Meny Vaknin Offering Passover Dishes

The Mishmish chef is serving a Passover menu using authentic family recipes inspired by his Moroccan, Sephardic Jewish heritage.

Meny Vaknin of Mishmish, 215 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair, will be serving a Passover menu using authentic family recipes inspired by his Moroccan, Sephardic Jewish heritage. The following dishes will be offered for dinner service during Passover, April 22 to April 30: rice-flour flat bread; fava bean soup; stuffed artichoke hearts with saffron lemon sauce; Moroccan Rice with dried figs, prunes, and apricots; and slow-braised lamb shoulder with caramelized onions. Reservations: 973-337-5648; BYO.

Here is a Passover recipe from chef Vaknin to try:

Yield 6 servings

3 lb large diced boneless lamb shoulder
2 yellow onions sliced Julienne
6 garlic cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
1 Tbl spoon ground cumin
1 Tbl spoon ground turmeric
1 Tbl spoon ground ginger
1 Tbl spoon white pepper
1 Tbl spoon olive oil
1/2 a bunch of fresh cilantro
1 cup of water or chicken stock

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large, heavy skillet or a clay tajine, heat up the oil and brown the diced lamb over medium fire, place the lamb on a plate with paper towel.
3. In the same oil, sauté the sliced onions until golden brown.
4. Add all spices into caramelized onions with a tablespoon of stock to create a loose paste.
5. Add back the diced lamb, rest of the stock, garlic cloves and half of the cilantro. Bring to a simmer, cover with a tight lid and place in the oven for 3 hours.
6. Remove from the oven and garnish with the rest of the cilantro and some extra virgin olive oil.

Watch for the opening in May of Cellar 335, at 335 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, which will be co-owned by Robert Palmer and chef Jamie Knott (of the popular Saddle River Inn). Chef Knott and chef de cuisine Jared Bane will serve Progressive American cuisine with Asian accents, and tiki-style cocktails, crafted by Joshua Fossitt and Guillermo Bravo (Weather Up, The Nomad, Featherweight). General manager is Peter Arnone, former general manager of Ralph Lauren’s restaurant the Polo Bar.

Angelo Panageas, formerly of NYY Steak, Delmonico’s and the Water Club is the executive chef at Tapa Tapas World Kitchen & Bar at 356 Bergen Boulevard, Fairview (201-840-1846).

Chef Dave Viana (previously the executive chef of the Kitchen at Grove Station) is now the executive chef at Barrio Costero, 610 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park  (732-455-5544).

Andrew Herits is the chef de cuisine at The Boulevard Seafood Company at 49 W Main Street, Somerville (908-722-3300); BYO. Executive chef/owner is Scott Snyder who is also the owner of Boulevard Five72 in Kenilworth. Diana Ramos, a CIA graduate and long-time pastry chef of BoulevardFive72, Kenilworth is directing the pastry and bakery operations of Conlin’s Cafe and Bakery, which is also owned by chef Snyder and is next door to the Boulevard Seafood Company at 53 W Main Street, Somerville (908-725-1700).

Please send press releases and restaurant news, including information on staff changes, wine tastings, and cooking classes, to [email protected].

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