Mil­len­ni­al Kosher: Recipes Rein­vent­ed for the Mod­ern Palate

  • Review
By – June 3, 2019

In Mil­len­ni­al Kosher, Chanie Apfel­baum com­bines kosher cook­ing with a con­tem­po­rary lifestyle, show­ing what hap­pens when food prepa­ra­tion meets art. Cul­ti­vat­ing her skills in food styling led Apfel­baum on a artis­tic culi­nary jour­ney. Even though she used to dis­like cook­ing, Apfel­baum learned to enjoy it — and even began to pub­lish a pop­u­lar food blog, Busy in Brook­lyn. Now, she offers us Mil­lenial Kosher, a cook­book that com­bines her back­ground in food pho­tog­ra­phy and recipe devel­op­ment with her inter­est in rein­ter­pret­ing tra­di­tion­al Jew­ish cuisine.

Like those fea­tured in some of the oth­er pub­li­ca­tions and out­lets for which Apfel­baum has writ­ten (Mish­pacha, kosher​.com, The Wall Street Jour­nal, Huff­Post, News12 Brook­lyn, The Mered­ith Vieira Show, and Thril­list), the recipes in this book reflect au courant trends yet draw on tra­di­tion­al sources. Apfel­baum bases her work on a num­ber of dif­fer­ent culi­nary her­itages in the cre­ation of her dish­es. Some recipes, such as Pecan Pie Bites or World’s Best Corn Muffins, serve as a nod to Amer­i­can tra­di­tions. Oth­ers, such as Lach­mag­ine Flat­breads or Shwar­ma Fish Laf­fos, are inspired by Mid­dle East­ern ones. Still oth­er recipes adap­t East­ern Euro­pean dish­es, like Bakla­va Blintz Bun­dles or Chick­en Liv­er Hum­mus — and make them new again. Apfel­baum even includes a few Asian- and Mex­i­­can-inspired recipes.

While Mil­len­ni­al Kosher does include a few her­itage dish­es, such as​“Bubby’s Cab­bage Soup with Flanken” and​“Per­fect Pota­to Latkes,” Chanie Apfel­baum mod­i­fies or updates the major­i­ty of the recipes in the book in some way. Instead of mak­ing her Syr­i­an mother-in-law’s mechshie (zuc­chi­ni stuffed with toma­toes and hashu), Apfel­baum makes Lazy Mechshie Meat­balls. Instead of bab­ka, Apfel­baum makes Bab­ka Straws with puff pastry.

Some of the recipes in Mil­lenial Kosher require spe­cial equip­ment or less com­mon ingre­di­ents. The​“Peanut But­ter Banana Nice Cream,” for instance, requires a food proces­sor with an S blade or a pow­er­ful blender, and the​“Choco­late Olive Oil Crin­kle Gelt Cook­ies” calls for Wilton gold col­or mist food spray. Even so, with the online resources of today, mate­ri­als like these should prove eas­i­ly obtainable.

If you like to try new foods and get cre­ative with your cook­ing, Mil­len­ni­al Kosher is the book for you. The clear instruc­tions and the acces­si­bil­i­ty of the recipes only com­pli­ment the col­or and com­po­si­tion of the pho­tographs. The recipes them­selves taste good, and may well inspire chefs to devel­op their own iterations.

Rachael Rose serves as a review­er for the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil. She also works as a lan­guage Instruc­tor at the Berlitz Lan­guage Cen­ter in Oden­ton, teach­ing Hebrew. On the side, she also tutors ele­men­tary school math and science.

Discussion Questions