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Apr 1, 2008 02:21 PM



I'm not actually looking for kosher cookbooks per se, but i was wondering if anyone had favorite cookbooks that they found a lot of good recipes in.

everytime i pick up a cookbook i like, it turns out to be mostly filled with seafood, pork, meat/milk combos, etc.

so yeah, any suggestions are totally appreciated.


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  1. Of course cookbooks are full of non-kosher ingredients, but many recipes are easily adaptable. Butter is almost always replaceable with olive oil (for cooking - different but also good flavor) or margarine (for baking - obviously you lose the buttery taste). Milk can be replaced in most recipes with soymilk, especially if it's not the main focus of the dish. I will admit that some cookbooks (such as Rachael Ray's, when I flipped through some at a friend's house) are very big on meat-and-cheese combos, and while there's fake cheese out there, I can't really recommend it. I have not yet seen a vegan cream replacement with a hechsher, and so haven't tried any of them out.

    On the meat side, I've had good luck replacing ground pork in many recipes with ground turkey or lamb. Some bacon (when used as an accent) can be replaced with beef fry and smoked turkey. (One provides the fat, the other the smokiness.) Some whole pork dishes can be used with white meat chicken. Although there are fake seafoods out there (mostly surimi pressed into various shapes), I'm personally not a fan.

    Personally, I am a big fan of Mark Bittman's books and Minimalist column in the New York Times. Granted, I skip the seafood section, and many of the pig-based recipes, but there are still many hundreds of recipes in both 'How to Cook Everything' and 'The Best Recipes in the World' that are either inherently kosher or easily adapted. I also like 'The Gourmet Cookbook.' All three are big, every-recipe-you-might-ever-want kind of books. Any vegetarian cookbook also lends itself to kosher cooking, although I find that some of them lean towards the tons of butter and cheese school of cooking. It's more the Middle American type of cookbooks that cover all the meats in cheese or creamy sauces, which are harder to adapt.

    1. There is a beautiful James beard cookbook of the year awrd winning cookbook called "The Book of Jewsih Food" by Claudia Roden its the jewish version of larousses Gasronomique. also right now i am currently digging my newest cookbook called "Aromas of Aleppo" by poopa dweck which is chock full of wonderfully photographed syrian food. also any cookbook writtten by the queen of kosher gourmet Susie Fishbien
      also anything published by americas test kitchen A.K.A cooks illustrated is worth a gander.

      1. Skipping and Replacing ingredients have become such a part of cooking....

        I was mainly looking to see what cookbooks ppl like to use out there. I was thinking about picking up Bittman's How to Cook Everything.

        Thanks much!!

        1. The barefoot contessa books are great and easy to adapt for kosher homes.

          2 Replies
          1. re: roxhills

            i just bought, about a week ago, Hip Kosher by Ronnie Fein. I have her Idiots Guide to cooking which, despite the name, is one of the best cookbooks i've ever used - simple, tasty, true to description, etc. Anyway, the book is good. It's no different than any other "regular" cookbook, i.e. not full of eastern european heavy fare but the "normal" stuff we eat. fresh fish, pea soup, cornish hen... so it's not at all what you expect from a kosher cookbook. it's different (thank goodness)

            anyway i need to cook for the second night of passover but we are having a casual evening for friends our age (mid 30s) and i don't want to recreate (my favrite) traditional foods from the first night at my in-laws, so i bought this, and it's what i need (and what was promised). i actually am gonna pick up 2 copies as passover gifts for my mom and mom-in-law.

            1. re: beansprouts

              The Chabad Spirit & Spice is a classic. Its mostly down-to-earth home cooking. I would look for one of the earlier editions, however.

          2. My new current favorite is Faye Levy's "1000 Kosher Recipes"-- they are simple, yet really savory and delicious. Have done about half a dozen of them, and they have turned out well-- even when I adapt them (as I almost always substitute something in a recipe, and hardly ever measure ingredients unless baking).