Kirkus Star


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Though one can still long for a really illuminating, authentic Jewish cookbook, there is an equal need for a work that makes a sophisticated international repertory of dishes accessible to kosher kitchens. Nash takes up the task with some thoughtfulness and imagination. What she achieves, and mostly for better rather than worse, is a sort of globetrotting compendium of recipes reflecting the enthusiasms of a typical big-city cooking-class maven. There are a lot of Oriental dishes with fish and beef or veal substituting for shellfish and pork, phyllo-wrapped savory appetizers, inventive soups, braised meat dishes, simple but attractively flavored vegetable salads, rich knock-'em-dead desserts. Among the most attractive things here are salmon trout steamed in foil and served with a sort of tomato purÉe-cum-vinaigrette, chicken with cider and apples (minus the dairy ingredients of the Normandy original), sorrel tart, braised chestnuts, a plain orange compote. The usual menu categories are further broken down into dairy, meat, and pareve sections (some recipes, like puff pastry, being given in both dairy and pareve vetsions). Intelligently enough, Nash refers those concerned about kashruth to rabbinical authority rather than discussing the issue at length. The main body of recipes is followed by a short section of traditional Sabbath or holiday specialties, with some interesting ethnic touches (ground bitter almonds in the gefilte fish). All things considered, a well-planned attempt to fill a real gap.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Random House