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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."


"No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook
in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice
and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers."

~ Laurie Colwin


Books You Thought You'd Never Find

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In Honor of the Jewish High Holy Days

Rosh Hashanah:
September 8, 2010/Tishrei 1, 5771

Yom Kippur:
September 17, 2010/Tishrei 10, 5771

Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot:
September 22, 2010/Tishrei 15 - 21, 5771


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Our Seven Favorite Jewish Cookbooks

"Books that span the culinary spectrum, from traditional
Ashkenazi to Sephardic, from New York to Israel, including
baking and healthy specialties"
by Irene Sax, Epicurious

"When I think of Jewish food, I think of brisket and latkes. To someone else,
the words may evoke lamb tagine and rice with lentils, while to others—even
the most observant—it could include foods as varied and unexpected as beef
jerky, eggplant Parmesan, and chicken tikka masala. We tend to divide Jewish
cooking into two categories: Ashkenazic from Middle and Eastern Europe, and
Sephardic from the Mediterranean and stretching eastward to the Middle East
(including Spain, Portugal, and North Africa). But in truth, there are as many
varieties of Jewish cooking as there are places in the world where Jews have
settled, from Buenos Aires to Shanghai to Brooklyn, New York. The only re-
quirement is that the dishes follow the rules of kashruth ("kosher" in English),
such as separating milk and meat, and eschewing pork and shellfish. And that's
why you'll find such a rich variety of flavors and stories in some of our favorite
Jewish cookbooks. Evoking a place and time from long ago, and sometimes pro-
viding a new perspective on the present, these books make for great reading."

Editor's Favorite

From My Mother's Kitchen
by Mimi Sheraton (Harper Collins)


"A personal favorite, not only for its impeccable recipes but for its loving tribute
to a mother and the memories of a bygone New York City, this book is about
the wonderful food eaten every day in the "Austro-Polish-Rumanian-Jewish"
household in which New York Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton grew up.
Although the family did not keep kosher—she gives recipes for Manhattan clam chowder and fried-egg and bacon sandwiches—most of the foods are classically Jewish-American, with plenty of "kosher-style" dishes such as cabbage soup
and blintzes, stuffed cabbage, mandelbrot, and a thin, crisp potato kugel that
will let you celebrate Hanukkah without standing over the stove frying latkes
while everyone eats. Besides, how can you not love a book with a chapter on
"The Joys of Being Sick in Bed"? Now out of print, this book with close to
300 recipes is worth searching out in the public library or in a second-hand bookstore..."

Mimi Sheraton's Knaidlach!



Best for Ashkenazi Cuisine

Jewish Home Cooking:
Yiddish Recipes Revisited

by Arthur Schwartz, copyright © 2008
Published by Ten Speed Press
Photo credit: Ben Fink © 2008

"This is what most of us think of as Jewish cooking: Ashkenazic cooking
transmitted through the American immigrant experience. That means bagels
and stuffed cabbage, kugel and
blintzes. It includes the heavy, memory-laden
dishes that these days mainly show up in the matzoh kugel and pot roast at the Passover seder, or the herring in sour cream and nut-studded coffee cakes we
eat when we break the Yom Kippur fast. Food maven Arthur Schwartz contends
that these foods (and there are nearly 100 recipes) are too good to reserve just
for the holidays. Rather, we can enjoy this way of eating year round, given a
little editing to lighten the dishes. Ask anyone who has sipped a cool glass of
beet borscht in summer or made an entire supper of that one-time appetizer,
stuffed cabbage (holishkes), in winter. Teeming with history and anecdotes,
like that of the quietly disappearing New York beverage the egg cream, the
book is frankly and unabashedly centered on the New York Jewish-American
experience. We'd expect nothing less from Schwartz, a native New Yorker
whose previous book was New York City Food."

Anne Whiteman's Birthday Kugel
Epicurious | September 2008

"Anne Whiteman was the mother of Michael Whiteman, a Brooklyn native and
the business and creative partner of the legendary Joe Baum in designing and
operating many restaurant projects, among them the food services of the World
Trade Center, including Windows on the World, and the restoration and
operation of the Rainbow Room.
If this is the kind of food Michael grew up eating, then it's no wonder his palate
is so finely tuned. This recipe is typical of highly evolved dairy noodle kugels,
in that it is dessert-sweet and topped with corn flakes, although it doesn't call
for the canned crushed pineapple that so many less refined recipes do. Here,
the cottage cheese is pureed with the sour cream, milk, and eggs to form a
silken custard to hold the noodles. Michael and I are not certain how his
mother arrived at the odd amount of sour cream, but I have decided not to
change it. It is called "birthday kugel" because his mother made it mainly
for those celebratory occasions."

Yield: Serves 12

6 eggs
1 1/2 cups 4-percent-fat cottage cheese
(small or large curd, or California-style)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup raisins
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon salt
18 ounces wide, preferably
flat egg noodles

1 cup coarsely crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

To make the kugel, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal
blade, whirl together the eggs. Add the cottage cheese, sour cream, and
sugar. Process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the milk,
raisins, melted butter, vanilla, and orange and lemon zests.
In a large pot, bring at least 5 quarts of water to a boil over high heat,
salt, and cook the noodles until just before they are fully cooked, about
5 minutes, but check package directions for exact timing. Drain and stir
the noodles into the egg-cheese mixture, then refrigerate, tightly covered,
overnight. (I think this step of preparing ahead was mainly for conven-
ience. I have baked the pudding immediately, and it turns out lighter; the
noodles don't absorb as much of the custard.
Lightly butter a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350
degrees F.
To make the topping, toss together the corn flakes, melted butter, and cinnamon in a small bowl. To bake the kugel, pour the noodle mixture
into the baking dish and sprinkle evenly with the topping. Bake for 35
to 40 minutes, until lightly browned. Let stand at least 10 minutes
before serving.


Best for Israeli Cuisine

Foods of Israel Today
by Joan Nathan

"Joan Nathan, an expert on Jewish cooking in America, has a friendly voice made familiar by her cookbooks, PBS TV series, and articles in The New York Times.
But in this book she leaves America to write about the fascinating and multi-
faceted cuisine of Israel. Nathan moved to Jerusalem as a young woman to work
for Mayor Teddy Kollek, and quickly discovered how thrilling Israeli food could
be. Since then, she's been back many times, talking to Christians and Muslims as
well as Jews from places as widespread as Austria, Russia, Ethiopia, and Yemen.
It's a polyglot community that gave rise to political tensions but also gave birth
to a true fusion cuisine, where everyone eats eggplant, lentils, dates, and olives,
just differently. Even the famous Israeli or kibbutz salad of diced tomatoes,
peppers, and cucumbers becomes the Arab fattoush once you add pieces of dried
pita bread. A historical and personal account which is also a 300-plus recipe
cookbook and a travel guidebook, this is Nathan's love letter to a tumultuous
country and its flexible, innovative cooks."

Click here for recipe.

But wait! There's more...

Featured Archive Recipes:
(Work in progress!)
Tradition! (Chanukah)
Brisket (Gail Zweigenthal's Mother's)
Cheese Blintzes
Cheesecake, New York
Kugel, Noodle, Mrs. Stern's
Kugel, Potato, Klein
Kugel, Vegetable-Noodle, Judy's
Latkes (The Latke King)
Matzoh Ball Soup
Scrambled Eggs with Lox
and Cream Cheese


Our all-time favorite cookbooks

Food and Art (Artist's Cookbooks)
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