Just in time for Hanukkah and the holidays – three new cookbooks have arrived from some of the foremost Jewish lady foodies out there:
Susie Fishbein’s 7th cookbook, “Kosher by Design Cooking Coach: Recipes, Tips and Techniques To Make Anyone a Better Cook” hit the bookshelves on October 23rd. The Forward has a great Q&A with her, and you can order the book on Amazon…maybe for that special someone who might need a little boost in the kitchen.
The much anticipated Smitten Kitchen Cookbook also came out recently – as well as Chef Paula Shoyer’s first cookbook, The Kosher Baker, featuring 160 dairy-less desserts. Fellow blogger and Nosher contributor Amy Kritzer recently reviewed The Kosher Baker for the Austin Chronicle.
In other Jewish-food related news, The New York Times seems to have a new-found love affair with the non-traditional kugel – in the past few weeks they have featured recipes for a Quinoa and Carrot Kugel, as well a Cabbage, Onion and Millet Kugel. They don’t sound like my first line of defense for Shabbat, but I am willing to give anything a try – the quinoa and carrot kugel could even be a great side dish for Passover.
And in Washington, DC yet another non-kosher, reinvent-the-Jewish-classics restaurant has opened called DGS Delicatessen, from Chef Barry Koslow. From what my friends in DC have said and are posting, the menu sounds awfully similar to some of the eateries that have come before DGS (Kutchers Tribeca, Jack’s Wife Frida…), particularly the babka bread pudding, dessert kugel and updated kreplach. But regardless….once again, I am excited to see that Jewish Food is truly having a moment. I am starting to feel almost like a trendsetter myself.
Paula Shoyer is the author of The Kosher Baker: 160 dairy-free desserts from traditional to trendy (Brandeis 2010). Paula is a pastry chef who owns and operates the Paula’s Parisian Pastries Cooking School out of Chevy Chase, Maryland. She teaches scheduled and custom-designed classes in French pastry and Jewish cooking in the Washington, D.C. area, and all around the country. Appearances include Food Network’s Sweet Genius, WGN’s Lunchbreak, WUSA9 Washington, San Diego Living, NBC Washington News 4 at 4 and Martha Stewart Morning Living on XM Sirius. Paula believes that everyone deserves a delicious dessert no matter what special diet they are on. She develops dessert recipes that are dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan. Paula’s website is www.paulaspastry.com where you can find both sweet and savory recipes and blogs at www.kosherbaker.blogspot.com where she shares stories of her travels and events and new recipes.
4 ounces shelled whole almonds
4 ounces shelled whole hazelnuts
3 Tablespoons parve margarine
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
5 large eggs plus 3 yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
¼ cup lime zest (about 3 regular limes)
½ cup fresh lime juice (the three zested limes plus 1-2 more limes)
1/2 cup (1 stick) parve margarine
1 drop green food coloring (optional)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 large egg whites
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. To make the crust, cover a jelly roll pan with parchment. Place the almonds in one layer on one side and the hazelnuts in one layer on the other side. Toast for 20 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through, but keeping the two nuts separate. Let cool for 10 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 350ºF.
Place the three tablespoons of margarine into a covered medium microwave-safe bowl and heat for 45 seconds, or until melted. Add the brown sugar. Place the almonds into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and grind until nuts are in very small pieces, but not powdered. Place into the bowl with the margarine and sugar. Lift up handfuls of the hazelnuts and rub between your hands to remove as much of the skin as possible. Place the nuts into the processor bowl and process into very small pieces. Add to the bowl. Use your fingers to mix until combined. Place this mixture into an 8- or 9-inch pie pan and press to cover the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides. To make a nice rim, use your thumb to press into the sides of the pan, while a finger on your other hand presses down on the top of the rim. Continue all around the pan until you have a little crust rim. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.
To make the lime filling, place the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a medium saucepan with simmering water (or use a double-boiler). Stir to combine. Add the lime zest and juice and stir into the egg and sugar mixture. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until a thick mixture is formed. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the margarine in tablespoons until the cream is smooth. Add the green food coloring, if using, and stir.
Pour the cream into the prepared crust. Place the pie pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until the outside edges of the cream are set. Let cool and then place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
To make the meringue, in a small heavy saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook the sugar until it reaches 230ºF (use a candy thermometer to check the temperature). While the sugar is cooking, in a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff. When the sugar is ready, turn the mixer speed to low and then slowly pour the cooked sugar into the bowl, down the side of the bowl, not directly onto the wire whisk. When all of the sugar has been poured in, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 1 minute until the meringue is thick and shiny.
You can add the meringue to the pie in several ways. You can use a spoon to dump clumps of meringue on top and spread, or use a pastry bag to pipe out designs of meringue. If desired, use a blowtorch to lightly brown the meringue or place it in a 450ºF oven for a few minutes, watching the entire time, until the top browns. Store in the refrigerator until serving and for up to five days.
A few months ago, I had the pleasure to, quite literally, sit at the same table with Chef Paula Shoyer during a kosher food bloggers social media dinner. Nope, folks – I can’t even make this stuff up. Paula Shoyer is the author of The Kosher Baker, and most recently was featured as a contestant on the Food Network’s Sweet Genius!
I absolutely fell in love with Paula’s attitude for quality kosher food and expertise in pareve desserts. I had the chance to chat with her recently, and am now even more enamored. Anyone who “dreams of pareve dulce de leche” is a cook after my own heart. My favorite quote from her? “At a minimum, desserts must always be worth the calories or do not bother eating them.” Couldn’t agree more.
What has inspired your passion for baking and waist-friendly kosher cooking?
My grandmother was a fabulous baker and my book is dedicated to her memory. I am always looking for ways to make my desserts healthier. At a minimum, desserts must always be worth the calories or do not bother eating them.
What meal or dessert does your family ask you to make more than anything else? What is your favorite thing to make? Least?
My family loves when we have burritos during the week. I make a black bean chili, rice, guacamole and salad and everyone makes their own. My four kids always want there to be rolls of my double chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer so they can slice and bake when they want. My favorite desserts to make are the fancy French desserts with layers of cakes and creams and glazes, yet my favorite desserts to eat are the simpler ones such as scones. I love my scones. I can’t say there is any food or dessert I don’t like to make.
Which ingredient do you wish you could find kosher?
The ingredients I wish I could find pareve are a healthier pareve whipping cream and dolce de leche. I dream of pareve dolce de leche.
It’s been a crazy week, and you haven’t even given thought about what to make for Shabbat Dinner – what’s your go-to meal?
Beef Barley Soup, Garlic Chicken, rice, string beans with garlic, Orange Tea Cake (cover recipe from The Kosher Baker)
If you could only give one tip to a fellow kosher food enthusiast, what would it be?
Make homemade desserts – they are delicious and significantly healthier than packaged and even bakery desserts.
What’s next for Chef Paula Shoyer: Any more TV appearances? A new cookbook?
I am hoping for more TV appearances around Passover. I do have an idea for a great TV show. The next book is The Passover Baker and I am busy creating recipes people have never seen on Passover before such as black and white cookies.
- Spray oil containing flour or spray oil plus 2
- tablespoons flour for greasing and flouring pan
- ½ cup canola oil
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup spelt flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a Bundt or tube pan.
In a large bowl, beat the oil, sugar and honey with a stand or hand-held electric mixer on medium-high speed until mixed. Add the pumpkin purée and beat again.
Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the bowl. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix well. Add the white, wheat and spelt flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix all the ingredients together. Use a silicone spatula to scoop the batter into the pan and then smooth the top.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a rack and let cool completely.