We finally got the chance to return to our original stomping grounds for another Pop Up Foodie Shabbat this past Friday. Inspired by Jon H's recent travels through Greece, we decided to do a Greek taverna themed menu for "My Big Fat Greek Shabbat." Then came the all important question: what do we cook? Whole fish, of course! Our original idea was to have a whole fish for each person or couple of people, but that was a fantasy--especially with how much seafood costs! Compormise: we do a big whole fish that's perfect for presentation and inspiration (see below) and then add more filets to fill people up. So that's how we came to meet our big fish friend, whom we dubbed, Hercules. Hercules was roasted whole with lemon, oregano, lemon pepper, olive oil, salt, garlic, parsley and over a bed of lemon slices and fresh dill. He was delicious and fed almost 20 people all by himself!
The final menu? Whole Roasted Red Snapper and Crispy Skinned Salmon, Greek Salad with lots of feta cheese tossed in a lemon and mint tzatziki dressing, and Orzo with Black Olives and Feta Cheese. Yum! Plus, baklava for dessert as well as Greek yogurt flavored with vanilla, topped with fresh mixed berries and honey. Super fresh and super delicious! Overall, an awesome event and can't wait for the next one. ευχαριστώ (Efcharistó)
Mazel Tov! We had gotten a call a few weeks before Passover about potentially catering an event celebrating a bris for a young family in Long Island. They weren't exactly sure when they baby would come, so the date had to be fluid. That's not so unusual though. What was the tricky part? The original due date was during Passover--how do you make an amazing brunch party without bread, or flour for cakes, or bagels for lox, etc.? So, we created two differnt brunch menus--one for during Passover that was chametz-free, and one post-Passover. Baby boy ended up arriving on the first day of Passover, so the bris took place on the day after the holiday ended. So, we cooked a much as possible in advance during the holiday, and finished up the rest of the food the night before the event.
And what a spread it was! Whole Roasted Salmon cooked to perfection, French Toast Bread Pudding with Maple Granola Streusel, crudités platters, Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato Flatbreads, Mini Quiches, Mini Cupcakes, Cheesecake Bites, Brownie Bites, Cucumber Tomato Tzatziki Salad, Mezze Platter with Hummus, Babaghanoush, Black Olive Tapenade, Crackers and Olives, and a variety of breads. Plus, an onsite Omelette Station with lots of filling for over 25 people! The family was extremely happy and we even delivered a follow-up Shabbat dinner to them a few weeks later! Now it's time for a bagel.
It's matzah time of year again! Confession: I love Passover. Yeah, matzah by itself doesn't taste very good, and you can't eat pizza, mac and cheese, sandwiches, donuts and lots of other good stuff. Buuuutttt.....you get lots of lots of matzah ball soup and delicious leftovers from the Passover Seders. And, if you have J2Food cater your seders, then you'd get to feast on our delicious, holiday menu. What's on this year's menu you ask? Red Wine and Tomato Braised Brisket, Chicken Marsala, Dijon-Tarragon Crusted Salmon, Matzah Farfel Kugel with Roasted Mushrooms, Apples and Caramelized Onions, Herb Roasted Potato & Sweet Potato Medley, Green Bean Almondine, and Flourless Chocolate Cake. Plus, our takes on three holiday classics - Gefilte Fish, Chopped Liver and Matzah Ball Soup. The secret to ours? We use lots of fresh herbs, spices, flavors and everything is from scratch. Everything turned out amazing--and the leftovers were so so good. Can't wait til next year!
Sometimes, our clients have a very specific idea in mind for their event. To celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim this year, our clients wanted to do a South of the Border themed meal, or seudah in Hebrew. Jon S. is Argentine, so, of course, freshly-baked empanadas were on the menu. His family's recipe often uses ground beef, but we substituted ground turkey but kept everything else the same--olives, hard-boiled eggs, adobo, onion and few secret spices. They were delicious and all the guests were very impressed that we made them by hand.
Also on the menu? Shredded Mexican Braised Brisket, Chicken Mole with homemade mole sauce, Fiesta Rice with Adobo, both Beef and Vegetarian Bean Chilis, and traditional Hamantaschen cookies made with shortbread dough. Ours were filled with either strawberry or chocolate fillings. Yum!
But...we also had a bonus event that weekend! Our friends run an awesome annual Purim event, "A Very Awesome Purim," and we sold some special Hamantaschen to their hungry show-goers in multiple flavors: Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese, Strawberry Rhubarb or Nutella. They really made an already awesome Purim even more awesome and delicious!
Have you ever watched Animal Planet? Remember the scene where a pack of lions descend on a gazelle? That's what Saturday afternoon kiddush is like at many synagogues.
We'd been hired to cater "Enhanced Kiddush" for a big synagogue in Queens, NY for about around 150 people. We were also told that the numbers sometimes swell right before kiddush started with hungry mouths post-praying. We wanted to cook some exciting dishes instead of the standard tuna and egg salad that was the usual fare, but at the same time still have some classic flavors to satisfy the normal crowd. Of course, we made lots of lox platters featuring thinly sliced tomato, red onion, cucumbers and cream cheese, plus bagels and challah rolls. In addition, we also changed it up a little with some Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad, Middle Eastern Eggplant Salad, Cucumber and Tomato Tzatziki Salad, Tuna Salad, and Mushroom & Mushroom "Chopped Liver" and more. Yum! We also prepared freshly-baked Raspberry Crumble Bars, tangy Cheesecake Bars, rich Brownie Bites, and fruit platters.
We ended up giving out so many business cards, and the food was a major hit!
Happy New Year! We hope you had fun last night...we definitely did! But before we partied the night away, we cooked up a storm for a New Year's Day brunch. There were two varieties of frittatta: Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Cheese and Sweet Corn and Muenster Cheese, Banana Bread Pudding, French Toast Bread Pudding with Maple-Granola Streusel, Vegetarian Corn and Bean Chili, Salmon Salad, Cheesecake Bars, Strawberry Crumb Bars, Cookies, Brownie Bites, Mini Quiches, Lox, Bagels, cereal and fruit. Plus, the bar was open. The party was a great way to bring in the new year, and everyone started off the year being well fed by some J2 deliciousness!
Rounding out the meal was a vanilla buttermilk cake with a surprise strawberry filling, dusted with powdered sugar. We called this our Sufganiyot Cake since its structure and appearance was made to look like a jelly donut. Chag sameach!
Think we only cater Shabbat and Jewish holidays? Think again! J2Food is a full-service catering company and we cook for all kinds of events. A member of the reunion committee for Stuyvesant High School Class of 1972 contacted us about catering a brunch buffet for them at Stuyvesant's old location. It sounded pretty cool, so we said yes and prepared a big spread. Oven-Baked Frittatta with Roasted Red Peppers, Onions and Feta Cheese, Home Fries, Mini Quiches, Bagels and a variety of breads, Lox Platters, Tuna Salad, Harvest Salad, Brownies and more. We served the food in the cafeteria and for these Baby Boomers, it was like a blast from the past--but with better food!