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Got Kugel? Got kugel with Toffee Walnuts? How about real, homemade Gelfite Fish—and Salmon en Papillote. Refreshing sweet-and-sour borscht, and Not-Your-Store-Bought Potato Blintzes. Cooking Jewish gathers recipes from five generations of a food-obsessed family into a celebratory saga of cousins and kasha, Passover feasts and crossover dishes, Aunt Irene's traditional matzoh balls and Judy's contemporary version with shiitake mushrooms. And don't even talk about the desserts. With its lively stories and eccentric...
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Got Kugel? Got kugel with Toffee Walnuts? How about real, homemade Gelfite Fish—and Salmon en Papillote. Refreshing sweet-and-sour borscht, and Not-Your-Store-Bought Potato Blintzes. Cooking Jewish gathers recipes from five generations of a food-obsessed family into a celebratory saga of cousins and kasha, Passover feasts and crossover dishes, Aunt Irene's traditional matzoh balls and Judy's contemporary version with shiitake mushrooms. And don't even talk about the desserts. With its lively stories and eccentric characters, Cooking Jewish invites the reader not just into the kitchen, but into a whole vibrant world of family and friends.
Introduction: Recipe for a cookbook . XXI
So I’m sitting minding my own business, and I’m thinking, I know. I’ll collect my aunts’ recipes and put them in a book. So look what happened! Meet the family, each with a recipe and a story to tell. You’re gonna need a scorecard. (The photos will help.)
B’raysheet: in the beginning . XXIX
Back in Slonim, first they liked us, then they hated us—Papa Harry said, “Enough already!” How my grandparents set down roots in the Promised Land, and from there sprang the whole mishpuchah.
Cooking kosher. XLVI
To play the game you gotta know the rules. If you’re observant, you know all this stuff already. If not, here’s a quick course in separating the meat from the dairy.
Appetizers .. 3
A little nosh before the main event. Not “little” like the French with their dainty amuse-bouches. Not that little. And why just one? Have a knish and borekas and some chopped liver too. And a little hummus would be good. And try the eggplant. Hummus with the eggplant. M-m-m-m.
I don’t care what you say—my mother’s chicken soup really is better than your mother’s. Better than anybody’s. But it doesn’t stop there. Carrot, Mushroom Barley, Roasted Beet Borscht, lentil . . . and Shiitake Mushroom Matzoh Balls to go with them all! Soups from the Old World and soups from the New.
You peel, you chop, and then you crunch. From Mandarin to Indian to Israeli, Korean, and Thai—I mean the salads, not the people. They’re Jewish. Well, some of them are Israeli. Oh, you get the idea.
You’re thinking, Jewish cookbook—brisket. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) We’ve got four, not counting two for the cholents, and darn proud of it! But there’s also Moroccan Spicy Apricot Lamb Shanks, Hazelnut Crusted Rack of Lamb, Osso Buco, Spanish Short Rib Stew. . . . Go ahead. Browse.
Toasted with fennel, baked with cherries and chili sauce, stir-fried with walnuts, grilled with mustard and herbs—if it clucks you’ll find it here. And no part of the chicken— or turkey or hen—is ever wasted.
There’s more than herring and gefilte in this chapter. Okay, lox too. Okay, herring and gefilte are in appetizers, and lox is in breakfast. But the other fish are here, like salmon five ways to Sunday and sea bass and halibut and mahi-mahi and . . .
They didn’t eat ’em in Slonim, but we’re in this country now. Flash-roasted asparagus. Portobello wrap. Southwestern Tsimmes in Chile Pockets. Triple Corn Pudding to die for. Spinach-Stuffed Squash. So be good and eat your veggies. Dessert is coming in just 130 pages.
Potatoes, noodles, rice, and grains...267
You want comfort? I’ll give you comfort: Three kinds of latkes, a dozen noodle kugels, pirogen (potato and cheese), mamaliga, shlishkes, stuffings, sweet potatoes—with marshmallows, sure, but also with pecans or honey-orange glaze. And these they call side dishes?
You don’t have to be Jewish to love challah. But put away the knife and tear off a piece. Unless you’re making a French toast casserole or challah chips. Then you can use the knife. And if you don’t have a bread machine, get one for the pita. You’ll thank me. (If you’re looking for onion rolls, pretzels, biscuits, and scones, they’re in here too.)
The most important meal of the day. Well, the most fun. Try the Hoppel-Poppel or blintzes or Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes or— wait! Caramel French Toast—no! Apple and Cheese-Stuffed French Toast. Oh, I can’t make up my mind! You pick. Surprise me.
Now we’re talking. Everything sweet and yummy. Old-fashioned Apple Cake. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Peach, orange, and honey-orange sponge. Five kinds of cheesecake. And did I mention chocolate? Coffee cakes. Pound cake. Aunt Sally’s Red, White, and Blue. Cut me just a sliver. Well, maybe a little bigger than that. Oh, give me that knife!
Pies and pastries...435
How a dough phobic found joy and happiness learning to make pie crust. (And if I can do it, you can too!) Now to fill it: towering apple topped with walnut crunch, rhubarb, pecan, lemon meringue, Key lime with mountains of whipped cream . . . and baklava, strudel (and I’m not talking with filo—that would be cheating—I mean the real deal).
Jews invented cookies. At least dunking cookies. Okay, at least baking them by the dozens. Mandelbrot, rugelach, kichel, chocolate chip. Brownies, hamantaschen, New York Black & Whites. Rolled out, dropped, spread into bars, boiled in honey . . . that would be the taiglach, but promise me you’ll be careful. That honey is hot! (Don’t make me tell you twice.)
Desserts and candy...505
In case there aren’t enough sweets already, here’s a fourth chapter. (Some people have a sweet tooth, but we have sweet teeth, every one of them.) You’ll need a spoon: soufflé, flan, trifle, chocolate mousse, tiramisù, puddings, custard . . . you know, all that sweet, slippery, wobbly, and jiggly stuff. Oh, and candy too. Just ’cuz.
Leave it to the Jews to take a board of matzoh and fashion a feast. Restrictions? Hah! We wait all year for this stuff. Yemenite Haroset Truffles, kugels savory and sweet, Sephardic Chicken, Mom’s Killer Brisket with Tsimmes. And the sweets! Chocolate Fudge Pecan Pie, meringues, sponge cakes aplenty . . . we invented the term “I’m stuffed.”
A woozy little dink of a chapter. But thirst quenching. (This family is more likely to crowd the Viennese table than an open bar!) Yet several stalwarts save us from total abstinence with their Sea Breeze, Margarita, French 75. . . . Then there’s my husband’s Egg Cream and malted. You’ll have a glass of tea, a cup of coffee—it’ll be fine.
No, silly, not that kind of conversion. You know, metric and cups to quarts and all that good stuff you can’t remember from geometry . . . or was it algebra?
Did I mention you were gonna need a scorecard? For the photo montages you’ll want to know the players. Take notes. There’ll be a test later.
Here’s a list of the professional photographers and cookbook authors who so generously allowed me to use their work.
You’re so busy you can’t just sit there and read? Suit yourself. You’ll look it up and you’ll find it. But don’t complain to me if you miss something.
Posted November 10, 2009
I was passed this book along one morning during my son's religious school to take a look at. I was so hungry by the time I finished looking at JUST the DESSERTS (I start books from the back)!!! As an ever-budding cook of new things and especially desserts I was super excited to pick up this book! I cannot wait to actually cook the recipes that fill the pages of Cooking Jewish!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 14, 2011
No text was provided for this review.