Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Millenial Kosher - Truly a Cookbook for the Times

Today's connected foodie Millenials surely have heard of culinary blogger Chanie Apfelbaum, if not by her real name, certainly by her social media handle - Busy In Brooklyn.
I love her recipes, so when the folks at Artscroll contacted me and offered to send me a complimentary review copy or her debut cookbook, Millennial Kosher: Recipes Reinvented for the Modern Palate, I was all in. The volume was billed as collection of modern, cultural, trendy, and bold dishes that reflect her passion for reinventing traditional foods with a modern vibe, and it certainly did not disappoint.
Now if you are looking for basic, "more of the same", onion-soup-mix-and-margarine-in everything recipes, this book is NOT for you. These recipes have an emphasis on fresh and seasonal ingredients, less processed foods and healthier non-dairy alternatives. There might be a few more unique ingredients, but I urge you not to leave them out, as they add so much character to the dishes. If you haven't tried smoked paprika, nutritional yeast and pomegranate molasses before, here is your chance! You won't regret it!!! 
Some recipes are quick to prepare, while others take a bit longer. There is definitely a modern flair to these recipes, but don't let that scare you. They are positively delicious! On my first round of cooking I made (parve) pizza chickpeas, broccoli burgers, butternut squash quiche (made with coconut milk - lighter than your mother's version) and mile high smore's pie.
All in all I really liked this volume. You don't need to be a millennial, but you do need to be an adventurous cook.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Taste of Pesach 2

Four years ago, I reviewed a cookbook here, called A Taste of Pesach. I was an immediate fan, and when I heard that this year A Taste of Pesach 2 was coming on the market, I was super excited.
I've said previously that I think cookbooks make very lovely hostess gifts, especially dedicated ones such as this, and since many people will be guests at someone else's table this Yom Tov, they might consider bringing this one along.
Now while I fully admit that אין חדש תחת השמש, especially when it comes to Pesach recipes, this is still a nice volume to add to a collection.
While the recipes are not necessarily so innovative, there is a decidedly modern flair and a beautiful section on easy plating techniques, to put more of a gourmet spin to the standard holiday fare. In general, the recipes are simple to follow without using ingredients that would be complicated to find with a Pesach hashgacha, but still contemporary enough to make them worth the effort.
While I do wish there would be a few more gebrokts recipes included, I realize that I am probably in the minority in this regard.
There are plenty of healthier options as well. The dessert section contains a number of fruit based selections and the salad section has plenty of eye catching as well as palate pleasing choices.
Overall, this book presents over 150 kosher for Pesach family recipes, creative menus and stunning photographs. 
All contributors to “A Taste of Pesach 2” are volunteers at Yeshiva Me’on HaTorah and proceeds from the book go to the school.

Full Disclosure: I was sent a review copy by the publisher for my consideration, but when I receive cookbooks that I cannot in good conscience recommend, I do not publish a favorable review.