This months Kosher Connection food blog challenge, was “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. After a long time reviewing my favorite culinary experiences, I felt that this was an almost impossible question to answer as there isn’t one food or dish that stands out that I can label as the “best ever”. Macaroni and cheese is certainly dear to my heart, as is almost anything fried, but to label something “the best” needed a bit more review. However, I found myself returning time and again to the wonderful experience I had at PARDES Restaurant. Located in downtown Brooklyn, Pardes is a family owned French Progressive Kosher Bistro, and one of the up and coming Kosher Restaurants that would make your grandmothers jaw drop.
One of the great pleasures of dining at Pardes, is you would never dream of preparing these unique, and original dishes at home. That creativity, coupled with flavors and combinations so enjoyable, leave you wondering why this is your first time here. Who would think that Beef Heart would be so tender, flavorful, and delicious, and that’s just an appetizer. And the pairing of white chocolate and blueberries with duck, HOMEMADE fries… NOT PROCESSED, (almost impossible to find these days at kosher restaurants) dipped in homemade artisan ketchup, and one of my ultimate favorites…Bacon Ice Cream.
Who is the genius behind this one of a kind restaurant? Chef Moshe Wendel, and his wife Shana. Chef Moshe is a baal tshuva who previously worked at some of Philadelphia’s finest restaurants. You can see his heart, creativity, and attention to detail in every dish. This is not just a trendy place to be seen on the scene; it has phenomenal dishes, prepared by some of the most knowledgeable and dedicated in the business. The servers are friendly and familiar with the menu, and the wait time is manageable even when they have a packed house.
Sadly I don’t live nearby, but I avidly stalk the menu changes posted weekly on Facebook. Chef Moshe uses seasonal ingredients, specialty meats along with some of the classics to provide all with a unique, exciting, and more than satisfying culinary experience. As you can see I’m obsessed! I could go on and on, but to fully appreciate what Pardes has to offer, you’ll have to head on over and experience it for yourself.
Chef Wendel was so kind as to share a recipe with me for my readers. Keep in mind that this is his “easiest” recipe. I called over 10 stores to locate all of the ingredients, yet I loved every minute of its preparation. I’ve found that taking risks and trying new ideas in the kitchen is one of the major keys to success, and following his lead has certainly been a rewarding experience.
SHISHITO PEPPERS, MERGUEZ SAUSAGE , OLIVE/WALNUT/RAISIN DIRT
Recipe By: Chef Moshe Wendel
50 shishito peppers, stem cut off, tip cut slightly
3lbs Ground Lamb
.5Lb Ground Ribeye Fat (only ingredient I skipped)
3T Smoked Paprika
1T Coriander fresh ground
1T Caraway “”
10clove chopped garlic
Pinch Pink Salt
.5 t salt(or more, kosher meat varies in saltiness, we use only grow & behold lamb)
Pinch Black Pepper
1 bunch chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno Chopped Fine
.5c bread crumb
Mix all the ingredients together, fry a small piece, check seasoning, adjust salt to taste,
place some stuffing in a pastry bag with a .5 centimeter tip, & pipe from the stem end into the pepper.
When ready to cook sprinkle with some kosher salt drizzle with olive oil, & broil till slightly charred & the sausage is cooked.
2 cups Raisins
1/4 cup honey
1 cup balsamic
Bring to a boil simmer 2 minutes puree pass through a fine mesh strainer.
1 cup walnut chopped
1 cup raisins ground
1 cup Morrocan oil cured olives
4T tapioca maltodextrin
Mix walnuts & raisins place in a dehydrator.
Place olives in the dehydrator.
Dehydrate on high 48 hrs, grind in a robot coupe till the size of large sand, if not in soil like shape add tapioca maltodextrin till dry enough.
Garnish with some dill, cilantro & extra virgin olive oil.
To serve place peppers on plate, dot with sauce, sprinkle with dirt, herbs & olive oil.
When I reach 1000 “likes” on facebook a winner will be chosen to win a Food Dehydrator ($70 Value). You will need a Dehydrator to make this dish as well as my Beef Jerky recipe. I also use it to make fruit leather, dried fruits, crackers, salmon jerky, ect…Good luck and thanks for reading.