Kosher Revolution – a Book Review

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Because of work, the exchange with Sweden, the High Holidays and now the fall vacation I have not had as much time as I would have liked for experimentations in cooking.

However since I received a review copy of Kosher Revolution before Rosh Hashanah, I thought I would try and find a seasonal recipe in this new cookbook for the holiday.

Kosher Revolution aims at making “kosher cooking indistinguishable from any other kind.” By this the authors of this book, Geila Hocherman and Arthur Boehm, mean that modern cuisine and kosher cooking are quite compatible. The inspiration seems to come mainly from Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.

Kosher Revolution is divided into several clear parts that make it easy to navigate the book:
– Getting Started – tips on cooking as well as advice on a well-stocked pantry
– Hors d’Oeuvres and Starters
– Soups – a section that includes appetizing Newly Minted Pea Soup and Coconut-Ginger Squash Soup
– Fish – a unit where
– Poultry
– Poultry – nice-looking recipes for chicken with a change
– Meat
– Meatless Mains – Tess’ Penne with Blue Cheese, Pecans and Sultanas sounds great for a busy winter evening
– Sides – I intend to try Middle-Eastern Zucchini Cakes with Tahini Sauce for Hannukah
– Breakfast and Brunch
– Sweets – where I found the delicious Allie’s Apple Cake
– Basics- a section devoted to Challah, stock and sauces

The book is beautifully illustrated and the instruction easy to follow. I only have one regret: the recipes do not look as revolutionary as the title suggests. Nevertheless if Allie’s Apple Cake is anything to go by, they promise to be both reasonably simple and delightful.

Super Natural Every Day- First Glimpse

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I am not a vegetarian but I cut down on meat when I became kosher. This was mainly for practical reasons as the nearest kosher butcher shop is more than an hour’s drive away. At the same time I became more health conscious than I already was. Now we never eat meat more than twice a week.

Therefore I am always on the lookout for lovely vegetarian recipes I can add to my daily or Shabbat dishes and I like my vegetarian dishes to be as enticing and appetizing asmy fish or meat dishes.

If you eat kosher, vegetarian dishes are quite useful: you will use lots of unprocessed foods that won’t need a hechshser.

I regularly read a few vegetarian websites but did not own a vegetarian cookbook. So when I learnt that Heidi Swanson, who blogs at 101cookbooks and whose recipes I always enjoy, had published a new book which had raving reviews on Amazon I thought I’d order it.

Super Natural Every Day arrived this morning and after a long day of meetings on the forthcoming exams I was glad to find it when I got back home.

The book starts with a long introduction on natural foods, her pantry and kitchen and some cooking tips.

The book is then divided into several sections:
– Breakfast
– Lunch
– Snacks
– Dinner
– Drinks
– Treats
– Accompaniments

I have only paged through the book quickly but have already spotted some recipes I’d like to try: spinach strata, lemon-zested bulgur wheat, frittata, summer squash soup, mostly not potato salad, shaved fennel salad, rye soda bread, raita with walnuts, little quinoa patties, cucumber cooler for instance.

The book uses cups as well as grams which will suit both the American and European readers.

Some recipes by Heidi Swanson I have tried:
Pierce Street Vegetarian Chili
Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake
Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup
Cashew Curry

After Work Thursday Musings – Updated

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– The new cooktop will only be fitted next Tuesday. I now need to find Shabbat recipes that can be done in the oven or the microwave. It’ll probably be a fish dish.

– So much for discipline; I started What I Talk About When I Talk About Running but find it very tedious. I have no time for boring books so I think I’ll switch to something else.

– A colleague lent me The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Although people have mixed feelings about this book, I think I’ll give it a go.

– I can also read The New Book of Israeli Food by Janna Gur which I received this week. I will tick the recipes which inspire me and start once the cooktop is fixed. The photos are stunning and since I love cookbooks this should be fun.

– Last night, on the wonderful French Jewish website Akadem (a non-denominational digtal campus), I heard a fasinating lecture about the divide between secular and religious Jews in Israel. The lecture was given by Marius Schattner a Franco-Israeli journalist who wrote a book on the subject. A secular Jew himself, he started by explaining that he had undertaken this task after his daughter became ultra-Orthodox. The lecture was very nuanced and made me want to buy his book.

– I definitely needed new glasses. So I went to the optician last week, chose them, underwent a number of tests and will eventually get them tomorrow. They’re my first pair with progressive bifocal lenses so wish me luck.