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Your Favorite Kosher Cookbooks

So we all know that there are some bland, mayonnaise-laden, kosher cookbooks with 40 recipes for kugel out there, and certainly a few that attempt to be trendy (yet often are 10 years behind), but what are the good ones? Anything ethnic (always a tougher sell to the kosher crowd)? Something innovative? Or even a traditional one that is done really well...

I'll get the ball rolling:
Even though it's nothing new, I think A Taste of Challah (Tamar Ansh) is done really well. I like that it focuses on just one food and that it brings in the more spiritual aspect of kashrut.

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  1. Any cookbook from an organization where the submitter puts their real name. Most people put their favorite recipes in. Preferably from a community where you know people (or the person who sells you the book knows people) and the submitter wouldn't dare put in a bogus version.

    1 Reply
      1. re: singingfoodie

        I like the beautiful layout of Bais Yaakov and the comprehensive halachic guides, but some of the recipes make me shudder- anything that calls for coffee rich and instant pudding mix, like their Strawberry Mango Ice Cream Roll.... I just feel like that's a heavy reliance on chemicals.

      2. The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden
        (Also cookbooks by Israel Aharoni and Shmil Holland-but those are in Hebrew)

        1. It's not actually a "kosher" cookbook, technically, but I'm a huge fan of Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, which for obvious reasons can all be done kosher. For one labeling itself as kosher, I really like California Kosher, especially for some of the salads/slows inside.

          8 Replies
          1. re: masteraleph

            Oh well! If I can name vegetarian cookbooks, the original Moosewood cookbook is my go-to cookbook for everything. That's the "handwritten" 1977 edition with the yellow cover.

            1. re: SoCal Mother

              The Spice and Spirit of Kosher Cooking by Lubavitch Womens Organization. Just because it has everything!

              1. re: Miri1

                I vote for Spice and Spirit because I have been consistently using its recipes for over 20 years and am never disappointed with the results. There is a huge variety, traditional plus more American,newer types of recipes, cakes and pies to meatballs. It's all there. I also learned (pre-You tube) how to braid Challah, how to roll stuffed cabbage, etc. The diagrams and instructions were very clear. I just love it. When I want to break out, I will occasionally consult Susie Fishbein. I am very unimpressed with the most recent crop of "Kosher made easy" cookbooks which are uninspired and just plain boring. And yet, people keep giving them to me as gifts. Thanks. :)

                1. re: cappucino

                  Spice and Spirit has just been reissued!

                  1. re: SoCal Mother

                    Didn't know Spice and Spirit was reissued. Checked Amazon and the latest one they have is 1997. Where did you find it? Thanks

          2. Jewish Cooking by Evelyn Rose, its out of print now.

            1. Olive Trees and Honey and the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food by Gil Marks.

              The Greatest Ever Jewish Recipe Book by Marlena Spieler. Beautiful photos and recipes from Jewish communities around the world.

              Gatherings by Netivot Ha Torah Day School. Traditional. School fund raising cookbook. Simple ingredient recipes.

              Shabbat Shalom by Susan Friedland. Traditional recipes. Simple and tasty.

              Matamei Tzfon Africa by Pascal Perez, (Hebrew). A complete collection of traditional North African Jewish recipes and photos, with variations for Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Syria.

              New Jewish Cooking by Jason Prangnell. London's Bevis Marks restaurant cookbook.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mamaleh

                Never heard of the Bevis Marks one, but it sounds interesting! Love restaurant cookbooks... where did you get it? What kind of recipes are there?

                1. re: PotatoPuff

                  I recall buying it at a museum gift shop, but I can't remember which one. I try to buy a local cookbook from every destination I visit. Here is the publisher's website: http://www.absolutepress.co.uk/books/...
                  One of my favorite pages in this book is the dictionary of American terms for various British foods.
                  The recipes are a fusion of British, Indian, other West European, East European, and Sephardic flavors.
                  I really enjoy the fish recipes in this book, which seem to be missing or scarce in other Jewish cookbooks for some reason. For example, Spiced Salmon with Haricot Beans, Piquillo Peppers and Coriander; Sea Bass with Watercress, Artichokes and Citrus Juice; Baked Halibut with Muhammar Rice and Coffee Sauce; and Seared Tandoori Tuna with Cucumber and Radish Salad.
                  There is also a useful section called Sauces, Pickles and Chutneys that ranges from Chrane to Piccalilli.
                  The meat and chicken recipes seem to be a little more traditional European with the exception of some of the Sephardic lamb recipes, but I don't cook with meat or chicken so I have never made them.

              2. Another vote for Spice and Spirit.

                1. More of a coffee table book than a cookbook, but I love the recipes in The Book of New Israeli Food by Janna Gur, Beautiful pictures, too.

                  Got it from a Secret Santa gift exchange, ha!

                  1. Temptations: Kosher Recipes for Every Occasion! Not only are the photos gorgeous (definitely coffee table worthy) but the recipes are all very doable. The recipes were all triple-tested so you don't have to worry (as SoCal Mother does) that the recipes doesn't work/tastes bad.

                    I often refer to the menus and the wine pairings for ideas what to serve with the recipes. Disclaimer - this is my shul cookbook :)

                    1. It's not a foodies cookbook but it is the most fabulous basic kosher cookbook, on par with Spice and Spirit......the Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva's Tuv Taam, volume one. Truly every recipe a winner.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ettilou

                        Is there an address in the Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva's Tuv Tamm cookbook? Is there more than one volume? Do you know if it is still available? Thanks

                        1. re: mommysmazal

                          Yes they came out with volumes II and III. They first volume is out of print. I have let my friends copy it then send the Yeshiva a check as I asked them if that would be ok. It really is such an awesome, very simple but always delicious source. You can call the yeshiva directly, perhaps they reprinted it. They are in Kew Gardens, NY. The other volumes aren't nearly as great,IMHO.

                      2. Does anyone have Mama Leah's Jewish Cookbook? It is Blue and white and rather small. Thanks. Looking for a recipe.


                        1 Reply
                        1. Any of the Joan Nathan cookbooks are wonderful, but my favorite is The Jewish Holiday Kitchen. I have worn out a few copies.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: mrsphud

                            I LOVE Joan Nathan cookbooks. We use her's for our holiday menus.


                            Jewish Cooking For All Seasons: Fresh, Flavorful Kosher Recipes for Holidays and Every Day
                            Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes

                            (both by Laura Frankel)

                            1. re: emilly

                              I have Joan Nathan's The Jewish Holiday Kitchen, but was never tempted to try a single recipe. Any particular favorites?

                              1. re: kosherg

                                The Passover vegetable kugle and Rosh Hashana pumpkin rodanchos have become so popular among family and friends that I have to make several rounds of triple recipes. In the Jew Holiday Baker, the chocolate honey cake for Rosh Hashana has been a big hit as my family doesn't really like traditional honey cake.

                          2. Love the Claudia Roden book, The Book of Jewish Food. Also use 1,000 Jewish Recipes by Faye Levy. Just the sheer number of recipes makes it a good resource. Although not strictly a recipe book, Gil Marks' Encyclopedia of Jewish Food has fascinating information about the foods we have eaten for generations and there are recipes in it as well.

                            1. The Rochester Hadassah Cookbook was published in the 70s & 80s by the women in Rochester, NY. Hadassah is a service organization dedicated to raising money for Hadassah Hospital & Research Center in Israel. It is a GREAT source cookbook, as it combines information about holiday traditions & customs with foods. It is not a professional cookbook, but one written by everyday women who had to feed their families. I received one 25 years ago when I was first married and it is the bible I use today (I am not from Rochester, this is a very well known book).

                              The recipes are very traditional with ordinary ingredients (no arugula here). Highly recommend it.

                              1. I like "What's Cooking". A nice collection of non-complex recipes.

                                I also like "Just 5" a unique cookbook with 500 kosher recipes using 5 or less ingredients. (Impossible to find).

                                1. I recently purchased Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking, Yiddish Recipes Revisited, and feel like I have been transported back to my Nana's apartment 40 years ago. It is quite attractive, and in addition to over 100 recipes, the book is loaded with tons of information and anecdotes. Definitely a worthy addition to any cookbook collection.