Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bellini's - Israeli Style

Its summer right now so it goes without saying that its really hot in Israel right now. One of the best ways to cool down, in my opinion at least, is a refreshing cocktail. Therefore, the next several posts will be great summer cocktails adapted to make them more "Israeli". 

A classic Bellini

Today's cocktail recipe will be an Israeli style Bellini. A Bellini is quite simple to make and is traditionally made up of two parts Prosecco and one part peach puree. Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine, but you can use a white Lambrusco, Cava or Champagne for this recipe. Any white sparkling wine that is not too dry will work just fine for this cocktail. The peach puree is very simple, as its literally just blended peeled peaches. To make the Bellini find a champagne flute and fill it about one third with peach puree and then fill the rest with the sparkling wine. Mix, make sure its very cold and you've got a great Bellini and refreshing summer cocktail. 

I'd been thinking for this blog for some time about how to best make it "Israeli" and it was actually my friend Liz (check out her blog) who had the best idea. Replace the peach with shesek! Shesek (in Hebrew) is a loquat and while not native or exclusive to Israel has become "Israeli" in my mind. Sheseks are available for only a month a year (around April) and a lot people (myself included) get really excited when they start showing up in the shuk. They have a subtle yet distinct flavor and are a great replacement for peaches in this recipe. 

Some beautiful Shesekim Israeli Bellini recipe is the following:

Chilled Prosecco or any white sparkling wine
Shesek puree
Sugar (optional)

1. To make the shesek puree, peel the sheseks and remove the seed. Dice and blend well. Shesek is less sweet than peaches, so some may want to add some sugar or simple syrup to the puree depending on their taste. 
2. Fill a champagne flute one third full with the shesek puree. Slowly fill the flute the rest of the way with the sparkling wine. 
3. Mix well, and since this is an Israeli Bellini add a mint sprig for garnish. Enjoy!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Is Kosher Healthier?

There has been a long break from posts on the blog, but starting with today's few sentences there will be more consistent postings.

A recent NY Times article talks about Hebrew National Hot Dogs and the perception that they are healthier because they are kosher. Whether it is true or not there is definitely a perception in the US that kosher foods are more than likely healtheir than their non kosher counteparts. In Israel that perception does not hold as true. Much more food in Israel is kosher than the US, and it is more often than not whether one's kitchen is maintained as kosher or not that determines whether the food is kosher. Kosher food may more often be associated with traditional meals like Cholent, Blintzes, Kugles and other foods that are not considered very healthy. Its an interesting debate in any case.

Check back soon as I'm going to post a series of cocktail recipes, adapted to make them "Israeli", that are perfect for the summer.