Jessica Seinfeld interview from today’s Grubstreet:
“…Sundays are the days we completely Jew-out. We do a run to Zabar’s where two of our favorite guys behind the counter for the past fifteen years, Jerry and David, serve up the best Nova lox in NYC, sliced so thin you can read the New York Times through it. The fish section at Zabar’s is where Jerry first told me he loved me way back when, so that area always chokes me up.
Along with lox, we grabbed fresh-squeezed OJ, bagels, veggie and plain cream cheese, and sour pickles…”
|From the Art Workshop International Website:
A Culinary Tour of Umbria with Tracey Zabar
July 17 – July 28
Tracey Zabar, renowned baker and cookbook author, will be your guide in this workshop which offers a delightful exploration of the finer aspects of Umbrian cooking. You will be introduced to the region’s cuisine, with the first week’s emphasis on the savory and the second on the sweet. Here local ingredients, including truffles, olive oil, and wines, are used to make dishes that both delight the palate and please the eye. Included in the workshop are trips to: an olive mill in Trevi; Norcia, home of the black truffle; a winery in Montefalco; an ingredient-shopping excursion to Bastia; a slow food lunch in Spello; and of course walks in our home base of Assisi. Delight in the focaccia and bread from the local forno and sweets from the pasticceria. Explore the enchanting hill towns and search for the perfect souvenir; perhaps a Deruta majolica biscotti jar or a handmade olive wood rolling pin.
During this 12-day session watch and cook along side the Hotel Giotto’s chef, learn baking secrets from Tracey Zabar, sample wines with the hotel’s director and sommelier, and explore the sights, smells, and tastes of Umbria. Arianna Calzolari, a professional party planner and integral part of the hotel’s staff, will serve as your co-guide and interpreter.
Culinary Arts Program Details
Included in the Program:
Pricing includes shared double room with private bath, daily breakfast and dinner at the hotel, and all transportation costs associated with day trips. All cooking lessons in 4-star hotel kitchen with Tracey Zabar and Hotel Giotto’s chef, an English speaking guide; excursions as listed in itinerary.
Participants are welcome to attend a 12-day visual arts or creative writing class during the following session or simply prolong your stay before or after the course. Some adjustments in schedule may be made per the hotel’s discretion.
|Tracey Zabar is a baker, jewelry designer, and author of four books, including her cookbook, One Sweet Cookie (Rizzoli), where six dozen chefs—including Lidia Bastianich, Thomas Keller, Jacques Torres, Terrance Brennan, Todd English, Maida Heatter, François Payard, Marcus Samuelsson, Laurent Tourondel, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud, and Mario Batali—shared their favorite recipes. Although Tracey attended the French Culinary Institute, she does not consider herself a pastry chef, rather a baker (and is married to one of those Zabars from Zabar’s). A jewelry designer by trade, her collections have been sold at many stores including Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and Browns of London and have been exhibited in museums. Zabar was formerly a jewelry stylist for Sex and the City and The View. Her designs have been widely featured in the media, including theToday Show, Vogue, Town & Country, InStyle, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, People, and W. She is currently a dealer in antique and vintage engagement and wedding rings, and writes and edits cookbooks. Her next book is about little pies.
Shabbat Meals: Tracey Zabar’s Brisket
By Tracey Zabar
I spent the first two years of my marriage begging everyone who came to my wedding for recipes. It’s how I taught myself to cook. Imagining that we had to eat something different every week, my repertoire grew quickly. My husband fondly remembers disasters like Chicken Chips (totally burnt cutlets), Banana Goo (cake under-baked and inedible), and Horrible Ugly Mess (a most delicious meatloaf that just looks horrid). But what he really wanted was brisket.
I had a very tenuous relationship with brisket. While I didn’t mind eating it once in a while, I had no idea how to make it. It may have had something to do with my mother’s incredibly frightening pressure cooker. She would drag it out once a month or so and drop some veggies, a giant hunk of meat, and who knows what else in the pot, secure the cover, put the stove on, and walk away. Sometimes, in the next few hours, tender, juicy meat with yummy gravy and vegetables would appear. Other times the damn thing would EXPLODE and leave a huge mess all over the kitchen. After getting over the shock of the noise, the dogs would go crazy trying to eat as much meat as possible before my mother ran into the kitchen and burst into tears. I learned that the pressure cooker (just like the bathroom scale) makes you cry. My brothers and I also learned that when you see a package of brisket on the counter, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.
The whole traumatic thing was a shame because that stupid brisket made my father so happy. He always murmured something about gedempte fleysh, which maybe means really overcooked meat. Usually he spoke Yiddish when one of us was on the roof or broke a window. But this dish really turned him into a sentimental child, because it was the exact recipe from his mother, my grandmother Rebecca. Boy, did I learn a lesson there about the power of a well-loved childhood recipe.
But sadly, I didn’t have the recipe. (I do have Grandma’s challah recipe, with directions that describe, “glass raisin” and so on. Perhaps this “glass” is a teacup? Or a recycled yarzeit candleholder? Who knows.)
I now make two briskets. One with veggies and Coca-cola, garlic, onion soup mix, chili sauce, prunes, and red peppers, borrowing recipe ingredients from two of my culinary heroines: my mother-in-law, Judy Zabar, and Joan Nathan.
Every Friday morning after nursery school drop-off, I used to run to the beloved and much-missed French butchers on the Upper West Side. Every time, twenty minutes after opening, they were already out of their legendary, you-couldn’t-order-it-ahead-always-sold-out, brisket. And you couldn’t go there before nursery school because they weren’t opened yet. I finally got up the courage to ask about it, and they kindly shared the recipe. This second brisket has evolved over the years (I use tomato sauce instead of ketchup, and I use a lot less wine than the original recipe).
Here it is:
Tracey Zabar’s Brisket
6 carrots, cleaned and cut into thirds
3 stalks of celery, cleaned and cut into thirds
1 large onion, diced
3 pound brisket
1 cup orange juice 1 cup applesauce
½ cup red wine
1 cup Rao’s tomato sauce
1) Preheat the oven to 350°.
2) In a large, deep pot, place the carrots, celery, and onion. Place the brisket over the vegetables. Pour the orange juice, applesauce, wine, and tomato sauce over the top.
3) Bake, covered for 1 ½ hours. Turn the brisket over, and bake, covered for another 1 ½ hours.
4) Remove from the oven and cool. Remove the brisket from the pot, slice across the grain, and return to the pot.
5) Refrigerate overnight (everyone says it tastes better the next day) and reheat before serving.
Tracey Zabar is a baker, jewelry designer, and the author of four books, including “One Sweet Cookie” and “Charmed Bracelets.” She lives in Manhattan with her husband, (yes, from Zabar’s), and four sons.