Pascale's Kitchen: Making sweet music in the kitchen‏

Israeli singer Pablo Rosenberg sings all the way to the kitchen and doesn’t stop singing even while he’s preparing all sorts of delicious dishes.

Singer Pablo Rosenberg: 'Cooking is calming for me.' (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN/SHLOMI YOSEF)
Singer Pablo Rosenberg: 'Cooking is calming for me.'
Israeli singer Pablo Rosenberg sings all the way to the kitchen and doesn’t stop singing even while he’s preparing all sorts of delicious dishes.
Learn more about Pascale's Kitchen here>>
Pablo, one of Israel’s most popular singers, recently hosted me in his home kitchen. I’ve known for a while that Pablo loves to cook. Because he’s out many evenings performing at concerts, he loves to preside over breakfast and morning family duties, such as taking his daughter to school.
He then comes home, puts a load of laundry on and starts preparing lunch for the family. So, not surprisingly, Pablo greeted me and brought me straight into his sparkling clean kitchen.
“Cooking is very calming for me,” Pablo tells me. “I love spending time in the kitchen and trying out complicated recipes I find in magazines or saw on a cooking show.” But he loves to alter recipes with his own personal touch, he tells me, while showing me his nice assortment of cookbooks.
Pablo had organized all the ingredients for the dishes we were going to prepare together, and had even cooked some of the foods ahead of time. I was amazed how organized and serious he was about his cooking. No detail was too minor for Pablo.
Pablo is used to flying solo in his kitchen, and it was a big deal for him to have me and Shlomi, my photographer, alongside as he showed us all of the fabulous tools and equipment he uses when preparing food. When I asked him which knife was his favorite, he lifted up a simple-looking knife and told me that he believes the secret is to use a light, easy-to-hold knife that you’re extremely comfortable with.
Pablo immigrated to Israel from Argentina as a young boy with his family, and feels very close to traditional Argentinian cuisine. One of his favorite dishes is asado - beef ribs that are cooked for 3-4 hours over a low fire and that need lots of special care and attention if you want them to come out juicy and tender. However, since his mother passed away a few months ago, Pablo has begun to eat more legumes and grains, and eats mostly vegetarian during the week. On Shabbat, however, he prefers to revert back to his Argentinian roots.
Below you will find a few of Pablo’s favorite recipes. I hope you enjoy making them and bon appétit!
Makes 4-6 servings.
½ cauliflower, separated into florets
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. oil
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
150 g. tofu, cubed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 red onion, quartered and separated to pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. freshly ground ginger or 1 cube of frozen ginger
½ cup frozen green peas
½ cup frozen green beans
1 Tbsp. curry powder
400 g. coconut milk
½ tsp. turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp. paprika
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped finely
Serving suggestions:
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 scallions, chopped
½ cup roasted peanuts
Add the cauliflower florets to a large pot. Add salt, oil and water to cover. Cook about 20 minutes, until cauliflower has softened. Drain. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the tofu cubes. Sauté until they have browned.
Heat olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onions. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté them another two or three minutes. Add the peas and beans and mix well. Add the curry powder, coconut milk and mix. Bring to a boil and then add the turmeric, pepper, salt and paprika. Mix and then add the fried tofu pieces, cauliflower and cilantro. Mix gently and cook for another 10 minutes. Before serving, drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle chopped scallions and roasted peanuts on top.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 30 minutes.
Status: Pareve.
Makes 5 servings.
2 eggplants
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
¼ tsp. dried oregano
800 g. crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
200 g. mozzarella cheese, slice
200 g parmesan cheese, grated
Serving suggestions:
Olive oil for drizzling
3-4 fresh basil leaves or 1 spicy green pepper, sliced
Cut the eggplants lengthwise and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit and sweat, then wipe off moisture.
Heat oil in a large frying pan and fry slices on both sides until they’ve turned golden brown. Remove and set on top of paper towels, to soak up the excess oil. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
To prepare the sauce, heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and oregano. Sauté a bit, then add the tomatoes and ½ cup of water. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Cover the pan and cook over a medium-low flame for 20 minutes.
Grease an oven-proof 15 cm. x 20 cm. pan and line the bottom with the eggplant slices. Spread a layer of the tomato sauce and then a layer of mozzarella cheese. Then start over with another layer of eggplant slices, sauce and cheese. Continue layering until you’ve used up all of the ingredients. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.
Bake in an oven on medium heat for 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned. Remove from oven and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with choppedbasil leaves or sliced spicy green pepper.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 90 minutes.
Status: Dairy.
On the first Friday after Passover, it is customary to prepare a shlissel challa, which is shaped like a key (some people also bake a wrapped key inside of the challa). Baking a key-shaped shlissel challa is thought to open the gates of Heaven or the Promised Land, as well as bring us health, a good mate, fertility, peace in the home and joy.
Makes 2 medium challot.
4 Tbsp. dry yeast
2 kg. flour, sifted
5 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. salt
1 cup oil
6-7 cups (disposable cup) warm water
Egg wash:
1 beaten egg + 2 drops of oil
Add the yeast, sugar and ¼ cup of lukewarm water to the bowl of an electric mixer and set aside for 20 minutes or until the yeast turns bubbly and oozing (it should look like the frothy foam of beer).
Add the flour to the bowl with the yeast, along with the salt. Take a little bit of the flour in the bowl and sprinkle it on top of the salt. Using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, start kneading the dough. Slowly add 6 cups of warm water. If necessary, you can add up to 1 more cup of water. Knead the dough until mixed well. Gradually add the oil and continue mixing for about 8 more minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl, lightly grease the bowl and then put the dough back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise for 1 hour.
Punch out the air of the challa dough and knead it some more by hand. Cover with plastic again and let it rise for another 40 minutes.
Fashion two challot in the shape of a key and place them on a tray that’s lined with baking paper. Let them rise another 30 minutes until they double in volume and then brush them with the egg wash. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 200ºC for 10 minutes. Then, lower the temperature to 180ºC and bake for another 20 minutes.
Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 2 hours.
Status: Pareve
Translated by Hannah Hochner.