In New York, it sometimes seems that everyone is Jewish – or knows someone who is. The homeless man in my neighborhood wished me a good yom tov (good day) on Rosh Hashanah and local stores have special Passover and Hanukkah menus each year.
If you are looking to cook for a Jewish holiday, a Shabbat meal, or just everyday Kosher, you could do worse than Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes.
Written by Jamie Geller, the book has recipes that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a Kosher cookbook – smashed red potato nachos or miso-glazed salmon. These are easy to make, delicious dishes whatever your religious persuasion.
I particularly liked the tips for making the recipes simpler for everyday, or dressed up for entertaining. There are also suggested wine pairings throughout.
While many of the dishes are meat – my grandparents didn’t think it was a meal unless there was a huge hunk of animal protein – there are quite a few vegetarian choices. The faux chopped liver, with mushrooms and walnuts, yielded such a look and feel of chopped liver that I was transported back to my grandmother’s kitchen.
And if you are trying to cut down on saturated fats, the olive oil dark chocolate mousse or gooey chocolate cherry cake are wonderful desserts for anyone.
For those without a Bubbie (Jewish grandmother), there are holiday menus, and a Hebrew/Yiddish glossary. And for anyone who has been invited to a seder and doesn’t know what to make, there are Passover ‘adjustments’ to many recipes.
So nu, what are you waiting for?