Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Dash of Delicious


I was thumbing through a book catalog recently, and I saw a spate of new kosher cookbooks. Hmmm. SO many new ones are coming out, I thought,"Are any of them going to offer me something new?" Well the Dash cookbook created by Rebecca Naumberg and Sori Klein as a fundraiser for Torah Academy for Girls in Far Rockaway, New York is different. Not only does it raise the bar on school fundraising cookbooks, it presents kosher cooking in a new light.

Although many of the recipes look as if they would be complicated to prepare, none of the recipes (as far as I could tell) extend beyond one page. They force the kosher cook to look outside the box and bring contemporary culinary ideas into their home. There are some old favorites mixed in as well. The recipes bring in flavors from many international cuisines, contain recipes from professional chefs interspersed with home cooks. They also provide "plan ahead" and "simplify" tips that make the recipe easier when you are rushed.

For the gluten free cook (or eater) there are quite a lot of options in Dash, such as Quinoa with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables, a terrific meat section, and even desserts like French Macaroons with 3 fillings, Chocolate Semifreddo and fresh fruit sorbets. The cold soups especially caught my eye, as I'm a big fan. The Chilled Avocado Gazpacho with Spiced Pumpkin Sees has a nice contrast of warm spices with the cooling elements of avocado---they even give non-dairy substitutes for this one!

Visually the book makes an impact. Food styling, although done by the parental body of the school, it seems, looks very professional. My one gripe is that all of the photos are against a black background. I would have liked some variation, as it is a thick book and the black background is sort of a single note. But it was photographed beautifully.

If you are interested in ordering the book send an email to: The cookbook is an entirely non-profit endeavor, and all proceeds go to the school.

Since Rosie can't have eggs, I tend to make a lot of roast potatoes instead of kugels. This recipe caught my eye because of all the garlic---something I absolutely love, especially roasted. The lemon juice gives it a very bright flavor. Gremolata is an olive oil and herb condiment used in the Mediterranean to finish meats and other roasted dishes.

Potatoes Gremolata
from Dash by Rebecca Naumberg and Sori Klein, p. 207

2 pounds baby or fingerling potatoes

1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of 2 lemons
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

2 Tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Potatoes: Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Place potatoes in an 8-quart stockpot with enough cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring the water to boil over medium heat and cook until potatoes are tender when pierces with a fork, about 25 minutes. Drain and allow to dry for 5 minutes.

Roast: Place potatoes in a roasting pan. Add oil, whole garlic cloves and minced garlic. Bake for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for gremolata in a small bowl. Sprinkle potatoes with gremolata and toss to evenly coat potatoes. Return to oven and bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Serves: 6

This recipe is pictured in the book served in artistically angled shot glasses. This idea is great for cocktail parties and buffets, wherein you would not normally serve soup. This recipe is vegan when made with soy sour cream.

Chilled Avocado Gazpacho with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas)
from Dash by Rebecca Naumberg and Sori Klein, p. 44

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, sliced into rings
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, or more as needed
3 medium ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into large chunks
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup sour cream or pareve tofu sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Spice Pumpkin Seeds

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to blender.

Puree sauteed onion together with broth, avocados, cilantro, parsley, lime juice, cumin, coriander and salt. Blend in sour cream and season to taste with more salt and pepper. Refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours. Thin the soup with broth if necessary. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds.


Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

1 Tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt

Heat oil in a small skillet over moderately high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring constantly, until seeds begin to pop, 1-2 minutes. Stir in cumin and cayenne pepper, and continue to cook, stirring until fragrant about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and season with a generous pinch of salt.

No comments:

Post a Comment