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    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.

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    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


    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:


    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


    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!


    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



    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.


    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.

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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.

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    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


    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


    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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    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


    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


    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.

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    Breakfast Treats, Savory

    Tomato Calafoutis with Pines Nuts and Oregano


    Calafouti, or as the French call it – Calafoutis, is a traditional pancake-like batter dessert, dotted with cherries. Traditionally baked with black cherries from the Limousin region in France (and in some versions with the actual cherry pits), it is an easy, summertime dessert that you can make in a breeze and serve with chilled Riesling as an afternoon treat. A dollop of crème fraiche is also a lovely accompaniment.

    This next recipe is a different take on the traditional calafouti. It’s savory, studded with veggies and cheeses and can easily become a favorite dinner or  breakfast.

    The basic batter is creamy with the addition of cream cheese (or Mascarpone if you really want to go over the top), cheeses, herbs, veggies and a little bit of a nutty-crunch. It is totally up to you what to put in it -it will work extremely well with diced pumpkin, sweet potatoes, sage and walnuts. You can also add some diced ham or sausage and pair it with different herbs and veggies.

    With my Calafouti I went a little Italian with fresh cherry tomatoes, carrot roses*, Oregano, Mozzarella, Parmesan and pine nuts.

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    Tomato Calafoutis with Pines Nuts and Oregano

    serves 4


    • Butter, for greasing the pan
    • 5 Eggs
    • ½ cup Mascarpone/cream cheese
    • ¾ teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 1 cup Buttermilk
    • ¾ cup Flour
    • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved.
    • 1 carrot, sliced to thin strips with a potato peeler*
    • 1 cup mix of shredded cheeses (I used Mozzarella & Parmesan)
    • Fresh oregano
    • Handful pine nuts
    • Mini fresh Mozzarella balls


    preheat oven to 400 c/200 f.

    In a blender, blend the cream cheese/Mascarpone, eggs, salt, buttermilk, flour and 1 cup shredded cheese mix.

    Pour the batter into a greased pan/cast iron skillet. Arrange the tomatoes, oregano, carrot roses*, fresh Mozzarella balls and pine nuts.  Season with freshly ground black pepper and bake for 20 min, until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm (or cold) with a drizzle of olive oil and some more fresh oregano.

    *To make the carrot roses, cook the strips of carrots for 5 min in boiling water. Strain, chill, and coil around your finger to create roses.