Stu Stein, Director of Food at TY, talks about the redemption of Saturday night dinner:
Before the summer began Tel Yehudah celebrated the anniversary of our 70th summer with a reunion barbeque and brunch over Memorial Day weekend. In the run up to the event David asked us in the TY kitchen to create an "Israeli Brunch" for the event. He didn't really have any specifics for us beyond "Israeli" and "brunch" so over a meal at one of my favorite Greek restaurants in Astoria back in May Tel Yehudah executive chef Sam Sheps, executive sous chef Jaron Deegan and I put our heads together to create the menu for this "Israeli brunch". We didn't know it at the time, but we were actually creating the runaway culinary sensation of summer 2017.
You see, in years past Saturday night dinner was a dreary world of tuna fish, egg salad and a mixture of strawberries sugar and sour cream that has gone by a myriad of names. This summer we kept the tuna and the strawberries and added the menu for our reunion "Israeli brunch" we called it the Mediterranean bar and a star was born.
Each week different members of the kitchen staff take their turn adding new items to the Med bar which has now gone from not one, or two but to three bars featuring Hummus, Red Pepper Hummus, Cilantro-Lime Hummus, Matboucha, Turkish Salad, Babaganoush, something we like to call Jeremy's eggplant salad (in honor of Jeremy Gross a former colleague who gave us the recipe), a caprese salad, a cantaloupe and carrot salad and most recently a roasted eggplant capresce with a balsamic glaze. (This ain't your momma's Saturday night dinner anymore)
If you'd like to bring a little taste of the Tel Yehudah Med Bar home to your Saturday night here is our top secret Matboucha recipe (that can be found in most cookbooks and lots of other places on the internet ;) )
4 or 5 ripe tomatoes
4 sweet red peppers
4 hot Jalopenos
10 cloves of crushed garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 table spoon of tomato paste
1 table spoon of parika
1 tea spoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
A pinch of sugar
- Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, peel them, half them remove the seeds and chop.
- Roast the peppers, peel them, them the membranes and seeds and chop
- Cook the tomatoes until all the liquid evaporates (5-10 minutes)
- Add the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE TOMATO PASTE) cook on low heat for two hours stiring occasionally
- Add the paste, cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Serve at room temperature and enjoy :)