Two weeks ago, we broke the news about the return of Sarge’s Deli (548 Third Avenue, 212-679-0442), the Murray Hill neighborhood favorite deli-diner that nearly burned down in a fire in November 2012.
This week, we hung out in the kitchen with Sarge’s owner Andrew Wengrover, general manager David DePrima, and former manager Lenny Katz, the son of Sarge’s original owner Abe Katz. They showed us how they make our favorite Sarge’s dish, the classic cheese blintz.
Sarge’s blintzes start with the shell. Leonard Katz the recipe comes from his great-grandmother. “The key in those days was how thin you could make the shell. The thinner the better.” The batter is a simple milk, flour, and water mixture.
Once the pan is steaming hot, the cook pours the batter in and swishes it around the edges so the shell takes form of the pan.
The cooled shells are laid out and stuffed with the cheese filling, which is a secret blend of three cheeses, sugar, and some proprietary seasonings.
Wrapped up blintzes are placed in the freezer to help them hold their shape and meld the flavors. When a customer places an order, the blintzes come out of the freezer and go into a hot pan of melted butter to heat the inside and create that unique crispy golden crust on the outside.
When we were there, the kitchen was experimenting with new strawberry and blueberry compotes to serve with the blintzes, but you can also stick with the classic Jewish condiments: applesauce and sour cream.