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Kosher cookbook recommendations

DD will be setting up her first college apartment this fall in Waltham, MA (Brandeis). She will be keeping kosher with her roomates and I would like to buy a couple of simple cookbooks she can use primarily to make Shabbat dinner. Looking for recommendations for cookbooks with simple techniques that embrace different cuisines (Chinese, Indian, Thai, Eastern European, Mediterranean, etc) that use relatively few utensils (not terribly well equipped kitchen, spends $$ on clothes!) and somewhat inexpensive ingredients. My collection runs toward Joan Nathan and brisket, not what she wants. Any advice welcome, thanks!

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    1. re: MartyB

      Hip Kosher: 175 Easy-to-Prepare Recipes for Today's Kosher Cooks
      by Ronnie Fein

      1. re: MartyB

        Can't swear to it, but I doubt that The Ladies Auxillary of Nitra has quite embraced Chinese, Indian, Thai, Mediterrean, or anything like that. The OP was pretty clear to say that that was what her daughter is looking for. In fact, based on one of the Heimishe Kitchen books that I do own, I would say that this heavy, standard Jewish fare in this series is almost exactly the opposite of what this young woman is looking for.
        I myself don't have a recommendation for a good general kosher cookbook that covers these varied cuisines, as I tend to read books and magazines that aren't specifically kosher, but I leave out and substitute as necessary. I do however, recommend Norene Gilletz' books, particularly Healthy Helpings, as her recipes are fairly easy and healthy, not heavy and full of fat. Lots of chicken dishes, salads, veggie side dishes, some grains, etc., and I imagine they'd be pretty easy to do in a basic kitchen. Give it a look on Amazon; I don't know how likely it will be to find it in a store to look at it. Good luck to your daughter.

        1. re: queenscook

          You are right, I was focusing on the "I would like to buy a couple of simple cookbooks she can use primarily to make Shabbat dinner" part of the post and figured that others will fill in on the "foreign" requirements of the poster. I highly doubted that there would be a cookbook that combines the themes of kosher, simple and exotic and still be able to make money selling it.

          1. re: MartyB

            I don't know if that's true; this Chowhound board seems to testify to the fact that there are now quite a number of kosher cooks who are quite interested in "exotic" fare, yet many of us don't want to spend three hours to prepare one dish. I would think there would be enough to make it a marketable title.

      2. Another excellent choice is "What's Cooking - A unique Collection of Kosher Recipes"

        Then of course there is the classic "Spice & Spirit Cookbook"

        1. the most quintesential jewish cookbook
          The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York (Hardcover)
          by Claudia Roden (Author)

          1. I highly reccomend this excellent cook book with great recipies as well as history! It includes both Ashkenazic: German, Alsacian, Polish, Hungarian, etc... and Sephardic: North African, Iraqi, Georgian, Indian, Greek, Turkish, Syrian, Italian, Persian, etc... recipies

            The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York
            by: Claudia Rodin


            1. I have always liked the Kosher by Design series - http://www.kosherbydesign.com/

              1. It's not specifically kosher, but Mark Bittman's 'How to Cook Everything' or 'How to Cook Everything Vegetarian' if they're veggies. It covers everything from boiling an egg on up. A sleeker, updated Joy of Cooking.

                I also love 'Olive trees and honey' by Gil Marks which covers pareve/dairy Jewish cooking traditions from around the world. Most dishes also have variations in flavoring to accommodate different tastes. Nothing complicated.

                As complete a cookbook it is, I would not recommend Spirit and Spice for the girl described.

                3 Replies
                1. re: CloggieGirl

                  kosher palette, kosher by design and vegetarian cooking for everyone by deborah madison

                  1. re: koshergourmetmart

                    I highly recommend Sephardic Cooking: 600 Recipes Created in Exotic Sephardic Kitchens from Morocco to India by Copeland Marks

                    1. re: moonlightgraham

                      Be very carefull with this cookbook since not all the recipies are kosher!


                2. The Gatherings, Netivot Hatorah Parents Association. Link to buy attached: http://www.gourmania.com/bookreviews/...

                  1. I love to cook and Spice and Spirit consistently yields good results on almost anything. It has the best and easiest to follow recipes on traditional Challah, Gefilte Fish, kugels plus Chinese, Moroccan, Italian...dishes. Someone did some really good test kitchening when they prepared this book for publication. If you want to be thorough, buy one of the hot Sephardic or health themed cookbooks available. I'm okay with Jeff Nathan's from Abigaels but use it so rarely that I forgot the name of it. The recipes in those are usually quite involved for the average college kid.

                    1. Thanks for the recs so far. We had some fun this past weekend trying to email recipes and figure out substitutions as she is spending the summer volunteering in Israel for Magen Dovid Adom and living in a shared apartment in Tiberias. Don't think she realized she would be living on her own and the cooking is a bit of a surprise to her (she never paid attention at home!). This is her first experience not living in a dorm, with virtual strangers and proves to be a real adventure. She managed to make turkey schnitzel, Israeli tomato/cucumber salad and noodles for Shabbat.

                      Will be scouring the web looking for easy recpes to download. She may be a pro at cooking by the time Brandeis resumes in the fall!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Diane in Bexley

                        Try this one. It's a companion site to a new cookbook that is pretty simple. The site has all kinds of cool features like an interactive cookbook and cooking videos. www.quickandkosher.com
                        The book is by Jamie Geller. Great site. Should help your daughter a bit.

                      2. Levana Kirschenbaum's first cookbook- I think it's called Levana's Kitchen? Table? something like that- anyway, I highly recommend it. Extremely delicious, health conscious, nice blend of cuisines. It looks very 'gourmet' but the recipes are fairly straightforward for the home cook. The writing, the photography, the recipes: A++

                        1. As a Brandeis alumnus who made a similar move off-campus with some trepidation, I can assure you she'll be fine. There will be loads of recipe sharing among her peers and a couple basic cookbooks, even treyf, should be all she needs.

                          1. Olive Trees and Honey, by Gil Marks. This one is vegetarian, and has a lot of advise on how to improvise. I use it all the time.

                            1. I am a huge fan of the Joan Nathan Books. The Jewish Holiday Kitchen is probably the most well used book in my kitchen, but I am also fond of Jewish Cooking in America. Each recipe comes with a story of of it's origin and represents the rich global diversity of Jewish cuisine.

                              1. This might have already been mentioned, but a good all-around Kosher cookbook is The Spice and Spirit of Kosher Cooking by Lubavitch/Chabad. It's a big purple book and everything I've made (from fish to cakes, salads to soup) has always been excellent. It was one of the very first cookbooks in my collection.


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Miri1

                                  No one realizes how truly great Spice and Spirit is. It is consistently reliable in results and covers everything from traditional gefilte fish to Chinese to gourmet dessert...It is encyclopedic and well-tested. No pictures so often overlooked.