Try out these recipes for sole kebabs, shredded chili beef, papaya salad and fig biscotti from The Gourmet Jewish Cookbook.
From modern spins on Schnitzel Noodle Stir Fry and Matzah Granola, to make-ahead meals like Passover Beef Lasagna, to sophisticated dishes like veal chops with mushroom sauce, The Gourmet Jewish Cookbook by Denise Phillips includes a wide selection of recipes.
According to a news release, the book is suited for home chefs looking to introduce new foods into their repertoire as well as casual cooks searching for a perfect dinner party recipe to wow their guests.
Some of the recipes take under 30 minutes and are appropriate for diabetics, vegetarians and gluten-free diners.
Each recipe includes a brief overview of the background and history of Jewish cuisine and illustrates how kosher cooking is the first example of “fusion,” as it melds local foods of the countries where Jews have lived with the dietary laws they observe.
Crunchy Papaya Salad
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp. clear honey
3 Tbsps. olive oil
1-2 Tbsps. soy sauce to taste
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. cherry grape tomatoes
3 spring onions, sliced into matchsticks
1 red chili, deseeded and very finely chopped
4 oz. bean sprouts
4 Tbsps. fresh basil, roughly chopped
4 oz. honey-roasted peanuts
Prepare the dressing by combining all the ingredients. Taste and set aside.
Peel the papayas, slice in half and remove all the seeds. Using a sharp knife cut the papaya into thin slices. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the tomatoes, spring onions, chili, bean sprouts and most of the basil. Combine.
Add the peanuts and stir in the dressing.
Garnish with chopped basil.
Crispy Shredded Chili Beef
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbsps. corn flour
2 lbs. sirloin steak, cut into strips
oil for frying
3 spring onions, shredded
1-2 red chiles, deseeded and shredded
3 carrots, peeled and finely shredded
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsps. white rice vinegar
4 Tbsps. sweet chili dipping sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
Combine the eggs, salt and corn flour and coat the beef strips.
Heat the oil to 350˚ in a deep wok or frying pan. Fry the beef strips, taking care to add them to the pan one by one. Don’t stir approximately 10 seconds, then stir to ensure the pieces don’t stick together. Cook for approximately 6 to 7 minutes until brown and crispy. Remove and drain on a plate covered with kitchen paper.
Using some of the oil from the wok in a separate pan, stir fry the spring onions, chilis and carrots.
For the sauce, mix together the sugar, garlic, vinegar, chili dipping sauce and soy sauce. Stir into the vegetable pan and cook gently for 2 minutes. Finally, add the cooked beef and toss together.
Serve with egg noodles or plain rice.
Serves 3 to 4.
Sole Kebabs With Parsley Couscous
4 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 lemon sole fillets, cut in half lengthways
2 red peppers, halved, deseeded and cut into 1-inch slices
14 oz. button mushrooms, stalks removed
9 oz. Israeli couscous
1 pint vegetable stock
2 large zucchini, coarsely grated
1 large bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Mix together the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper.
Pour this marinade over the sole fillets and leave covered for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Roll up each sole fillet like a Swiss roll and carefully thread onto the kebab skewers alternately with the pepper slices and mushrooms.
Brush each threaded kebab with a little of the lemon-and-oil marinade.
Arrange the kebab skewers on a grill tray and cook under moderately hot grill for about 8 minutes, carefully turning the kebabs once or twice during cooking and brushing them with the remaining marinade if needed.
While the kebabs are cooking, cook the Israeli couscous. Pour hot stock over it and bring to a boil.
Cook for 10 minutes until soft. Stir in the zucchini and cook for another 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Add the parsley.
To serve the stylish way: Spoon a generous helping of couscous onto a hot plate. Top with the kebabs. Garnish with lemon wedges and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Pistachio and Fig Biscotti
11⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
8 oz. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 cup pistachio nuts, shelled weight
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1⁄2 cup dried figs, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Line a baking tray with non-stick parchment.
Mix together the flour, sugar, vanilla extract and baking powder.
Add the eggs gradually — you may not need it all as a stiff dough is what is required.
Knead in the pistachio nuts, lemon zest and juice, and chopped figs.
Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into sausage shaped about 1-inch in diameter, then flatten slightly.
Place on a baking tray, spaced well apart. Bake for 25 minutes or until pale golden.
Remove and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300˚. Using a serrated knife and cutting at an angle, cut each “sausage” into very thin slices.
Lay the slices on the baking tray and cook for another 10 minutes or until dry and firm.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Makes 50 biscotti.