Archive for the 'kosher cookery' Category

12
Nov
12

Jayne Cohen’s Jewish Holiday Cooking


The Jewish calendar is filled with celebrations, each has its unique foods and traditions. What better way to celebrate than with columnist, blogger, cook author Jayne Cohen‘s Jewish Holiday Cooking? Ms. Cohen covers the spectrum of Jewish cooking around the world. Her dishes – though often traditional – include many a delightful surprise, an update in taste.

The recipes are peppered with quotes from the vast world of Jewish writing ranging from the Talmud to Nathan Englander, from Chaim Grade to Sholem Aleichem, from the Zohar to Shmuel Hanagid and more. It is obvious this is not just a cookbook, it is a paean to Judaism, its timeless spiritual and cultural values, with the recipes representing a way to celebrate it all.

As I browse through the pages, it is obvious the author loves many genres of books, her quotes, her references, her intros to the individual recipes, her writing in general becomes “unputdownable.” As you leaf through, as you read through, not only do you see yourself at the very locals she’s traveled but you can smell and taste as well. Written in the best tradition of M.F.K Fischer, Joseph Wechsberg, Hillaire du Berrier and Ruth Reichl, Ms. Cohen leaves you begging for more…

With Chanuka coming up in less than a month, what could be better than an interesting latke recipe to whet one’s appetite?

Garlic-Rosemary Potato Latkes

Pareve
Yield: About 4 servings

These exceptionally fragrant potato pancakes require no topping or sauce as adornment. They are perfect as is, ready to accompany any roasted or grilled chicken or meat.

Ingredients:

  • About 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold or 3 large russet (baking) potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon matzoh meal or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • About 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • About 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Sea salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Shred the potatoes, using the shredding disk in a food processor. (Don’t wash out the food processor–you’ll be using it again right away.) Transfer the potatoes to a colander or strainer and use your hands or a wooden spoon to press out as much moisture as possible.
  2. Remove the shredding disk from the processor and replace with the steel blade. Return about one third of the shredded potatoes to the food processor. Add the garlic and rosemary and process, using the pulse motion, until roughly pureed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the remaining potatoes, the egg, matzoh meal or flour, salt and pepper to taste, and the baking powder to the bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined. Let stand for 10 minutes to mingle the flavors.
  3. In a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (cast-iron is ideal), heat about 1/4 inch of oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Drop 1/4 cup of the potato latke batter into the pan and flatten with a spatula. Repeat with more batter, cooking no more than 4 or 5 latkes at a time; crowding the pan will give you soggy latkes.
  4. Regulate the heat carefully, reducing it to medium as the latkes fry until golden and crisp on the bottom, about 4 minutes. To prevent oil from splattering, use two spatulas (or a spatula and a large spoon) to turn the latkes carefully. Fry until crisp and golden on the other side.
  5. It’s best to flip the latkes only once, so that they don’t absorb too much oil. So, before turning, lift the latkes slightly with the spatula to make sure the underside is crisp and brown.
  6. As the latkes are done, transfer them to paper towels or untreated brown paper bags to drain.
  7. Continue making latkes in the same manner until all the batter is used. If necessary, add more oil to the pan, but always allow the oil to get hot before frying a new batch.
  8. Serve straightaway, sprinkled with a little coarse salt, if you’d like. Or if necessary, keep the latkes warm in a 200 degree F oven (arrange them in a single layer on a rack placed over an oven-proof platter or baking sheet) and serve when they are all ready to be brought to the table.

From Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover’s Treasury of Classics and Improvisations
by Jayne Cohen (print edition: Wiley 2008; e-book: 2012).
Visit jewishholidaycooking.com

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy! And… don’t forget to tune in this coming Wednesday at 10:00pm (Eastern Time) when we will be talking with Jayne Cohen; we’ll be waiting!

CS

04
Apr
12

Simplicity and Elegance Rolled Into One – Cooking with Lévana Kirschenbaum


Traditionally women have slaved away cleaning and cooking for Passover, almost making this season into something akin to an Egyptians’ Revenge. While there is no doubt that celebrating the sedorim (aside from the religious reasons) is beautiful, getting there is not easy. While we can’t make your cleaning either easier or faster, Lévana – in the video below – shows us how to cook faster, easier and still enjoy a feast!

Lévana regales us with three fast, delicious, wholesome recipes from her new book: The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen – Glorious Meals Pure and Simple

Chicken and Swiss Chard

  • 8 serving pieces chicken (2 pieces per person, for example: 6 thighs, 6 drumsticks, 4 half breasts – 16 pieces, total for 8 people) with skin on.
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 large bunches of Swiss chard, leaves and ribs sliced thin
  • 3 cups water

Place all ingredients in a wide heavy pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the flame to medium and cook covered for about an hour. Transfer the chicken pieces onto a platter. If the sauce is not thick enough, reduce it on a high flame, uncovered , just a few minutes until it reaches the consistency of maple syrup. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.

Salmon in Pomegranate Sweet-&-Sour Sauce

Sweet-and sour combinations work beautifully with salmon. The onions caramelize and contribute a sweet counterpoint to the vinegar. Another quick and delicious dish, just the way it I like it – one pan, one step.

  • 1 whole side salmon, no skin, no bones, about 3 1/2 pounds, trimmed
  • 1 large red onion, sliced very thin (use the food processor)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the salmon in a pan just large enough to accommodate the fish in one layer. Scatter the onions on top and on the sides of the fish. Mix the oil, juice, vinegar, tomato paste, salt, pepper and turmeric in a bowl, and pour over the fish. Cook about 20 minutes, or a tiny bit more until the fish flakes easily and the liquids thicken. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 8 main course servings or a dozen or more course servings.

Chocolate Dipped Fruits

  • Bananas, orange, strawberries, pinneapple cubes, banana segments
  • 2 cups very good quality semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons oil

2 cups very good quality semisweet chocolate chips plus tablespoons vegetable oil. Melt in a small saucepan, on a very low flame, stirring, until just melted. Let cool just a few minutes, then dip only half way the fruit of your choice: strawberries, orange segments, pineapple cubes, banana segments etc… Arrange the dipped fruit on a platter sprayed with vegetable spray (to prevent the chocolate from sticking). Serve at room temperature.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

02
Nov
11

Lamb, I Like Lamb!


Before SYR posts the next installment of Recipes We’ve Enjoyed During the Holy Days I just have to share this easy to make but delicious lamb dish, which I found on PetiChef.com

Photo from: petichef.com

Honeyed Welsh Lamb

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the lamb:

  • 4-6 pounds leg of lamb
  • 4 tablespoons of rosemary infused honey
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons rosemary infused honey
  • 2 tablespoons cold white wine
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the lamb in a roasting pan and brush with the honey. Mince one sprig of rosemary and sprinkle it over the lamb along with the minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Place the last two sprigs of rosemary over the lamb. Using tinfoil form a tent over the lamb and place it in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350F.

Continue roasting for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, estimating about 20 minutes per pound. When there?s approximately 20 minutes of roasting time left, remove the tinfoil from the lamb allowing the skin to brown and crisp. Depending on desired level of doneness, remove the lamb when it reaches about 10 degrees below desired read out on a meat thermometer as the cut will continue to cook as it rests. A temperature of 160F and pink juice indicates the lamb is medium rare.

Remove the lamb from the oven and transfer it from the roasting pan to a plate. Cover it with foil and keep it warm while it rests. Next place the roasting pan on the range. Mix 2 tablespoons of cold white wine with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Add the mix to the roasting pan along with 3 T of the honey. Stir together and heat over a low temperature until the liquid reduces by about two-thirds.

Serve the lamb with the gravy, roast potatoes and roast pears.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 150 minutes

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

22
Sep
11

Kosher Revolution


It looks too traif to be true, but Geila Hocherman and co-author Arthur Boehm have really pulled it off with their new cookbook Kosher Revolution. Inside you’ll find the most exciting new recipes adapted from the finest in worldwide haute cusine, photographed by the extraordinary Antonis Achilleous.  Geila and her genius ability to exchange un-kosher ingredients with kosher ones while still fundamentally maintaining  the look,  texture and – never to be confirmed – taste, of its original counterparts are more than praiseworthy, yet the outstanding photography  makes your mouth water with possibility.

Delicious recipes, superb photography

Geila’s gifts, mastery of taste chemistry and ingenious ingredient substitution, broaden the breadth and spectrum of cooking kosher. Her very elegant presentation is more than worthy of a cordon bleu Chef.  Anthonis Achilleous‘ extraordinary talent for lighting, color, texture and capturing the most tantalizing angles of his composition, clearly illustrate that he is at the top of his art form among the best food photographers out there. Geila’s not a snooty chef either, if there is a way to save time or make a recipe user friendly, she does so.You’ll find her palate of adaptable ingredients refreshing and versatile as she looks to give an expansive kick in the pants to the sometimes mundane nearsightedness of traditional Jewish cooking.

Duck Prosciutto (page 24), Grilled Figs With Balsamic Gastrique (page 26)

“Duck Prosciutto

serves 4

When people challenge me to “make trayf safe,” they usually mention ham. This breakthrough recipe began with that dare—and my realization that what makes ham taste like itself has less to do with the meat than its cure. My quest for kosher prosciutto—nothing less!—led me first to smoked turkey leg, which is hammy all right, but hardly like the Italian specialty. I went to work, and, happily, scored a triple bull’s-eye by giving duck breast a really easy salt cure—just fifteen minutes of prep followed by a “set-it-and-forget-it” refrigerator stay. The resulting “prosciutto” is so much like the real thing, but with a special character all its own, you’ll be amazed. I pair this with grilled figs (page 26), a traditional prosciutto accompaniment, but that’s just the beginning. Try it wrapped around asparagus spears or, diced and sautéed, as a salad garnish.

Geila’s Tips

To achieve paper-thin slices, I use an inexpensive electric slicer, a great kitchen investment. The very ends of the cured breast over-dry. Save them to put in soup. If you can’t find the Moulard breast, place two regular breasts together and cure as one.

  • One 6- or 8-ounce package of muscovy duck breast
  • 4 cups kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  1. Over a burner flame, singe away any remaining pinfeathers from the breast. Rinse the breast and dry it with paper towels.
  2. On a dish just large enough to hold the breast, make a 1-inch bed of the salt. Place the breast on the salt and cover it with another inch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the coriander, fennel, and pepper. Holding the breast over the sink, rinse it with the vinegar (to remove the salt), and then under cold running water. Dry the breast and rub it all over with the spice mixture. Wrap the breast in cheesecloth and knot it at both ends. Using sturdy household tape (duct tape works well), attach one end of the cheesecloth to the top of the refrigerator interior, or hang the breast from a high refrigerator shelf, and let it cure until the breast feels firm but not dry, about 2 weeks. Start checking after a week. Thinner or smaller breasts will take less time.
  4. Using an electric slicer or a sharp carving knife, slice the breast paper thin or as thinly as possible. Place 3 melon slices on serving plates, drape with the prosciutto, and serve.”

Especially now around holiday time, go grab your own Kosher Revolution, hit the supermarket for some of the recommended stock items for your pantry and start putting some magic into your dishes.  Once you get the hang of the revolutionary ingredient exchanges, Geila so deliciously demonstrates, nothing will prevent your launching your own kosher revolution.

SYR

31
Aug
11

EXTRA, EXTRA! Contest, Contest!!!


Starting today and running until September 20, one of you – gentle readers – will have the chance to win 2 Jack’s Gourmet Variety Packs ($100.00 value)…

and a Jack’s Gourmet cap…

What do you have to do to win all these? How about sending us your best recipes using Jack’s Gourmet. sausages. The contest runs through September 20th, winner will be chosen by Chef Jack Silberstein and Dr. Alan Bronner (Jack’s Gourmet owners) and will be announced on these pages on Monday October 3rd. send in your recipes to kosherscene@gmail.com. If you care to accompany your entry with a good photo of the finished dish, we’ll feature it right here on our blog. To get an idea of what we are looking for go here, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you’ll find some interesting recipes, including two of our own.

Meanwhile don’t forget to send us in your ideas for avoiding the back to school blues to: kosherscene@gmail.com. Why not send us photos of unusual and interesting lunchboxes.

We will publish the best photos and ideas and pick a winner who will receive:

  • 1 carton of juice boxes
  • 1 dozen assorted fruit roll-ups
  • 1 lunch box

Keep those recipes and ideas coming, gentle reader. get to work!

CS

24
Aug
11

Leah Schapira from CookKosher.com


Our guest this evening (at 8:00pm Eastern Daylight Time) on The Kosher Scene Radio Show, will be Leah Schapira. Not only is her site cookkosher.com a work in progress, but so is she.  Her site best describes her accomplishment concisely, thus:

She has co-authored the popular kosher Silver Spoon cookbook, acted as Food Editor for Mishpacha magazine from 2007-20010 and is currently Senior Food Editor for Ami magazine. Her new cookbook is due December 2011.

cookkosher.com is an attractive and informative with good food photography, that makes your mouth water in anticipation. Leah Shapira is a foodie who’s told other interviewers she’d rather have a new recipe than a new pair of shoes. Unusual lady, indeed!

Browsing through her site, reading her prior interviews, makes it very obvious that her love for creating new dishes and feeding others, are innate parts of her mental and emotional make up.

French Roast with Caramelized Sugar - Photo from: cookkosher.com

Leah will talk to us this evening about her upcoming cookbook, her website and what it offers, she will also share some anecdotes that will help us better understand the person behind the voice on on this BlogTalkRadio.com conversation.

Applesauce - Photo from cookkosher.com

If you missed last week’s great show with Shoshanna Raff from koshershopaholic.com you can hear it here

Please, don’t forget to tune us in this evening’s for our conversation with the charming, Leah Schapira, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time). I know you will enjoy this segment! We’ll be wait’n for ya…

CS

17
Aug
11

Lamb Soup


I like lamb, it is one of my favorite meats. Whether in a soup or in any other form, if a dish has lamb in it I just have to try it. Whether it’s those superb  Slow Roasted Lamb Chops at Mike’s Bistro or the Lamb Soup at Yummy Grill, SYR and I – hardcore carnivores both – are in total agreement that lamb is in a class of its own, we love it!

Recently, while going over some old papers I found cooking notes by my long departed mother in them the following recipe:

Lamb Soup

Yields 4

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 ounces lean tender lamb
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 cups chicken soup
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 inch piece lemongrass, sliced into very thin rounds
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili paste (I make my own from a recipe I found online, here)
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 3/4 ounces bean sprouts snapped in half
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoonolive oil.

 Directions
  1. Trim away all the fat from the lamb and slice it thinly. Cut slices into bite sized pieces. Put the meat in a layer on a plate and sprinkle with the garlic and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Cover it and let marinate for one hour.
  2. In a saucepan bring the chicken stock, ginger, lemongrass, remaining soy sauce and the chili paste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. When ready to serve the soup, drop the tomatoes, scallions, bean sprouts and cilantro leaves into the stock.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet, add the lamb and marinade. Strir fry the meat until is no longer red and divide among the 4 bowls.
  5. Add the hot soup to each bowl and serve immediately.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy. I did!
CS
16
Aug
11

Boeuf Bourguignon – “One of the Most Delicious Beef Dishes…”


Originating among France’s Burgundy peasantry, this dish was elevated to the status of haute cuisine by none other than the King of Chefs and the Chef of Kings (as the French press and Kaiser Wilhelm II referred to him) – Auguste EscoffierJulia Child in her Mastering the Art of French Cooking, refers to Boeuf Bourguignon as ”certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man.”

While looking for a kosher version that might do justice to Ms. Child’s praises, I came across this scrumptious recipe in Lévana Kirschenbaum‘s latest book, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen, page 164:

Detail of photo by: Meir Pliskin on page 165 of The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen

Boeuf Bourguignon

Spend a wonderful evening with a few French classics and some wine to go with dinner! By the way, my bourguignon has been included in Joan Schwartz’s charming book, deceptively innocent, called Meat and Potatoes. My secret ingredient is crème de cassis, the wonderful black currant liqueur.

This dish reheats very well and improves with age, so go ahead and make it a day or two ahead.

  • 4 pounds beef or bison shoulder, cut into 2 inch cubes for stew
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups dry wine
  • 1/4 cup crème de cassis
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 6 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only(or throw in the sprigs in whole, but don’t forget to discard them at the end of cooking)
  •  2 pounds very thin long carrots, peeled (about 20)
  • 20 very small organic potatoes, scrubbed (only organic potatoes are safe with skins on)
  • 2 dozen tiny onions, peeled and left whole (frozen OK: they are already peeled)
On a stove top: Place beef, water, and oil in a heavy, wide-bottom pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook covered for 2 hours. Add the garlic, wine, creme de cassis, tomatoes, pepper, and bay leaves and cook for 30 more minutes. Add thyme, carrots, potatoes, and onions and cook for 30 minutes. The meat should be fork tender, Transfer meat and all vegetables on platter with a slotted spoon. If the liquid left in the pot is too thin, reduce it on a high flame until it is thickened, the consistency of maple syrup. Pour the reduced liquid over the whole dish and serve hot. Will make 8 to 10 servings.
With a Crock-Pot: Layer all the ingredients except the water (no water) in a 6-quart Crock-Pot, in the order they were given. Set the Crock-Pot on low in the morning. It will be ready for dinner (10 to 12 hours total cooking time).
Variation: Try the dish using dark stout beer instead of wine, as my daughter in law Ruthie does.
As you taste this you’ll certainly agree with Julia Child’s assessment. So… enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!
CS
25
Jul
11

Aromas of Aleppo


Poopa Dweck‘s magnum opus is far more than just an ethnic cookbook. In its pages, the author lovingly brings us the history, the culture, the flavors and aromas of over 2500 years of Syrian Jewry.

As the author tells us in the Preface, the book…

…features dishes that are both disarmingly familiar, exotic, and, above all, healthful.

My community represents a link to a forgotten past. It is one of the few Jewish communities to live through the rise and fall of Moorish Spain and the Ottoman Empire and survive as a modern people in the West while maintaining its venerable traditions. Our soulful culture, with its fervid, tuneful songs and communal celebratory feasts, is at its most vibrant during the Sabbath, holidays, and life cycle events. One of the most artful representations of Aleppian Jewish culture is our food, whose story I have yearned to tell.

By coincidence (is there really such a thing?!?) I was playing Rabbi Moshe Tessone‘s CD Odeh La’El!, as I became engrossed in this coffee table sized, art-book quality tome. The writing is informative and fun, the evocative photography (the colors, the settings, the lighting, the angles, bespeak of a certain rusticity and a sedate elegance at the same time) and the recipes truly introduced me to a world which – as an Ashkenazic Jew – I barely knew. Between this beautiful book and the music I felt transported to another time, to an enchanted region, far from the hustle and bustle of New York and – at least for the moment – life seemed beautiful, simple and far more pure…

Looking through the old photographs, looking at the author’s family, looking at the recipes pictured, almost made me feel as if I was partaking of a holiday meal at her table.

While loeafing though the book I just had to immediately try a recipe. On page 162 I found one that called for some of my leftover matzah meal and tamarind concentrate, which I’d picked up in the nearby Sephardic neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Keftes

Tamarind-Stewed Meatballs

Meatball dishes such as keftes are a tradition all over the Middle East. Some regions use turmeric and others use sumac or lemon and mintas flavoring accents for similar meatballs. Aleppian Jews like to use a combination of tomato sauce and tamarind, the proportions of which can vary according to a family’s preference.

Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons matzah meal
  • 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Sauce:
  • One 6 ounce can tomato paste, or two 8 ounce cans tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ou (tamarind concentrate, page 41), homemade or store bought
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. To make the meatballs, combine the the beef, eggs, matzah meal, salt and Aleppo pepper. Mix well by hand. The mixture should be loose and moist so that it can best absorb the sauce and retain a velvety texture. Shape the meat mixture into walnut-size balls.
  2. To make the sauce, combine the tomato paste, ou, lemon juice, salt, 1 cup of water, and, if desired, sugar, mix well.
  3. In a large ovenproof saucepan, brown the meatballs, one batch at a time, in the oil over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per batch.
  4. Return all the meatballs to the saucepan. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes to thicken sauce and allow the flavors to integrate thoroughly.

Variation

For a tangier sauce, increase the ou by 1 1/2 teaspoons and increase the water by 1/2 cup. Or omit the ou altogether for a lighter, more refreshing sauce, especially if you are serving another dish with ou.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy! Sifrah daimeh – “May your table always be plentiful”

CS

18
Jul
11

A Cookbook For All Seasons


When I’m doing some serious cooking for a group of family or friends, with a limited amount of time to get the job done, I take a pass on my more fluff-and-glitz cookbooks and gravitate towards the ones that I can rely on to provide me with clear concise foolproof instructions, guaranteed reliable delicious results delivered with relative ease.

And that’s precisely what you can expect from Lévana Kirschenbaum’s new cookbook The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen – Glorious Meals Pure and Simple.

Though aesthetically the book’s layout is rather ordinary looking, the content is superb. It’s jam-packed with healthy mains, soups, salads, pastas, beads and desserts; aside from the general index, the cookbook includes a Passover index and a gluten-free index, with recipe notations indicating gluten free or gluten free adaptable. The recipes and text reflect a seasoned master chef who poured her culinary heart and soul into this cookbook. All content is meticulously organized and the format though visually lackluster nonetheless delivers the author’s usual witty humor and éclat in a most lively entertaining way.

Truly a hitchhiker’s guide to all things good-for-you and delicious, you’ll get never-ending use out of this comprehensive culinary work. The variations that accompany the recipes are awesome as are the tips and running commentary that weave through the pages. It’s like having a master chef or super balabusta mom right there with you preparing your best. Meir Pliskin’s photographs are tastefully done though the publisher’s cropping and cheap printing is somewhat disappointing. Lisa Young’s nutritional info though not revolutionary in content, serves as a useful reminder of healthy choices.

From the book, on page 171:

Roasted Vegetables GF P

Everyone likes a plate of grilled veggies, to eat as is or to use as a filling for sandwiches. I have chosen to share the most ridiculously simple way. First of all, my “grilled” vegies are roasted, requiring no turning over and no maintenance. Second, the trick is endives, radishes, brussel sprouts and fennel; but you will roast carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, potatoes separately because they have a longer cooking time. Roast beets all by themselves so they don’t bleed into your other veggies, or use the wonderful golden beets now available at all good produce stores. For all roasting, remember, one layer, no piling! Lining the baking sheet with foil reduces, or sometimes eliminates, cleaning.

When the vegetables are roasted, go ahead and get a little fancier, if you wish, toss in a little olive oil, chopped fresh basil, a few drops of balsamic vinegar and a little ground pepper. Most often I add nothing at all!

2 large zucchini, cut in sticks
2 large red onions, sliced thick
3 large red peppers, cut in large sections
1 large eggplant, cut in sticks
2 large portobello mushrooms, cups and stems separated, stems cut in half
Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a large cookie sheet (you might need 2) with foil. Spray heavily with vegetable spray. Place the vegetables snuggly and in one layer on the cookie sheet.

Spray heavily again with vegetable spray. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables look slightly charred. The mushrooms (or string beans or asparagus) might be ready first. Slice the mushrooms on a bias when they are cool enough to handle.

The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen cookbook is all about eating right without missing out on taste or style. The key is using healthy, wholesome, fresh ingredients combining flavors with such mastery your palate will think there is magic at play. It’s really the years of trial and error honing skills that have truly reached their apex of expertise. Lévana epitomizes her own quoting of Antoine de Saint Exupery’s words (at the bottom of page 17): “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Don’t miss this essential kitchen tool!

SYR




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