Archive for the 'cookbook authors' Category



25
May
11

A Cookbook for our Times


Fame and fortune come and go these days in a twittered flurry of viral activity signifying not much at all. The famous and infamous become blurred distinctions as we dismiss events with hurried trigger happy flicks of ADHD fingertips itching for the next headline or news byte. We live in a society ruled by obsolescence, disposability, surface chic and ‘what’s in it for me?’ priorities.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the frenzied momentum of the transitory inane; yet some rare individuals manage to adapt to the paroxysm while maintaining their intrinsic skill-set, talents, passions and beliefs. Some of these self possessed champions rarer still can reach out and teach with mass appeal, sharing wisdom, talent and their years of expertise so that even the maniacally distracted stop and take notice.

There is no better master teacher in the culinary world than Levana Kirschenbaum. The woman is a firebrand of positive delightful anecdotal information on fresh healthy wholesome easy ways to cook delicious meals. In her new cookbook, which I got a sneak peak of, Levana holds nothing back. All her collective years of experience are evident in this latest cookbook gem.

With more than 350 recipes in its general index, it includes over 250 delicious gluten-free adaptations and more than 250 Passover friendly dishes. All of these use natural, healthy, wholesome ingredients; what could be better at a time when we becoming increasingly health conscious about our food intake?

The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen is a precious dowry of cooking essentials that any loving mother would pass down to her daughter as a loving legacy of easy and healthful food preparation. This tell all manifest destiny of healthy cooking has wonderful recipes, with multiple variations on a theme, detailed with beautiful pictures, formatted for ease of use, organized and indexed for quick referencing and recipe selection. It’s like all her collections rolled into one, you’re going to love it and come back to it as ‘the source’ time and again for preparing delicious nearly effortless meals. I’ll bet it goes digital! For now you can see it on the shelves by June 1st. Don’t miss it!

Pasta with mock crab , artichokes, and olives. Photo by: Meir Pliskin

SYR

29
Apr
11

Marred by Overpreaching…


Anyone with a smidgen of intelligence, anyone who has ever used the grey matter that Hakodosh Boruch Hu gave him/her, realizes that in this age when animals are raised much faster than nature intended them to (with the help of various chemicals added to their foods), red meat consumption has to be cut down. Even yours truly, carnivore to the core, admits it. Thus, I welcomed Roberta Kalechosky’s books when I first heard of them. While I never intended, nor intend, to abandon my preference for meat I was looking for healthy tasty alternatives.

When I got The Vegetarian Shabbat Cookbook by Roberta Kalechofsky and Roberta Schiff and The Vegetarian Pessach Cookbook by Roberta Kalechofsky, I expected to find some great recipes that would lessen my interest in meat dishes. Instead, while I found some intriguing possibilities I also found myself barraged – specifically in the Passover book – with anti meat sophistry based on often made up statistics (even if Ms. Kalechofsky quotes others), out of context quotes and even horribly misquoted quotes. The Vegetarian Pessach Cookbook (published in 2002) spends the first 20 of its 72 pages preaching against eating meat in terms that misunderstand – or purposely obfuscate the intent of – the religious texts she quotes and bringing politics as a reason for ceasing our consumption of meat. I could go on, but I see little point in continuing to discuss the all too often shrill tone of the author’s polemics.

In The Vegatarian Shabbat Cookbook, (published in 2010) a far more attractive tome, far less shrill and more than three times the number of pages than the earlier one, there are some good recipes. Whether she has matured in her thought in the eight years since she published the Passover book, whether she studied Dale Carnegie‘s How to Win Friends and Influence People, or whether her co-author – Roberta Schiff – served as as a tempering foil, she has curbed down her anger and her politics. What emerges instead is a far more sensible book with some interesting possibilities for those who would vary their diets and veer away from constantly eating meat. While none of the recipes got me very excited, unlike other cookbooks we reviewed on this pages, some are definitely not bad and here’s one I intend to try:

Roasted Root Vegetables With Wine Sauce

Preheat Oven to 375 F

  • 3 golden beets scrubbed
  • 1 turnip, scrubbed, but not peeled, if organic
  • 2 parsnips, scrubbed, but not peeled, if organic
  • 2 large potatoes, do not peel if organic
  • 3 carrots, scrubbed, do not peel, if organic
  • 3 medium or 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 shallot cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of a good prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/3 cup red or white wine
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large soup pot to boil.
Cut all the vegetables into large chunks and put the chunked vegetables in to the boiling water in three or four batches. Boil 2-4 minutes for each batch. Take each batch out and drain.
Put the olive oil in a large skillet. Mix wine, mustard and cumin. When oil is hot (but not smoking), add the mixture of vegetables to the oil.
Add the root vegetables and the sliced shallots and garlic. Stir-fry until golden at the edges. Combine wine with the mustard and cumin and add to the pan. Add salt and pepper.
Transfer to a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes. Turn over every 10-15 minutes.
They should be golden and crispy.
Serves 6-8

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS




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