Archive for the 'Cookbooks' Category

Win A Copy of Eat Fresh Food – Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs

Eat Fresh Food by Rozanne Gold

Photos by Phil Mansfield

Every once in a while I feel sorry for myself because my kids won’t eat my lovingly prepared meals; for comfort, I seek out one of my fellow mom’s, specifically those with teen-agers. Invariably they look at me with a withering ‘well let me get you the violins and a stiff drink fast, your poor thing’ stare, reminding me that I am a mere amateur at kitchen rejection. When I hear their tales of trying to feed their teens, my load somehow seems lighter, more manageable. Snarky, picky, and sometimes downright nasty, it is no easy task to manage teens at the table.

Enter Rozanne Gold and her new book, Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs. I sat down with the author and discovered that the book’s appeal to teens is as organic as its recipes. Gold recently adopted a teen-ager and for the past few years they have been coming together as a family, in and out of the kitchen. Her daughter was one of five teen chefs engaged to prepare and test each recipe. Their collective industry and obvious enjoyment is evidenced throughout the book with hands-on pictures depicting their efforts.

Yid.Dish: Aviva Allen’s Spicy Potato Latkes


Organic Kosher Cookbook

If you are looking for a Chanukah gift for a foodie (say… yourself!), or some new recipes for any of the Jewish holidays, then there’s a new book out that will be of help. Aviva Allen, author of the 2007 The Organic Kosher Cookbook, has just released a Holiday Edition. Ms. Allen provided me with a free copy for this interview and review.

Who Invited Julia Child to Rosh Hashanah?

I did!

I love to host the holidays. Nothing gives me more pleasure than planning, marketing, preparing, and entertaining for these special times, and I have established a tradition of going a little over the top for the occasion.

I also loved the books Julie and Julia as well as My Life in France. Both inspired me to swipe my mom’s old copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and happily start practicing. That was 2 or 3 years ago, and my appetite was rewet when I heard the film was coming out this summer. It inspired me to begin planning Le Marais, or an all Julia Child tribute to Rosh Hashanah.

What to Do When Your Garden Explodes in Bounty

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Q: What do you do when you have so many home grown zucchini your friends won’t answer the door when you try to share your harvest?

A: Find a car with an open window.

The triumph and the tragedy of the summer growing season is the sheer fecundity of gardens and farms. How to partake of fruits and vegetables at their peak without relying on the same old recipes?

Lois M. Burrows and Laura G. Myers offer a mouth-watering solution with their book, Too Many Tomatoes . . . Squash, Beans, and other Good Things; a Cookbook for When Your Garden Explodes.

Raising a Good Loaf

Tassajara Bread

Remember back in the day when you told someone you ate mostly vegetables and organic food and they told you they only ate food that tasted good? You’d ask them what wasn’t good about the organic food they’d tasted, and usually they’d describe some sort of hard, seedy, lumpy thing. They’d use the word “brick”.  They’d mime chewing like a mouth on novacain. I’m sorry to tell you, but they’d probably been eating bread at my house.

Here’s what happened: I decided maybe seven years ago that I was going to learn how to make bread, except I didn’t really understand why you would spend all that time shoving it around on a table and punching it  if you didn’t have to. Luckily, there was the Cuban bread recipe in a copy of the New York Times cookbook. That no-knead, no-nonsense bread was an excellent gateway drug, but it was also kind of flat; and when you make it with whole wheat or spelt, it ends up looking sort of like a large, good-smelling cow pie.

30-Minute (Sabbath) Meals

(reprinted from The Forward)

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The other night I had eggs for dinner. Two of them fried over easy, slipped onto a slice of toast and plopped next to some sautéed zucchini with garlic. My total cooking time clocked in somewhere around 12 minutes — about as much energy as I had on a muggy summer evening after a day spent prostrating myself in front of a laptop. There was nothing gourmet about what I ate, except perhaps the pinch of za’atar that I sprinkled over the eggs en route to the table. But according to a recent New York Times Magazine article by Michael Pollan (author of “In Defense of Food” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”), my dinner practically qualified for a James Beard award, the food world’s most prestigious prize.

Why? Because, as unfussy as my meal was, I cooked it. From scratch.

Farmer John’s Cookbook: We Have a Winner

Thanks to everyone who commented, and congratulations to Hilla (proud member of Hazon’s Forest Hills CSA), whose recipe for carrot top pesto won her a copy of Farmer John’s cookbook! Check back this Thursday for The Jew and the Carrot’s next contest.

Contest Closed! Stay tuned for the winner – Win This Book: Farmer John’s Cookbook

kohlrabi

So you’ve just opened your CSA box to an unfamiliar sight—a strange-looking bulb with long leaves sprouting every which way. After asking Google, your hippie aunt, two of your neighbors and a guy in line with you at Trader Joe’s, you finally figure out that the mystery plant is called kohlrabi. Great… now what do you do with the giant bag of it in your fridge?

Yid.Dish: Classic Tabbouleh

(Originally published on My Jewish Learning)

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I grew up eating my mother’s American tabbouleh–starchy, lemon-doused bulgur salad. This was the 1980s, when many American Jews were incorporating “Israeli-style” foods into their culinary repertoire. But while my mom’s tabbouleh was delicious, I later discovered that it hardly resembled the authentic version, which features a higher ratio of painstakingly chopped fresh parsley and tomatoes to grains of bulgur.

Tabbouleh, which comes from the Arabic word tabil (“to spice”), is not actually an Israeli or Jewish dish, per se.

In Memory’s Kitchen: A Cookbook from a Concentration Camp

Photo credit kimberlykv

A few years ago I came across a book called In Memory’s Kitchen, edited by Cara De Silva. The book collects recipes and food memories written by women imprisoned at the Czechoslovakian concentration camp of Theresienstadt. Though they were starving and undernourished, a group gathered to write a book of recipes and food memories to pass down to another generation. The recipes they included were for rich national foods of Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Austria, like fried noodles topped with raisins, cinnamon and vanilla cream, and traditional caramels from Baden Baden.

Food was constantly a topic of discussion, though there was little to go around, and certainly none of the luxurious ingredients a person would need to make many of the cakes and treats included in the book. Discussing and sometimes arguing about the best recipes and methods of preparation for various delicacies was comforting to the women who were starving, and they called this “mouth cooking.”

Help! I Have Six Pounds of Organic Kosher Brisket, Now What Do I Do!?!

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Photo by Ivan Soto

I don’t typically cook a lot of meat.  During my dinner parties I’ll sometimes have one meat dish, while everything else will be vegetarian friendly.  Dating a vegetarian has also sharply curtailed my meat consumption.  So in the menu planning for my “traditional” Passover Seder my co-host insisted on brisket.  I agreed, but only if it was conscientious meat (the fish I put into my gefilte fish were all on the “good” fish list).  To him this meant kosher, to me this meant sustainable so we started searching for kosher sustainable brisket.

This was a bit more challenging than we expected.  I had heard about Kol Foods the organization that provides kosher sustainable meat.  The problem we faced was that we only wanted one brisket and they sell their product in much larger quantities.  Of course we thought about asking around to see if we couldn’t find someone who might want to share a box, but because it was rather last minute (the meat order deadline was that day) it didn’t seem likely.  So a little Internet searching later we came across some organic kosher brisket that could be delivered in most parts of Manhattan.  That seemed like the logical compromise so we ended up with two three-pound chunks of meat, a coupon for our next order and a complimentary oven mitt.

Learning from “Midwestern Cooking”

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As an exhibitionist ex-academic, I was delighted to participate on a Public Humanities panel on Food and Sustainability at Portland State University last week. The panelists were asked to keep their presentations short (6-8 minutes) so that there would be ample time to for the audience to participate in conversation.

Contrary to all ethnic stereotypes, I actually obeyed the short presentation format better than the other panelists. Here’s an even briefer recap of my brief comments . . . and an invitation to extend the conversation here.

Sheila Lukins Book Giveaway – On Jewcy.com!

Written by Todd Sloves and Cross-Posted from Jewcy

Jewcy Contest of the Week: Sheila Lukins Book Giveaway

The Romans designated February as a month of “Spring cleaning” and purification. In most of the world, especially in the US, the greeting card and candy industries hijacked the month for the Valentine’s Day holiday. But here at Jewcy, we’re kicking off February with a gastronomical twist.  Sheila Lukins, author of Ten: All the Foods We Love, Ten Recipes for Each is spending this week guest blogging in Jewcy‘s Book Club.  As part of her week on Jewcy, we’re giving away five copies of her book!  It’s easy to participate: All you have to do is comment on one of her posts [on Jewcy].  At the end of the week, we’ll pick the best five comments and contact the commenters to let them know they’ve won.  That’s it!  Just leave a comment, get a book!  Have a look at [Jewcy's] post on vegetable soup, and keep checking Jewcy, or Sheila’s profile, for her most recent post.

Yid.Dish: Apple and Pear Crisp

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According to Raymond Sokolov’s book, Why We Eat What We Eat, “Before Columbus, there were no apples in the Americas. Settlers brought seeds and grafts, hoping to recreate their old way of life.”  Any American who has ever given a teacher an apple (or seen a movie where such an exchange occurred), uttered the words, “an apple a day…” or traversed the produce section of a grocery store or farmers’ market knows that those early settlers succeeded, big time.  It’s a good thing too, because, as the apple wove its way into American life and culture, delicious things occurred – like the apple crisp.

Homemade apple crisps arguably rank among the humblest desserts on the planet, containing nothing more than fruit, fat, sugar, and flour. I like that in a sweet.  With a crisp, there is no need for the bells and whistles of a layered trifle.  They don’t require batter to be scooped evenly onto baking sheets like a cookie and, unlike making crème brulee, there’s definitely no blow torch necessary. It is undoubtedly the crisp’s heimish (Yiddish for “homey” or “comfortable”) nature that makes it a Shabbat dinner favorite, served either as a dessert or during the meal as an alternative to kugel.

That said, because of their simplicity, people sometimes classify crisps as a bit boring – like the cousin you invite over to eat out of obligation, rather than his or her sparkling wit and dinner conversation.  But gussied up with just a touch of crystallized ginger and a scoop of freshly whipped cream, the apple crisp holds its own at any table.

Find more photos and my recipe for Apple and Pear Crisp below the jump…