April 26, 2012
A Revolutionary New Cookbook Offers Innovative Techniques for Creating a Limitless Kosher Recipe Repertoire
by: Geila Hocherman and Arthur Boehm
“Kosher is a set of rules, not a cuisine, and, as Geila Hocherman amply proves, you can be kosher and cook Chinese, French, Italian, Indian, New American—any cuisine in the world. With Geila’s ‘tool box’ and system, and with so many exotic ingredients getting kosher certification, there’s no excuse for kosher cooks not to turn out interesting, even sophisticated, and, of course, very delicious meals every day and every holiday.”
—Arthur Schwartz, author of Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking
Geila Hocherman is a kosher cook with a mission—to make kosher cooking indistinguishable from any other kind. Don’t get her wrong. She loves good, traditional kosher cooking, but is also determined to make kosher fare indistinguishable from any other kind.
“Because I fell off the kosher wagon for a time,” says Hocherman, “I know what trafe tastes like, and some of it is very, very good. So I can help anyone create the best, most diversely flavorful kosher cooking.”
Playing by the kosher kitchen rules—using kosher-certified ingredients only and observing prescribed dietary rules—she and co-author Arthur Boehm set out to show kosher home cooks how to make modern, blow-them-out-of the-water kosher dishes—exciting, contemporary food, from wine-braised short ribs to beef and chicken satays with peanut sauce and more—in their new cookbook, Kosher Revolution: New Techniques and Great Recipes for Unlimited Kosher Cooking (Kyle Books; October 2011; Hardcover: $29.95).
To gain this cooking flexibility, Hocherman, a former prep cook for the Food Network and acclaimed kosher caterer, with the help of renowned food writer Arthur Boehm, tells readers how to create a “kosher revolution” pantry, one that takes advantage of today’s expanded, multi-ethnic, kosher ingredient availability. Once the shelves and refrigerator are stocked, Hocherman offers an expanded culinary tool box that will show readers how any non-kosher dish or recipe can be converted to a kosher one with nothing lost in translation.
Hocherman teaches kosher cooks to recognize appropriate, best-tasting substitutes to make kosher dishes of any kind without compromise. To do this she offers unique instruction in the book’s opening chapter, Getting Started, in her Convert It tutorials, and by providing a singular chart that offers ingredient-exchange options at a glance. She also provides invaluable shopping sources, and 10 chapters of easy and exciting kosher recipes from around the world organized by course or food category—many of which can be modified to fit into a variety of menus for any occasion.
From breakfast and brunch specialties and meatless main courses to challahs, stocks, and mayonnaises, most of the recipes begin with Geila’s Tips, and/or Convert It advice—Geila’s brilliant substitution method showing how a single recipe can be altered to become meat, dairy, or pareve, the dish categories dictated by kosher practice.
For example, the pareve Lentil Soup with “Ham,” which uses smoked turkey to give it just-like-ham flavor, can also be made dairy by swapping the chicken broth for vegetable broth, replacing olive oil with butter, and adding a Parmesan rind to provide flavor depth. Bourride with Aioli, a creamy, garlicky French fish stew, becomes a kosher version of Bouillabaisse. The recipe for Duck Prosciutto, an ingenious kosher “reinvention” of traditional prosciutto, has all the flavor and texture of the original. Surimi Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Mayonnaise; Asian Slaw with Chicken; Cold Sesame Noodles with Broccoli and Tofu (made possible since chili oil and rice vinegar are now part of the kosher pantry); and Ratatouille Hash are all modern kosher masterpieces. Geila also includes a few classics like her Bubbie’s Brisket and updates others, as in her Hamentashen with Four Fillings—one being a decadent Nutella with Coconut.
While Kosher Revolution has only 95 recipes this classic-in-the-making gives kosher cooks the kitchen confidence and tools to re-imagine any recipe there is. Once they see non-kosher recipes the same way Hocherman does—as occasions for instant translations—they’ll be able to cook kosher anything.
About the Authors:
Geila Hocherman attended La Varenne and has received certificates from Paris’s Cordon Bleu and Manhattan’s Peter Kump’s Cooking School, now the Institute of Culinary Education. She was gourmet food buyer for Bloomingdales, worked as a private kosher caterer, and was a prep-cook at the Food Network. Visit her online at www.kosherrevolution.com.
Arthur Boehm has co-authored cookbooks including The Modern Seafood Cook, with Edward Brown, The Empire Chicken Kosher Cookbook, with Katja Goldman, and, with Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger, Simply Ming, and Simply Ming: One-Pot Meals. He contributed to the All-New Joy of Cooking and edited the American edition of Nigella Lawson’s How to Eat. He was a contributing food editor at AARP The Magazine. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Gentlemen’s Quarterly, among others.
Kosher Revolution: New Techniques and Great Recipes for Unlimited Kosher Cooking
Geila Hocherman and Arthur Boehm
Foreword by Arthur Schwartz
Photography by Antonis Achilleous
Kyle Books; October 2011; 978-1-9068685-36; 208 Pages; Full-Color Photographs Throughout; $29.95