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Rabbi Ribeye

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    Greenville, SC
  1. OK, katchkelach, here's the kosher menu that I am preparing for 18 at the home of the nefarious Aunt Annette: Rumpolt Combination Salad Seared Duck Breast Caesar Salad Toasted Macadamia Nuts ● Seared Tuna Sake-Basted Roast Turkey Shiitake-Marsala Sauce Challah-Toasted Pecan Dressing Tzimmes du Rebbetzin Sweet-Piquant Chutney Fig-Bay Marmalade Jeweled Beets Maple-Glazed Red Cabbage and Pineapple (By the grace of God, someone else is doing the desserts.) Shameless self-promotion, but has anyone seen my column, Aus dem Bauch, in the Judische Allgemeine, where I am the resident kulinarische Humorist?
  2. Hmmm . . . upscale kosher. Ah, a tale from the Bob Jones Umbra: You might be interested to know that despite the consummate goyishness of the SC Upstate, I am now marketing, with a modicum of success, a line of my own "fine specialty foods" under the name "Rabbi Ribeye." I have quite a clientele among the old-money Augusta Road crowd who apparently don't know or don't care that the pates and duck prosciutto are prepared in my strictly kosher kitchen. I am also selling my gravlax to a deli on the Eastside and will be offering rotating off-the-menu first courses at a Brick Street Cafe -- pate de foie, tuna ceviche, gravlax, pickled salmon with caviar cream, duck prosciutto. Sara at Brick Street has even invited me to do a monthly "international tapas" evening in their wine bar -- jeez, a shtickel kishke next to the tapenade . . . You might also be interested to know that starting in January, I will be writing a biweekly column on Jewish cuisine in the Judische Allgemeine out of Berlin. Sorry for all the insufferable grandiosity. Now off to take my meds . . .
  3. . . . and also a Gifted Gaon(ette?). Correct you are that, to the letter of classical Jewish law, the "no meat or wine" prohibition during the Nine Days is suspended to honor Shabbat, which supercedes just about every other consideration. I'll be doing coq au vin.
  4. You may have a tough time believing this, because of my allegiance to a classical approach to classical Jewish cuisine, but . . . On my was to stuffing my kishke I occasionally bind a little of the stuffing with an egg and drop a ball or two into deep fat, producing quite tasty hush puppies. I of course refer to these as "Sha Huntelach." Take that, Colonel!
  5. How about karnatzel, the closest kosher equivalent to - God forgive me - the Slim Jim? Don't ask me why, but from childhood on, my kids have called karnatzelach "smashers" -- and they are now an MD, MBA and a rabbinical student. Maybe it's in the nitrates.
  6. I tread cautiously when I say anything even tentatively critical of Soby's, because it does typically serve an excellent meal, has become a deserved Greenville icon, and the Sobocinskis are such gracious contributors to the community. The issue is consistency. I have eaten there enough to know that sometimes the food is outrageously good and other times just mediocre. Likewise, sometimes the portions are magnanimously generous, while other times they have left us with, "Now, where do you want to go for dinner?" Fortunately, the flubs are relatively few and will not stand in the way of return visits. I'd like to say the same for another (heretofore?) favorite, Bistro Europa. After years of consistently good, even creative, certainly generous, meals, on our last two visits the place tanked. A point-by-point critique? Let's just say that the "roasted corn salad" was undressed corn right from the Green Giant (Winn-Dixie?) can. They get one more chance. I would not even walk in to Ristorante Bergamo after my first couple of visits. Iddy-biddy, nondescript food, outrageously priced. Rarely a soul in the place. I do not know who is fronting for them. Finally, 33 Liberty . . . AH, AH, AH! Nobody does it better!
  7. Up to my earmuffs right now, kiddies, in the kind of work that puts a crust of challah on my table. But, you may be sure that I will be back with you ASAP with my highly debatable picks of the spiciest and greasiest in greater (?) Greenville, probably the only issue on which County Council and I agree.
  8. I am the asinine guy, having spent over half my life in Atlanta, Charlotte and Greenville. Please, let us not confuse the overall quality of life here with nature and breadth of its cuisine. Greenville is doing a fine job emerging from the long-overarching influence of Bob Jones and is struggling to rise as a city of national stature. Great men like Max Heller, an Austrian Holocaust survivor, are emblematic of its emergence. The primary obstacle remains the County Council, which represents a considerably larger area of Old South sentiment, which will do everything in its power to retard progress. One symbol is its obstinate refusal to declare Dr. King's birthday a countywide holiday, the only county in SC to fail to do so. Now, to cuisine: First, a nitpicky caveat: There may not technically be any fish camps within the city limits of Greenville (fish camps within city limits is in itself an oxymoron), but there are a bizillion of them just off I-85 between here and Charlotte and down toward the GA state line as well. (BTW -- quick count: at least six fish camps are within a 20-mile radius of where I am now sitting) Please understand. To my less than authoritative taste, there are any number of good, even excellent, retaurants in Greenville (including 33 Liberty, Soby's, Giorgio's). Yet, for visitor and resident alike, Greenville should distinguish itself to the epicurious gourmand for the cuisine that "uniquifies" it and that should bring it deserved renown. It's really an inanely simple point. Even the simplest tourista knows that you don't seek out Fisherman's Wharf for steak, Chinatown for ravioli, Little Italy for brats and beer. So with Greenville. If you have three or four nights to spend with us, try 33 Liberty, et al. But if you are breezing in and out, go for the BBQ, meat-and-three . . . You won't find better. If Greenville has other genres of good cuisine, so much the better. Never is a long time, but it will never withstand the test of Atlanta or even - with all due respect - Charleston. (For the life of me, I do not know how anyone could get the idea that Greenville's cuisine outranks Charleston's!) Let Greenville establish its name for the cuisine that does make it special. For starters, let me cast caution, Dr. Atkins and my rabbinical ordination to the wind to assert that no meat-and-three anywhere, anywhere, comes to the edge of McBee's on Pendleton.
  9. Good news, kinderlach. On Shavuot, if you are prepared to temporarily Chasidify, you may literally have your (cheese)cake and (m)eat it! There is an esoteric custom not that we eat dairy exclusively on Shavuot, but that we eat two mini-meals in one: one milchig and then one fleishig (with a separate Grace after Meals and Motzi in between). The rationale is a leeeetle complex, but not beyond comprehension, and (obtusely, of course) Biblically-based. Shoot me and email, and I will share it with you. At minimum this custom balances the the two "conflicting" notions of eating dairy on Shavuot with the mandate to celebrate each Festival by eating meat. For you nitpickers and skeptics, contact me, and I will send you the citations for this admittedly out-of-the-mainstream custom.
  10. A teeny addition to the flow . . . Was telling GG just this morning that I recently returned from Zingerman's in Ann Arbor with a most extraordinary cruet of apple-honey vinegar. (No, no hechser, but hey, apples and honey, so perhaps the sentiment will compensate.) As all great vinegars, this one was palate-enliveningly sip-worthy. Started like a fine balsamic and lingered on the tongue as lightest honey. I instantly thought of the enhancement of two favorite simple Shabbos desserts: chocolate mousse and apple-currant-marsala compote -- how the simplest drizzle of my new discovery would add a refreshing dimension of "I can't name that flavor" delicate tartness to the basic sweetness of the desserts.
  11. and, sad to say, I just may have been such a kid .... and not of the Chad Gadya variety!! Fortunately, under the guidance of wise rabbis who shall remain nameless, I learned the "error of my ways" and have reformed ... no, wait, I was Reformed, now more aware of the ramifications of kashrut .... Ah, and I remember the Reubens on matzo at Wolfie's and Hamm's beer with your Seder dinner at Batt's (CHICAGOAN ALERT!!!)
  12. Will this work? For what? I thought John Holmes and Linda Lovelace were dead and that Harry Reems became a baal teshuvah. Anyways, being a rabbi, that's what they tell me.
  13. Thank you for your kind comments. Auntie Levin was a pistol. I remember her well and learned many raunchy stories about her from my grandmother, who came under her tutelage when she arrived alone in Chicago from Suvalk (Suwalki) as a greenhorn at age 16. (My great-grandparents came to America some years later.) Auntie Levin and Uncle Ellis (my pious great-grandfather's brother) ate pork chops, practiced free sex and had an open marriage. They quickly indoctrinated my grandmother, but ironically, it turned her into a prude. Kosher laws never did anything for her throughout the years, but the specter of pork sent her ballistic. Go figure. Now to the poodle act: The answer is that the two poodles, Teddy and Moody, did all of the above and then some. I have two pictures of Auntie and my grandmother posing with them and will post them as soon as I get done preparing for Pesach. In her earlier youth, Auntie Levin was even more flamboyant. In the 1893 Columbian Exposition she had an act in which she peeled and ate a banana standing on her head (a portend of a sexual proclivity?) -- underwater!
  14. Rabbi Ribeye

    Cholent

    Goddam, did we meet/meat in a previous life (c.1968) at Hungarian Kosher on Lawrence Avenue in Chicago? Those incredible pastrami butts (I confess; we called them "ends.") that did not contribute a-nekkid to my acne and girth made their way into the command-performance cholent that I would concoct for my yeshiva chevra -- the fortunate ones who could escape the dorm to spend Shabbos at someone's apartment. I have found my soulmate . . .
  15. Flaumen-Kartoffel Tzimmes (Sweet Plum-Potato Tzimmis) If you leave out the meat, this can be served with any meal, dairy or meat. Obviously, with the meat it's fleischig. Eat in good health. 3 Baking potatoes, peeled and cut in large cubes or slices 3 Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in large cubes or slices 1 lb Carrots, peeled and cut in chunks 1/2 lb Pitted prunes 1/2 lb Pitted dried apricots 1 c Raisins 1/2 lb Dried apples (optional) 3 lb Brisket or meaty short ribs (optional) 4 Garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp Salt 1/2 c Honey 2 tsp Vanilla extract, mixed with the honey 1/2 c Dark brown sugar (or more) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Work quickly so the potatoes do not oxidize. Pour into a deep, disposable roasting pan. Cover tightly and bake 2 to 3 hours. If it appears to be drying out too much (unlikely, but you never know), add a little boiling water. It is just about impossible to overcook this. Serve from a deep bowl. Do not worry if everything seems to be blending; that is why it is called a "tzimmis." Usually tastes even better when cooked a day ahead and reheated. Keywords: Kosher, Easy, The Daily Gullet, Passover ( RG928 )
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