Latif Jiji at his Upper East Side winery, which dates back 40 years. (David Klein)
NEW YORK (JTA) — Latif Jiji looks over this year’s crop at Chateau Latif with an expression of satisfaction.
If you’ve never heard of Chateau Latif, you’re not alone. In fact, your favorite sommelier probably hasn’t heard of it, either. It’s not from the south of France, nor is it from Napa Valley. Rather, it’s terroir is the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Mark Reinfeld spent time on a kibbutz. (Courtesy of Reinfeld)
(JTA) — With the temperature in the mid-80s, it was not the night to kick off Shabbat dinner with chicken soup, or rather, given our family’s eating mishegas, vegan chicken soup (yes, there is such a dish). So where or whom do I turn to for a seasonal alternative?
A tray of spicy Moroccan cigars and in front, a Syrian version of empanadas at Sarah’s Tent. Both appetizers contain ground beef (the empanadas have vegetables, too) inside a crispy shell that’s deep fried. Photo by Jonah Shemueli
When Grace Sitt was a child she watched her grandmother brush sheets of filo with butter to be layered with crushed pistachio for batlawa (also known as baklawa). Still, she had no interest in learning her family’s culinary arts. “I’d rather be at the beach or doing anything but in the kitchen,” she said.
But Sitt couldn’t escape her DNA — her grandfather was a pastry chef from Aleppo and her grandmother the author of a 1950s cookbook on Syrian cooking — and her disinterest in her grandparents’ kitchen evolved into pride in the rich culture of Syrian cuisine.
Hodak’s ghormeh sabzi, a beef stew with herbs that is served with rice. (Josefin Dolsten)
TENAFLY, N.J. (JTA) — Ayala Hodak usually cooks the way her mother taught her: adding a pinch of spice here or relying on her eyes — never a measuring cup! — to judge how much liquid to add.
But on a recent Tuesday, she was being much more meticulous.
At her spacious home in this suburban town less than 15 miles from New York City, Hodak, 52, who grew up in an Iranian family in Israel, measured the amount of salt and pepper she added to a stew. She also paused to demonstrate how thickly to cut a piece of beef.