Tag Archives: cheese

Restaurant style Tomato Sauce

marcella-hazan-tomato-sauce-0375

This is a tomato sauce that can be put on anything!

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion, cubed
  • 3 Celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 Carrot, cubed
  • 4 cloves of crushed
  • 1 Can of crushed tomatoes
  • 100 grams Tomato paste
  • 1 tbls paprika
  • 1 tsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbls fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1\2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbls brown sugar
  • If you’d like, a pinch of cumin
  • Olive oil for frying

Recipe

  1. Sweat the vegetables and garlic in a pot.
  2. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes.
  3. Add all the spices and bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, bring down to a simmer and cook until vegetables are soft.
  5. Blend the sauce, and let simmer for another hour.
  6. Fix seasoning, and serve on anything!

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Is Bardak the best pizza in Jerusalem?

20150105_145902Pizza, simple, right? You take some dough, tomato sauce, cheese, some toppings and bake it in an oven, or grill until it turns brown on the bottom, right?
WRONG! Pizza today is a much more elaborate dish than just putting sauce, cheese and some canned toppings on the dough. The dough needs the right flour that has high gluten content and can stretch without tearing. The sauce can be a red sauce or a white sauce, the tomatoes used in the sauce and most importantly the sauce to dough ratio. This will tell if the pizza will get crisp and firm or become soggy and fall apart. The cheese, it needs to be mozzarella cheese in any type of form (fresh or grated) for the base of any good pizza. Why mozzarella? It is a very neutral cheese flavor wise; 20150105_145850it lets you taste the sauce without overpowering everything else. And last but not least, the toppings. The toppings combination is what separates a good pizza from a great pizza. Having the right combination, like the classic fresh tomatoes, basil and olives with parmesan cheese.
How is this related to Bardak Bar & Pizza? They are rated #1 on trip advisor as Jerusalem’s best restaurant. That is some feat beating 485 other restaurants in the process. But is that true? So I went to find out myself.
First walking in to the place, it has a good vibe to it. It’s a place where you can hang out with friends drink a beer and get a slice of pizza. The menu has many different options of pizza pies while the prices are very decent for a high-end 20150105_145855pizza pie. An occurrence that was on the menu was hard-boiled eggs? The waitress said that the clientele really like it. The variety of beers is amazing there (40 beers on tap). I don’t get it but if the customers keep on coming for it, keep it on the menu. So me and my friends ordered a pie (69-75 shekels) and went half and half with the toppings, half a Nachlaot pie(eggplant and fresh mozzarella) and half Cheese Bar pie (4 types of cheese). It took a bit long to get the pie and the results were mixed. The crust on the pie was not crunchy, it was chewy the sauce ratio was 20150105_151530excellent but there wasn’t much cheese to go on top. The eggplant topping was nice but the cheese topping was disappointing. I couldn’t taste any of the other cheeses, and to make it worse, I had to add more parmesan cheese to the cheese slice to get more flavor. The variety of pies though is very large and I can understand why people love the place. Me personally though, I don’t think this is the best pizza I have ever had or the best pizza in Jerusalem but I feel that I will go back and try it again and maybe they can change my mind!

Prepping for a cheese and wine party

wine cheese pairingHow do you prepare yourself for a wine and cheese party?  What types of wine and cheese you ask? Well, before we get to that, there are a couple of stages before you get to the actual wine and cheese part.

  • Firstly, you need to make a budget. See how many people you invited and are coming so you know how to shop for.
  • Second, the venue needs to be big enough to host the amount of people you invited. Make sure there is enough chairs and tables also. For example: if you are hosting 20 people, you need at least 3 tables to serve on. 1 for drinks and 2 for food, having at least 12-15 chairs.  Have garbage pails around so people can discard their trash and you also have less to clean up later.
  • The shopping list. how do you shop for an event like this? You need to again, go back to your guest list and see how many people are coming. Here’s why: 1 bottle of wine can serve up to 5-6 guests.  100 grams of cheese, can serve at least 12 tastings. This way you don’t overspend on buying wines or cheese.
  • Part of your shopping list should also be dedicated to buying fruits, dried fruits and nuts. Why?  The juicy, tangy fruits go well with young cheeses like Brie. Sweet dried fruits are wonderful with salty cheeses like Bulgarit cheese. Buttery, bitter nuts are tasty with rich Cheddar. From fruity to sweet to nutty , these same pairing principles apply to wines, too. When in doubt, try to imagine which food would pair best with a cheese, and let that guide you toward a wine.

After we have gone over the basics on how to prepare for the party, now we can get to the actual pairings. How do we know what wine goes with what cheese? Here is a guide to help you prepare for a great party:

Fresh and soft cheeses

soft cheese

Fresh and soft cheeses love crisp whites, dry rosés and sparkling wines.   Avoid red wines like Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, and Bordeaux blends.

Cheeses: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Feta, Halloumi, Brie, Camembert.
Pair with: Riesling (dry to sweet), Gewürztraminer, Moscato, Champagne, Cava, Sauvignon Blanc, Lambrusco.

Semi-hard, Medium-aged Cheeses

gruyere

These cheeses have a firmer texture and stronger flavors. They need  fruity reds, vintage sparkling wine, and aperitif wines that offer a balance between acidity, fruit, and tannin.

Cheeses: Havarti, Edam, Emmental, young Cheddar, Manchego.
Pair with: Chardonnay, white Burgundy, white Bordeaux, Pinot Blanc, Viognier,  Riesling (off-dry), Gewürztraminer, Champagne, red Burgundy, Pinot Noir,Zinfandel, Merlot.

Hard-aged Cheeses

cheddar cheese

Harder cheeses love full-bodied whites and tannic reds. Their nuttiness also works with oxidative wines like sherry, and their saltiness makes them terrific with sweet wines.

Cheeses: Aged Cheddar, aged Gruyère, aged Gouda, Pecorino, Manchego, Parmigiano Reggiano.
Pair with: Aged white Burgundy or Bordeaux,  sweet Riesling, vintage Champagne,  red Burgundy, red Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, California red blends, Zinfandel.

When it comes to pairing, there are no firm rules, just guidelines that can get you in the right ballpark. The only way to know if a pairing works is to experiment and taste for yourself. Don’t forget to buy a lot of toothpicks and even a bad pairing can be educational!