Jeff and Jodie Morgan are co-owners of Covenant Winery, a kosher winery in California, and are thus the perfect couple to teach us how to select the right wine for any occasion. In fact every recipe in this appealing, beautifully illustrated cookbook comes with suggested wine pairings.
The book’s dedication hints at the international flavors of the dishes presented: “to our extended Jewish family around the globe- from Israel, London, Paris, Toronto and New York to Chicago, Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Francisco, and the California wine country….” The story of the authors’ transition to producing kosher wine makes for fascinating reading, as do sections on Jews, Wine and History and discussions of what is involved in producing kosher wines. There are ample discussions of wine varietals, sparkling wines, dessert wines, glassware, cellaring wine, decanting, and more.
The cookbook features appetizers, salads and soups, eggs, rice, latkes and pasta, fish, meat and poultry, desserts, basics, and holiday menus. Among the many delightful recipes are: Fava Bean Puree with Truffle Oil on Parmesan Crostini; Summertime Tomato Salad with Tahini Dressing; Salmon Chowder; Eggplant , Tomato, and Ricotta Rigatoni; Gefilte Quenelles with Braised Leeks and Lemon Zest; Couscous with Chicken and Lamb Sausage; Flanken Pot au Feu; Mocha Cheesecake.
The recipe for Rustic Challah is a water challah that uses no egg wash — actually no eggs at all. Jodie explains that it “tastes more like a crusty French country bread or Italian ciabatta.” This challah dough is not punched down, because like a good French bread, it should retain air pockets. The starting oven is at 500 degrees for a bit before the heat is lowered. Scrumptious!
The book has an index and is a fun, uplifting read.