Breakfast for Lunch and Other All-Day Recipes From Jack’s Wife Freda
Downtown NYC restaurant mainstay Jack’s Wife Freda has a new cookbook with tons of tasty offerings to replicate at home.
Published Mar 30, 2017 1:18 PM
“I love the idea of entertaining at home, but I find ourselves always hosting people at our restaurants,” says New York restaurateur Maya Janekelowitz, who along with her husband Dean, runs the Middle Eastern-tinged Jack’s Wife Freda restaurants. “People just want to come here for Friday night dinners.” And it’s not surprising: The Janekelowitzes have created two all-day eateries that are packed with scenesters yet cozy and welcoming, without a trace of snottiness. The popular restaurants (Chrissy Teigen and Jessica Seinfeld are devotees) serve food you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—eggs, salads, sandwiches, platters and sweets, plus amazing coffee drinks. To that end, the duo and their original chef Julia Jaksic (who’s since relocated to Nashville) have just published an eponymous cookbook (Blue Rider Press). Maya loves having food she can make at home when she goes out to eat, and that’s the ethos of the book and their restaurants. She also loves eating breakfast for dinner and lunch for breakfast—having dishes that can be enjoyed all day. “In Israel, you have breakfast (hummus, eggs, yogurt, etc.) for dinner, and it’s the best,” she says.
Here are four of the restaurant’s most popular recipes to replicate at home—all day, any day.
Duck Lardon Salad
“Dean and I had our first duck lardon salad in Paris together. It was one of those dishes that when we saw it on a menu, we always wanted to order it. And so when we opened, we wanted to create our own. This one is a riff on the bistro classic seen in most French restaurants—we’ve substituted our duck bacon for the pork lardons. The smoky duck fat and rich egg yolk create a sinfully good dressing for this relatively light salad.”
(yields 2 salads)
1 smoked duck breast, unsliced 2 heads frisee 1 leek 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar Kosher salt 2 Poached Eggs Cracked black pepper Crusty baguette, for serving
Cut the smoked duck breast into ¼- inch strips lengthwise, then turn the strips and cut across into ½-inch pieces, creating lardons. Cut the heads of frisee from their stems and then in half so you end up with pieces roughly 2 inches long. Rinse them well, since they have a tendency to be sandy; dry and place the cleaned frisee in a large bowl. Cut the leek roughly 1 inch above the white stalk. Slice in half lengthwise and rinse under cold water, making sure to wash out any dirt between the layers. Cut across into ½-inch strips and set aside. In a pan over medium heat, cook the duck lardons until crispy. Transfer the lardons to a plate lined with a paper towel and reserve the duck fat in the pan. Turn the heat to low and add the leek to the duck fat (there will seem like a lot of duck fat, but this will take the place of oil for the dressing, so do not discard any!). Cook until the leek has softened, then whisk in the red wine vinegar. Add the lardons to the leek vinaigrette and season with salt. While the vinaigrette is still hot, add it to the frisee and mix to evenly distribute the vinaigrette. Plate the salads, splitting the lardons evenly between the two. Top each with a poached egg and cracked black pepper. Enjoy with a crusty baguette.
Orange Blossom Pancakes
“We wanted a different breakfast dish than our popular rosewater waffles, so we decided to go with orange blossom pancakes served with Lebanese yogurt or labneh for a slightly Middle Eastern nod,” says Maya. “But then people just were asking for the waffles to be put back on the menu so we switched them out. I like the sweetness and sourness of the pancakes.”
(yields 8 to 10 pancakes)
2 cups flour 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons sugar 2 large eggs 2 cups buttermilk 3 tablespoons orange blossom water Labneh and orange marmalade, for serving Honey Syrup (recipe follows), for serving
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and orange blossom water. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined, being very careful not to overmix. Heat a greased griddle over medium heat. Ladle the batter into pancakes of roughly 4 inches in diameter. Once they begin to puff and small bubbles appear on the surface, it’s time to flip. Both sides should be golden brown. To serve, spoon on a generous amount of labneh and orange marmalade (“we love to use the typical British style”) on top. Serve with Honey Syrup.
(yields 2 cups)
“In lieu of maple syrup we make our own sweet honey syrup to serve with waffles and pancakes. Feel free to experiment: Using different types of honey will alter the flavors and bring out the varied aromas of the bees’ harvest. Honey Syrup can be stored for up to a month, refrigerated, in an airtight container.
1 orange, or 2 pieces of orange zest 1 cup honey of your choice 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, or ½ fresh vanilla bean
Using a peeler, hold the orange securely and peel the zest from top to bottom. Combine all the ingredients with 3⁄4 cup water in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir continually until the syrup just comes to a boil, turn off the heat, and let the syrup cool. You can discard the orange peel (and vanilla bean, if you used one) once the mixture is cooled.
Yogurt Panna Cotta with Rose Syrup
“This is just one of our favorite desserts. We asked our chef Julia Jaksic to create a version of this dish for us, and she had the idea to bring the rose into it. Greek yogurt gives this panna cotta a tart and sour flavor that is perfectly suited for the sweet rose syrup. We add pistachios for crunch.”
(yields six 4-ounce servings)
1 package gelatin (2 ¼ teaspoons) 2 tablespoons cold water 2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt 1 ½ cups heavy cream ¼ cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup sugar 2 tablespoons rose water 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice ½ cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
Choose four glass ramekins or small shallow bowls to set your panna cotta in, and have them ready next to the stove. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt until it is smooth and set aside. Bring the cream and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan; immediately remove from the heat. Slowly add the hot cream mixture to the gelatin, whisking until smooth. In a steady stream, add the mixture to the yogurt and whisk until well combined and completely Smooth. Portion the panna cotta equally into four glass ramekins or shallow dishes, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. While the panna cotta is chilling, make the rose syrup: Combine the sugar, ¼ cup water, the rose water and the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer the syrup to a container to cool completely. Once panna cotta is chilled, cover each with 1/4 inch of the syrup and sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Rose syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
“People are used to shakshuka (shahk-SHOO-ka) being made with red tomato, but we use a green tomatillo for a more Latin American spin to the classic tomato sauce. Simply put, it’s a traditional Middle Eastern breakfast and lunch dish consisting of baked eggs and tomatoes. I was introduced to it in Israel when I was young. All the moms made it for their kids, and I would ask my mom to make it for me. It’s served everywhere in the Middle East, but I never thought it would be such a hit here. We serve it with toasted challah bread to make it original, and the doughiness of the challah is the perfect complement to the eggs and sauce.”
(yields 2 quarts sauce, roughly 8 to 10 servings)
1 large Spanish onion 6 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt 1 ½ pounds tomatillos 1 green bell pepper 1 jalapeno chili ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 to 3 tablespoons Hot Sauce, if you like it spicy! 1 to 2 eggs per person Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish Toasted challah or French brioche, for serving
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Peel and quarter the onion and place with the garlic cloves in a small baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until very soft when pierced with a knife. (The onion and garlic can be prepared ahead of time.) In a large bowl, soak the tomatillos in warm water to peel off the outer husk, then cut in half. Cut the stem from the bell pepper, discard the seeds, and cut into quarters. Also cut the stem from the jalapeno, discard the seeds, and quarter. Place the peeled tomatillos, bell pepper, jalapeno, and cilantro leaves in a food processor with the roasted onion and garlic. Process until very smooth; it will have a salsa-like consistency. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the coriander, cumin, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomatillo sauce is heated through. Be careful not to cook too long or your sauce will discolor and the taste will change. Add 1 tablespoon of hot sauce at a time until you’ve hit your desired spice level. To assemble the shakshuka: Oil a cast-iron pan and set it over low heat. Crack the desired number of eggs into the pan and cover. Allow the eggs to cook sunny-side up until the whites are fully cooked but the yolks remain soft (you can of course cook the yolks through if that is your preference). Once the eggs are cooked, liberally spoon the shakshuka sauce on top of the eggs and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with toasted challah or French brioche.