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.