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danny

    30 Min Meals, Main dishes, Savory

    Behind the scenes : Hashaked restaurant

    Photo credit: Anatoli Michaelo

    I recently had the pleasure to visit  Hashaked restaurant, a true Tel Avivian institution for the lovers of fresh fish and sea food. The restaurant had been part of the Tel Aviv culinary scene for more than 50 years now, starting as a family joint that served food rooted deep in the family’s Jewish-polish background and evolved into the current menu that reflects the restaurant’s transition to a fine sea food & fish restaurant.  The restaurant managed to gather a wide base of regulars, that keep coming back for the amazing food and personal touch. People used to travel near and far for the restaurant’s chopped liver, homemade icura salad (fish eggs salad) and the famous -complimentary! – Friday apple strudel, freshly made by Haim Shalev’s (the owner) mother.

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    I met Haim on a Sunday morning, and we had a long chat about smoking fish (the restaurant’s trade secret), fishing regulations (did you know that fishing is not allowed during the months of June-August ?) , and the evolution of the restaurant in the past 50 years.

    Haim insisted the I try the smoked trout and salmon, as well as the entire array of salads and appetizers. For a business lunch, including a main dish and unlimited drinks, you’ll pay only 99 NIS (approx. $25/ person). I can guarantee that you will not leave the restaurant hungry.

    I was expecting a huge smoking oven, but discovered that the oven itself is hardly noticeable in the kitchen – you can’t foresee its capabilities from the outside. hashaked (5 of 13)

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    The restaurant also started to hold a weekly BBQ on Monday evenings, featuring specials like seared scallops,  Grouper skewers and filled fish.

    hashaked (6 of 13)

    The appetizers were great – refreshing, delicious and well seasoned. The hot falafel was one of the best that I’ve tasted, and the Icura was addictive. Everything is homemade and made fresh. I received 12 different types of salads and all were excellent.  The salads were served alongside fresh bread from the adjacent “Lehamim” bakery, another local institution.

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    After the appetizers, I was served with a generous plate of smoked Trout and Salmon which were succulent and full of flavor. I understood why so many restaurants were trying to get a hold of Haim’s smoking secrets.

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    Hashaked restaurant

    90 HaHashmonaim St. Tel Aviv-Yafo
    Phone: +972 –3-561-0546

    Business lunch: Sunday-Thursday, 12:00-17:00 PM, 99 NIS/ person. Including unlimited drinks. 

     

    The restaurant was kind enough to give us one of its signature recipe for a filled sea bass. Try it at home!

    Filled Sea bass/ Hashaked restaurant

    דג ממולא מסעדת השקד צלם אנטולי מיכאלו (2)

    Photo credit: Anatoli Michaelo

    For the fish:

    600 grams sea bass fillet, divided to 2 portions

    1 tbsp olive oil

    salt & pepper to taste

    1 medium onion, chopped

    1 tbsp chopped corriander

    1/2 clove of garlic

    method:

    Grind 300 grams of the sea bass. add chopped onions, coriander, garlic, olive oil and seasoning.

    fill the other sea bass fillet with the filling, hold both sides of the fish and close with a toothpick to create a pinwheel.

    For the sauce:

    ingredients

    1 cup water

    1/4 cup distilled vinegar

    1 chopped carrot

    1 onion, sliced into rings

    1 tsp red curry paste

    1/4 tsp salt

    1 tsp sugar

    several rosemary leaves

    method:

    Preheat the oven to 180 c/360 f . Bring all of the sauce’s ingredients to a boil and simmer for 10 min.

    Arrange the sea bass wheels in a deep baking pan and top with the sauce. bake for 20 min. Serve and enjoy!

     

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    Frozen Treats

    Nectarine-rhubarb-peach & cherries ice pops

    Summertime! I lately purchased a Fox Run Frozen Ice Pop Maker from Amazon and boy am I glad  I did!

    This mold has 10 cavities to create a perfectly shaped retro-style popsicle. It also has a tray with 10 slits to insert your wooden sticks and to keep them in place. In short – a great purchase.

    The excitement around this has been big. Big enough that I started to receive orders. It has also become an obsession because the flavor options are practically endless, and once you experiment a little and come up with a basic recipe, you can pretty much use it for anything. So the temptation is BIG.

    icepop (2 of 4)

    SO, one of the first flavor combinations I came up with  was a mixture of fruits and condiments I had at home, which I figured would work very well together (which they did). I found a recipe online from the “People’s Pops” cookbook, that basically uses about a 3/4 cup of simple sugar syrup (made with a ratio of 1:1, that is 1 cup sugar for every cup of water) for every 4 cups fruit+ about one cup of some additional form of liquid (yogurt, coconut milk, water etc). Don’t be afraid to play around with different flavor combinations. If you have only nectarines/peaches/other fruit that will also work great. You can also taste the mixture before you freeze it to check for sweetness. Be aware that the sweetness mellows down once frozen so even if it seems a little overly sweet, it will decrease for sure. The sugar also plays a big part in preventing the mixture from crystallizing and becoming too hard.

    icepop (3 of 4)

    Nectarine-rhubarb-peach & cherries ice pops

    for the pops

    2 cups chopped rhubarb (about 4 stalks)

    1 cup peeled & cubed nectarines

    1 cup peeled & cubed peaches

    1/2  cup greek style plain yogurt (alternatively coconut milk/coconut cream)

    1/2 cup water (or try the amazing h2coco coconut water)

    3/4 cup simple syrup

     

    Simple syrup

    1 cup sugar

    1 cup water

     

    Cherry syrup

    1 cup fresh/frozen cherries, pitted

    1 cup sugar

    1 cup water

    method

    Make the cherry syrup. Simmer all the ingredients in a sauce pan for 7-10 min until the mixture thickens. Strain and set aside to cool.

    Prepare the simple syrup by simmering the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. boil for an additional minute or so and remove from the heat. Set aside to cool.

    Puree the fruits, yogurt, water & simple syrup. Pour evenly into the 10 cavities of your ice pop molds. Top with the cherry syrup. Freeze for an hour and then stick the wooden sticks in the center of each popsicle (it will be easier to insert when semi-frozen). Freeze for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

     

     

     

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    30 Minute Meals, Gluten Free, Savory

    Low Carb Cauliflower Pizza {GF}

    Howdy all!

    Have I got the most amazing, mouthwatering and Bikini-friendly pizza for you! and it’s gluten free. And delicious. And real.

    don’t believe me?

    Try it for yourself and see.

    What I love about this pizza is that it’s basically guilt free to eat. I mean you still ingest the tomato sauce, cheeses (or vegan cheeses) and other additions other than just cauliflower, but all in all it’s still made mostly of vegetables (AKA the cauliflower) so you shouldn’t feel bad if you end up eating half of the pizza 🙂

    there are a lot of cauliflower pizza recipes out there (it has become a huge trend, naturally), but mine is slightly different. First, although I did use dairy cheeses, you can easily swipe them for a vegan alternative. My base is eggless (unlike most  variations) and what firms it up is the addition of polenta and corn meal to the cauliflower dough.

    So whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or a carnivore, you can adjust this basic pizza to your liking.

    Cauliflower Pizza

    serves 4 

    Cauliflower dough

    Florets from one large cauliflower

    Salt & pepper

    1 cup shredded cheese mix: mozzarella, gouda, parmesan etc

    1/2 cup harina pan P.A.N Harina Blanca - Pre-cooked White Corn Meal 2lbs 3.3oz /corn meal/polenta flour

     

    Method

    Cook the cauliflower florets in boiling water with plenty of salt. strain and pat dry. mash/rice the florets. Season the mash with salt & pepper, add in the cheeses and corn meal. You should end up with a doughy texture. Add more cornmeal if necessary. Form the dough in desired shape. Chill until ready to bake.

    Tomato sauce

    5 tbsp tomato paste

    2 tbsp olive oil

    5 tbsp water

    Oregano (fresh or dried), to taste

    Basil (fresh or dried), to taste

    salt & pepper, to taste

    pinch of brown sugar

    toppings: pepperoni, cheeses, veggies etc

    Sauce: mix all sauce ingredients. Set aside.

    Assemble

    Preheat oven to 400f/200c. Bake the cauliflower crust for 15-20 min, until brown and “dry”. Pour the tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheeses and add-ons. Bake for an additional 10-15 min, until cheese is bubbly.

    Let cool for 5 min before slicing & serving.

    Pizza (2 of 3)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Breakfast Treats, Drinks

    Classic Affogato

    The ultimate summer dessert to wake up your senses!

    Affogato – and yes, you’ve guessed it, it is Italian – literally means “drowned”. And what a splendid and accurate way it is to describe what happens in this humble dessert.  All that’s involved is basically drenching several scoops of vanilla ice cream with a cup of espresso or other type of strong coffee.  The hot-cold, acid-creamy combination is nothing but to die for. Add some crunchy cookie crumbles, whole/smashed coffee beans or cocoa nibs and you’ll be in 7th heaven.

    Any vanilla ice cream would work well in this recipe. Chocolate will also be perfect if you prefer your Mocha over the vanilla variation.

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    Affogato

    serves 2 

    2 large ice cream scoops (vanilla/chocolate)

    2 shots espresso, or other strong coffee

    crunch of choice (coffee beans, cocoa nibs, cookies, crumble)

    Method

    apogato (3 of 7) apogato (2 of 7)

    Scoop ice cream into serving dishes or cups. Pour hot coffee on top. Garnish with crunchy bits. Serve immediately.

     

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    Simple Cakes

    Brown Butter & Cherries Bundt Cake

    There’s something magical about brown butter. The process is essentially cooking some butter in a pan until the milk solid caramelize. You basically end up with a very deep flavored, almost nutty, melted butter.

    The nutty qualities of brown butter really transcend baked goods to a whole new level. In this case, it transformed a regular bundt cake into a real festive dessert. The moment I saw this recipe on the Bon Appétit website, I knew that I HAD to make it. The original recipe also adds a crumble topping so you end up using almost two cups of butter in total (approx. 480 grams), which is a LOT of butter. I chose to leave out the crumble and bake this spectacular cake in a bundt shape, which also means that I reduced the amount of butter by 1 cup. I’ve also decided to add some sour cherries to the batter and top the baked cake with a generous load of rum sauce. Yes, it is as good as it sounds.

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    The technique of browning butter is pretty simple, you just need to be in close proximity to the pan as you stir the butter along and keep track of the browning process. Just like making caramel – the browner the butter gets, the deeper the flavor is going to be.

    I’ve recently read an interesting article on Serious Eats from the ever so-talented Stella Parks of Brave Tart, about preventing fruits from sinking to the bottom of your baked good. Interesting enough, it turns out that coating the fruits with flour before mixing them into the batter is pretty much bullshit, as it doesn’t prevent them from sinking to the bottom. The way to minimize sinking is adding a layer of cake batter to the pan to cushion it, and then adding the remaining batter+fruits on top. Just to be on the safe side and guarantee an equal spread of cherries, I chose to spread each layer with cherries by myself and alternate it with the batter instead of just fold in the fruits and pour the rest of the batter at once.

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    Brown Butter & Cherries Bundt Cake

    Adapted from Bon Appétit

    Brown Butter

    • cups plus / 2 sticks/24o g unsalted butter

    Cake

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste/ extract
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1 cup sour cherries (frozen/fresh, pitted) 
    • Walnuts, for garnish (optional)

    Rum Sauce

    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup dark rum
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed 30 seconds in the microwave
    • 2 tbsp butter (40 grams/1 oz)

    Method

    Brown Butter: In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter and stir constantly until brown bits form (6-8 min). For deeper flavor, brown the butter a little longer just be careful not to burn the milk solids black. Strain to a clean bowl and set aside until the mixture reaches room temp.

    • Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a bundt pan generously. Sift the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an electric/stand mixer, beat remaining 1 cup browned butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and thick, 2–3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Stir in flour mix just until uniform.
    • Spoon 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with cherries and alternate until all of the ingredients are used. .
    • Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 45 min- 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of pan to release cake. Turn the cake upside down on a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

    For the Rum Sauce

    cook the sugar and water util the mixture reaches an amber color. Gradually add in the warmed cream and rum. cook until the mixture is uniform in texture. Remove from heat and let cool 20 min. Stir/blend in the butter. let cool so it thickens and reaches pourable yet not runny consistency.

    Assemble

    Place the cake on a serving plate. Drizzle the Rum sauce on top, arrange the walnuts on top and powder with powdered sugar. This cake is perefctly scrumptious on its own but will also work spectascularously with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

    Itstaba (25 of 38)

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    30 Minute Meals, Breakfast Treats, Savory

    Fish & Papaya Thai Sandwiches

    It’s time for a little Thai inspired sandwich! I’ve been fantasizing about baking some soft burger rolls for a while, and when I finally found a recipe that I was satisfied with, the inspiration and ideas just kept flooding in.

    This sandwich came to life yesterday, while I was really craving some omega-3 for lunch. I’ve been dying to get my hands on some green papaya (which I have yet been fortunate enough to find, sadly) to make a traditional Som Tam salad. I found a firm papaya in the supermarket though, so decided to give it a try anyway.

    for the fish salad I used Tilapia, but you can play around with whatever you get your hands on. Cod will also work well, and even chopped prawns, salmon or canned tuna fish.

    sandwich (5 of 14)

    This recipe depends  mostly on ratios and personal taste than on an actual recipe. It’s really up to you the amount of mayo you choose to add to your fish salad, and the same goes for the cilantro, chillies, fish sauce, lime etc. So don’t fret. You can always balance the flavors as you go.

     

    Fish & Papaya Thai Sandwiches

    serves 4

    4 Brioche/burger buns, bought or homemade

    Fish Salad

    4 tilapia fillet (each about 3.5 oz/100 grams)

    3 tbsp mayo

    2 inch /5 cm red chilli, finely sliced

    handful chopped fresh cilantro

    Juice of half a lime

    salt & pepper, to taste

    olive oil

    Method

    Rub the fish fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fry or bake the fish. If you choose the baking option, bake them for 15 min in an oven preheated to 200C/ 400F. If you choose to fry, heat some olive oil in a pan and fry on both sides, until cooked through. Remove the fish from the heating source and cool to room temp. Chop the fish fillets to chunk size pieces. mix with the mayo, fresh lime juice, chilli and cilantro. Set aside until ready to use.

     

    Som Tam papaya salad

    1 small & firm Papaya (use the greenest you find)

    1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

    2 tbsp fish sauce

    1 tbsp grated palm sugar/honey/brown sugar

    juice of 1 lime

    2 inch/5 cm red chilli, finely sliced

    Method 

    Peel the Papaya and cut in half. With a Julienne peeler (I use OXO Good Grips Julienne Peeler), finely julienne the papaya flesh (you should have about 2 cups). I a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust to your liking. Add the julienned papaya and cherry tomatoes and coat with the dressing.

     

    Assemble the sandwich

    Cut the buns in half. On each bun, spoon 2 generous tbsp of the fish salad and top with the papaya salad. Served with a chilled Singa beer and enjoy.

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    sandwich (6 of 14)

     

     

     

     

     

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    Breakfast Treats, Savory

    Restaurant Style Burger Buns

    These buns are just incredible! soft, fluffy, slightly sweet & buttery. I was looking for a good restaurant-quality burger buns and I think these beauties just might be it. They work great with both sweet and savory fillings, such as the Fish & Papaya Thai Sandwiches.

    Restaurant Style Burger Buns

    ingredients

    1.5 Pound/750 grams/ 3 cups flour

    2 tbsp active instant dry yeast (I use Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast 1lb bag)

    1 cup lukewarm water

    2 large eggs

    3 tbsp/70 grams/ 2.5 oz unsalted butter, softened

    3 tbsp sugar

    1 generous tsp pink himalayan salt (can also replace for Kosher salt)

    1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp milk/water (egg wash prior to baking)

    sesame or poppy seeds, optional

    method

    Place the yeast, water, 2 cups flour and 1 tbsp sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer. Mix in order to create a thick batter. Let stand at room temp for 15 min, until slightly foamy and smells strongly of yeast. Add the eggs, butter, rest of the flour, sugar and salt and knead for 10 min. Chances are that you’ll need to add more flour. The end result should be a dough which is a little sticky, yet manageable. Form a ball from the dough, Oil, cover with a damp towel and let rise for 2 hours in a warm spot. After 2 hours, punch the dough to remove the air. Divide the dough to mini buns with a diameter of 7cm/3 inch. To create a smooth surface fold the edges underneath to create a perfectly shaped ball. Keep folding in the edges while circling the ball clockwise. Repeat for all buns. Leave to again double in size, and additional hour and a half.

    Heat the oven to 360F/185C. Coat the proofed buns with the egg wash, and top with the sesame or poppy seeds. Bake for 15 min, until golden brown.

    sandwich (13 of 14)

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