LYNX AND BETSIE USERS CLICK HERE
Donate Food FREE
MIMI'S FOOD LINKS
Reviewed by Ruth Heiges
The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand
to New York
For the fun of it, though, I decided to see what Claudia Roden offers
for Hanukah recipes in The Book of Jewish Food. Along with
latkes, she also gives recipes for poultry, pastries, desserts,
and sweet *couscous*. It is
Between this book, Joan Nathan's Jewish Cooking in America, and Gil Marks's World of Jewish Cooking, it's hard to imagine there's much left to be covered from the standpoint of the history of Jewish cuisine. The research reflected in Roden's book is prodigious, but written in a light and friendly manner. I would also note that these three books complement each other. Between the Roden and Marks books, I wouldn't be able to recommend one *over* the other.
The Book of Jewish Food includes over 800 recipes, separated between Ashkenazic and Sephardic. To my pleasant surprise, some are decidedly simple in both concept and preparation.
Along with covering both styles of cuisine, non-Americans will be
happy to find the book has a real world orientation. Roden
was born in Egypt into the Sephardic tradition, married an Ashkenazic
Jew, and spent much or most of her adult life in London. There,
the two traditions came together in many ways, with the underpinning
of British-Jewish cuisine having come from Spain and Portugal and
then having been broadened by the influx of
As soon as I saw the recipe for chopped, fried-fish balls and her explanation that this form is known only in England, having been brought there by Jew from Portugal, I knew this book would be the perfect birthday gift for one of my dearest friends, who comes from England. When I went to purchase it, though, I found that the edition now being sold in Israel is the British one, published in 1997. Though it is a beautiful volume, its layout and design are different from the American edition. Luckily, another friend was in the US, so I was able to contact her and ask her to bring a copy back when she returned.
Borders is still selling it at the $35 list price, but some catalogues, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble have it for about 30% less (about $25, plus shipping). In Israel, Steimatzky's has the British edition for $45. I recommend Israelis order from one of the online services and be patient about having it sent by surface mail, both for the sake of having the American edition and to save about $15. (Roden's Israeli publisher is Ruth Sirkis, so, perhaps it will be coming out in Hebrew, too.)
Here is one of her Hanukah recipes.
This Tuscan way of cooking small pieces of chicken has become a Hanukah
specialty in Italy. The frying oil commemorates the oil that burned
for 7 days when there was only enough for one day. It is sometimes
part of a
8 small pieces of chicken cut from the breast or leg
Marinate the chicken pieces for 1 hour in the lemon juice, a little salt, and pepper. Just before you are ready to eat, roll them all in flour, then in beaten egg (prepare a soup plate of each, and the chicken pieces can all be in at the same time). Heat the oil in a heavy pot and deep-fry the chicken till golden. If the oil is too hot, the batter will burn before the chicken is done.
If you want to make a large quantity, you may reheat in the oven.
I think this recipe illustrates a few things about this book: the research, the fact that Roden has obviously tested the recipes herself, and the international approach (all recipes are written with both English and metric measurements). Cumulatively, it is a wonderful book to read and a rich addition to one's cookbook collection.
All data, logos, text contained on any portion of Mimi's Cyber Kitchen copyright 1995 through 2001 Mimi Hiller, JB Hiller, Jennifer Hiller. No portions of this website may be used without express written permission of the authors.