Recipes in The Modern Kosher Kitchen by Ronnie Fein offer gourmet training wheels for the aspiring Kosher cook. In our lifetime a revolution has taken place in Kosher recipe books and cooking. The bland kosher recipe books on the shelves of all-too-many Ashkenazi parents and grandparents were also problematic due to high fat and sugar content.
For those unaccustomed to the pedal-to-the-metal spice revolution of our times, The Modern Kosher Kitchen offers opportunities to explore creative contemporary additions such as Siriracha sauce (a chili sauce named after the coastal city of Si Racha, in Chonburi Province of eastern Thailand), that helps kosher cooks to bridge the bland/sweet divide.
For example: White Bean and Vegetable Hurry-Up Salad
- 1 can (15 oz or 425 g) white beans
- 3 medium carrots, sliced thin
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup (130 g) frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup (80 g) chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup (15 g) chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup (24 g) chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
Rinse the white beans under cold running water; let drain and place them in a bowl. Add the carrots, avocado, peas, onion, parsley, mint, cumin, and cayenne pepper and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly.
Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice. Toss again to coat the ingredients. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste. Let rest for about 15 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Suggestions and Variations: Use chickpeas or black beans instead of white beans; use any cooked chopped green vegetable (such as broccoli, green string beans, thawed frozen lima beans, or edamame) instead of peas.
And secure many happy dining comments at your meal by making halibut or salmon on the grill and serving atop:
Spicy Marinated Pineapple
- 1 whole pineapple
- 3 tablespoons (60 g) honey
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) siriracha
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lime juice
- Kosher salt or Maldon sea salt
- Mint, for garnish
Cut the leaves off the pineapple. Remove the outer fibrous rind. Cut the peeled pineapple in slices about 3/4-inch (1.9 cm) thick. Set aside in a single layer in a pan. Heat the honey with the vegetable oil and siriracha in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the ingredients are well mixed. Add the time juice. Pour over the pineapple slices. Coat the pineapples slices on both sides and let marinate at least 1 hour (and as long as 12 hours). Preheat an outdoor grill to medium (or use a grill pan or the oven broiler.) Grill the slices for about 4 minutes per side or until well glazed and tender, brushing occasionally with some of the honey mixture. Serve sprinkled lightly with salt. Garnish with fresh mint. You can make these ahead and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature or reheat to warm in a pre-heated 350°F (190°C, or gas mark 4) oven for a few minutes.
Yield: 4-6 servings.
Serving Suggestions and Variations: Grilled, speed pineapple lens monumental flavor to mild main-course foods such as fish and chicken.
Your family and guests will delight in the evolution of Kosher cuisine, combined, as has been the case throughout Jewish history, with the elements of the cultures among which Jewish people dwell. I bought our sriracha sauce at an International Market while visiting family who live in Passaic and it’s available on line, too. The Modern Kosher Kitchen by Ronnie Fein definitely and deftly adds spice to life!