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Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook Hardcover – August 17, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Twenty-five years ago, Nathan published The Jewish Holiday Kitchen, a landmark work that juxtaposed recipes with oral histories. Although she acknowledges that the past quarter century has brought some changes to Jewish cooking—e.g., Kosher caterers are lightening their foods; "young American superstar chefs" have come onto the scene; California wineries now produce award-winning kosher wines—Nathan still relies on traditional recipes, such as My Mother’s Brisket, Cabbage Strudel, Romanian Beet Borscht, Vegetable Kugels and Babka in her new volume. Revising and updating recipes from Holiday Kitchen and another previous work, The Jewish Holiday Baker, Nathan shares instructions for making nearly 400 dishes, dividing them by holiday: the Sabbath, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Purim, Passover, Shavuot and the minor holidays. Lengthy introductions accompany each recipe, and Nathan’s ability to balance interesting tidbits with useful instructions make this a supremely worthwhile resource. She covers every cuisine of the Jewish tradition, from Central and Eastern European to Middle Eastern to American.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It has been 25 years since Nathan's Jewish Holiday Kitchen was first published. This volume gathers recipes from that book and from the food writer's Jewish Holiday Baker (1997) for a celebratory revision. And what a collection it is: 400 recipes accompanied by personal commentary and culinary history passed down through generations of Jewish cooks. That's part of the charm here as readers learn that "eating fish symbolizes the hope of redemption for Israel" and other snippets of fact and folklore. Keyed mostly to eight major Jewish holidays-- from Shabbat to Shavuot--the recipes represent both eastern European and Sephardic traditions, and are nicely adapted for modern cooks: processors speed preparation, and ingredients such as packaged onion soup are occasionally used. There's even a recipe for "low-cholesterol challah." It's a tasty assortment for Jewish cooks but also for anyone interested in ethnic cuisine. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken; Rev Upd edition (August 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805242171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805242171
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
`Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook' by the `Paula Wolfert' of Jewish cooking, Joan Nathan, is an updated composite of two of her earlier books, `The Jewish Holiday Baker' and `The Jewish Holiday Kitchen' on the 25th anniversary of the publication of the latter volume.

I have reviewed only one other book of Jewish cooking, the big `New York Times' book of Jewish recipes and I can unequivocally say that as a first book on Jewish cooking, Nathan's book is a far, far superior starting point. The only reason you may want to buy the `New York Times' volume is if you are already so thoroughly knowledgeable about Jewish cuisine that all you want is a big book of good recipes.

I get the sense from this book that the fact that it deals only with `holiday' cooking does very little to limit the scope of the recipes, as it not only deals with the yearly holidays but also that cooking which is particular to the restrictions on observing the Sabbath.

I think it is no accident that in my survey of cookbooks so far, there are far more Jewish holiday cookbooks than there are for any other ethnic cuisine, as long as you don't count Christmas cookie cookbooks. In my somewhat limited experience with only English language cookbooks, I know of seven for Jewish holidays and only two for that great culinary dynamo, Italian cooking. And, Joan Nathan has written four of those titles!

Not only on holidays but also throughout their whole life, food and religion are more tightly intertwined for the Jews than with any other culture I know. The Christian use of unleavened bread and wine in their most important sacrament pales in comparison to the strictures of orthodox kashrut, the laws governing kosher, parve, and unclean foods and food combinations.
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Format: Hardcover
Jewish Holiday Kitchen is/was my favorite Jewish cookbook to use and to give, and this is the revised version. I don't know if it has all of her recipes from the first, plus some from her baking book, or if some from Kitchen have been left out. Unless you are looking for specific recipes from the first book (see below) this new one is a safe bet.
Great Gift: the descriptions of holidays include both the basic (for those without much Jewish education), and the deep, fascinating details of traditions unique to regions, history, etc.
Great recipes for the basics: yes, Holiday Kitchen had the best cookie dough hamentaschen of dozens tried, challah, and more. The hamentasch recipe is different from the one in her Holiday Baking, and in her Kids Jewish cooking. I don't know which made it into this revised version.
Great recipes for foodies: I've eaten my way across Morocco and tried dozens upon dozens of recipes for bastilla, the fillo pie from Morocco often filled with pigeon and dusted with powdered sugar. Her version, with chicken, is absolutely positively the best. Her potato kugelettes are another favorite; they are an elegant, simple, delicious addition to Passover, Hanukah, or any meal you want to look special.
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If you have other Joan Nathan holiday cookbooks, e.g., the Jewish Holiday Kitchen, or the Jewish Holiday Baker, don't buy this book. The previous books have all the same recipes and are more attractive and have illustrations, which this book does not. Even if you don't have the earlier books, consider getting one of them instead of this one.
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Format: Hardcover
I absolutely love using this cookbook. I use one of the recipes weekly, for Shabbos Challah and, I have also made Rosh Hashana sweet Challah from this cookbook. I have also made other side dishes from this book and everything comes out delicious, with good reviews from my guests! I highly recommend it for any Kosher home.
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As the owner of at least one million cookbooks and a trillion food magazines I constantly return to this book for its superb recipes. They always work and have become part of our family holiday food history from the pickled salmon to the chocolate roulade, the cabbage strudel and many more. Just wish it was on my Kindle.
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I go to this cookbook often it has recipes from my childhood if you are from Brooklyn you will remember many of them.my neighborhood was polish and Jewish the food was fantastic these recipes recreate many of them buy it and enjoy
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have used and loved this cookbook since I bought my copy in the early eighties. I bought this second copy in a kindle format, so that I would have it with me whenever I travel. When visiting family, I have all the great recipes with me. By the way, the stories accompanying the recipes are wonderful.
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After nearly 3 decades of using the ripped up (and rebound) copy of this book, I was so delighted to stumble across an update. As usual, Joan Nathan has couched her descriptions of food in terms of the culture from which it came and include insightful information about the holiday's history and observance in different cultures. Haven't tried any of the recipes yet but I'm assuming they're as good as the ones in previous issues.
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