The Bais Yaakov Cookbook

Bat­she­va Wein­stein, ed.
  • Review
By – April 25, 2012

The book’s cov­er says it all: 200 orig­i­nal recipes to uplift and enhance your Shab­bos, Yom Tov, and Every­day Table. Much effort and research went into cre­at­ing this mas­ter­ful work. Every Bais Yaakov ori­ent­ed school in the Unit­ed States was con­tact­ed dur­ing its com­pi­la­tion, as well as alum­ni from all over the world, who respond­ed to ads placed in the media. All pro­ceeds from the book will be donat­ed to char­i­ty, in the true spir­it of Bais Yaakov. Kol hakavod, with great respect and kudos to Bais Yaakov, a move­ment that has had an impor­tant role in the edu­ca­tion of reli­gious Jew­ish women worldwide.

This ele­gant­ly assem­bled pub­li­ca­tion is an ide­al source for both the novice and the well sea­soned” cook. It includes a pic­to­r­i­al his­to­ry of Bais Yaakov; a per­son­al brocha and Chal­lah recipe from the great Reb­bet­zin Bat­she­va Kanievsky a’h; Halachic Guide­lines, with almost thir­ty pages of impor­tant point­ers for the Kosher House­hold; Culi­nary Tips; All about Wine, with rec­om­men­da­tions for what to serve with what; Get­ting to Know Your Meat, with a pre­cise meat and poul­try guide; Spices and Herbs; Shop­ping for Fruits and Veg­eta­bles (good to know that an avo­ca­do does not freeze well whole, but that it can be mashed with lemon juice and then frozen, and that blue­ber­ries should not be washed until ready to eat). You will, on numer­ous occa­sions, turn to the sec­tions on Cook­ware, Kitchen Gad­gets, and the Art of the Table (we now know that set­tings should be one inch away from the edge of the table.”)

The clear, entic­ing pho­tographs pro­vide serv­ing inspi­ra­tions. A few high­lights are Grilled Beef Rolls with Scal­lion Dip­ping Sauce, Roast­ed Gar­lic Zuc­chi­ni Soup, Rain­bow Trout with Mus­tard Sauce and Roast­ed Pota­toes, Cheese Tartlets, Orzo and Spinach Stuffed Toma­toes, Onion Rolls, and a most taste­ful Boston Cream Pie. The pho­tographs them­selves look edi­ble. Dis­play this book, study it, learn from it, and pre­pare the delec­table dish­es in good health!

Recipe: Ahi with Man­go Puree and Guacamole

Ahi is a good sub­sti­tute when try­ing to cut back on red meat. Nochum from Fair­fax Fish­ery in LA was kind enough to share this recipe, which com­bines a per­fect blend of fla­vors, rais­ing your typ­i­cal grilled tuna to a new level.

Serves 4 

2 man­goes, peeled and diced
1 avo­ca­do
2 table­spoons lemon juice or
juice from 1 medi­um lemon
2 table­spoons chopped red onion
2 table­spoons chopped Roma toma­toes
Kosher salt
4 (5 ounce) Ahi steaks, also known as Yel­low Fin Tuna
Ground black pep­per
Gar­lic pow­der
1 table­spoon veg­etable or canola oil

Place man­goes into a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.

To make gua­camole, halve and pit avo­ca­do. Remove avo­ca­do from skin and place in a small bowl; mash to form a coarse paste. Stir in lemon juice, onion, toma­toes and kosher salt to taste. Cov­er, with plas­tic wrap touch­ing the gua­camole. Set aside.

Rinse Ahi steaks and pat dry. Sea­son with salt, ground black pep­per and gar­lic pow­der. Heat 1 table­spoon oil in large skil­let over high heat. Add Ahi to skil­let and sear 3 min­utes on each side for medi­um-rare. Remove from skil­let and place onto a plate.Drizzle with reserved man­go sauce and serve with fresh gua­camole on the side.

From The Bais Yaakov Cook­book edit­ed by Bat­she­va Wein­stein (Feld­heim; 2011)
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