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Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover's Treasury of Classics and Improvisations Hardcover – February 11, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (February 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047176387X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471763871
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.2 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,145,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cohen (The Gefilte Variations) celebrates both the variety and spirit of Jewish holidays and the variety of Jewish cooking in this appealing book. Each major holiday throughout the year, from Rosh Hashanah in the fall to Shavuot in early summer, has its own section of recipes, as does the weekly Sabbath; strictly observant Jews as well as those who are not entirely familiar with the religious significance of all the events will appreciate Cohen's detailed comments on their history and meaning at the beginning of each section. Those with less experience in planning big feasts will also be grateful for the variety of menu suggestions that accompany each holiday: Passover seders, a Hanukkah latke party with superb traditional and nontraditional latkes, a vegetarian dinner for Sukkot. Cohen draws on Jewish cuisine from every tradition: Leek Croquettes from Rhodes, stuffed chicken soup from Iran and a pineapple-coconut milk kugel from Bombay are just a few of the pleasantly exotic yet authentic offerings; she also puts new twists on old standards, as with Moroccan-flavored brisket and deconstructed kasha varnishkes that feature portobello mushrooms and eggplant in lieu of quantities of fat. Each recipe is helpfully coded to indicate whether it is meat, dairy or pareve, though she often provides variations to accommodate all needs in this book that's enjoyable to read and inspiring to cook from. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Part cookbook, part memoir and part how-to, "Jewish Holiday Cooking" could be the one go-to guide for all the Jewish holidays. Jayne Cohen gives the "why" behind their traditions and foods. Her Passover chapter is particularly detailed, tracing the development of the seder over the centuries, defining what "kosher for Passover" means, and giving ideas for planning the seder menu—including a vegetarian seder. Recipes for Passover include braised brisket with 36 garlic cloves and a chicken soup with fennel matzo balls, asparagus and shiitake mushrooms. Cohen is a graceful, informative writer who easily shares her enthusiasm for Jewish holiday cooking with readers. But there's a note of urgency as well. "Jewish cooking is above all bubbe (grandmother) cuisine, and through the meals that we share with our children, it is also our link to the future," she writes. "But unless you continue to update the recipes and create new food traditions, grandmother cuisine will die out when the grandmothers die, when no younger generations are eager to learn to prepare these foods." Sobering words, but this book offers delicious ways to honor traditions old and new.-- Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune

Cohen (The Gefilte Variations) celebrates both the variety and spirit of Jewish holidays and the variety of Jewish cooking in this appealing book. Each major holiday throughout the year, from Rosh Hashanah in the fall to Shavuot in early summer, has its own section of recipes, as does the weekly Sabbath; strictly observant Jews as well as those who are not entirely familiar with the religious significance of all the events will appreciate Cohen's detailed comments on their history and meaning at the beginning of each section. Those with less experience in planning big feasts will also be grateful for the variety of menu suggestions that accompany each holiday: Passover seders, a Hanukkah latke party with superb traditional and nontraditional latkes, a vegetarian dinner for Sukkot. Cohen draws on Jewish cuisine from every tradition: Leek Croquettes from Rhodes, stuffed chicken soup from Iran and a pineapple-coconut milk kugel from Bombay are just a few of the pleasantly exotic yet authentic offerings; she also puts new twists on old standards, as with Moroccan-flavored brisket and "deconstructed" kasha varnishkes that feature portobello mushrooms and eggplant in lieu of quantities of fat. Each recipe is helpfully coded to indicate whether it is meat, dairy or pareve, though she often provides variations to accommodate all needs in this book that's enjoyable to read and inspiring to cook from. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly, December 17, 2007)


More About the Author

Jayne Cohen is the author of one previous book on Jewish cooking and celebrations -- The Gefilte Variations -- and is the co-author of The Ultimate Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebration Book. "Jewish Holiday Cooking" was named a 2009 James Beard finalist in the International Books category.

Jayne writes frequently about food for publications such as Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Epicurious.com, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, Jewish Woman, and Newsday, and writes the food column, Essen Around, for Centropa.org, a website devoted to European Jewish heritage. A native New Yorker, she lives in Greenwich Village with her husband, and their daughter Alexandra returns home to cook at every holiday.

How did someone, who, like many of her contemporaries, rejected her traditional Jewish background as a teenager, then become so involved not only in preserving the culinary roots of Jewish cooking and its links to the past, but also in making it vital and exciting for today's palates? That story, a very personal journey, the autobiography of one palate, is "Jewish Holiday Cooking."

In Jayne's words: "Here are all the culinary influences that nourished me and resonate within me, written in my culinary mother tongue: Jewish. Cuisine connects us to our past - and Jewish cuisine is above all a bubbe cuisine, a grandmother cuisine. My grandparents and parents are all gone now, but I continue to create new Jewish food memories for my daughter."



Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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A beautiful book and easy to follow.
M. Kaplan
I strongly recommend it for anyone who enjoys Jewish cooking and welcomes the encouragement to merge tradition with current tastes.
D. Schoeberlein
I have a lot more recipes to try...but the ones I have done are among my favorites.
Gerard D. Launay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Schoeberlein on March 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the first practical, clear and truly inviting Jewish cookbook I've found. I strongly recommend it for anyone who enjoys Jewish cooking and welcomes the encouragement to merge tradition with current tastes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Wong on March 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing general cookbook and not just a good Jewish Cookbook. Beautiful layout, wonderful recipes (and yes I've tasted the end results), and very fun stories. A must have for any chef regardless of your religion! So stop reading this review and buy this book, you won't regret it.

Go NoW!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Kaye on February 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Jewish Holiday Cooking" proves a good cookbook can be more than just recipes. Aside from clear, delicious sounding instructions on both traditional and unusual dishes, this book is a great read. I especially like the historical details and family anecdotes, which put the food in cultural context. This one will get a lot of use in my kitchen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Kaplan on August 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Refreshing new twist on the old family recipes! A beautiful book and easy to follow.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ursula C. Gerhart on April 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I especiall y like the improvisation part. Here, In Gainesville, FL there is no kosher restaurant and kosher food is not easy to find. One ca never get a fresh kosher chicken here, only frozen.
The bok could use a few e-mail addresses where one can get kosher foods shipped wit h their price and estimated amount of potage for shipping. Thanks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Jimenez on August 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a truly wonderful cookbook and an asset to anyone who loves food, regardless of their religious affliation. I am not Jewish, but having been born and raised in New York City I grew up loving classic Jewish dishes. This book covers them all, and goes one step further by reinventing these classics into truly gourmet masterpieces.Who would have thought that kugel could be transformed into a whimsical dessert such as Double Ginger-Caramelized Pear Noodle Kugel?! With wonderful stories and illustrations interwoven throughout the recipes, this book is a must have for any food lover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P Flynn on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The description of the book said it had illustrations, it did, but none of the food! If you have never prepared a dish before it really helps to know what it looks like, however it did have all the recipes I was looking for
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bake better than I run on May 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Everything I have tried has been just wonderful. My Jewish father n law declares it just like the delis back in Ohio.
I took a star off because of the nearly impossible to use index. Really frustrating and unlike any I've seen before.
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