Monday, March 7, 2016

Fat Pasha: Schmaltz, Fattoush & Latkes

Fat Pasha is an eclectic mix of the Eastern European Jewish food with Israeli Middle Eastern flavours, or as the website quips — "Really Good Jew Food! " The restaurant, which opened in 2014 in the former Indian Rice Factory, is the third restaurant from chef/owner Anthony Rose who also runs Rose and Sons and Big Crow, farther east on Dupont Street. The menu, infused with traditional Ashkenazi and Sephardic flavours, features starters such as latkes, falafel and silky smooth hummus to assorted small cold salads called 'Salatim', in addition to five entrées which include a delicious Roast Chicken with Mashed Rutabaga smothered with bright green harissa and their famous Roast Cauliflower with tahini sauce, skhug, pine nuts, pomegranate and halloumi. A traditional Middle Eastern spirit flavoured with anise is the star of the drinks list and comes in a small shot glass with fresh mint, lemon and side dish of ice cubes and pitcher of cold water. The restaurant is small and bustling dominated by a lovely double sided bar, sprawling Jeff Blackburn wall mural, hookah pipes and psychedelic Grateful Dead prints from Rose's own collection. The staff are very friendly and enormously helpful in navigating the culinary and cocktail landscape. For the downtown crowd, Fat Pasha is a little out of the way but it's definitely worth the 'schlep' to Dupont!

The 'deli-style' menu at Fat Pasha

Casual table settings with paper napkins and retro silverware 

A double seated bar allows walk-in patrons each night

Bottle for wine by the glass lined up on the marble bar

Extra Fine Askalon Arak served with lemon and fresh mint

Bonnie’s Latkes with salmon caviar, hard boiled egg, scallions and sour cream

Fat Pasha Hummus with chickpeas, tahini, lemon, smoked chipotle and extra virgin olive oil

2013 Cantine Fontezoppa Verdicchio

Lamb Shank with za'atar cassoulet, truffle fried brussels sprouts and couscous

Fried Crushed Potatoes with chili and lemon garlic dressing, halloumi cheese and oregano

Roast Cauliflower with tahini sauce, skhug, pine nuts, pomegranate and halloumi

Half Roast Chicken with mashed rutabaga and topped with green harissa

A single shot of espresso before seeing Richard III at The Tarragon 

Ed Hillier plays Clarence, Tyrell and Derby in the Wolf Manor Collective's Richard III at The Tarragon

lamb shank - za'atar casso, truffle fried brussels sprou

Quick Hummus
Makes 2 cups
Recipe courtesy of Chef Kevin Gilmour - Fat Pasha 

19 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
1/2 cup well-stirred tahini
1/4 cup each: extra-virgin olive oil and ice water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

Place the chickpeas in bowl, and if desired, rub off as many skins as possible. To warm and soften the chickpeas, place them in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to boil over high heat and then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain before placing the chickpeas in food processor along with the garlic and purée 3 minutes until it turns into a thick paste, scraping down the sides with rubber spatula. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the tahini, oil, water, lemon and salt to taste. Purée until it becomes very creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and adjust with salt, lemon or water if desired. Serve immediately with warm pita — it can also be refrigerated in a sealed container for several days, but return to room temperature before eating.

Grilled Lamb T-Bone
Serves 8
Recipe courtesy of Chef Kevin Gilmour - Fat Pasha 

1 cup Kozlik’s Triple Crunch mustard
4 tbsp dried mint
4 tbsp plus 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
16 lamb T-bones, about 1 1⁄2-inches thick and about 4 oz each
4 packages organic maitake mushrooms
1 tsp salt
Salt and pepper, to taste

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1⁄2 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup dried apricots, sliced
4 cups celery root, peeled, diced
1⁄2 cup sugar

1⁄2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
1⁄4 cup butter
1⁄4 cup chopped parsley

8 1⁄2 cups lamb, veal or chicken stock
2 cups dry red wine
2 tbsp juniper berries, if available
2 tbsp coriander seed

In a shallow dish, mix the mustard, mint and
 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the lamb and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 425°F. For the tzimmes, heat a frying pan over low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft and translucent.
In a bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the apricots, celery root, sugar, vinegar, water and salt. Transfer the tzimmes mixture and onion and garlic to a lidded casserole dish and bake 40 minutes. Remove baked tzimmes from casserole dish and let cool on baking tray until ready to use. Turn the oven heat up to 450°F.

Place the mushrooms on a baking tray. Add 1⁄2 cup of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt evenly over the mushrooms. Roast for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside. To make the jus, add the stock to a stockpot and bring to a boil. Add the wine, juniper berries and coriander seed and simmer over medium-high heat until the liquid has reduced to 2 cups, about 1 1⁄2 hours.

Heat a grill to medium. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side. Heat up the tzimmes with butter and parsley and a splash of water. To serve, place 2 lamb chops on each of 8 plates. Top one chop with tzimmes. Add the mushrooms to the jus and spoon evenly over the second chop. Serve immediately.

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