If the teenagers and 20-somethings you know are anything like Susie Fishbein’s kids, you’ll want to add her latest cookbook, Kosher by Design: Teens and 20-Somethings, to your library.
“I have teens in the kitchen now,” says the author whose series of cookbooks has sold more than 400,000 copies since 2003. “Their tastes have changed; they and their friends are more sophisticated. My recipes are designed for kids who subsist mostly on fast food, as I want to widen their choices, and for the segment that is really into cooking and has a more developed and health-conscious approach to eating.”
Fishbein, whose six cookbooks should be a staple in the kitchen of any Jewish man or woman who loves to cook, released her latest cookbook in October 2010. “It is easy to go the ‘pizza or takeout’ route but that can be unhealthy, uninspired and expensive,” she writes in the introduction. “If you can read, you can cook. And once you get into it and learn how flavours meld and how ingredients behave, you will develop your own personal style.”
I’m a good decade from the 20-something crowd but found many a kid- and adultpleasing recipe in Fishbein’s latest release. All the recipes are accompanied by Susie’s standard bright, tantalising pictures on the opposite page, with introductory paragraphs about the particular dish and where it came from and words of caution where necessary. The recipes are easily prepared in a half-hour and the ingredient list is seldom longer than eight-to-10 items.
In her prologue to the Salmon Caesar salad, for example, she rationalizes her use of anchovies in the dressing. “Anchovies may not sound very teen-friendly but they are the secret ingredient in all the best Caesar salad dressings,” Fishbein writes. “They may be yucky to look at but they add body and deep rich flavour to the dressing.”
Kosher By Design for Teens & 20-Somethings contains the kinds of food that appeals to both kids and adults, such as fish tacos, French toast, falafel burgers and pita pizzas. The recipes are written in a language and with an ingredient list that’s easily comprehensible and communicates Fishbein’s friendly, upbeat personality. But the recipes also seek to expand the horizons of budding chefs, with dishes that are at once easy, delicious and innovative. Recipes include za’atar cauliflower, mushroom ziti, apricot sesame roast and onion-crusted chicken.
Page through her book and you can’t help but start planning your next meal with KBD by your side. By comparison, take-out pizza certainly loses its appeal.