Cooking with the Milk of Lions

If you live in Israel, then chances are you have a bottle (or three) of arak lying around. And, if you’re like me, you don’t reach for it all that often. Similar to other anise-flavored spirits like Greek ouzo, French pastis, Turkish raki and Italian sambucco, arak is often consumed in shot form or sipped as an aperitif. It gets its nickname, the Milk of Lions, because a splash of water turns the liquid from clear to milky white and mellows the flavor slightly. (To read more about the history, distillation process, and cocktail recipes check out my article on the subject in the Jew and the Carrot). Continue reading “Cooking with the Milk of Lions”

A Weeknight Champagne Sauce

The recipe is inspired by a recent meal I had at Cordelia restaurant in Old Jaffo in Tel Aviv. They served me a ricotta and spinach-stuffed tortelloni with shrimp and Champagne butter sauce (essentially a Champagne buerre blanc) that made me swoon. This is my attempt at a weeknight version of that seductive dish. The sauce is subtle in flavor and buttery, while the shallots absorb the Champagne flavor and lend some bite to the dish. Continue reading “A Weeknight Champagne Sauce”

Discovering Treyf in the Land of Kashrut

Before moving to Israel I figured that once here my treyf* supply would be cut. I thought it would be something like obtaining beef in India, where restaurants need special licenses to serve it. I resigned myself to months without bacon, pork chops, shrimp, and scallops. But I also figured a break from it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world – in the past year alone I’ve had bacon in everything from chocolate to cupcakes, and from bourbon to donuts, and I’m sure my cholesterol is skyrocketing. Continue reading “Discovering Treyf in the Land of Kashrut”

Sesame-Crusted Tuna with Avocado

I love tuna, but I don’t cook it often. And being in the desert fresh fish isn’t, well, as fresh as it could be. But one of the local supermarkets has a nice selection of frozen seafood that is about as fresh as we’re going to get in Be’er Sheva (Union Square fish market, how I miss you). I wanted to flavor the tuna without turning it into a ceviche so I quickly marinated it in a mixture of soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley. A coating of sesame seeds and a quick sear over high heat finished the dish. Any number of sides would round out the meal but I went for a healthy quinoa salad and slices of avocado. Continue reading “Sesame-Crusted Tuna with Avocado”