy with friends with good food.

One of my favorite Restaurants, Hachatzer

logoHachatzer is hands down one of my favorite restaurants. The location is great( the old railway station) so there is plenty of parking. The ambiance is warm and cozy, wooden tables, white plates cloth napkins. And of course the chef, Motti Ochana, a Courdon Blue graduate, who has worked with chef Pini Levy before opening up Hachatzer by himself. The restaurant is a new middle eastern  When siting down I got to chat with him and he told me about his new restaurant called Medita on Derech Hevron street and I told him I’d try it out, but not tonight, tonight I was there for the tasters menu, the chef’s choice.

The tasters menu(230 shekel per person minimum 4 people) is made up of what Israelis call “salatim”, 4 fish appetizers, 4 meat appetizer, 4 main meat entrees, and 4 desserts. The amount of food that was served to us could have fed 6 people.

The “Salatim” open up with loaves of Moroccan bread called Farena which is a soft loaf of bread that is great for spreads. The spreads that they served were Cream of roasted eggplant with tehini, tehini with baked zucchini, homemade matbucha, hot mangold  with chopped meat, olives with balsamic oil and a chopped celery with currants salad. They were all  and different, original and full of flavor.

For the fish appetizers, we had A Jerusalem mixed grill made out of 4 types of fish, Morrocan style fish kabobs, Asian style sea bass and an endive salad with pears and pecans.

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For the meat appetizers, beef carpaccio, fire roasted eggplant with fillet minion cubes and tehini, sweetbreads in a red wine sauce and  chopped liver made out of chicken and goose livers served with a cherry tomato jam and toast. It was all amazing. That is when we looked at the wine menu. The restaurant offers a wide selection of wines, beers and cocktails. My wife had a fidge sour and I had a Stella beer. The fidge sour was great and you can’t go wrong with Stella.

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Then came the highlight of the night, the meat platter.8 hour short ribs cooked in an orange barbecue sauce, Fillet minion in a red wine sauce,A ribeye steak on the grill and chicken steaks in a chimichuri sauce. It was out of bounds! Cooked to a perfect medium rare, mmm amazing. They also served it with grilled sweet potatos, zucchinis and potato wedges. We couldn’t breath at this point.

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Than came dessert. Lemon meringue pie, fresh striozel, Vanilla ice cream topped with date honey and halva, strawberry macaroons, Meringue kisses and marzipan cubes, chocolate truffles and chocolate almond crunch!  I needed a forklift to get me out of my seat.

5241d3f7720da It is amazing culinary experience that I would highly recommend to anyone who is a real foodie living or visiting the Jerusalem area.

Chinese Scallion Pancakes

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While spending time in chef school, one of the student that learned with me was always telling us about this pancake she used to get in the states and can’t find it in Israel. So, when Asian week came around, she asked the chef if we can make them. They are these airy, oniony fluffy pancakes that when you dip them in teryiaki, just an amazing appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of AP flour
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt+ 1 tsp salt for later
  • 1 tbls vegetable oil+ vegetable oil for brushing and frying
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Recipe:

For the Dough:

  1. Separate the flour into 2 bowls.
  2. In one bowl combine the yeast, sugar and 1 tsp of salt, to the flour. Mix well.
  3. In the other bowl, combine flour with the salt, oil and hot water. Mix well.
  4. Combine the 2 bows together until they are one dough. Cover with a towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.

How to roll out the pancake:

  1. Roll out the dough and divide into balls about the size of a golf ball.
  2. Flatten the dough and brush it with oil and then sprinkle some scallions over.
  3. Roll up the dough into a tube shape and then spiral it around itself, to make a circle.
  4. Pat it flat again and place in a hot frying pan. Cooked until browned on both sides

Enjoy!

One of Israel’s Best Kosher Restaurants

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The Ranch House(www.ranchhouse.co.il/)

The reason I give the Ranch House such high praise is because:

  1. The chef takes Kosher ingredients and able to use the to max.
  2. The service is outstanding! All the waiters wear uniforms,look professional, smiling and very tolerant.
  3. It is styled for comfort and the decor may be a little outdated but it doesn’t take away from the ambiance.

Now lets get to the food! We went as a family with my three year old daughter to this 5 star restaurant thinking this would be a problem. The thing was, my daughter behaved better than half of the patrons at the restaurant! The waitress that came to take our order was super nice and kind. Even when we had to switch out my daughters order because she wanted a burger and then changed her mind to a hot dog, they said it wasn’t an issue, and it was taken care with a smile. I feel that that’s the most important part of going out, when a patron gets great service, 9 out of 10 times the patron will recommend the place and also return again in the future.

20141022_19232820141022_192322So, now that our daughter was happy, my wife ordered the Chicken salad and I ordered to 400g steak on the bone with onion rings for a side. The food came very fast, and the portions were enormous! They gave my wife this salad tossed with the house vinaigrette that was mayonnaise based and it was just great. the chicken was tender, the vegetables weren’t to soggy and all in all a great salad.

Now let me share with you the steak. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare, served with a sweet potato and three sauces: honey mustard, au-jus, and a red wine reduction. All three were full of flavor and really complimented the steak. But the steak itself was so good! Melted in my mouth in every bite. The onion rings are made in-house and were crunchy and full of flavor.

For dessert we shared my daughters chocolate chip ice cream that tasted a bit parve bit was still good.

SO next time you visit the southern city of Eilat, you must try out  this restaurant.

 

Orange Soy Chicken Stir Fry

Chicken stir Fry

 

Winter is here and going out for chinese food isn’t really an option where I live. So, I made myself a Stir fry with a twist.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Kilo Chicken Breasts, sliced into 1 cm strips
  • 2 Sweet Peppers cut into 2 cm Strips sideways
  • 1 White Onion sliced
  • 6 Broccoli florets
  • 1 can Baby corn cut into chunks
  • 5 Mushrooms sliced
  • 1 Carrot sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh Ginger diced
  • 1 /2 tsp salt
  • A handful of Bean sprouts
  • Coriander leaves for decoration and flavor
  • Vegetable and sesame oil for frying

For the Orange Soy sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1/2 cup Chicken broth
  • 3 tbls Soy sauce
  • 1 tbls Teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tbls Cornstarch to thicken

Recipe

  1. Slice the chicken breast in slices and place in bowl. Let a kettle of hot water boil and pour over the chicken breasts until you see no more pink on the chicken. Drain. Put aside.
  2. Combine all the ingredients except the corn starch for the sauce in a pot and let boil. once boiled add the cornstarch and put aside to cool.
  3. Prepare all the vegetables for the stir fry in a separate bowl.
  4. Add some vegetable oil to your frying pan and a couple of dashes of sesame oil too. First add the  garlic and let it brown. Then add the rest of the vegetables except the bean sprouts and fry until Al-dente. Add the chicken and salt and fry until the flavors combine.
  5. Pour on the sauce and let cook for 2 minutes until the sauce get absorbed. then add the bean sprouts, and take off the fire.
  6. Decorate with fresh coriander and serve on a bed of rice of your choice.

Enjoy!