Year end is traditionally the time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions, and if your plans for 2013 include learning kitchen basics or tackling some new recipes or techniques, Susie Fishbein’s “Kosher by Design Cooking Coach” can take you from vow to wow.
Fishbein’s new book, the latest in her Kosher by Design series, is not just for the novice. She starts each chapter with a “game plan” that covers basic knowledge, as well as more advanced techniques for the home cook. She includes information on buying equipment, stocking a pantry, understanding kosher cuts of meat, planning menus and repurposing leftovers.
The cookbook is also not just for kosher or even Jewish cooks. Recipes reflect America’s wide-ranging palate, with dishes such as Slow-Roasted Shiitake Aspar-agus Salad, Kansas City Beef Ribs, Tandoori Salmon, Kale Chips and Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cakes . Jewish-inspired recipes include Vegetable Stuffed Cabbage, Yemenite Beef Soup, Sweet Spaghetti Squash Kugel and Chocolate Babka Meltaway.
For a New Year’s Eve dinner, offer Green Bean and Asparagus Fries as an hors d’oeuvre. For a main course, serve Pomegranate-Honey Chicken. The recipes are from “Kosher by Design Cooking Coach: Recipes, Tips and Techniques to Make Anyone a Better Cook” by Susie Fishbein (Artscroll/Mesorah Publications, 351 pages, $36.99). They have been adapted for space.
Kosher by Design Cooking Coach’s Green Bean and Asparagus Fries with Dipping Sauce
4 large eggs, whisked well
13⁄4 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 lb. green beans, stem ends sliced off
1 bunch (20-28 spears) medium-thick asparagus, bottom 2 inches cut off
nonstick cooking spray
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs. yellow mustard
1 Tbs. finely chopped dill or Israeli pickles
2 tsp. pickle juice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place eggs in large bowl, breadcrumbs in a second. Dip a small handful of green beans at a time into eggs and then panko, patting to adhere panko to vegetables. Place in a single layer on large baking sheet(s). Repeat with remaining vegetables. Spray nonstick cooking spray over vegetables in sweeping motion. Bake for 12 minutes, until crisp and light golden brown. Whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, pickles and pickle juice. Serve hot fries with dipping sauce.
Kosher by Design Cooking Coach’s Pomegranate-Honey Chicken
12 chicken parts, bone-in, with skin (legs, thighs, breasts)
1⁄2 cup silan (date syrup) or honey
1⁄4 cup dark brown sugar
1⁄4 cup pomegranate juice
1⁄4 cup teriyaki sauce
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 tsp. tomato paste
1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. margarine
fresh pomegranate seeds
Use foil to line a broiler-safe baking dish that holds the chicken snugly. Arrange chicken in a single layer. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small pot over medium heat, whisk silan, sugar, juice, teriyaki sauce, cornstarch, tomato paste, thyme and garlic. Bring to simmer for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Whisk in margarine. Reduce heat slightly. Cook for 1 minute. Generously brush mixture on each piece of chicken. Drizzle additional sauce over the top of each piece.
Bake uncovered 45 minutes until chicken is no longer pink at the bone (dark meat may take longer; if so remove white meat to a platter and cook dark until done). Brush chicken with sauce in baking pan every 15 minutes while cooking. After
45 minutes, turn on broiler and broil until skin is brown and crispy; keep a close eye on it. Transfer to platter. Baste again with pan sauce. Garnish with seeds and more pan sauce.
Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer. Her columns alternate with those of Louise Fiszer. She blogs at www.clickblogappetit.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.