Recipes from Secret Restaurant Recipes

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05 Feb 2015
.Please note: fresh fruit and vegetables need to be inspected for insect infestation. Please consult our guide

The recipes below are just some of the incredible delights you’ll discover on the pages of Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek’s Secret Restaurant Recipes, published by Artscroll.

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Smoked Short Rib Tacos (meat)

Yield 24 mini tacos

Smoked short rib tacosReserve Cut is kosher’s most pampered experience. Located in Downtown Manhattan, the setting is one of the most glamorous in the city, kosher or non-kosher. From entry to exit, every aspect of your visit is five star, from the impeccable service to the classic and flawlessly executed menu.

The evening (or afternoon) begins as you enter via the glass-walled wine cellar. The sleek, spacious restaurant seats 200, and features a unique glass-walled open kitchen (that’s where we like to sit). There are various party options, including use of the breathtaking private dining room housed within the wine cellar.

In the main dining room, there’s plenty of room between tables to enjoy privacy as the wait staff stays attentive to your every need. The service has made Reserve Cut a go-to favorite for both business lunches and special-occasion dinners.

All the dishes, from appetizers to desserts, are magnificently presented. Start with the most popular appetizer, these Smoked Short Rib Tacos, or try Wagyu Angus Ribs or King Salmon Sashimi. Even the side dishes, like Mashed Potato with Black Truffles, are luxurious. End with Raspberry Crème Brûlée or Warm Almond Cake.

Reserve Cut is especially known for its superior cuts of meat; not only is the meat super prime; each cut is also butchered to perfection and trimmed of excess fat, making every bite perfect.
The sommelier will help you pair that perfect steak with a selection from the extensive wine list. -L.



  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large, heavy, oven-safe pot or Dutch oven; brown the ribs on all sides, about 5 minutes, working in batches if necessary. Sprinkle ribs with salt and black pepper as they brown. Transfer cooked ribs to paper towels to absorb extra oil.
  3. Stir garlic into remaining oil in pan; cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Mix in tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, beef stock, vinegar, mustard, and jalapeños. Bring sauce to a boil; lower heat and simmer for 1 minute to blend flavors. Stir in browned ribs.
  4. Cover the pot and bake in the preheated oven until the rib meat is very tender, about 2½ hours. Turn the ribs occasionally while cooking.
  5. Shred beef using two forks. Season with salt and pepper. Place into a clean pan; add some of the cooking sauce. Heat until warm. Fill fried wonton wrappers with shredded beef (see note on frying wontons).

A chipotle chili is a jalapeño pepper that has been smoked and dried (“chipotle” means “smoked”). The chilies require a hechsher. The chipotle imparts a smoky flavor to this dish. There are many different kinds of chilies, though, if you find a different type, you’ll still get the kick without the smoke. Kosher chipotles are easily found online.

To shred the beef more quickly, you might want to try a cooking tool called a “claw.”

There are a few ways to fry wonton wrappers so they take the shape of a taco. To shape them perfectly, like the restaurant does, you’ll need a taco shell deep fryer basket. A taco shell maker/taco press, which looks like tongs, will also shape a wonton as it fries, but you have to fry them one at a time. You can make a mini taco shell without any gadgets, though. Heat oil in a sauté pan or skillet. Fold the wonton wrapper in half and dip one side into the hot oil. Use a fork to press it down at the bottom. Use tongs to hold the top half in place. Once the bottom becomes stiff and crisp, flip and fry the opposite side.

“Allaham” means “butcher” in Arabic. The family of Albert Allaham, the owner of Reserve Cut (and cousin to Prime Hospitality Group owner Joey Allaham), had been butchers in Syria for over 200 years. Albert Allaham’s family were among the final group of Jews to leave Syria in the 1990s, ending a century of migration to Brooklyn. In 2008, the family opened The Prime Cut in the heart of Syrian-Jewish Flatbush on Avenue U. The shop is renowned for its superior cuts of meat.

Praline Brownies (Dairy)

Yields 24 to 30 bars

Praline browniesBagels ’n Greens is refreshing. Bright, green … that’s what I think of when I think about my BNG experiences. It’s the ultimate café “take a break from the day” experience … relaxing atmosphere (sit on the deck in the back of the original 18th Avenue location and you’ve left Brooklyn for a bit) … the kind of fresh, natural food that you feel good about eating … and lots of options to please the entire crew of friends, including those who want to stick to their diets and those who want to indulge.

The second aspect of the Bagels ’n Greens experience that I really enjoy is the … pampering. The presentation of the food is very modern and a big part of the experience. The real pampering comes, though, when you receive a BNG gift basket. That’s the ultra-cool gift you send when you want to make someone’s day.

We’ve had requests to feature one of BNG’s healthful recipes, like the low-cal zucchini soup, but this one aptly sums up that “pampering” aspect of the experience and BNG’s sweets.

When Rebecca of BNG shared this recipe with us, she warned, “Wait until cool to cut (if you could wait…). Don’t forget to kiss your diet goodbye….” -L.

After becoming the only kosher café using the Nespresso Aguila System, BNG served 35,000 cups of espresso over a nine-month period.


Chocolate Frosting:



  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a rimmed 9×13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt chocolate with the butter.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip eggs and sugar at high speed for 5-6 minutes.
  4. Carefully pour in melted chocolate mixture. Sift in flour, cocoa, and salt. Mix until mixture is smooth and shiny, about 4 minutes. Add in extracts, if using. Fold in white chocolate.
  5. Pour batter into prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes (the edges should be hard, top cracked, and middle soft).
  6. Prepare the frosting: Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Add praline paste and mix until combined. Gently pour over the top of the cake. Tilt the pan sideways until entire cake is fully covered. Sprinkle nuts or chocolate curls on top. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, until frosting is set. Let cool before slicing into bars.

**Praline paste is made from hazelnuts/filberts and sugar, ground into a paste.

Bagels ’n Greens gets its produce fresh from the market every single morning. No tomato ever “slept” in the BNG kitchen overnight. Leftovers are donated to charity or needy families each day.
During the month of Chanukah, BNG sells over 55,000 donuts in 38 varieties.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.