Don't you often get the feeling that eateries are out to lighten your pocket as much as possible before you leave their premises? It's happened, for example, that I have finished what turned out to be a mediocre salad - much of it "padded" with ordinary lettuce leaves - and felt mildly outraged at being required to fork over anything between NIS 35 and NIS 45, or even more. (Last year a kosher dairy restaurant in London's Golders Green charged me the equivalent of NIS 80 for a tuna salad I would be ashamed to put on my table at home - and didn't include bread.)
All the more reason, therefore, to be delighted by the Angel's cafe-restaurant in my local mall, where I often end up doing errands, especially on a Friday. The cafe recently revamped its menu, including, in addition to its regular sandwiches, a selection of "mini-sandwiches."
I've sampled them, and gone back for more.
Some quite creative fillings are available in a 15-cm. white or whole-wheat toasted roll. For example: Bulgarian cheese with sun-dried tomatoes and basil; rich tuna salad with carrot, lettuce, tomato and pickle; egg, avocado, mayonnaise, red pepper and pickle; and Bulgarian cheese, antipasti and pesto sauce. The cheese is 5%-fat, which is fine with me.
Initially, the price was NIS 10. A couple of Fridays ago, I saw it had gone up to NIS 12 (a little more for a smoked salmon option), but it still felt like a bargain. Takeaway remains NIS 10.
I have a fondness for small things, perhaps because I'm something of a miniature myself, and so may be prejudiced. But it touched me that a large and successful chain should opt to cater to the customer who doesn't want - or simply cannot finish - a larger and more expensive portion (regular sandwiches cost NIS 22).
As I've mentioned before, I generally don't recommend "products." But if something really appeals, I like to let people know. When you can sit and take a break from your errands while enjoying a cup of tea and a fairly substantial "bite" for a small outlay, it's something to celebrate.
I ATE a scrumptious fish dish at a friend's house during a recent Shabbat lunch, and immediately decided to ask for the recipe.
SHIRA'S SUCCULENT SALMON
1 cut of frozen salmon, any size, thawed
1 cup teriyaki sauce
Demerara (light brown) sugar
Put the salmon in a baking dish and marinate it in the teriyaki sauce for up to two hours. Using a spoon, cover the surface with mustard (it must be Dijon). Lightly sprinkle a bit of sugar over the mustard and bake, uncovered, in a 180 oven for 15-20 minutes, or until done. Serve hot or cold.
WITH A little time to spare before an appointment in a Jerusalem neighborhood near mine, I took a little stroll and came upon a cafe-bakery I had erroneously been informed had shut down. Seeing that business was brisk made me happy, since I suddenly remembered some amazing sweet treats I had occasionally bought from there that make an unusual accompaniment to a cup of tea or good coffee.
They were freshly made that day, so I invited a friend over to sample them. They reminded her of a recipe she makes often (during Pessah too), so I asked her for it:
ALMOND AND CINNAMON BALLS
3 egg whites
1 heaped Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 2â„3 cups ground almonds
1 cup brown sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 180 . Beat the egg whites until stiff and dry. Add the next three ingredients and mix well. Form small balls, put them on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Roll lightly in the powdered sugar, and allow to cool.
PARSNIPS are in season here again, and on a trip to a local supermarket which I know stocks them I bought a couple of kilos - but they were not at their best. I was distressed to find that they are still being wrapped in cellophane, which makes them deteriorate very quickly.
When will the Parsnip Ministry rule that the so-called gezer lavan is not a "white carrot," but much more like a cucumber in its delicate nature, and insist that parsnips be sold loose, or in nets, which allow them to breathe?
As someone who helped get parsnips into Israeli stores, I take this foolishness very personally, and can only hope that good sense will prevail.