As Erev Yom Kippur approaches,
my thoughts are focused on repentence and cookbooks.

Four new ones hit the shelves in the past few weeks. They include:

Fresh, Sunny Flavors
From My Israeli Kitchen
by Adeena Sussman
with a Foreword by Zahav’s Michael Solomonov

Published: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Avery

“The pages of this book ooze with [Adeena’s] passion for the romance and beauty of Israeli cuisine. The recipes are soulful, elemental and stunningly delicious.” –from the foreword by Michael Solomonov

Michael Solomonov (of cookbook fame and the Philadelphia restaurant Zahav) moved from Israel to Philly.
Adeena Sussman moved from California to Israel and as close to the Shuk haCarmel that she could get.
Both are dedicated to Israeli cuisine. Few of us will get invited to their homes to eat. or even get a reservation at Zahav, so the next best thing is to read Adeena’s book: SABABA

Sussman is well known for helping other’s write their cookbooks. Now she creates her own.

Some early recipes include Salt-Brined Crispy Dill Pickles from Kibbutz Yavneh;
24-Hour Salted Lemon Spread courtesy of Jonathan Borowitz of M25 steakhouse;
40-Minute Amba; Amba Mayo; Rosh Hashanah Pomegranate Molasses;
Zucchini, Dill & Feta Shakshuka; Amba Egg Salad;
Preserved Lemon-Date Tuna Salad (why eat a tuna sandwich when you can shuk it up);
CHEESY ASPARAGUS Sheet Pan PASHTIDA; Honey and Olive Oil Challah;
Erez’s (Kamarovsky) Wedding Lamb Focaccia (which was served at the author’s wedding (plus a variation of Date, Kumquat, Kashkaval Focaccia Pizzas);
Sweet Oitati Frico Burekas;
Magical Hummus from Ariel Rothstein’s Hakosem (Magical) bistro;
Broccoli Cottage Cheese Pancakes;
colorful Charcoal Gray Tahini; and Pink Tahini;
Pecan-Lime Huhamarra; “The Best Baba Ghanoush;”
Israeli grilled sweet corn ears with labaneh, feta, sea salt and cilantro;
Oven-Roasted Artichokes with Roasted Garlic by way of Rome and Northern California;
Chilled Beet and Cherry Borscht;
over half a dozen Israeli salads; Okra Fries;
Tahini-Glazed Carrots (which is always in high demand at her apartment);
Cinnamony Smoky Eggplant P’titim (or how you should request Israeli couscous, aka Ben Gurion Rice);
Jeweled Rice; Yerushalmi thin egg noodle Ge’ula style Kugel;
a unique Roasted Tomato and Labaneh Pappardelle;
Ricotta Dumplings with Pistachio-Cilantro Pesto; and
Crispy Sesame Schnitzel.

Other pages include standout recipes (to name a few) for Root Vegetable and Medjool Date Stew; Turkish Coffee-Rubbed Rib-Eyes with Seared Broccoli; Schug-Marinated Baby Lamb Chops; Fried Barbounias with Lemon Chips and Sage; Lemony Salmon with Fennel and Orange Salad; Fluffy Israeli Cheesecake with Fresh Plum Compote; Triple Ginger Persimmon Loaf; Rinat Tzadok’s Moroccan Fish Cakes (Ktyzitzot Dagim) which use sweet paprika instead of hard to find shoshka peppers; “Eser” Halvah and Baharat Coffee Cake (Sussman named it Eser for the 10 AM snack Aruchat Eser) Chewy Tahini Blondies; and Pistachio-Crusted Lemon Bars.

Catch her book tour stops, including OCTOBER 13, NYC, at the NYC Wine & Food Festival: Israeli Cooking Master Class; OCTOBER 15 in BROOKLYN, NYC at the famed Archestratus Bookstore; OCTOBER 16 in WASHINGTON DC where Joan Nathan will hang with her; October 26 in MIAMI at Michael’s Genuine, with Michael Schwartz and (Studio 54, hotelier) Lee Schrager; and then also in Miami on October 27 with Zak the Baker; and November 6 to 8 in NAPA, CA at the CIA Worlds of Flavor Conference; and November 19 in DALLLAS, at the JCC Dallas

The Heart of Israeli Home Cooking
by Einat Admony and Janna Gur

Pub Date: September 17, 2019
Publisher: ARTISAN

With Shuk, home cooks everywhere can now inhale the fragrances and taste the flavors of the vivacious culinary mash-up that is today’s Israel. The book takes you deeper into this trending cuisine, through the combined expertise of the authors, chef Einat Admony of Balaboosta and food writer and author Janna Gur..

Admony’s long-simmered stews, herb-dominant rice pilafs, toasted-nut-studded grain salads, and of course loads of vegetable dishes—from snappy, fresh, and raw to roasted every way you can think of—will open your eyes and your palate to the complex nuances of Jewish food and culture. The book also includes authoritative primers on the well-loved pillars of the cuisine, including chopped salad, hummus, tabboulehs, rich and inventive shakshukas, and even hand-rolled couscous with festive partners such as tangy quick pickles, rich pepper compotes, and deeply flavored condiments. Through gorgeous photo essays of nine celebrated shuks, you’ll feel the vibrancy and centrality of the local markets, which are so much more than simply shopping venues—they’re the beating heart of the country.

Named one of Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Cookbooks of Fall 2019…“Admony (Balaboosta), who owns the restaurants Balaboosta and Taim in New York City, and Gur (Jewish Soul Food) excel at crafting recipes for Israel’s flavorful melting-pot cuisine, and they organize this fascinating cookbook around eight shuks, or markets. They include Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Market, which houses a stall selling roasted seeds and nuts and a spice store that traffics in potions and powders reputed to “drive away an evil eye, lift a curse, or help you find your soul mate.” Dishes are equally intriguing: a chopped salad of avocado and kohlrabi highlights the country’s abundant produce. Traditional selections and clever inventions intermingle, the latter exemplified by challah braided around mushrooms and za’atar, and, in a chapter on stuffed items, a cake of cabbage leaves encasing a filling of pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, ground beef, and rice. A chapter on couscous includes a brace of stews for ladling over the pasta, as well as two options for creating couscous from scratch. A grilling primer features whole fish, kebabs, and arayes—pitas stuffed with beef and lamb and cooked over a flame. Sidebars range from suggestions for optimizing Israeli salad to an explanation of the evolution of date syrup. This energetic and exciting volume serves as an edifying deep dive into Israeli food market culture and cuisine.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

The authors visit eight major shuks in Israel. Einat would shop as a child in Tel Aviv with her father at the century old Shuk Hacarmel. They would buy “Mizrachi” ingredients, since her mother was Persian who grew up in an Iraqi household and her father grew up in the Yemenite quarter. Janna first visited loud, sensual, boisterous Shuk Hacarmel as a teen, fresh from the politeness of Nordic Latvia. The shuks they visit in this book are: Levinsky (with roots in Salonika), HaCarmel, the welcoming T.A. HaTikva, Hanamal (the relatively new market of sixty stalls in Tel Aviv’s old Port), Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem, Ha’ir Haatika in Jerusalem’s Old City (home of Arafat/Nazmi Hummus), Haifa’s Wadi Nasnas, and Shuk Akko (the Old Akko Market), and from them they bring the shuks into your home kitchen. For each market they list a few of their favorite stalls/shops.

There are fourteen chapters with over 13 dozen recipes. The chapters are Salad All Day; Cauliflower and Eggplant; Dairy and Eggs for Breakfast and for Dinner; Mad About Chicken; All About the Rice; Ktzitzot: Patties, Latkes, and Meatballs; Soups to Comfort and Refresh; Deliciously Stuffed; The Couscous Table, The Flavor of Fire; Flatbreads, Traditional Breads, and Savory Pies; and… Sweet Endings. They recommend about a dozen items for your pantry, and nother dozen spices, including zaatar sumac, hawaij, ras el hanout, cinnamon, cumin, dried mint, and turmeric. Actually, just in the pantry intro, they share several recipes for sumac mayo; dressings; lemon and mint pesto; chermoula (cumin, parsely, cilantro, coriander, paprika, oil, lemon) for fish; dukkah; harissas; olives; and s’chugs.

The Salad chapter begins with Israeli Salad, and a list of salad rules. Some other salads of interest are a cerviche’ chopped avocado, cucumber and kohlrabi (did you know Israelis adore kohlrabi); spicy tomato and garlic with tahini; three-tomatoe with sub-dried tomato dressing; caramelized fennel and radicchio with Arak Vinaigrette; orange and olive with harissa vinaigrette; and fresh mango with AMBA and mustard vinaigrette. And take note of the summer watermelon with salty feta cheese recipe. Chapter 2 pays homage to heroic eggplants and cauliflowers (are you aware of the whole roasted cauliflower craze in Israel and on Manhattan’s West 72nd Street?), and begins with a cauliflower salad that includes a peanut tahini sauce and sliced bamba snacks. A sampling of recipes include ones for grilled cauliflower steaks; sweet and sour baked (fried then baked) eggplant a la Einat’s mother; and Sabich.

In Chapter 3, Tahini and Chickpeas (and Hummus), with eight tahini recipes, including honey-soy tahini sauce, and a tahini banana date shake.

Chapter 5 is focused on dairy and breakfast, and the cheese that has been coveted in Israel back to the time of the Knights Templar. Recipes includes ones for homemade Labneh; marinated Labneh balls; Shakshuka (3 types); Balkan-style scrambled eggs; and Egg Salad with Preserved Lemon, Caramelized Onions and Zucchini. Chapter 6 on Chicken explains how you can master Israeli Schnitzel, and includes recipes for an Orange Blossom-scented Roast Chicken; Ethiopian Doro Wot; chicken LIVER schnitzel; and Musahan on Flatbread a la chef Nof Atamna-Ismaeel.

In Chapter 7, which is All About Rice, there is a recipe for Persian bottom of the pot Tahdig Rice; Tbit (Iraqi chicken with rice); Chicken Maqloubeh (Upside down; Palestinian jasmine rice, eggplant, cauliflower, vegetables and chicken pilaf); Bakhsh; and Ghormeh Sabzi. Chapter 8 is dedicated to Ktzitzot (minced ones, chopped ones) which they wrote are the “epitome of Israeli home cooking: inexpensive and designed to stretch a bit a protein to feed a family.” Some of their faves are Beet (and russet potato) Latkes with preserved lemon and yogurt dressing; Chicken Patties with chard, leeks and celery in lemony broth; Persian Beef and Duck Meatballs (Fassenjan); Persian Meatballs stuffed with prunes (Gondy Berenji); and Ktzitzot Abu Hatzerah.

The title for Chapter 9: Soups that Comfort and Refresh sounds poetic to me. Their southern French inspired chicken soup with knaidlach uses saffron, fennel and tarragon. The lentil with carrot soup is thick with cumin, turmeric, coriander and garlic. The Yemenite White Bean Soup is seasoned with Hawaij, tomato paste, beef bones and cilantro. Their Kubbeh soup uses a beet based broth, and the tomato, strawberry and arak gazpacho refreshes and is based on a recipe from chef Guy Zarfati. Chapter 10 shares recipes for “Deliciously Stuffed” Seer Memulayim, where the authors stuff onions, cabbage cake, peppers, beets, delicata squash… with lamb, freekah, prunes, quinoa, lemon, silan sauce, spiced beef, pomegranate, dried mint sauce, raisins, and more. Chapter 11 is focused on couscous, which in some Israeli households is traditionally eaten twice a week: on Shabbat, and for Tuesday lunch; and its fixings, including Mafroum, Lamb Tagine, Matboucha, Mesayer, and short ribs.

Al-Ha’esh (on fire) and Mangal (Arabic for “a grill”, cookout) foods are the focus of Chapter 12. Recipes include ones for whole grilled fish with za’atar; grouper kebabs with chermoula; grilled chicken wings that are shawarma spiced; and Arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pitas. Chapter 13’s breads include a challah stuffed with mushroom, leeks, and za’atar; pita bread; laffa; lahmajun topped with beef; phyllo bourekas; Yemenite semolina and flour pancakes (Lachuch); spinach and pine ut fattayers; Jerusalem “bagels” stuffed with feta and scallions; and kubenah stuffed with caramelized onions. Among the happy treats in Chapter 14: Sweet Endings are recipes for a Fresh Orange Pound Cake; lazy easy baklava; Israeli cheesecake with pistachios and labneh; and chocolate Kadurey biscuits balls.

by Leah Koenig
with Julia Turshen (Introduction)
and Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: PHAIDON

There are cookbooks… and then there are PHAIDON ones. Beautiful and compehensive.
Koenig, a food journalist (nearly 100 articles in The Forward, Tablet, and The New York Times alone.. not including articles in all the famous food magazines) based in Brooklyn shares a rich treasury of contemporary global Jewish cuisine, featuring hundreds of stories and 400 recipes. This is her sixth Jewish cookbook. Each page lists dietary restrictions, the ingredients, and cooking times. The trove includes 25 additional recipes from Einat (Balaboosta) Admony, James and David Ardinast, Evan Bloom, Assaf Granit, Florence Kahn, Laurel Kratochvila, Yotam Ottolenghi, Alex Raij, Anthony Rose, Niki Russ (Russ and Daughters) Federman, Eyal Shani, Alon Shaya, and Michael (Zahav) Solomonov.

Julia Turshen writes in the foreword that this is not an “Ashkenormative” cookbook. The recipes are derived from all parts of the planet Earth. Recipes includes ones for stracotto di manzo, a wine-braised Roman Jewish version of pot roast that the author consumed on her honeymoon in Rome. She broke her years of being a vegetarian in order to eat it when she was 26. And there is one for aranygaluska, a cinnamon-sugar pull-apart cake from Hungary; and flammekueche from France’s Alsace region made with sautéed mushrooms instead of lard. Sephardic slow-cooked eggs get dyed brown with onion skins and coffee grounds. Stewed carrot tsimmes adds dried fruit. Her gefilte fish gets pan-fried in a curry sauce by way of the Jews of South Africa. A kugel is made of sweet potato and pecans a la the Mareican Bible Belt of the Southern states. A chicken and chestnut omelet is from the Jewish community of Azerbaijan. Koenig Speaking of Israel, she writes on how to differntiate between American and Israeli rugelach. From Abe Fisher in Philadelphia, there is a Jewish steak sauce made with soy sauce and sweet kosher wine. From Warsaw, Poland, Aleksander Baron contributes a bread pudding dotted with poppy seeds. Here is a recipe in the LA TIMES for her Apple Schalet which is like a cholent of apples.

Catch her at the TISH Jewish Food Festival, October 16-20, 2019, at @Bistro Charlotte in Warsaw, Poland; or in NYC at Symphony Space Food Talk: Jewish Food with Adeena Sussman, and Gabriella Gershenson on November 12, 2019, 7:30pm. In Boston on November 17? Take a challah baking class with her at Milk Street Master Class: Challah Baking. @Milk Street


ALSO… another cookbook is

Bold Flavors from the
Middle East and Beyond
also known as SHAKSHUKA
by Nidal Kersh

Pub Date: September 30, 2019
Publisher: Sterling

NIDAL KERSH brought falafel to Sweden with FalafelBaren at Hornsgatan 39b. His family also sold hummus under the name Maxos and has a very very small coffee roaster. You may recall his famous comment on French women from when he wasan exchange student in Paris at SciencePo.

Did you know that he falafel uses yellow peas and wild garlic instead of chickpeas and coriander?

In his book, JERUSALEM FOOD, he compiles recipes from the region, from hummus and chopped vegetable salads to fresh breads, shawarma, and baklava. His recipes include those for fattoush, schnitzel, kebabs, baklava, hummus, msbaha, falafel, mana’ish, shawarma, and baba ganouj. The book was titled SKASHUKA in Europe and Sweden. There is the story about how his Palestinian father made it from Akko to Sweden. He writes about the politics of food, specifically the debate over Israeli-Palestinian origins of hummus.

Kosher Style:
Over 100 Jewish Recipes
for the Modern Cook
by Amy Rosen

Pub Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Random House

For the bubbes and the balabustas, the keepers of Jewish kitchens and the enthusiastic neophytes, comes a cookbook that celebrates how many Jews eat today.

In the Jewish culture, as in many others, bubbes, saftas and nanas are the matriarchs of the kitchen and thus the rulers of the roost. They are culinary giants in quilted polyester muumuus and silk slippers who know how to make the Semitic linchpins cherished from childhood–the kugel, the gefilte fish, the matzah ball soup and the crispy-skinned roasted chicken. They all have their specialties but, of course, they won’t be around to feed us forever, and that will be a loss indeed. But it will be an even bigger loss if the recipes we grew up on pass away with them, along with those special connections to our past. That’s what prompted Amy Rosen, journalist and cookbook author, to spirit the classic recipes from her grandmothers and other role models into the 21st century. All of the dishes in Kosher Style are inspired by the tables and tales and chutzpah of the North American Jewish experience. They also happen to be kosher.

In this book are all the recipes you need for successful shellfish- and pork-free home entertaining, be it for a Jewish holiday or a workaday dinner. From crave-worthy snacks to family-size salads, soulful mains to show-stopping desserts, all of the recipes are doable in the home kitchen and are clearly marked as either a meat dish, dairy dish, or pareve (neutral). Think: Lacy Latkes & Applesauce, Sour Cream & Onion Potato Knishes, General Tso’s Chicken, and Toblerone-Chunk Hamantaschen your family will plotz over. In addition to the classics, Amy has included some of her favorite modern recipes, like a Quinoa-Tofu Bowl with Greens & Green Goddess Dressing, Honey-Harissa Roasted Carrots and a Crisp Cucumber & Radish Salad.

About the author