Jewish Cookbooks for Chanukah!
I read Parrot Mom's message, and thought I'd add another site for Chowhoundish presents. I've attached a link to JewishBookMall's cookbook section. (Note: the other parts of the site are a great source of music and other books of Jewish interest.)
I'd also appreciate comments from other Kosher Chowhounders about any of the books they have. I have several of Joan Nathan's books. The Foods of Israel is a great read, with lots of commentary and stories about all the foods of Israel for the past 60 or more years.
Her Jewish Cooking in America is also terrific.
Has anyone worked with Cucina Ebraica? It sounds yummy.
Chag Sameach, all!
Ah, you've hit a topic close to my heart. Here are some quick reviews of a few of the books on my shelf:
Beautiful book. I've only tried one or two recipes, as most are generally quite involved and require some time. Have others found this as well?
Adventures in Jewish Cooking:
By Jeffery Nathan. I like this book a lot. His recipes tend not only to taste good, but they look like a million bucks. Some recipes require some difficult ingredients (at least for where I live). His cooking also has, ah, unique flavoring. You either like it or you don't. I usually do. The successes are true home runs (his Peruvian Steak recipe is the best steak I've ever had), but the failures (his signature stuffed cabbage didn't work at all for me) tend to be really bad.
Kosher by Design:
The cookbook I'm experimenting with now. In general, I've liked it so far. Most of the recipes are extremely accessable and she has tested all of them extensively. Her flavoring tends to be more mild and the appearance of her dishes more ho-hum than the others. Great photography in the book, though. I'm making the stuffed zuchini and Chicken over Sesame Noodles right now!
The World of Jewish Cooking:
As much a history book as anything else. As the recipes are trying to be authentic to each culture, finding ingredients can be hard. It's a great read, however, and some of the recipes (especially the stews) are terrific.
30 Minute Kosher Cook:
A noble effort, but definitely hit or miss. I've felt that some of the recipes I've tried could have used more refinement. Some of the cooking times and ingredient amounts tend to be off. Like Nathan's book, some of her flavoring is an acquired taste. Some recipe gems are in here though.
2nd Avenue Deli cookbook:
Excellent if you don't live anywhere near a Jewish Deli, as is my case. The book is worth it for the Chicken Cholent and their legendary Health Salad recipes alone (one of the world's most perfect recipes... Impossible to mess up).
Fast and Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays:
A nice book with good recipes for entertaining. She has menus and even will tell you what days to start preparing certain dishes ahead of time. She also has decorating and other ideas. Her chicken soup recipe is my current favorite and, if I recall, an excellent almond matzo ball recipe is in there too. Flavoring tends to be more on the bland/mild side. The dishes tend to be fairly simple as well.
Books I have on my shelf but haven't really used include (what do you folks think of them?):
Secrets of a Jewish Baker (haven't had time to bake)
Deli (an all star recipe compendium from NY delis)
I also recommend the Naked Chef books (Jamie Oliver of TV fame) to kosher chefs as well. His recipes tend to be very elemental and easily adapted to kosher cooking (his roasted chicken is my current favorite).
I was having dinner at Orchidea in Borough Park the other night and was introduced to a photographer named Allen Ben who just produced a cookbook that is going to blow the catagory of kosher cookbooks into a new stratosphere!
His book is called art & cook. It is a "coffee-table' book that combines eye-popping graphics and sharp photography with kosher recipes. It also, through it's innovative imagery, touches upon issues of racism, fashion and even the middle east. It is an art book that morphed with a cookbook. Very, VERY, hip. It's great to see talented Yids using their talents toward a project such as this! It's a "Culinary Kiddush Hashem"!!!
You can check it out on the web, it's just being released. Check out www.artandcook.com
I've cooked from all of Joyce Goldstein's books and really like them. The "Pollo Arrosto all Arancia, Limone, e Zenzero" -- Roast Chicken with Orange, Lemon, and Ginger recipe in Cucina Ebraica is worth the price of the book. It is absolutely delicious. I serve it every Rosh Hashanah -- the honey in the glaze makes it perfect for the high holidays.