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Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family [Paperback]

Judy Bart Kancigor

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Book Description

Nov. 22 2007

Got kugel? Got Kugel with Toffee Walnuts? Now you do. Here's the real homemade Gefilte Fish – and also Salmon en Papillote. Grandma Sera Fritkin’s Russian Brisket and Hazelnut-Crusted Rack of Lamb. Aunt Irene's traditional matzoh balls and Judy's contemporary version with shiitake mushrooms. Cooking Jewish gathers recipes from five generations of a food-obsessed family into a celebratory saga of cousins and kasha, Passover feasts – the holiday has its own chapter – and crossover dishes. And for all cooks who love to get together for coffee and a little something, dozens and dozens of desserts: pies, cakes, cookies, bars, and a multitude of cheesecakes; Rugelach and Hamantaschen, Mandelbrot and Sufganyot (Hanukkah jelly doughnuts). Not to mention Tanta Esther Gittel’s Husband’s Second Wife Lena’s Nut Cake.

Blending the recipes with over 160 stories from the Rabinowitz family—by the end of the book you'll have gotten to know the whole wacky clan—and illustrated throughout with more than 500 photographs reaching back to the 19th century, Cooking Jewish invites the reader not just into the kitchen, but into a vibrant world of family and friends. Written and recipe-tested by Judy Bart Kancigor, a food journalist with the Orange County Register, who self-published her first family cookbook as a gift and then went on to sell 11,000 copies, here are 532 recipes from her extended family of outstanding cooks, including the best chicken soup ever – really! – from her mother, Lillian. (Or as the author says, "When you write your cookbook, you can say your mother's is the best.")

Every recipe, a joy in the belly.

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Product Details

Product Description


The adventurous cooks in the Rabinowitz family have come up with dishes in a wide range of flavorsI'm eager to try her son's Not Exactly Russian Piroshki, her grandma's cholent with red wine, her Passover banana sponge cake, and, of course, Mama Hinda's Challah. Judy's enthusiasm and sense of humor shine through. Faye Levy, 1,000 Jewish Recipes --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Got Kugel? Got kugel with Toffee Walnuts? How about real, homemade Gelfite Fish—and Salmon en Papillote. Refreshing sweet-and-sour borscht, and Not-Your-Store-Bought Potato Blintzes. Cooking Jewish gathers recipes from five generations of a food-obsessed family into a celebratory saga of cousins and kasha, Passover feasts and crossover dishes, Aunt Irene's traditional matzoh balls and Judy's contemporary version with shiitake mushrooms. And don't even talk about the desserts. With its lively stories and eccentric characters, Cooking Jewish invites the reader not just into the kitchen, but into a whole vibrant world of family and friends.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Our story begins halfway around the world in Slonim, where Mama Hinda and Papa Harry were born, in Grodno Gubernia (province), located presently in the independent state of Belarus. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PHENOMENAL! Nov. 12 2007
By Sir Angus - Published on
Although I own over a thousand cookbooks and this one just arrived last week, it is already one of my all-time favorites ... truly phenomenal!

The recipes were all tried-and-true favorites contributed by family members all over the world, and preceded by descriptions of what makes each one so wonderful. Each and every recipe was tested and perfected by the author, who carefully noted every relevant detail to virtually ensure success.

The caramels are scrumptious (and well worth the price of the book). Every recipe seems to be that way ... incredibly delicious, and written to virtually ensure success. The author also offers simplified alternatives, such as roasting eggplant and peppers in the oven rather than on top of the stove for Romanian Eggplant.

One caveat: although Cooking Jewish holds a special appeal for Jews, the food is scrumptious for any palate. (I'm a Christian, and these are recipes anyone would love, and which I would proudly serve anyone.)

I can't even imagine not loving this cookbook ... It offers everything I consider important in a cookbook, and the recipes are well-tested, incredibly delicious, and clearly written. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the wait Dec 5 2007
By Jack Paine - Published on
I had my eye on this book for some time before it was released and for some reason it looked promising. Now, I've only had it for a week or so, but reading through it, it appears that I was right. I own many cookbooks (mostly kosher), and by briefly reviewing the recipes, I can pretty much tell whether I will use it or just file it on the shelf to collect dust. The way this book presents itself just makes you want to cook something right away, much like a fancy new chef's knife will make you want to chop something. I just made the Chicken Paprikash, and it was truly excellent, and not hard to make. The recipe instructions are thorough and well written with plenty of encouragement. I already bought the ingredients for the potato knishes, as this recipe also looks promising.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Add this cookbook to your cookbook collection. March 16 2008
By Susan B. Taylor - Published on
If you like to read cookbooks like novels, then you will love reading this book, because it is much more than a cookbook. If you are interested in genealogy, this book is also for you. It is the quintessential example of how to preserve your family stories, history, photos, and of course, recipes. In fact, a genealogist, such as myself, is in awe of the hours of work it took to put together this 704-page book with 532 recipes. Photos of Judy's family are sprinkled throughout the pages complete with captions. Judy's wonderful sense of humor creates a delightful flavor to the book.

Located throughout the book are orange boxes which contain precious treasures of family stories. I especially like the one by her son Stu, who made "Spaghetti a la Bradley" for his in-laws only to discover a whole jar of garlic doesn't equal one clove of garlic. Why do these things always happen when cooking for in-laws?

Judy was able to secure over 500 recipes from over 200 of her relatives! A family tree is included to keep the family members straight. I agree with Judy when she says that it took a planet, not a village, to write this cookbook.

Just when you need one, Judy supplies us with a cooking tip. I wouldn't attempt making challah without following her advice. The tips for making cookies are good reminders.

Some of the titles of the recipes could only be found in a family heirloom cookbook, such as "Chicken Stupid!" and "Tanta Esther Gittel's Husband's Second Wife Lena's Nut Cake."

Not all of the recipes in the book are traditional Jewish dishes. There's "Sally Kay's Tzatziki Dip" from her son's co-worker, "Taal's Chicken Biryani from Taal Indian Restaurant in Orange County, California, and "Chicken Stir-fry with Walnuts." Cooking Jewish is a cookbook full of recipes from around the world, cooked by a Jewish family.

Of course, there are plenty of Jewish dishes to make. Farfel is a tiny egg noodle and used in the side dish, "Grandma Blanche's Farfel." Serving "Gefilte Fish" is a Sabbath tradition. And, what everyone knows as Jewish penicillin, "Chicken Soup," is not just any chicken soup. This recipe comes from Judy's mother, Lillian Bart, who is seen holding a large terrine of her masterpiece in a photo which appeared in the food section of The Orange County Register.

Why it is so much fun to enter into the world of another family through the food they eat is probably because we can all relate to the sharing of food. Stories are told and traditions are created. Take a peek into Judy's family and you will share in her family's memories, history, and of course, the food they eat.

I chose to make Judy's "Bread Machine Pita" recipe when I read her story of why she bought a bread machine. These pitas were very simple to make as the bread machine does most of the work. I baked half of them. I wrapped the other half of the dough in a plastic bag and put it into the refrigerator. I made the second half of pitas two days later, and they came out just fine. If this recipe is any indication of the others in this book, then they are winners. I will definitely make these pitas again and again. They are absolutely delicious! I also can make them anytime because these ingredients are staples in my house. Enjoy!

Bread Machine Pita
(Makes about 22)

3 3'4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large egg
11'2 tablespoons honey or sugar (I used sugar)
2 teaspoons yeast for bread machines
Vegetable cooking spray, for greasing the baking sheet

1. Place all the ingredients except the cooking spray in the bread machine bowl, following the order suggested by the manufacturer. Set the machine on the dough mode.
2. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
3. When the cycle has completed, remove the dough and shape into golf-ball-size balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. (An oven preheated to the lowest setting and then turned off works for me.)
4. Place an empty, ungreased baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
5. Roll the balls of dough to form flat rounds and place them on another ungreased baking sheet. When you have 7 or 8 rounds, remove the hot baking sheet from the oven (with a mitt, please!), spray it quickly with vegetable cooking spray, and quickly throw the flattened rounds onto the hot sheet. Bake until brown on one side, 2 minutes.Turn them over with tongs, and bake until brown on the other side, 1 minute more. Quickly remove the pitas from the baking sheet and place them in a single layer on another baking sheet. Respray the hot baking sheet, and repeat this process until all the dough has been flattened and baked.
6. The pitas will puff upon baking and will be easy to split if you don't cover them or seal them in a plastic bag. To serve, split the pitas and fill them for sandwiches, or cut or tear them into eighths for dipping. I like to serve them in a straw basket lined with a linen napkin.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have for Every Library Nov. 6 2007
By Margaret D. Fallon - Published on
Author, Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts
Readers will be hard-pressed to decide whether this book remains in the kitchen as an invaluable recipe source, or whether it should be kept at bedside, to read like a good novel. Maybe we all need 2 copies! Judy is a witty and gifted storyteller who lovingly introduces us to each of her relatives and extended family members, weaving fascinating stories and sharing memories and recipes along the way. Before you know it you're hooked, following each family member's journey through life. Jewish or not, we can all relate to Judy's quirky and delicious tales. The recipes--all 532 of 'em-- are detailed and well written, so no one should hesitate to start creating kitchen memories of their own. I am delighted with this book, and can think of no better gift for family and good friends.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a family, what a book! May 29 2008
By Carolyn B. Propis - Published on
Judy's book combines wit with a wealth of information of cooking in general and cooking Jewish specifically. Her anecdotes about her extended family along with pictures are laced through the book and make for interesting reading about a real family that we all wish had been ours. The sad thing is that these large extended families are rapidly disappearing in all but the most traditional of Jewish families. HOw lucky to have grown up with all those aunts, uncles and cousins living nearby. What a treat. And when you read this "cookbook" you will discover it is a treat as well.

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