Kosher by Design Brings it Home is Susie Fishbein’s ninth and final installment in her bestselling series, Kosher by Design. The 115 recipes featured in this latest cookbook were inspired by her travels in Italy, France, Israel, Mexico, and favorite places in America. Every recipe has a gorgeous accompanying photo, and there are snapshots with captions from her travels decorating the double-page spreads separating the chapters.
Kosher by Design Brings it Home is organized with these sections:
- Side Dishes
In the brief introduction, Fishbein writes, “Moving out of the comfort zone of my New Jersey kitchen has been monumentally influential on my recipe writing. From the wonderful people I have met, to the generous chefs I have worked with, to the exciting new ingredients that stow away in my luggage, I have gained wisdom from the adventures and I am much richer for the experiences.”
This isn’t an ordinary Kosher cookbook. It is a collection of sophisticated recipes that are fairly easy to create with ingredients most cooks can readily find.
Although the title for the soup on page 56 sounds exotic and therefore perhaps complicated, she writes about Shoyu Tamago Ramen Soup, “Once the noodles come out of the packaging, true Asian Ramen has almost no relationship to the ‘poor college kid on a budget’ ramen or the junk that camp kids seem to crave. It is a hot, trendy food at the moment. This is a fantastic all-in-one bowl meal for a weeknight. These gorgeous soy sauce eggs are often found in Japanese bento boxes as a snack or as part of lunch. I think they’re best as a soft, runny addition to steaming ramen noodle soup, as in this recipe, but make extras for a salty snack all by themselves; they stay fresh for a week in the fridge.”
The Cheesy Grits Casserole on page 164 was popular at my table with family members who had not been regular partakers of grits. It’s hearty, rich, and creamy, and the leftovers were great the next day.
Of the Melting Chocolate Meringues on page 240 Fishbein writes, “This flourless cookie has no added fat from margarine, butter, or oil – it is sure to delight! But that is, of course, because it comes from one of my personal favorite authors and is adapted with permission from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy. Nobody knows chocolate desserts better than Alice, and it is a treat to include one of her recipes here.”
I struggled a bit with this recipe as it calls for beating two egg whites until stiff. None of my mixers are small enough to do that. I even tried using an immersion blender in a mixing cup, and I tried a powerful blender as well. Both were unsuccessful. Before I wasted more egg whites, I just doubled the recipe so that I had more volume to work with. No problem. The outcome was, indeed, delicious.
Who should have this cookbook in their kitchen? Jewish families who want extraordinary Kosher recipes, people who enjoy eating flavors from the Middle East, cooks who wish to elevate their food preparation to a new level, and foodies who want to be inspired by first class food photography. As the subtitle of the book correctly states, these dishes are indeed “picture perfect”. Kosher by Design Brings it Home belongs in the kitchen of any serious cook, and it soon will become dog-eared, tattered, and splattered.—by Lisa George, RFT Cookbook Editor, Latigo Ranch Kremmling, Colorado; photo by Hannah George, Latigo Ranch