Anyone looking for new takes on Jewish cooking or fresh ideas for their kosher table will want to explore Adventures in Jewish Cooking
. The book pushes the whole concept of Jewish cooking--let alone kosher restrictions--to the limit with inspired, internationally inflected dishes. Jeffrey Nathan, executive chef of Manhattan's acclaimed kosher restaurant Abigael's and host of the popular PBS cooking show New Jewish Cuisine
, delivers all the standards of Jewish fare, but his Matzo Ball Soup is intensified with a spicy Latin American Soffrito and studded with saffron-infused matzo balls. His gefilte fish is a sophisticated terrine, adorned with jewel-like carrot and beet salads tossed with a tangy, sharp Horseradish Mustard Vinaigrette. Even his chicken soup is accented with Japanese miso paste. Besides updated versions of typical Jewish dishes, Nathan calls on his widely varied culinary experience to create kosher versions of more unexpected fare. Nori-Wrapped Salmon with Pea Shoot Salad would be impressive on any table--it's merely an added bonus that it also happens to be kosher. Turkey and Sausage Barley Jambalaya proves that pastrami, veal sausage, and turkey thighs can go head-to-head with the nonkosher meats normally found in this spicy Southern dish. Many of the dishes are impressive enough for the holiday table, making this a welcome resource for any cook looking for unusual takes on international cooking and those looking to add new dimensions to their kosher fare. --Robin Donovan
From Publishers Weekly
At last, Nathan has produced a companion volume to his PBS cooking show New Jewish Cuisine. Executive chef of the kosher Abigael's Restaurant in New York, Nathan offers a mix of traditional and modern recipes spiced with occasional personal anecdotes and asides. The book covers appetizers, soups, salads, meat, poultry, fish, breads and brunches and dessert. Many of Nathan's offerings, such as the Fennel-Crusted Snapper with Grapefruit-Cilantro Sauce, the Asian Duck Stir-Fry or the Crispy Creole Chicken Breasts, reflect recent food trends and diverse cultural influences. The time-honored "heritage recipes" are sometimes given a new twist, as with the Sweet Noodle and Fruit Kugel, which brims with the unusual combination of dried cranberries and other dried fruits rather than just the customary golden raisins. Taking into account Jewish dietary laws, each detailed recipe is designated "Meat," "Dairy" or "Pareve" (containing neither meat nor dairy products). Many dairy dishes, such as the refreshing Lemon Mousse with Blueberry Parfaits, include a pareve variation. Explanatory notes appear at the end of recipes and in sidebars sprinkled throughout the book; they cover such diverse subjects as toasting nuts and using raw eggs safely. Nathan rounds out the book with suggested holiday menus and sources for hard-to-find ingredients (such as the kosher version of Japanese rice wine). With surprises on every page, this truly innovative cookbook earns its name.
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