You may have heard of chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz from the Post Punk Kitchen or from her recipe blog, IsaChandra.com. She was one of the first vegan cooks to make a home for herself on the blogosphere, and she created more than just a food blog — she built a forum for anyone who wanted to learn the ins and outs of cooking without animal products. For me, her blog is still the best place on the Internet for vegan challah, mac ‘n cheese, and cinnamon buns!
Since then, Moskowitz wrote several best-selling vegan cookbooks, including Vegan With A Vengeance and Veganomicon, and recently launched a vegan restaurant called Modern Love, in Brooklyn, where she was born and raised. Now, she’s releasing The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion.
We’re giving away one copy of her new cookbook, so enter our raffle by 3 p.m. on Friday, December 23 to win!
We had the pleasure to ask chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz some questions about Jewish food, her new restaurant, and vegan schmaltz:
What are some of your favorite vegan takes on Jewish food?
There are all different latkes recipes to meet all of your latke needs! From the classic ones I grew up on, to one with an Indian twist, and of course a baked ones for people who are trying to ruin Hanukkah and take away all the frying fun. Also, all of my favorite cookies are represented! Rugelach and hamantaschen among them. Oh, and don’t forget the matzah ball soup and the kugels, both savory and sweet.
What Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook recipes are you particularly excited about?
I am surprisingly most excited about the Super Bowl section! I don’t love football, but boy do I love nachos, pizza and potato skins.
We were thrilled to learn that your new Brooklyn restaurant, Modern Love, will have plenty of Jewish twists. Why do you think Jewish food is so appealing right now?
I’m actually surprised to find that it’s appealing! Who said so? I cook that way, because I love it and that’s what I grew up with. And if anything I’m trying to get everyone else to love it, too. It’s just pure comfort to me. The aroma of baking challah, golden stocks simmering on the stove, apples and cinnamon. What’s not to love?
We’re sure you hear this pesky question around Jewish holidays–what is your favorite way to replace schmaltz?
I don’t replace schmaltz, exactly. I simply use delicious oils like refined coconut oil, which has a very rich taste without the coconut flavor, and yummy olive oil. When I need something to “taste like chicken” I use the herbs and flavors associated with it, like sage and thyme, with just the right touch.
Pronounced: KHAH-nuh-kah, also ha-new-KAH, an eight-day festival commemorating the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks and subsequent rededication of the temple. Falls in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually corresponds with December.