I know, I know, another cookbook review, so soon after my last one! Considering my great love of cookbooks, you can imagine how thrilled I was to be given the chance to review another cookbook. Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking is extra special to me, because it was written by the very talented Leah Schapira of Cook Kosher fame, someone I have gotten to know well since starting this blog. Her knowledge of flavors and foods never ceases to amaze me, and it definitely comes through in her cookbook.
At a first glance:
This book is not your mother’s old-fashioned kosher cookbook. This cookbook has eye catching recipes, international influences, and innovative recipes that you won’t find in the typical Kosher cookbook. The recipes in this book are simple and doable for the average housewife on a regular day, but still impressive enough for special occasions. Most importantly, this cookbook features ingredients that are simple and recognizable, not overly-exotic things that will make the reader run to Wikipedia.
Some Features I Liked:
This cookbook doesn’t waste space! Where there is some extra page space, Leah includes helpful tips such as how to use a baking stone, the effect of beer on cooking meat, and the best way to store your prepared goodies for the freezer.
Another thing I love about this cookbook is the way that most of the recipes have a “goes with feature,” where they list the name and page of recipes that go nicely with the one you are cooking. It’s menu planning made super simple, and it continues the overall easy-on-the-eyes and intuitive layout of the cookbook.
Leah is known for her amazingly tasty and always creative sauces, and this cookbook definitely highlights this! There is an entire section of delicious dips and sauces, from basics like Chunky Hummus to the very same Pizza Dipping Sauce that Israeli pizza shops are renowned for. (Anyone who hasn’t heard of or tasted this sauce really needs to either get on a plane to Israel, or simply order the cookbook.) Additionally, there is an index at the end of the chapter with a list of other recipes in this cookbook that have dips and sauces. The index is laid out in a beautifully visual way, which makes it all so appealing!
Some Recipes I Can’t Wait To Try:
Onion Blossoms: hellooo favorite restaurant guilty pleasure. As soon as I get off my diet, I am making this!
Pizza! That might sound simple, but Leah is a complete pizza pro, and has an entire chapter on this subject in her book. She includes a recipe for (what she says is) the best pizza crust in the world. Then she includes recipes such as thin crust pizza and calzones made from the pizza dough.
Chicken Fajitas: this looks delicious and easy, and healthy enough. I love her suggestion of serving it in a laffa or pita, instead of the traditional wrap.
Chocolate Babka: I have a soft spot for this dessert, and I’ve heard from many friends who made Leah’s Babka recipe that it’s the best they’ve ever had. Plus, Cook Kosher posted a video demonstrating the process, for hesitant beginners.
Who This Cookbook is For:
This is an excellent all-around cookbook for any home cook looking for a wide variety of recipes for every occasion. Don’t let the Kosher label throw you off. There are only a few traditional Kosher recipes, and the rest are delicious recipes for anyone, whether or not they keep kosher.
Who This Cookbook is Not For:
Overall, this is a great cookbook, but people with dietary limitations, such as gluten-free or sugar-free may find that they can’t make a lot of the recipes in this book.
What I Didn’t Like About This Cookbook:
As I mentioned, I loved this cookbook. My only issue with it is that the recipes aren’t all that healthy, so when I am in serious dieting mode, a lot of the recipes won’t work for me. That being said, a lot of said unhealthy recipes can be easily adapted, by substituting whole-wheat flour for white flour, or sugar substitute for the real thing.
This is a well thought out cookbook, with eye catching graphics and pictures. It features exciting recipes for both Kosher and non-Kosher readers, and uses basic and simple ingredients to create delicious meals.
Doesn’t this cookbook sound like one you want to add to your repertoire? Well then today is your lucky day, because the kind folks over at Artscroll have agreed to give a copy of this cookbook away to one of my awesome readers. Here’s how to win:
Leave a comment below telling me what your go-to, quick and simple supper is.
For additional entries: (each requires its own comment on this post.)
Follow @OvertimeCook on Twitter. Comment and tell me that you did so.
Like Overtime Cook on Facebook. Comment and tell me that you did so.
Follow Overtime Cook on Pinterest. Comment and tell me that you did so.
Want unlimited entries to win a copy of this amazing cookbook? Well you’re in luck. Cook Kosher is giving away 2 copies to their members, all you have to do is post a recipe and leave a comment saying that you did so. Best of all- there are no limits to the number of entries there!
Giveaway ends 12 am eastern time on Thursday, June 28th. This giveaway is open to residents of the US. Sponsored by Artscroll.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this cookbook to review. Opinions are my own.
And now, a sample recipe. AKA my new favorite supper. AKA…
Honey Mustard Chicken
Adapted from Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking
1 1/2- 2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut in strips
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3-4 Tablespoons oil
2-3 large onions, diced
1 red pepper*
1 orange pepper*
1 yellow pepper*
3 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons mustard
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
Cut the chicken into strips (about 2 inches) and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan (or shallow pot) over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until onions are golden brown.
Meanwhile, cut the vegetables into uniform strips. (*Note: these are the vegetables I used.You can use whatever you have on hand.) Once onions are golden brown, add the chicken strip and cook for about five minutes. Stir a couple of times to cook evenly. Add the vegetables.
Add the honey, mustard and soy sauce to the pot, and stir to coat everything evenly. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the sauce is slightly reduced.
Serve hot over rice. (Reheats well.)
Good luck on the contest! Please spread the word! Hope you love this chicken as much as I do, and I hope you try this cookbook! Come back soon, because I have the most amazing cake recipe to share with you folks! -Miriam