Overtimecook.com’s Miriam Pascal recently sent me a copy of her new book “Real Life Kosher Cooking”. It’s a lovely book that has real life recipes, which I take to mean if you open the book and try to make something for dinner, you will most likely have all the ingredients in your pantry. I have reviewed many other cookbooks in the past with the cautious warning – make sure you read the recipes because there is sure to be new ingredients that you have to have before you attempt any of the recipes. Not here. The recipes are real life recipes.
The tips that Miriam gives in the front of the book are also tips for the everyday cook. For example, Miriam explains why you might want to use a non disposable cookie sheet for baking and roasting. And the explanation makes a lot of sense. I like that in a cookbook – straight forward useful information and recipes.
I was fortunate to receive the press kit for “Real Life Kosher Cooking” before I received the book, and there were a few recipes in the kit. Asian Glazed Corned Beef and Tomato Roasted PotatoWedges. In the corned beef recipe Miriam suggests something that I thought was extremely unusual, you cook the corned beef in the plastic sealed bag it came in – in the brining liquid, immersed in a pan of water in the oven. What???!!! When I make corned beef I usually boil it for 3 hours, changing the water after 30 minutes to remove a significant amount of the salt. I once made a rookie mistake of trying to roast a corned beef. It tasted like the Dead Sea and was deemed inedible. Yes, food writers are mortals that make culinary errors.
Back to the corned beef recipe. I was glad to see Miriam this year at Kosherfest and I asked her about the recipe (including the my Dead Sea Story). She said that the butcher had recommended this method and that while it might be a little saltier using the boil in bag method, it’s still really good with the sauce. So…we tried it. And while it was saltier (a little saltier that we normally prefer) it was very good. We ended up cutting the leftovers from Friday night into a salad on Shabbat. Now that was really good! The saltiness from the beef was great as part of a salad.
Dear Daughter, being a helpful person, made the Tomato Roasted Potato Wedges. It was a nice change of pace for our family – we don’t usually make potatoes that way. They looked a little different than the photo, but they were still very delicious.
Bottom line: I really liked “Real Life Kosher Cooking” and would highly recommend it. I think there are a lot of recipes that you would be very happy making for your family, without a lot of complicated instructions or ingredients. Additionally, Miriam Pascal is an extremely accomplished photographer and the photos of the recipes are simply beautiful.
Here is an Amazon Affiliate link to “Real Life Kosher Cooking” as well as the two recipes we tried. They are both perfect for your families Chanukah Feasts. Click on the photo to go to Amazon & order.
- 1 (3-4 pound) pickled brisket, preferably second cut
- 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced, OR 2 cubes frozen ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place meat in its bag of pickling liquid into a 9x13-inch (or larger if needed) pan. Add water to the pan until the meat is covered. Cover pan tightly with foil; bake for 3 hours, until meat is tender. Drain water from the pan and set meat aside until cool enough to handle.
- Add glaze ingredients to a small bowl; whisk to combine.
- Remove meat from bag; drain all liquid. Return to pan; pour half the glaze over meat. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; pour remaining glaze over meat. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- To serve, slice meat and spoon glaze/sauce over it.
- This method of baking the corned beef in its liquid was taught to me by Mr. David Asovski, a master butcher and meat expert, as a way of preserving the pckled flavor of the meat. If you prefer a less pickled flavor, remove meat from the pickling liquid; place meat into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook for about three hours, until tender, then continue with step 3.