Passover meza spread

Chef Karen Blockman-Carrier rules the kitchen with an iron fist. Monday night I was personally bumped out of the way with a typical kitchen “behind you”. I was also barked at to take platters to be washed and to chop more parsley more faster. Damn, that was fun.

The Squad dragged Nana and Granddaddy Squirrel to the Viking demonstration kitchen for a Passover meza spread / Easter feast cooking demonstration. The demo was cosponsored by Cenwood, Viking, and Jewish Monthly. (Cenwood is undoubtedly one of the finest companies in town. After all, their company emblem is a chipmunk or what we like to think of as a squirrel with a Bubba tail.) The demo was put on by Chef Karen and Chef Don Fox of Another Roadside Attraction Catering. Chef Karen owns Another Roadside Attraction along with Automatic Slims, The Beauty Shop, Do Sushi Restaurant, and Cielo. Cielo, we learned, will soon be renamed The Molly Fontaine Lounge.

The event was a bit chaotic. Over forty people showed up for the free demo. The chefs managed to wrangle the folks pretty well though. Our demo turned into hands-on all-out work when we were divided into groups to prepare the individual dishes. Nana and Granddaddy Squirrel were put to work on my favorite dish of the evening, manchego cheese with quince paste. Granddaddy learned just how difficult it is to get nice evenly thin slices out of a hard block of cheese.

The Squad was partnered with a delightful lady named Ruthie. We were tasked with making the orange, olive, and onion salad. Here I was in the middle of a huge gourmet kitchen, and I was back to my standard task, chopping onions. Oh well. We had a fun time talking and watching the other groups. Teh Boy was put to work fetching this and that and pitting a whole lot of olives with his little bare hands. Purple hands are funny.

It was a great event with a fabulous menu. We all worked hard, but the fruits of our labors were well worth all the effort. We were a happily stuffed and exhausted squad when we headed home.

Passover Meza Spread

Grilled lamb chops with pomegranate syrup and creole mustard garlic glaze
served with tahini and Aunt Gloria’s rosh pina mint sauce

Whole roasted sumac fish with roasted roma tomatoes, Israeli olives, and potatoes

Mushroom tart with gruyere, ricotta, young onions, and herb salad

Goat cheese in crackling caramelized sugar with matzo

Manchego cheese with quince paste

Broiled figs stuffed with feta

Sesame crusted tuna balls with ginger

Grilled chicken wings with zaatar

Mashed eggplant and tomato salad with matzo

Orange, olive, and onion salad

Grilled zucchini ribbons with vinegar, mint, lemon zest, and garlic

Orange, Olive, and Onion Salad

Serves 6

Salad:

4 oranges
16 black cured olives
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

  1. Peel oranges, removing the pith. Cut them into thick slices then into quarters.
  2. Toss together with onions and olives.

Dressing:

1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of ground chili pepper or chili pepper flakes

  1. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, salt cumin, paprika, and pepper in a jar and shake or whisk vigorously in a bowl.
  2. Lightly drizzle the dressing over the salad.
  3. Top with a sprinkling of parsley and serve.

Cenwood Appliances
1217 Ridgeway Rd
Memphis, TN 38119
(901) 737-4343

Viking Cooking School
Park Place Center
1215 Ridgeway Rd
Memphis, TN 38119
(901) 763-3747

Another Roadside Attraction Catering
roadsidedb@aol.com
(901) 525-2624

Automatic Slim’s
83 S 2nd St
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 525-7948

The Beauty Shop
966 S Cooper St
Memphis, 38104
(901) 272-7111

Cielo (Soon to be The Molly Fontaine Lounge.)
679 Adams Ave
Memphis, TN 38105
(901) 524-1886

Do Sushi Restaurant
964 S Cooper St
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 272-0830

Conte's Italian Restaurant: Xanga!
Porter-Leath's Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival

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