Kosher Rev­o­lu­tion: New Tech­niques and Great Recipes for Unlim­it­ed Kosher Cooking

Geila Hocher­man and Arthur Boehm
  • Review
By – October 31, 2011

As a well-known TV culi­nary chan­nel embold­ens us with the words, Stay Hun­gry,” I urge you to feast (pun intend­ed) your eyes on the ele­gant but approach­able recipes cou­pled with exquis­ite pho­tographs by Anto­nis Achilleos in Kosher Rev­o­lu­tion. This cook­book will inspire the novice as well as the expe­ri­enced cook to put a delec­table meal togeth­er. The book’s premise is reflect­ed in The Chart: Ingre­di­ent Exchanges at a Glance.” For dairy, pareve, or meat dish­es, the authors list exchanges for Kosher Foods and Non-Kosher Foods, (e.g. Smoked dark meat turkey for ham) as well as for Passover, (e.g. 1 ¼ cups gran­u­lat­ed sug­ar and 1/3 cup water, boiled, for 1 cup corn syrup). 

The detailed source list for ingre­di­ents with their web pages is well thought out. The lus­cious dish­es are high­light­ed by Geila’s tips” fea­tur­ing explic­it instruc­tions and guides for serv­ing. Recipes for Miso Glazed Black Cod, Fried Pea and Parme­san Ravi­o­li, Hamen­tashen with Four Fill­ings, or Ceviche with Avo­ca­do and Tor­tilla Chips draw you in as you leaf through the pages. The clear instruc­tions for mak­ing paneer (an unripened cheese which is a sta­ple of Indi­an cook­ing) is some­thing I had nev­er seen in my col­lec­tion of close to a thou­sand cookbooks.

In the intro­duc­tion, the author indi­cates, Your under­stand­ing of cook­ing anato­my, of the tech­niques that define dish mak­ing, will expand too, so you’ll become a crack impro­vis­er, a cre­ative kitchen force.” Geila Hocher­man fur­ther admits, Because I fell off the kosher wag­on for a while, I know what trafe tastes like, and some of it is very, very good. So I can help you cre­ate the best, most diverse­ly fla­vor­ful kosher cooking.” 

Impor­tant guides such as Your Menu Comes First,” More about Tex­ture,” The Pantry,” and Bak­ing” spur you on. This is a blue-rib­bon vol­ume, with a clear index.

Recipe: Ceviche with Avo­ca­do and Tor­tilla Chips

From Kosher Rev­o­lu­tion by Geila Hocher­man and Arthur Boehm (Kyle Books; 2011)

Serves 6

Here’s a con­fes­sion: I nev­er serve gefilte fish. That favorite has been replaced on my table by this more excit­ing dish, which will do won­ders for your menu as a starter or light main. Tangy with fresh lime, the ceviche also pairs but­tery avo­ca­do and crunchy chips, a ter­rif­ic tex­tur­al play. And most of the dish is made ahead, a big plus when you’ve got oth­er cook­ing to do.

1½ pounds fluke, floun­der or oth­er non-oily, white-fleshed fish, cut into bite-size pieces (about 1‑inch square)
1 medi­um toma­to, skinned, seed­ed and cut into
¼‑inch dice
4 scal­lions, white parts only, sliced thin
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup of man­go, cut into ¼ ‑inch dice (option­al)
2 gar­lic cloves, minced
½ jalapeño, seed­ed and minced
�“ cup fruity, extra-vir­gin olive oil
�“ cup fresh­ly squeezed lime juice
½ tea­spoon kosher salt, or to taste
2 avo­ca­dos, sliced ¼ inch thick
Tor­tilla chips, for serving

1. In a medi­um non­re­ac­tive bowl, com­bine the fish, toma­to, scal­lions, cilantro and man­go, if using.

2. In a sep­a­rate small bowl or large mea­sur­ing cup, com­bine the gar­lic, jalapeño, oil, lime juice and salt, and stir to blend. Pour the mix­ture over the fish and toss gen­tly. Cov­er and refrig­er­ate for at least 3 hours.

3. Using a slot­ted spoon, fill a 4‑ounce ramekin with the ceviche. Tip to drain any excess liq­uid and unmold onto the cen­ter of each serv­ing plate. Alter­na­tive­ly, mound por­tions of the ceviche onto the plates. Fan the avo­ca­do around the ceviche, gar­nish with the chips, and serve.
Geila’s Tips: To dis­man­tle an avo­ca­do for slic­ing, first cut it length­wise and gen­tly twist the halves apart. Embed the pit on the blade-heel of a large knife, twist, and lift to remove the pit. Peel the avo­ca­do, then slice the flesh as required. I’ve found that jalapeños with a brown line or veins on the out­side are hot­ter than those without.

Ceviche Pho­to: © Anto­nis Achilleous

Danièle Gor­lin Lass­ner (wife, moth­er, grand­moth­er) retired after 35 years at Ramaz where she served as Dean of Admis­sions, For­eign Lan­guage Depart­ment chair and teacher of French and Span­ish. She owns hun­dreds of cook­books. She has trans­lat­ed sev­er­al chil­dren’s books from French into Eng­lish. She has recent­ly trans­lat­ed “ A Mem­oir of Sanc­ti­ty “ by May­er Moskowitz (Mazo Pub­lish­ers, Jerusalem, Israel) from Hebrew into Eng­lish. No mat­ter the lan­guage, food is a con­stant.”

Discussion Questions