Friday, June 3, 2011

Wedding at Eldridge Street Synagaogue

Mazel Tov to Miriam and David and best wishes for a long and happy life together.

Smokey Joe's recently catered a fantastically fun wedding in the beautiful landmark, the Eldridge Street Synagogue. The main sanctuary is fully restored to its original 1800's splendor and to daven there is truly inspiring. It is wonderful that there is still a minyan there every Shabbat.

When I got married a close friend told me that a marriage is a perfect union of place and time and this wedding stayed true to that rule. The bride's mother and grandmother were bounced from flight to flight on the way from Chicago, and were eventually blessed to be given seats on the fourth plane that left that day and made it to the synagogue about one half hour before "shekiah" which was the rabbi's deadline for getting married that day. They made it and the wedding was off to a flying start.

Joyous singing ushered the bride and groom from the beautiful sanctuary and brought them down to the museum space and banquet room. With cold bottles of Shiner Beer from Shiner Texas and fresh squeezed lemonade, all the guests were happy to fill their plates with smoked barbeque brisket, pulled chicken, and the groom's choice for his first meal as a married man, Smokey Joe's famous Ribs.

Rabbi Lazer Lazaroff was so enthralled with the menu that he has suggested that all weddings, to commemorate the Rib that G-d took from Adam to create Eve, should have Ribs from Smokey Joe,s!!

Rabbi, we could not agree with you more. To all our new found friends from Texas we wish a Mazel Tov and we were honored to spend the day with you.

To everyone else I want to remind you of our mission statement,

Smokey Joe's--- We're not just for Weddings.

Remember our Father's Day HaiQue Contest, I have read some good ones, but I want to read yours!!

Best Wishes for a Good Yom Tov,


Monday, March 14, 2011

Orange Chicken Potstickers

I am glad to be writing the blog this week.Last week I found myself very busy traveling back and forth to Phoenix AZ.
My mother lives there and had taken a turn for the worse and I wanted to visit and give some TLC.

I'm glad that there is such a strong and caring crew at Smokey Joe's (as in many organizations,
starting at the top)
and I was able to fly out on only one day's notice.

This week, while we are thinking about Purim, I would like to think about what to serve at the Seuda. This year I find myself thinking about the theme of hidden things that runs through Purim. Everyone I'm sure remembers from their school years that the Book of Esther is the only book in Tanach that does not have Gd's name anywhere, but His hand is seen throughout the story of Esther.
Because of this we eat Kreplach with hidden fillings and Hamentashen are often made with their fillings hidden as well.

Phoenix has citrus trees growing everywhere you look, including my mother's back yard, so incorporating both ideas I made some "Orange Chicken Potstickers"
with an orange plucked from my mother's own tree.

Orange Chicken Potstickers

  • 1 package square dumpling wrappers ( you can find them in the produce area of most supermarkets)
  • Boneless meat from I/2 cooked, roasted, or BBQ Chicken (All white, all dark, or a mixture of both)
  • 1 large Onion coarsely chopped
  • About 3/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil for frying, divided use
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Sage coarsely chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Raw Sweet Potato shredded on food processor or large holes of box grater
  • 1 slightly beaten Egg for sealing the dumplings
  • 1 cup , about of Chicken stock or water (You'll see why in a bit)

Saute onion until soft and golden brown in about 1/4 cup of oil in large skillet. While the onion is browning peel the orange zest into long strips with a vegetable peeler and put aside.
Peel white pith from orange and cut sections free from membranes and chop coarsely.
When onions are brown, season with salt,pepper, and add sage and orange rind. Put in work bowl of food processor and using pulses, chop until uniformly rice sized pieces. Taste a bit and check for seasoning. Add chopped orange and sweet potato and mix well.

Keeping the dumpling wrappers covered as much as possible with a damp kitchen towel,and lay out three or four wrappers with a point facing you. Moisten the edges of the top with beaten egg and put one teaspoonful of filling on the center of each wrapper. Fold each filled wrapper in half to form a triangle and press to seal well. fold the two lower corners up to form a crown and seal with a bit of egg. Continue until either all filling or all wrappers (or both) are finished.

Lightly coat your skillet with oil and over medium high heat add one layer of dumplings being careful not to crowd in pan and brown one side of dumpling until dark golden brown. Then add 1/4 cup of stock and cover skilet and finish cooking until pan is mostly dry. Remove dumplings from pan, wipe clean and do it again until all dumplings are cooked.

Serve with chopped parsley and dipping sauce of choice and discover the treat hidden inside the dumpling.
Happy Purim, Moshe

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oscar Party Empanaditas

Its Monday , so it must be time for this weeks recipe.

I want to keep the weekly recipe  topical and relevant in the middle of our day to day chaos.
My Egyptian friends suggested something Middle Eastern like felafel  or chummos , and my cheesehead friends from Wisconsin wanted a pareve cheesecake to tempt the  Democrats back to the statehouse .

But I want to concentrate on the upcoming Academy Awards and prepare  some snacks for your Oscars party.

I like snacks to be flavorful, easy to serve and eat, and just a little bit out of the ordinary.With that in mind, For Your Consideration, Chicken and Black Bean Empanadas. Served with Salsa Crudo.

Chicken and Black Bean Empanadas

The first step is to make the dough :
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup ice water
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Cut the shortening into the flour as though you were making a pie crust by working it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle dough with just enough ice water so that it will just hold together. Knead together briefly and allow to rest, covered about 10 minutes.

While the dough is resting you can move along into the filling.
¼ cup oil
1 small onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1 ½ cups shredded chicken

Saute onions and garlic until soft then add spices and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add black beans and chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook until beans are heated through, about 5 minutes and then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add cilantro and stir well.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out dough to a ⅛ inch thickness about 12 by 16 inches.Cut into 12 4x4 inch square.
Moisten edges of dough with beaten egg. Place 2 tablespoons of filling on one half of dough and fold remaining half over filling. Use fork to seal edges and brush tops with beaten egg. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with Salsa Cruda.

Salsa Cruda                                                                                    

  • 1-1/2 pounds firm, ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno chile, seeded, minced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Mix all ingredients and serve with Empanadas.

Enjoy these treats and  remember, you’re all winners at Smokey Joe’s.  Moshe

Monday, February 14, 2011

Recipe Mondays - Moshe's Hidden Vegetable Meatloaf


Welcome to Recipe Mondays, a sort of, "Well, what are we going to eat this week" approach to helping you plan your family's menus. I asked Moshe to whip something up for this week and I hope you will enjoy it. Please check back each Monday for a new recipe.

Smokey Joe’s is a magnet for meat eaters , as you can ask our Brooklyn contingent, regularly packing up their buddies to challenge the  George Washington Bridge and finally escaping onto Route 4 and arriving at SJ’s breathless and ready to tear into prearranged slow smoked racks of ribs.
But there is more to life than brisket and sausage, and yes there is even more than ribs.

Yesterday we were joined for lunch by a vegetarian celebrating her birthday who wanted her family to share a meal at her favorite restaurant in Teaneck.She had a Barbeque Tofu Salad, her mother had sizzling Seitan Fajitas, and her father had a shredded Brisket Sandwich with Sweet Potato wedges.
Now, not everyone is willing to pass up a favorite meaty masterpiece for vegetables right in the middle of the plate, but it did remind me that my family loves my “Hidden Vegetable Meatloaf”.
My family has varied tastes when it comes to dinnertime, one likes pastas and eggs and cheeses, and my son at TABC is a meat and potatoes guy and, its ok if there aren’t any potatoes.

This tasty Meatloaf is full of vegetables, but more importantly is full of flavor.

If you want to make it you start like this:

Coarsely chop one large onion, 2 carrots,2 ribs of celery, one large green or red pepper(hey , you can add both if you want) and a really large handful of fresh spinach (baby spinach works great). Next, either saute or microwave in a bag until soft. Allow to cool slightly and chop finely (isn’t this easier after its cooked and soft?).
Take 3 lbs of ground beef, add 3 eggs, 3/4 cup breadcrumbs or matzah meal, and all those vegetables and 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite seasoning blend (I used Smokey Joe’s Secret Rub #88).
If you have an open jar of salsa, you can put in ½ a cup and if not add some ketchup.
Mix this together well and divide into 4 portions. Form each portion into a football shaped loaf and put on a sprayed baking sheet (this gives lots of surfaces to get brown and crusty).
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, remove from oven, and at this point I usually transfer the meatloaves to a clean pan and leave any rendered fat and grease behind so it doesn’t wind up on your dinner plate.
Generously brush the meatloaves with your favorite BBQ sauce (Guess which one I use?) Return to oven, lower temperature to 350 and bake for another 15 minutes and your meat and veggies are done. You can serve this with mashed potatoes, but my son says that potatoes are optional.

Serves 6-8 0r 4 TABC students

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Win a Lone Star Package Contest

Do you know about our Lone Star Package?
Do you know about our new blog?
How would you like to win a free Lone Star?

This is no exaggeration. The Lone Star may be the single best deal in Teaneck.
The Lone Star includes Guacamole, Salsa, and Tortilla Chips. A pound of brisket and a whole, big chicken. You get two delicious sides and our "Better than Yo' Mamas" cornbread and famous onion jam.
You could feed about eight people from the Lone Star
How much would you expect this to cost? $80 ? $70 ? Nah, just $49.99 or about $6 a person. And that is why we think this is the best deal in Teaneck. How can your family win one? That is where our new blog comes in. The blog is a great way for us to communicate, share thoughts, recipes, new menu items, events, music schedule, etc. We want you to join our blog and to contribute to it. We know it will be better and more exciting with your input. We will select a winner from those who join our BLOG between now and this Sunday. 
Call: 201-836-RIBS (7427)

Saturday, January 22nd
Shows at 8 PM and 9:30 PM

King Django Rocks the House

We are very excited to have King Django back with us for a second performance. King Django is unlike anything you have ever heard before. The Jamaican rhythms make you think you are somewhere in the Caribbean, but the Yiddish compels you to wonder if you are somewhere in Williamsburg. You are not. You are firmly planted in the mind and creations Jeff Baker, aka King Django.
you have to hear it to believe it, and when you do, you will be cool sailing on a Jewish vibe.
Bring your bottles of Red Stripe and Chill.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New York Jets Championship Packages

Go Jets!!

We think its great that our favorite Green football team has made it to the Championship game, and,while its not easy being Green, it is easy to get some great food for the game.

Joe asked me to design some special New York Jets Championship worthy packages and I invite all Jets fans to try one and let me know how I did.

The Green Machine $199
Better than Yo Mamma’s Cornbread
Ari’s or Buffalo Wings
Signature Guacamole, Pico de Gallo Salsa, and Housemade Tortilla Chips
Shredded Smoked BBQ Brisket, Brioche Buns, and Barbeque Sauce
Smoked BBQ Chicken
Crispy Fried Chicken
Smokey Joe’s Competition Chili
Cole Slaw
Mashed Potatoes

The Pittsburgh Pain $299

Better than Yo Mamma’s Cornbread
Ari’s or Buffalo Wings
Signature Guacamole, Pico de Gallo Salsa, and Housemade Totilla Chips
Meaty Pit Smoked Beef Back Ribs with BBQ Sauce
Joe Dawgs Smoked Sausages
Smokey Joe’s Competiton Chili
Cole Slaw
Mashed Potatoes

The Rusted Steelers $99

Better Than Yo Mamma’s Cornbread
Ari’s or Buffalo Wings
Signature Guacamole, Pico de Gallo Salsa, and Housemade Tortilla Chips
Smokey Joe’s Competition Chili
Joe Dawgs Smoked Sausages

Each package feeds 8 fans, which in football talk means that if you get all 3 you should be able to feed one Defensive Line or ½ of an Offensive Line!


Jets Are Going All the Way

The improbable win of the Jets over the Pats is nothing short of astounding and inspiring. The erratic Jets were up against the clear Superbowl favorites. There wasn't a sportswriter who didn't pick the Pats to go all the way. Only a handful of people believed in the Jets. Pats fans must have crowded into Gillette stadium, confident and smug in their teams imminent victory over the wobbly Jets. And then the Jets opened a can of whoop ass on the Pats. They dominated from the very beginning, but with a team as confident and capable as the Pats, you never want to start counting your chickens before they hatch.

I was not a Jets fan (though I am now!) I remain a Giants fan. I was at the 2007 game between the Giants and the Pats, the one the Giants lost 35-38. Recap  But, at that game I saw the flares of brilliance that would ultimately lead to a Giants victory in the Superbowl. I see the same quality in today's Jets. I am greatly pleased that it was another New york team that lead to New England's defeat, ending their season.
So, with the "clear favorite" out of the way, only the Steelers stand in the Jets way. But Pittsburgh Steel ain't what is used to be back in the Seventies.

We will post some specials for the Jets game. And, feel free to check out  Smokey Joe's Superbowl Menu

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blizzard Blogging

Well, we here at Smokey Joe's have so much to say. 2011 is a New Year and with it we launch our new blog. All of our thoughts are circulating much like the blizzard that is brewing outside.  You will hear us opine about a great number of topics but mostly about food, fun, and bbq. Moshe Morrison, our masgiach, manager, and all around mensch will be weighing in mostly with recipes and menu ideas. Moshe is a real foodie and we are lucky to have him here with us.
And I have a lot of thoughts about service, catering ideas, and new bbq ideas that I can't wait to get started. BUT, the really great thing about creating a blog is not that we get to spout off, but that  you, dear customer, get to share your thoughts about all of these topics. What makes a blog great is the dialog that is created between Smokey Joe's and its customers. So, speak up. I know you won't be shy.

p.s. As I noted, the first blizzard of '11 is brewing outside. We will be open on Wednesday and will be offering a 15% blizzard beater discount to all dine in and take out customers. Also, we will have delivery available once the snow has stopped. You have to mention "Blizzard Beater" to get the 15% discount on your dine-in or take-out order.