Do you need a beautiful and practical gift for Hanukkah? Leah Schapira’s stylish new cookbook Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking is the perfect present. Its easy instructions and colorful photographs transform this tome into a party in a book.
The first pages of this book illustrate what that party could look like with photographed appetizer ideas and “take-out” movie night treats. Ms. Schapira’s recipes are very creative, borrowing flavors from Latin America and Asia. I especially liked her recipe for Chimichurri Sauce on page 204. With only seven ingredients, it is effortless to prepare and very authentic and versatile.
She reimagines traditional Jewish recipes, such as when she turns a Hamentashen on its head with a savory filling instead of the usual poppy seed or jam. The ingredients called for in her recipes can be easily found in any well-stocked supermarket. This author is amenable to the use of frozen dough and other convenience products, which makes preparing her foods a hassle-free experience. The book concludes with a selection of delectable desserts. One of the best features of this book is that each recipe is marked Pareve, Dairy, Meat, and sometimes Dairy or Pareve depending on how you prepare it. This is helpful in building an appropriate menu from appetizer to dessert.
Leah Schapira also show how to make many of her recipes kosher for Passover. The one I will have to try this year is on page 290. The Hot Chocolate Molten Cake looks irresistible!
The recipe follows the jump.
Hot Chocolate Molten Cake
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1-cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 6 tbsp. flour (substitute potato starch for Passover)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a muffin pan.
- Place the chocolate and oil in a bowl together and melt them in a double boiler.
- Remove from heat when the chocolate is melted, and whisk in the sugar.
- Beat the eggs and egg yolks together, and add them to the chocolate mixture.
- Stir in the flour.
- Pour the batter into the greased muffin pan.
- Bake the cakes for 13-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Let stand for 1 minute. Invert onto a plate.
This book is a wonderful gift for anyone on your list. It is a helpful, practical guide for kosher celebrations prepared with ease and presented with style. For an ongoing interactive experience with Leah Schapira, you can check out her blog.