For the kosher cook looking for fresh, contemporary recipes, The Kosher Carnivore presents a host of appealing meat and poultry dishes for both family and company meals. Recognizing that kashrut dictates certain limitations on cuts of meat and on flavor combinations, June Hersh, an accomplished cook and former teacher, consulted with several leading professionals, including eco-kosher experts, to suggest the cuts of meats and techniques that will maximize the flavor of any given dish.
Dishes range from Argentinean-flavored Grilled Steak Chimichurri, accompanied by a bracing sangria, to Pesto-crusted Roasted Lamb Shoulder, to Classic Pot Roast. Poultry dishes include Chicken and Sausage Gumbo and Breast of Duck Salad as well as Chicken in Lettuce Cups, a Chinese-inspired fifteen-minute meal. In addition to beef, lamb, veal, chicken, and turkey, Hersh suggests trying bison and venison, especially if lean meat is a consideration; she also has a good selection of hearty soups.
Throughout, Hersh’s tone is friendly and supportive, and in keeping with this, she has added several helpful asides to enhance preparation and presentation. Behind the Counter provides information the cook needs when buying the meat cuts used in the recipes; Side Dish is cross-referenced to a well-chosen group of accompaniments to round out any meal; Feedback provides tips and variations. Introductory chapters give brief but excellent instructions on meat preparations and equipment and on building flavor. All in all, The Kosher Carnivore is a fine addition to any well-rounded cookbook shelf. Color insert, index.
Recipe: Coffee Crusted Hanger Steak
From The Kosher Carnivore by June Hersh (St. Martin’s Press; 2011)
Why not save time and have your coffee with your dinner rather than after. Freshly ground espresso beans and lots of companion spices combine to give a little jolt to the seared crust of this full-flavored steak.
Side Note: For the complete steakhouse experience, try whipping up a batch of creamed spinach to serve on the side.
Behind the Counter: Have your butcher cut hanger steak, remove the sinewy vein and present two halves, each half makes one perfect serving.
Alternate cuts: rib eye, rib steak (+$) or a “London broil” cut from the shoulder (-$).
About 2 servings
Start to finish Under 30 minutes
1 (1- to — 1 ¼ — pound) hanger steak, halved
2 tablespoons espresso or strong coffee beans, ground
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the grill or a stovetop grill pan. Grind the coffee and spices in a spice or coffee grinder and pour that out onto a large plate. Let the steaks come to room temp, coat them in oil and then roll in the ground coffee and spice mixture. Grill, about 15 minutes for rare — medium/rare turning the steaks to brown all sides. After a 10 minutes’ rest, cut into large slices on the diagonal.
Read June Hersh’s Posts for the Visiting Scribe
Unraveling the Mystery of Jewish Food
A Picture Perfect Day
Settling a Debate in an NYC Cab
Maron L. Waxman, retired editorial director, special projects, at the American Museum of Natural History, was also an editorial director at HarperCollins and Book-of-the-Month Club.