Monday, April 25, 2011

Salted Toffee Matzo aka Matzo Crack

Every year for Passover my mom buys the giant 5 lb box of matzo and every year we are left with 2-3 boxes at the end of the holiday that goes to waste. Lets be real, its not the most tasty item in the world and after being force fed it for a week straight, no one wants to eat anymore of it then they have to.

I was originally going to make this at the beginning of the holiday but time got away from me and I ended up making it last night [Passover ends tomorrow night], but it is so delicious that I am going to just turn the rest of the matzo in this toffee candy. Completely covered in butter, sugar, & chocolate..problem solved!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Orange Angel Food Cake: Passover Edition

Who says you can't have cake during Passover? With the creation of matzo cake meal, anything is possible nowadays. Although I guess the purpose is to give up items such as cake, bread, & cookies but why not get around it if you can find a loophole? Its all kosher!

This is one of the best ways to hide the matzo that you are sick of eating after one day, because it doesn't taste like a "passover version" of some food you crave during that long week. Instead, just a light & airy fresh cake.
our seder table

With some juicy strawberries in an orange syrup, this cake is deeelish!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vanilla Bean Macaroons

It's Passover again and the seder was hosted and prepared by yours truly. In between the brisket, matzo ball soup and side dishes, I really wanted to bake a few Passover sweet treats. So, instead of eating those dreadful canned coconut macaroons I thought why not make my own? It can't be that hard right?

Actually, its pretty simple. It is a three-step process and in no time you can enjoy delicious Passover cookies. They came out so much better than I could have imagined and I would definitely bake these even if it wasn't Passover.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chicken Chili Verde

I am not the biggest fan of chili, I really only like it on top of fries with cheese and even so, thats pushing it. I do really like 'white' chilis though, that have chicken or turkey and fresh herbs.

I was awfully sick a few weeks ago and for a few days had never ending chills, so I made this chili in hopes of warming myself up. It also so happened the week before I had bought peppers, tomatillos, and other various Mexican ingredients to make a dish that I never ended up making. So it worked out.

The chili was delicious. I'm not a fan of extremely spicy food and the poblano peppers do not add a fiery element, but instead a nice roasted chili taste. You can add jalapenos or serranos to this if you want a spicier dish.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review: The Bazaar by José Andrés

Mine & Josh's anniversary was on March 22nd [8 years! <3] and he took me to The Bazaar which I have been DYING to try. It is located at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, about a block away from the Beverly Center.

I love tapas and the Bazaar is the ultimate tapas restaurant; delicious, crazy, fun. This place is an experience; from the atmosphere & decor, to the food and drinks. Everything about the Bazaar is over-the-top, in the best way possible of course. I love that every room is themed completely different, between each curtain-separated room you feel as if you're in an entirely different restaurant.

We were seated by the open kitchen so I had a front row view of everything that was going on, and  I even spotted some fellow Le Cordon Bleu students doing their internships there, exciting! It was fairly dim in the dining room, but that's okay because our table was lit up with neon pink stripes and checks glowing throughout.
The menu itself is a tad overwhelming, there is so much to choose from and I felt like I wanted to try one of everything (but sadly, I did not). So after a while, we finally narrowed it down to some dishes.

When you order your drink, thats when the magic begins. I ordered a caipirinha which is a Brazilian rum & lime cocktail. It comes out on this giant cart and is mixed in a bowl with liquid nitrogen until its all alcoholic sorbet, served in a bowl with a spoon

First Plate: Three cheeses; Manchego, Valdeon, & Idiazabal. Manchego, a sheep's milk cheese is my favorite- classic Spanish. The Valdeon was a blue cheese made from cow & goat milk. The Idiazabal, similar to the Manchego but it was smoked.

Second Plate: Tortillas de Patatas . It was one of the best 3 bites ever, this potato-tortilla soup with an egg at the bottom of the dish that you break as you scoop into it. So good. 

Third Plate: Not your everyday Caprese salad. It was definitely one of the more interesting salads I've ever had. I was really excited for it because it embodies what molecular gastronomy is. It is made with cherry tomatoes, pesto, and these liquid mozzarella balls that dissolve the second they hit your tongue.

Fourth Plate: Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks with citrus supremes. I never had beef cheeks before, but I figured it might be similar to tongue which I grew up seeing in every Jewish deli. The meat was so tender, it melted- like butter.

Fifth Plate: Butifarra Senator Moynihan which is pork sausage with these crispy white beans and mushrooms. Josh picked this of course because I am not the biggest pork sausage fan. I do have to say the white beans and mushrooms were delish though!

Sixth Plate: "Philly Cheesesteak" with Airbread, cheddar and thinly sliced Wagyu beef. I was most excited for this dish because this caught my eye when the restaurant was being shown on the food network. So good, I would have ordered 8 more of them. They were the best 2 bites ever.

The patisserie was like heaven to me. It is whimsical in every sense with bowls filled to the brim with candy and gorgeous pedestal piled high with baked goods, lined up neatly waiting to be eaten. The mismatched chairs, some giant fluffy & pink and some tiny little bar stools added to the whimsy. The decor was a cross between a modern-Marie Antoinette-Renaissance.  It slightly reminded me of a juicy couture store, which I absolutely love and become completely floored with giddiness whenever i set foot in one because of its child-like ambiance, well the patisserie at the Bazaar had that same effect on me.

One thing that really made this dining experience so special is that they have a separate room solely for the patisserie. On the opposite side of the restaurant, they escort you there- the change of scenery is quite nice. We didn't order any beautifully elaborate desserts, instead we just nibbled from the candy bar.

Homemade passionfruit marshmallow, salted dark chocolate caramel [with edible paper], & chocolate covered PopRocks were plenty to satisfy my sweet tooth.