New York Times Jewish Cookbook: More Than 825 Traditional and Contemporary Recipes from Around the World
Author: Linda Amster
From the food pages of The New York Times comes this authoritative, wide-ranging Jewish cookbook. With almost 800 well-tested recipes by Times food writers, this collection includes influences from Northern Africa, Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. It is a collection to cook from as well as to celebrate the history, culture, culinary creativity, and enduring tradition of Jews around the world.
Mimi Sheraton, food critic and cookbook author, has written a full introduction to the book as well as to each chapter, providing context and expertise to entertain and inspire. Editor Linda Amster has organized chapters to cover every course: appetizers, breads, soups, fish, meat, chicken, vegetables and salads, grains and dairy delights, cakes, cookies, and other desserts. Delicious recipes include both traditional favorites and more recent variations that update the classics with a contemporary twist. All recipes are kosher and include dishes from dozens of well-known writers and chefs such as, Ms. Sheraton, Alain Ducasse, Joan Nathan, Daniel Boulud, and Wolfgang Puck.
This useful, appealing, and imaginative volume will delight those who celebrate Jewish culinary culture, and is sure to set a new standard on the Jewish cookbook shelf.
Despite coming from the prolific New York Times stable of books, this volume may prove a disappointment to those with some knowledge of Jewish cuisine. Sheraton's introduction points out that "Jewish food is the world's oldest fusion cuisine," but the book appears to apply a thin definition of what makes each dish Jewish. With such a vast number of recipes, time-honored dishes are well represented, including the ubiquitous Classical Gefilte Fish, Kasha Varnishkas and Cholent Brisket, although the latter is not fully represented compared to the numerous tagines included. While drawing on many traditional dishes that will be immediately recognized by Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews, many recipes rely on just one or two ingredients for their Jewishness, such as chickpeas in the Warm Chickpeas with Lemon and Olives or honey in David Bouley's Fava Beans with Honey, Lime and Thyme. Despite the lack of clarification for their inclusion, the sheer volume of recipes means that there is something for everyone-from the more traditional to something modern to expand the repertoire. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Although Amster also edited The New York Times Passover Cookbook, she acknowledges that when she embarked on this project she was more familiar with Ashkenazic Jewish cooking. She also wondered whether the newspaper's archives would include enough recipes from the Sephardic tradition. As the subtitle might indicate, her worries were groundless. Included here are hundreds of recipes from Jewish communities all over the world, reflecting Mimi Sheraton's introductory comment that Jewish food is "the world's oldest fusion cuisine." Recipes range from Persian Chicken Soup with Chickpea Dumplings to Alain Ducasse's Rib-Eye Steaks with Peppered Cranberry Marmalade to Fresh Corn and Red Pepper Blini. All the classics are here, too, and there's a separate chapter on "Trimmings," including an array of condiments and garnishes: Schmaltz and Gribnes, Preserved Lemons, and the like. It's too bad that the recipes lack headnotes (it would have been nice to know more about the background of both individual recipes and their contributors). Nevertheless, this is an essential purchase. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
New interesting textbook: Taking on the System or Bottom Billion
Author: Lara Shriftman
Stars on the UPN show Get This Party Started and authors of Fкte Accompli! The Ultimate Guide to Entertaining (Clarkson Potter, 2004), Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison give us an all-access pass to some of their most exclusive and creative A-list events.
Packed with imaginative tips and suggestions, PARTY CONFIDENTIAL will help inspire unique and extraordinary get-togethers. Instead of throwing a traditional birthday dinner, make it a sugar party like Serena Williams had. Want to host the hottest poker night in town? Lara and Elizabeth give you the recipe for David Copperfield's Black Magic martini and ask poker champ Annie Duke to help up your game. Each party is outlined in detail from the invitation to the lighting, from the food and drinks to the music. The book also features Lara and Elizabeth's 10 no-fail party rules, advice for a successful fund-raiser, party tips from celebrity friends, and the best recipes from favorite restaurants. Accessible, fun, and beautiful PARTY CONFIDENTIAL will be the source of many good times ahead.
About the Author: Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison are co-presidents of Harrison & Shriftman, a prestigious public-relations, special-events, and marketing firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.