One of the three passed appetizers was this kasha "sushi," little nuggets of kasha bound with egg and baked, topped with a mix of horseradish and wasabi, some white fish, and curls of bacon from Muncan in Astoria.
Noah in the kitchen
Torching the sushi
The bacon was torched to crisp it up and render fat over the kasha balls.
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Another passed appetizer. "You know, your basic 1970's stuff, but good." The tender meatball has a foundation of pork shoulder with a little ground chuck in the mix. "It's all about the sweet and sour," Noah continued—two essential flavors of Ashkenazi Jewish cooking.
The last starter was a composed latke topped with pimento cheese and fried mortadella. "The latkes are pretty basic: potato, matzo meal [damn right], egg, a little paprika and garlic powder." The latkes were fried earlier and reheated in a convection oven right before service.
In it goes
How do you cook up a few pounds of mortadella cubes all at once? Fry those babies.
Pimento Cheese-Mortadella Latke
Ham Hock Cholent
"This is a pretty basic cholent, which is a stew typically cooked overnight and eaten on the sabbath," Noah explained. "I started it with a beef broth and added barley, beans, mushrooms, and eggs. There's also some Chimay in there. But this is my first time cooking it with ham hocks."
Because pork loves bitter greens, there's also some escarole in the mix.
On the griddle
The sliced kugel reheats on the griddle and until it turns golden brown.
Or as Robyn put it, "Mega Pork."
Instead of plain roast pork, the kugel Cubano used Tyson's oak-smoked pork shoulder.
A swipe of mustard went down on the kugel, followed by pork, followed by provolone. Then it's off to the oven to melt the cheese.
Once the cheese melted, pickles joined on top and the sandwich was assembled.
And pork skin, which looked like this before frying.
The rinds balloon up in the fryer and are then tossed with sugar while warm.
The sweet pork rinds were joined by a scoop of horchata ice cream (recipe by yours truly) and a spicy chocolate sauce.