Get Cook­ing! A Jew­ish Amer­i­can Fam­i­ly Cook­book and Rockin’ Mama Doni Celebration

Rachel Harkham with Doni Zasloff Thomas
  • Review
By – April 20, 2012
The Jew­ish hol­i­days are a great ti me to get kids involved in the cook­ing and teach them about the potent asso­ci­a­tions between fes­ti­vals and food. Get Cook­ing aspires to do pre­cise­ly this, with kid-friend­ly recipes cre­at­ed by Rachel Harkham cou­pled with a CD of songs by Doni Zasloff Thomas. Most recipes come with an image of the dish on the fac­ing page, so non-lit­er­ate kids can choose the dish­es that appeal to them based on the eye can­dy. The recipes are straight­for­ward and divid­ed up by Jew­ish fes­ti­vals and oth­er events in the year, such as July 4, April Fools Day, and Thanks­giv­ing. All are tai­lored to a kosher home and many are healthy sta­ples made easy, such as roast­ed chick­en, but­ter­nut squash soup, pota­to knish­es, and matzah balls. There are also yum­my treats like caramel French toast, whoop­ie pie and cheese cake with var­i­ous top­pings. The recipes come with tips on when to use the dish­es, as well as lit­tle jokes, puns and ref­er­ences to dif­fer­ent songs on the CD. While none of those songs is like­ly to make it onto any Top 40 list, this is a fun idea and a handy, easy-to-use cook­book that will appeal to wannabe cooks and their par­ents who take the ti me to cre­ate easy, tasty dish­es on Jew­ish fes­ti­vals, Amer­i­can hol­i­days and beyond. Rec­om­mend­ed for aspir­ing cooks of all ages.

Recipe: Rosh Hashanah Rockin’ Moroc­can Meatballs

Despite the long ingre­di­ent list, these meat­balls are easy to make — and soooo good. Serve over cous­cous or rice for a fes­tive Rosh Hashanah­meal or anyti me. — Recipe Rachel

Makes 6 – 8 servings

Spice mix­ture
1 tea­spoon cin­na­mon
1 tea­spoon smoked papri­ka
2 tea­spoon turmer­ic
1 tea­spoon salt
¼ tea­spoon cayenne pepper

Stew­ing sauce
1 table­spoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 gar­lic cloves, minced
1 14-ounce can diced toma­toes in juice
2 cups veg­etable or beef broth
¼ cup gold­en raisins
3 car­rots, peeled and cut on the diagonal

2 tea­spoons olive oil
1 small onion, fine­ly chopped
2 gar­lic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground beef, turkey, or chick­en
½ cup fresh bread­crumbs
¼ cup chopped parsley

1. Spice mix­ture: Com­bine spices in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Sauce: Heat oil in a large oven­proof pot or tagine over medi­um heat. Add onions and cook for approx­i­mate­ly 7 to 10 min­utes. Add gar­lic and 2 ½ tea­spoons of the spice mix­ture, and sauté for a minute. Pour in toma­toes, broth, and raisins. Bring sauce to a sim­mer. Mix in carrots.

3. Meat­balls: Pre­heat oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a small pan over medi­um-high heat, add chopped onions, and sauté for approx­i­mate­ly four min­utes, until translu­cent. Add gar­lic and sauté for thir­ty sec­onds more. Mix in remain­ing spice mix­ture and sauté for anoth­er minute. Remove from heat and let cool briefly

4. Place ground meat into a large bowl and com­bine with bread­crumbs and onion-spice mix­ture. With damp hands, roll meat mix­ture into 2‑inch meat­balls. Gen­tly drop meat­balls into sim­mer­ing sauce.

5. Cov­er pot and place in pre-heat­ed oven for 30 min­utes or until meat­balls are cooked through. Add salt and pep­per to taste, if need­ed. Sprin­kle with chopped pars­ley before serving.

Cook­ing tip: For a stronger Moroc­can fla­vor, dou­ble the quan­ti­ties of the spices in the meat­balls and in the stew­ing sauce.

Recipe from Get Cook­ing! A Jew­ish Amer­i­can Fam­i­ly Cook­book and Rockin’ Mama Doni Cel­e­bra­tion by Rachel Harkham and Doni Zasloff Thomas, ©2012 Behrman House, Inc.
Lau­ren Kramer is a Van­cou­ver-based jour­nal­ist, wife, and moth­er with a life­long pas­sion for lit­er­a­ture. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, she has won awards for her writ­ing and report­ed from many cor­ners of the world. Read more of her work at www​.lau​renkramer​.net.

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