Most used and useful Jewish cookbook?

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Most used and useful Jewish cookbook?

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1LarsonLewisProject Primeira Mensagem
Mar 4, 2007, 9:04pm

Which Jewish cookbook (or two, if you can't possibly pick just one) do you use the most often as a reference? If you are looking for a definitive recipe for a particular dish, which cookbook would you turn to first? Which cookbook consistently inspires you the most?
Which one would you recommend for someone looking to build a library of Jewish cookbooks?

Mar 4, 2007, 1:11am

I don't have many Jewish cookbooks, but I end up using Olive Trees and Honey more than the others, although now that I'm baking more often, I'm using A Blessing of Bread quite a bit.

Mar 4, 2007, 2:13am

In terms of just a reference, I use Claudia Roden's The Book of Jewish Food to get ideas/inspiration. If I'm looking for a standard Ashkenazi recipe, I'll most often reach for Joan Nathan's standard Jewish Holiday Kitchen (now published as Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook. My friend Jane, who is a fabulous baker in her own right, is passionate about Marcy Goldman's A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking.

Mar 5, 2007, 6:03am

I had planned to make the cherry and cranberry hamantaschen from A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking, but I was tired of being in the kitchen for so many hours this week.

We mostly use Jewish cookbooks for holidays. The one catch is that it's usually not worth it to us to buy a new cookbook unless there's a good number of vegetarian recipes.

Mar 5, 2007, 3:46pm

This is a fast and easy hamentashen recipe for next year. It's milchig, but if you are vegetarian, it may not matter. This is my variation of an old recipe from Woman's Day and it's important to sift the flour, so that you don't make the dough tough through overworking it:

Butter Hamentaschen Dough

2 1/2 c. sifted unbleached flour
1 tblsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c. milk or milk/cream mixture
1/3 c. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. grated lemon zest (optional)

Sift flour with baking powder, salt, and sugar. Beat egg with milk and vanilla
then mix with melted butter and pour into center of dry ingredients. Stir until a soft dough is formed. Knead a few times on a lightly floured marble slab or other work surface. Roll or pat to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch circles, fill, etc. If you hate rolling, take about a tablespoon of dough, roll it between your hands into a ball and flatten with a glass. Fill with between a half teaspoon and a teaspoon of your desired filling and pinch corners into a triangle. Bake on a silicone sheet or baking parchment at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 min or until slightly golden. They should not turn brown. Makes 15 to 18.

More at

Mar 5, 2007, 5:00pm

I saved it to my recipe files and subscribed to your blog. (Our kitchen is milchig-only anyway since our household has a vegan, an ovo-lacto, and an omnivore who eats vegetarian at home.) Poppy seed is my favorite filling.

They're not cookies and not Jewish, but they remind me a bit of hamantaschen without all the work - mochi squares stuffed with peach filling are a favorite breakfast of ours.

I can't believe how fast this year has flown. Pesach is just around the corner and requires a lot of meal planning of us. I come from a family of non-cooks (toasting bread or nuking popcorn is cooking to them), so I don't have any recipes handed down to me, which may be part of the reason I collect cookbooks.

Mar 5, 2007, 6:10pm

Thanks, I'll try to update Ablevayble more than I did last year. Got caught up in some surgery.

I'm trying to remember the name of this cookbook published by one of the Ukrainian or similar orthodox groups in Canada for their big Lenten fast. It has some good ideas for vegetarian/lacto-ovo folks and works pretty well in a pareve/milchig context. I can't think of the name off hand, but will try and get back to you.

We do a nice Turkish leek dish for Pesach that is veg/lacto-ovo friendly.

Editado: Mar 6, 2007, 8:48pm

Anything by Joan Nathan.

I have an old one (1956) "Love and Knishes" by Sara Kasdan that is kind of fun, lots of commentary along with the recipes.

The Jewish Festival Cookbook by Fannie Engle and Gertrude Blair

The Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook by Gertrude Berg

The Kosher Companion by Trudy Garfunkel

Mar 6, 2007, 12:42am

I have Love and Knishes but have never used it as a source for recipes. I'll have to check into that.

Editado: Mar 7, 2007, 2:48pm

Edda Servi Machlin's books introduced me to Italian Jewish cooking. I find myself coming back to the stories, as well as to the recipes.

Mar 7, 2007, 7:49pm

I love her books as well, but, as you so rightly say, more for her wonderful storytelling than the recipes, many of which are really difficult for me to get right.

Mar 9, 2007, 10:50pm

This group is dangerous. I'm now waiting on the arrival of a half dozen Jewish cookbooks (mostly Sephardic).

13torontoc Primeira Mensagem
Mar 9, 2007, 12:58am

I really like (Claudia Roden's Book of Jewish Food)- I use alot of her salads-check out the orange and olive salad on page 249 (hardcover)
The other book I use for holidays is (Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco)- one of the authors cooked for a group I was part of- at her home in Fez. It was amazing!

Mar 12, 2007, 8:28pm

What a great dinner that must have been, Torontoc! Orange and olive salad is one of my favorites, along with some pickled red onion, for a little Israeli taam.

Editado: Mar 12, 2007, 8:41pm

>12 suzecate:

This group is dangerous.

Yes, both for the book budget and the waistline!

Mar 12, 2007, 8:40pm

Esta mensagem foi removida pelo seu autor.

Mar 12, 2007, 1:44am

Oh my godness! I am on a diet!!!!!!

Editado: Mar 13, 2007, 3:22pm

>13 torontoc: Could you give us more information about the second book you mention? Is it The scent of orange blossoms : Sephardic cuisine from Morocco ? ...or another book I haven't found yet ;-)

Editado: Mar 13, 2007, 6:24pm

#12 and #13 -i just got cucina ebraica by joyce goldstein.It's another of the italian jewish kitchen and i haven't had it long enough to say i use it a lot, but the recipes look wonderful. for example, the "polpette alla giudia" meatball/meatloaf recipe uses chopped parsley and optional mint, but has variations -1)with 2 lbs of added chopped, sauteed leeks; 2) a large baked eggplant mashed with garlic , chopped sauteed onions and two eggs, 3) 3/4 lb zucchini and 1 onion chopped, sauteed in olive oil, and 2 eggs. these meatballs (or meatloaf) are made with a lb of chopped beef and baked with a tomato sauce flavored with lemon zest, fresh basil, red wine vinegar and sugar.
Another I just got: a drizzle of honey - lives and recipes of spain's secret jews by david gitlitz and linda davidson has a recipe for sabbath stew much like the ashkenazi cholent; beans, chickpeas , onions, cubed beef or lamb, garlic, saffron and water with a spice mixture to fry with the onions containing cloves, pepper, ginger and olive oil with an optional sprinkling of cinnamoon. it sounds a lot like indian cooking except for the cinnamon. have i whet your whistles?

Mar 13, 2007, 6:26pm

almigwin, the recipe for "polpette alla giudia" sounds absolutely delicious! I especially like the variation with eggplant, one of my favourite veggies.

Mar 13, 2007, 8:42pm

Hi #18
The book is The scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco by Kitty Morse and Danielle Mamane. The ISBN is 1-58008-269-6. I have it in hard cover.

Mar 13, 2007, 8:49pm

>19 almigwin:

I received Cucina Ebraica just the other day, but I haven't had a chance to open it yet. A Drizzle of Honey is on my wish list.

Editado: Mar 14, 2007, 11:55pm

more joyce goldstein came today-saffron shores -jewish cooking of the southern mediterranean and italian slow and savory."Saffron shores is about the Maghrebi cooking of the North African jews, which incorporates the foods of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya."....." Judeo-Arabic cooking , also considered Sephardic, has its roots in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran." The Italian book belongs in another group like 'what did you buy today' but since it's Joyce again, it's here because i'm being lazy. To give an example of how she explains alternatives, at the intro to Chicken with red and yellow peppers, pancetta and marjoram she writes: "It could be from Calabria, but it would need hot peppers, raisins, and pine nuts. Apulian cooks make the dish sweet and sour, while 'pollo alla romana' adds chopped prosciutto and a pinch of hot pepper to this 'battuto', uses white wine instead of red, and stirs in peeled and sliced roasted peppers at the last minute......the pancetta-marjoram mixture tilts it in the direction of Umbria"

Abr 3, 2007, 12:39am

I find myself using recipes from the sephardic holiday cookbook all the time.. I see that only one other member has it, but I can't recommend it highly enough. Every recipe works and is not complicated to put together. The gorgeous Scent of Orange Blossoms often has you wishing for a kitchen slave to do the peeling, chopping and slow cooking that some of those recipes require.

Abr 4, 2007, 7:37pm

chicory - I found the book you were talking about on LT (the touchstone isn't working for me). There's not a single copy in either public library system for a county of millions. :/ Then I looked it up on Amazon and saw the cheapest copy was over $50 and a "like new" one is going for $188. Bummer.

Abr 4, 2007, 8:09pm

Wow! I had no idea this book is so dear. I will post some recipes from it over the next few weeks so that you will see why I like it so much. There is a wonderful challah recipe that uses pumpkin in the dough. It has been a succot staple for me.

Abr 5, 2007, 2:06pm

Which cookbook exactly is this, Chanale? I'll keep my eyes open for it, if it's not too dear.

Abr 5, 2007, 2:06pm

Which cookbook exactly is this, Chanale? I'll keep my eyes open for it, if it's not too dear.

Abr 5, 2007, 3:07pm

If I found the right one, you already have it. It's the Sephardic Holiday Cooking by Gilda Angel (the touchstone for the work still isn't working - go through the author page).

Abr 5, 2007, 4:55pm

Yep, I do. I use it as a reference now and again, but not as often as, say, Claudia Roden's book, or one of my other smaller Sephardic books.

Abr 5, 2007, 5:15pm

Using , I found two paperback copies for $19.95 + ca. $4 shipping.
I don't know if you share my aversion to PB cookbooks that you plan on using. Otherwise, it might be worth it to you.

Abr 16, 2007, 12:41am

Here is the Pumpkin Bread (Pan de Calabaza)recipe from Sephardic Holiday Cooking by Gilda Angel.

2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned cooked pumpkin
8 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sesame seeds.

1. In a large bowl dissolve yeast and sugar with water. Let stand 10 minutes.
2. Mix in ginger, cardamom, salt, oil, 2 eggs and pumpkin. Blend in flour, 2 cups at a time.
3. Knead until smooth and elastic on a floured board.
4. Oil and allow to rise in a covered bowl for 1 hour until double in bulk.
5. Punch down, divide into two loaves or 12 rolls. Cover and rest for 45 minutes until double in bulk.
6. preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bruh with remaining egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake loaves for 45 minutes, rolls for 25 minutes.

Editado: Abr 18, 2007, 3:49pm

I'd like to recommend to everybody the apple bundt cake in Marcy Goldman's a treasury of jewish holiday baking. It's pareve, and easy, no creaming or beating. Just slice apples, and mix in layers with dough which is flour, sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs, leavening and orange juice. you can sit and watch tv while you peel and slice the apples, and mix the whole thing up and get it into the oven in 5 minutes. Everybody loves it for breakfast, or with afternoon tea or coffee, or for dessert with ice cream or frozen yoghurt. I bought the book because of LarsonLewisProject's friend Jane's recommendation, and am I ever glad.

Editado: Ago 22, 2008, 10:06pm

I frequently use The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden because it covers both main branches of Jewish cooking. Her knaidlach recipe is my stand-by - my little parcels of egg whites and matzoh are always perfectly formed and greatly enrich chicken soup. I also find myself adapting various recipes from The Scent of Orange Blossoms by Kitty Morse and Danielle Mamane, which presents family recipes from Morocco's Jewish population (largely from Fez, where Mamane lives). The recipe for chicken with chickpeas is always received well.

Ago 22, 2008, 10:28pm

kitchenaglow, chicken with chickpeas sounds YUMMY!!!!!!!

Set 15, 2008, 11:06pm

#33, I love love love that cookbook! The hamentaschen are awesome too. I made the "Bubbe's" recipe with orange, and used a Nutella filling. Yum!

Set 15, 2008, 11:46pm

#34- I agree! Those are two of my favourite cookbooks!