When Jennifer Felicia Abadi was a child, her mother often pulled down a well-worn homemade black recipe binder from her kitchen shelf and created sumptuous Syrian meals. As an adult, Abadi pulled down that same binder to make her own delicious meals. Mindful of the importance of tradition and the ease with which old-world knowledge vanishes, Abadi embarked on a labor of love with her grandmother to record all of her family's rich, mouthwatering Syrian dishes. The result is A Fistful of Lentils, an intimate culinary food album featuring more than 125 Syrian-Jewish recipes, warm family anecdotes, and little-known stories of Syrian-Jewish culture.
Jeffrey Nathan is the star of PBS's popular kosher cooking show, New Jewish Cuisine, and chef at Abigael's restaurant in New York. In Adventures in Jewish Cooking, he offers sophisticated, great-tasting kosher dishes that reflect his belief that, while Jewish dietary laws haven't changed in 3,000 years, today's tastes and eating styles demand a new approach in the kitchen.
Much more than a cookbook--though it does contain over 300 recipes--this entertaining volume is also a history of the Jewish people through their food. Nathan introduces both people and food in a preface that discusses dietary laws, Jewish holidays, Jewish immigration to the U.S., and the impact of Jews--and their food--on American culture. With every recipe comes an original story or a reprint of an article or a personal vignette that intrigues and/or edifies. For instance, the recipe for falafel appears complete with a profile of Moshe, owner of the best falafel pushcart in New York City. There are also lots of photos, both modern and historic. A number-one choice for cookery collections, but make sure history buffs can find it, too.
There could be no more festive way to introduce Jewish children to their Jewish heritage than through the food associated with the holidays. And no better person to do it than Joan Nathan, whose great enthusiasm and knowledge have gained her a national reputation as the maven of the Jewish kitchen.
Here are fifty original recipes for the traditional baked goods associated with the major holidays--challah for Shabbat, hamantashen for Purim, macaroons and matzah for Passover, jelly doughnuts for Chanukah--as well as delicious and exotic alternatives from around the world: Yemenite kubbanah, Turkish boyos, German schnecken, Russian babka, Hungarian strudel, Parisian pletzel, Mexican banana cake, Syrian ka'ak. But why wait for the holidays? Along with challah, bialys, and bagels, you will want to bake and enjoy all of these cakes and breads with your family and friends throughout the year.
By adding over 50 new recipes, Nathan has improved and expanded what is already considered the classic Jewish cookbook. Featuring recipes from around the world--Italy, Mexico, Algeria, and Russia, to name a few--this is the most complete collection of specific dishes for the eight major holidays, the Sabbath, and all special occasions in the life of a Jewish family.
Davis, author of Foie Gras and Cook Something, draws on his Ashkenazi (European Jewish) heritage and family recipes to produce The Mensch Chef. The recipes include familiar Jewish fare like his hearty Chicken Soup and Matzo Balls, Basic Brisket and Gefilte Fish. Several traditional recipes are given tasty new twists, from the slight citric bite of the sweet Apple-Orange Lokshen Kugel to the Baked Fish in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce. Some dishes, like the robust Hummus and the healthy Carrot and Raisin Salad, are more modern Israeli than Old Country, but are growing popular at Jewish tables. The kosher status of each recipe meat, dairy, pareve, or pesadich is indicated, and where appropriate Davis provides alternative versions of recipes that take dietary laws into account. The Pareve Rugelach, for instance, are made with Sweet Chicken Schmaltz and peanut oil instead of dairy products so that they can be eaten after a meat meal. Kosher regulations, ingredients, and tools are all covered in the introduction. Davis's borscht-belt wit spices up the recipes, as do historical tidbits and quick, troubleshooting bits of advice on everything from "How do I grate an onion?" to "Instead of pancakes I made a mess!" This well-written, appealing cookbook will tempt nostalgic Jews and culinary tourists alike.
Gil Marks, a rabbi, gourmet chef, and authority on Jewish food history and lore, guides us through this largely undiscovered world of Jewish cooking beyond chicken soup and gefilte fish. He has compiled over 500 kosher recipes and histories of Jews throughout the world. Gil Marks delights and enlightens readers with traditional recipes from Italian, Yemenite, Ethiopian ,Indian, Rumanian, Hungarian, Georgian, Ukrainian, Moroccan, German, Alsatian, and Middle Eastern Jewry; culinary conversations with contemporary members of these ancient and medieval communities; and fascinating commentary on Jewish food and Jewish history. He offers a spectacular array of delicacies that will whet the appetite and delight the spirit.