Traditional Shabbat Gazpacho

What a week its been for spontaneous travel experiences for me.. Having my days filled by my twin daughters its time for some ME time.  Friday night  I find myself alone again for dinner.

The previous day on a great site I’ve discovered for mostly younger travellers there is a Shabbat dinner just over half an hour away.  Great offer, and all I have to do is drive! No washing dishes just bring a drink!

Thinking I might be rejected cause they’ll look at my profile and see Im a mother of young children what do I have to lose, they are at their grandparents and its my night off for a Traditional Shabbat Meal with complete strangers.  Maximum – No Good? I hop in my car and return home instead of being miserable that my family isn’t with me. The best part is I don’t have to cook and come back rejuvenated.

So spontanety is my favourite word lately giving myself some unexpected experiences meeting people from around the world without paying for an air ticket and enjoying it too.

It took me a while;         What sort of a Street is Macdonall in Ramat Gan?              Discovering the residences of The Philippino Ambassador and an empty lot with overgrown plants and a block of units hidden away opposite a petrol station.   Finally I approach the home thinking I must be at the wrong place almost ready to turn away dissapointed at having received such a nice reply and some guy telling me I’m most welcome just walk down the street past the vacant lot and I take one last peek and decided to knock on the door.

Many years ago I lived in Ramat Gan and know the area quite well but had never been here. Greeting me to one of the best Traditional Meals for Shabbat a bunch of 8 Israeli guys ( 5 are flatmates) and 2 other females a Columbian and Russian gal and a couple very much together. A nicely laid out white table cloth with cutlery and dishes all ready for us to dine.  I get introduced to Morry, Adam,  Uri ,Nataliya ,Danielle ,Gadi and the others and chat with them about their travels in Africa eating Gali something I’m yet to try. Hearing stories of St Petersburg and Nataliyas new life in New Jersey, opposite we see an attic like bed above a very high large book shelf covered with some great Religious books and an enormous picture of 7 people in fancy dress from a Purim Party they held.  I’m flabbergasted this is the life I should have led, years ago I was also 27 and ready to party had just met my partner and my life changed course..

After the Kiddush and the blessing for washing our hands we enjoyed the 2 Traditional Sweet Hallahs , just like in my home with the blokes serving the meal.        We start off with a couple of jokes about the burnt fish, ( which wasn’t so burnt), and after enjoying a great Gazpacho with a dash of Tabasco, on come the Noodles, the Eggplant and Tahina dish, The sliced baked potatoes, and stuffed Capsicums/Red Peppers for those of you whom like them.  Thinking the company couldn’t get any better and the food was finished they announce a serve of Sharons Sorbet and Chubby Hubby Ice Cream from Ben and Jerrys.  They take off the dishes and bring on a juicy red Watermelon with some Salty Bulgariaa n Cheese Cubes which I dig into with a toothpick to finish off with an Israeli style treat.

The Couple leave and I’m getting tired with a drive home but the guys and 2 other ladies are still in the mood to party so I stay a little longer and just before I get too exhausted from talking about Tattoos and Bat Yam a seaside town in Israel I’m asked if I can offer Gadi a lift to Tel Aviv. I say my farewells hoping I’ll see this bunch of Israelis again some time.

Gadi tells me he is off to the US in a few weeks and I tell him a bit more about me and my Australian past and how I really enjoyed myself. Gadi assured me I’ll be welcome anytime whenever they next have a Shabbat meal and want to meet people just to bring my smile and not worry about my age difference.

Of Course I’m happy thinking it won’t happen too soon again and I head home to my children happy and rejuvenated for another weekend.

Suddenly on Monday I see a post for guests to join in a Sailing event in Herzilya after 6pm until after 9pm checking the post I see the couple are from my home town Modiin and are 10 yrs older than myself looking for a crew to sail the Meditteranean. The logistics are difficult but hey I pick up my young son from kindergarten take him home and get the older children to babysit for just over an hour until their father comes from work to take over.  Its surreal, maybe one can go back in time. Living in Sydney my late father co owned a yacht with a mate, and I used to sail into Sydney Harbour past the Sydney Opera House and Fort Denison frequently from  Rose Bay Wharf ,but Modiin has no Sea and the Meditteranean isn’t the Pacific.

But hey If I’m dreaming I don’t want to stop. I get to Herzilya only to discover I forgot my wallet and driving Licence at home hoping I don’t get caught by the police I decide to risk it. Luckily my daughter assures me shes put it in my bag for when I return so I know I’ll be right.  Meeting the couple at the Yacht Club reminded me of the best in Sydney and if I didn’t see signs in Hebrew I’d be sure I’m not in Israel.  I meet another Israeli, David, Kaya and Fredricka from Florence and a German guy called Alex whom proved very nice.  Well we sailed off into the Sunset looking onto the Israeli coastline pulling ropes and trying my hand at steering must admit Im a bit rusty…

Enjoying the two hour sail after a cup of tea we return relaxed and happy and I return home to await my next adventure and enjoy the company of friendly Israelis and tourists enjoying the lifestyle I used to live.

My Famous Gazpacho Recipe….

PIADINE WITH SWEET FILLINGS

Bring on the Brocolli Penne

Bring on the Brocolli Penne

Mascarpone, Mozarella,   all cheeses I associate with Italy. Shavuot a festival for those with a sweet tooth. Even in far away Australia Italian food is considered a staple along with Pavlovas and Lamingtons. My favourite cheese cake is made from 5% Cream cheese and topped with chocolate.
Every 2 years on Shavuot I make it in memory of Rina from Kibbutz Afikim.  Still I have modified the base as I prefer the crust from crumbed biscuits and this year I used 1 Kg of 5% Cream Cheese when in previous years I used 750gr. Both amount are equally good. In Italy we ate Tiramisu which is made with Mascarpone and recently I decided to use it for a savoury dish of baked cauliflower with Sage which turned out delicious. Mascarpone is a very fattening cheese so I will try to use it sparingly although it is one of my favourites. In my home Mozarella reigns but I find it a bit bland as I prefer spicier cheeses for savoury dishes. Still Lasagne is a favourite and a recipe with tomatoes and 5% Cottage cheese follows. I like Italian food so much that when my son convinced me to go to Spagettim with a guest from the Hashmonite Kingdom we devoured a delicious Penne with Brocolli, Almonds and ricotta cheese with a salad using Balsamic vinegar in the dressing. Still this time I decided to forget the dessert although my son and the visitor from our neighbouring country did and promised to return to Israel again to share stories over Italian dishes.

Italian Food on the Go

Italian Food on the Go

In Italy we discovered a Piadineria in Salo and I tried the savoury version as we strolled around Lake Garda gardens and the promenade.   Of course after eating my Piade I ate a Sorbet Gelato before we headed back to Verona.   via PIADINE WITH SWEET FILLINGS.

Cheese Cake Please

Cheese Cake Please



Rinas Cheese Cake

Cheese Mix Chocolate Sauce topping
1 cup sugar 6 Spoons sugar
3 egg yolks 3 Spoons Cocoa & 3 Spoons Milk
Vanilla Essence (teaspoon)

First Cook Choc Sauce until l Sugar boils  then add 1/2 pack margarine and mix
Next after beating together 1 Kg Cream cheese (5%)
Pour onto  biscuit crumb base and pour over Chocolate sauce then place cake in fridge  overnight
Serve with your favourite drink.

Cheese Lasagne

Cottage Cheese Layer Tomato Sauce Layer 
2 Tubs Cottage Cheese  5% Tomato Paste
2 Eggs 2 Cloves garlic crushed
Parsley,Salt & Pepper Oregano, Salt & Pepper

In a dish place Lasagne Noodles, Yellow cheese, Cottage cheese layer add in Parsley and salt & pepper then remaining layer of tomato sauce, top it off with a layer of yellow cheese and bake at 180 Degrees C.

Then Serve with your favourite salad.

Baked Potatoes passed over to Baked Marshmellows

I love potatoes especially when they are baked. Of course every baked potato depends on the amount of time you bake it and if its been oiled properly.  My favourite used to be Scandanavian Baked Potatoes but recently I enjoyed eating potatoes baked directly from a Bonfire.  Of course its never enough charred potatoes with a bit of salt makes me yearn for another Bonfire night.

Memories drift me back to bonfire night and firecrackers on the Queens Bday holiday in Australia. As a teenager a number of the locals would gather around the local bonfire catch up and watch the stars in the middle of the night until morning break. Just before dawn we would look beyond our already dead bonfire reminiscing of the nights fireworks display and then wondering on the cliff face I would stroll to a place I called home many years ago.

The other night after feasting on Baked potatoes and eating some cooked corn cobs with a bunch of parents I stood by watching one of my daughters showing off her young brother to her classmates. Luckily I proudly walked off knowing the 2 yr old boy would be taken care of with 30 minutes to myself  I sat by listening to the DJ playing popular tunes seeing all the school enjoy the bonfire and awaited the guitars.

Memories of Lag Baomer as a child in Israel where we sit around the bonfire chatting with the other children playing games and singing songs left me with a yearning to for my childhood. But alas this time the twins classes sat seperately far away from each other the parents acknowledging each other from a distance if at all I felt like a stranger.

Until the fireworks came on I was reminded of my childhood in Sydney where memories are held dear. My husband tried to associate with fellow parents helping out but also I felt the distance. One day maybe I’ll return to celebrate with the rest of Sydney a New Years eve for my children to see the difference when Millions of Aussies join in mateship sharing the traditional midnight kiss.

Now I have to be content with the sticklights as I place a broken guitar on the bonfire to follow my dreams as I look up at the night stars and munch on skewered toasted marshmellows.

Hope you leave a comment or spread the word as your feedback is required to give you posts of interests with a difference.

Recipes: Rocky Road Marshmellows, Scandanavian Baked Potatoes,

SCANDANAVIAN BAKED POTATOES

Make sure you have a nicely sized potato the size of your palm or larger cover it with oil and drizzle rosmary or another spice over the potato.Cover it in Aluminium foil and baking it on 200C for over 45 minutes should make the crust pretty crispy depending on the crunchiness decide if you want it to bake longer before serving with Sourcream,Chives, Corn or your favourite topping . Serve it with a great salad or grill your favourite BBQ and enjoy.

ROCKY ROAD MARSHMELLOWS

200 Grams Petit Berre Biscuits crushed          150 Grams Butter
1/4 Cup Peanuts,                                                    1/3 Cup Shredded Coconut
250 Grams Marshmellows                                  500 Gram melted Milk chocolate.

Layer the crumbled biscuits with butter and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
Mix the peanuts, marshmellows and coconut together  then pour the melted chocolate over the mix.

Once the biscuit layer is firmly in place place the marshmellow mix on top with the chocolate and refrigerate then you can slice it in big pieces but I personally love this  hand-wripped so the pieces are different sizes and shapes.
Reminds me of an Australian treat…

Check out this link  : http://wp.me/p1fIkQ-1Jn

Watch out for the upcoming posts of cheese cake recipes for Shavout or check out my post on Passover recipes.

Italian Food – From Australia to Little Italy in Israel

Italian Food on the Go

Italian Food on the Go

Italian Food can be bought around the world but nothing compares  to the meals we ate on our recent trip.  Desserts are always tasty, If you like Tiramisu,  Panna Cota or even a great Gelato which can be found around the world but try one in Florence or Sirmione along Lake Garda and you won’t need to eat for days after.

As a child everyone liked Pizzas not me, then I visited Rome and ate my way through square Pizzas with Zuchinni, Artichokes or Onions with all my favourite Italian Spices Oregano, Rokula – Rocket, or Basil and was hooked.

As for Main Courses Pastas are all the go especially for children whom devour the dish with their favourite sauces such as Nepolitana Tomato Sauce or even additions such as Eggplants, and Green beans with Penne.  Then I discovered Gnocchi but coming across a great Pizza place “SAPORE in San Martino 20 minutes from Verona returning from Venice last year got me hooked. Even my son whom avoids the commercialised versions of Gnocchi here wanted more.

I’ve always had a penchant for Italian food ever since I discovered Grandfathers Moustache in Sydneys Rose Bay or Papa Giovannis an institution in Bondi Beach.  But if your in Melbourne check out any of the places in Carlton Street and you’ll feel like you weer in Italy.

Here in Israel during the Gulf War I discovered Luigis, and the Pera Le Mare in Jerusalem or Little Italy that serve great Kosher Italian Fare. Of course my son favours Spagettim which I treated him to one night in Tel Aviv but any of the branches are popular. Trying Teresa in Rishon Lezion Cinema City is great but their branch in Nes Zionna/Rehovot is best where we celebrate Birthdays.

So if you are near Verona or close to Bussolengo this Summer Check out Paradiso Della Frutta for great fruit desserts on their outside porch or a Great local hangout with a garden for the best meals  and of course my most recent discovery is a Piade from the North at the local Piadeneria.

Heres a Recipe for Gnocchi:

Gnocchi 

1 kg old potatoes

200gr (max 250) white flour

1 egg (not needed if the potatoes are really old and good)
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg (if you like it)

Boil the potatoes, smash them, until warm mix quickly with flour and egg, form a roll with a finger diameter, cut in pieces, throw the dumpling in boiling salted water and wait as they come on the surface.

Serve with your preferred sauce.

Paradiso Della Frutta 

Via Pastrengo 30 ,

Bussolengo 37012

VERONA

Tel: 045 7151937 

Sapore’

Via Ponte 55 / a | San Martino Buon Albergo (VR)

Tel / Fax 045 8781791 |  contatti@saporeverona.it

Opening hours

Monday: 18.30 – 23

Tuesday to Sunday: 11.30 – 14.30 | 18 – 23

Friday and Saturday nights the service is deployed in two shifts: 19:21 hours

 

ISRAEL Teresa Branches

Rishon Le Zion Cinema City

Posts on Italy  Check out Translating Dreams:     http://wp.me/pR7TH-6U

Foods from Foreign Palates

The foreign foods Australia needs
Date
April 3, 2013
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The Backpacker
Ben Groundwater
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Choripan Bibimbap Shakshuka Esfahan

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Beer food … currywurst. Photo: Penny Bradfield
So I get back to Australia after a long trip away, and everyone’s eating banh mi. Which is fair enough, because banh mi is awesome.

But it’s a bit like the band you were listening to years ago that’s suddenly popped up on Nova. You want to tell everyone, “Yeah, I was eating banh mi years ago. In Vietnam, before it was cool.”

It’s interesting the foreign foods that suddenly become popular in Australia. Kebabs, I guess, were once cutting edge foodstuffs. Spanish-style small plates had their go. Tacos are still de rigueur. Ramen is everywhere. Ceviche is cool. We’re all hungry for sliders.

Ethiopian injera … more please. Photo: Marco Del Grande
But what’s next? What are the foreign foods that deserve their time in the Australian sun? Or at least in the pub?

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We could do worse than these…

Currywurst (Germany)

I was eating banh mi before it was cool.
Germans know how to do good beer, and they also know how to do good beer food. Currywurst is simple: just a bratwurst sausage grilled, sliced, then covered in a sweet curry sauce and sprinkled with curry powder. Served with chips it’s the ultimate beery fast food – not sure why it hasn’t made a splash in Australia yet.

Choripan (Argentina)

Choripan is a basic thing: a chorizo sausage (chori) in bread (pan). But then think about the smoky, spicy flavour, and the sauce, the finely chopped chimichurri, and all of a sudden you’ve got the kind of snack you could see upmarket bars peddling to the inner-city masses in no time.

Batata Vada (India)

If you’re the sort – er, definitely not me – who wanders around Sydney at 2am looking for an “Indian kebab”, then this is the snack for you: a spiced potato cake served in a small bread roll with chutney. This Mumbai specialty doesn’t sound like much, but wait till you taste it. The kebab guys would be out of business.

Pork tea (China/Malaysia)

The name is a misnomer, as there’s no tea in this dish: just some hardcore pork bits, cooked in an intensely flavourful sauce that gives it its name. It’s spicy, sweet, porky and delicious. Like many of the dishes mentioned here it can appear to be simple food, but is deceptively complex.

Acaraje (Brazil)

Forget a kebab, or even a banh mi – this is the foreign sandwich of the future. A cake made of black-eyed peas is fried in oil, then split in half and filled with small prawns that have been cooked in their shells in chilli and cashew paste. It’s street food in the beachy Brazilian state of Bahia, and it would work here.

Krokets (Netherlands)

Like currywurst, this is bar food, plain and simple. A good Dutch kroket is a thing of beauty: it’s like the filling from a meat pie has been formed into a cylinder, crumbed and deep-fried. Add a little mustard and all of your drunken dreams have just come true.

Fried liver sandwiches (Morocco)

On the narrow streets of Fez they serve these amazing sandwiches: round bread rolls split and stuffed with a mixture of sausage meat and liver that’s been chopped and fried in spices. These snacks go for about $1 each, and they taste incredible. (Though, admittedly, they may not taste quite as incredible when not surrounded by Fez.)

Soba noodles (Japan)

We’ve got sushi, we’ve got ramen, we’ve got tempura, but there’s still not a lot of love for the delicate awesomeness of soba noodles. Served cold or hot, in soup or dipped in an equally delicate sauce, soba is not for midnight devouring. It’s for – ahem – sober appreciation.

Halim Bademjan (Iran)

How beef and the humble eggplant is cooked to become this pale, molasses-thick soup I have no idea, but the result is delicious. Dusted with spice and served with a huge flatbread, this specialty of Esfahan deserves a go in the cafes of Australia.

Shakshuka (Israel)

This one is already beginning to find its way onto trendy café menus, and with good reason. When I wake up in the morning, the thought of eggs poached in a spicy tomato and capsicum sauce, served with bread, is about the best thing I could picture.

Bibimbap (Korea)

It’s the new nasi goreng! Bibimbap has everything that makes a rice dish good, including egg, chilli paste, mince, and some sautéed greens that you won’t find in any other cuisine. It’s also cooked (properly) in a stone bowl, giving the outer bits of rice a beautiful crunchy texture. I’d eat it every day.

Bobotie (South Africa)

There’s some weird food in South Africa – like a salad made of baked beans, banana and mayonnaise – but bobotie is fantastic. It’s comfort food: a baked casserole of mince, curry spices, dried fruit, and Mrs Ball’s chutney, with an eggy white sauce on top. You wouldn’t exactly expect to see it at Tetsuya’s, but for pub grub it works.

Injera (Ethiopia)

There’s maybe two Ethiopian restaurants in Melbourne, and one in Sydney, but there should be more. It mightn’t be to everyone’s taste, but injera – a sort of sour, spongy pancake – served with wats (stews) could easily find its place on the Australian dining scene. To some it tastes like eating your napkin, but I love it.

Which foreign foods would you like to see become popular in Australia?

Email: bengroundwater@gmail.com

Instagram: instagram.com/bengroundwater

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