Kosher Taste by Amy Stopnicki is a feast for your eyes as well as your palate. After my first read-through of the cookbook, I had 32 sticky notes marking recipes I wanted to try. To me, that’s a sign of an exciting cookbook. Stopnicki writes, “My focus for this book has been easy-to-make recipes that you will be proud to serve. I have given you tips and ideas of how to keep things organized, prepare in advance, and on the days that you feel like it, present your food in a beautiful, modern, and minimalistic way.”
A chapter on organizing and planning contains suggestions about how to freeze and thaw foods that can be prepared ahead. She also offers three weeks of menus with page numbers by the chosen recipes for quick reference.
Not every recipe has a photo, but those that do have a full -page, artistically composed photo that illustrates the beauty of the dish. Each recipe has its own page, which means the print is large enough to easily read the fractions. That gets a big thumbs-up from me! An added plus: the page numbers are large enough to see at a distance.
I made the Quinoa Salad on page 47 for a family dinner. It’s a rather unassuming side dish that creates raised eyebrows with the first bite. None of the ingredients stand out on their own, but the mixture of balsamic vinegar with the candied nuts creates an immediate impression. My mother asked for the recipe, my son asked for seconds, and my quinoa loving daughter thought it was fabulous. Big win!
The Balsamic Roast Chicken on Page 148 is easy to prepare and comes to the table with fabulous flavors. The Kale Salad on Page 43 is also exciting for the taste buds. I mentally committed to prepare this recipe because I knew I had a bag of kale in the fridge. Unfortunately, it was slimy. I subbed romaine and spinach; it was delicious.
In addition to sections on planning ahead and creating a week’s menu, the 160 recipes and 100 photos are divided into the following chapters:
Soups and Salads
Fish and Dairy
Odds and Ends
Pesach [Passover] Index
On the back cover, the publisher writes, “Whether feeding a family on a busy weeknight, or preparing a more formal Shabbos dinner for 20, Amy is a woman with a plan. In Kosher Taste, she shares that plan with you.” I couldn’t agree more.
This cookbook ought to have a place in every Kosher kitchen, but it doesn’t need to be limited to Jewish homes. Any cook, wishing to prepare beautiful and healthy dishes for his or her family would have a hay-day with the sticky notes just as I did. — by Lisa George, RFT Cookbook Editor, Latigo Ranch, Kremmling Colorado; Photos by Hannah George