When people hear the term “kosher” applied to food, jars of gefilte fish and mounds of chopped liver may line up in their mind’s eye. But Kosher fare has come a long way from grandma’s kitchen table and the corner deli, proven by hip new restaurants like Jezebel, and Kutsher’s Tribeca popping up all over Manhattan, and a plethora of gourmet kosher ingredients that have come on the market in recent years.
In her latest project, popular cookbook author Helen Nash upholds that kosher cuisine can be elegant, soulful, and stylish. Her expertise in the kitchen and training with world-renowned chefs Marcella Hazan, Michael Field, Millie Chan, and Lydie Marshall, have inspired an arsenal of imaginative recipes both modern and traditional, healthy and unique (think black cod with miso / gefilte fish with challah, sake-steamed chicken / roast turkery, shredded sweet potatoes with cumin and scallions / grated potato pancakes and Ricotta flan with raspberry sauce / Hamentashen).
In celebration of the launch HELEN NASH’S NEW KOSHER CUISINE and the Jewish New Year (Shanah Tovah!) we’ve taken Helen’s sage cooking wisdom and whipped up a modern take on baked fish as well as one of her traditional favorites for Rosh Hashanah, an “heirloom honey cake.” Although she promises the cake will stay fresh for many days if refrigerated, we think you’ll be lucky if it lasts many minutes out of the oven (once the finished platter was left in Overlook’s kitchen, the tea and honey-infused slices barely lasted until lunchtime).
Courtesy of Helen Nash, we are happy to share the recipes (and prep photos!) of her divine Snapper with Coconut milk (pg. 179) and Honey Cake (pg. 334). You can see more recipes from Nash on Cookstr.com where she is the feautured author of the day. What recipe would you like to take your hand at? Leave your selection in the comments section below before 6 pm tomorrow for a chance to win your very own copy of the hottest new kosher cookbook! Enjoy!
Red Snapper with Coconut Milk
· Makes 4 servings
4 skinless snapper fillets*
Freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp curry powder
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
Creamy coconut rice, for serving (optional)
3 Plum tomatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¾ c coconut milk
Freshly ground black pepper
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Pat the fillets dry with paper towels and lightly season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the fish in a large zip-top plastic bag. In a small bowl, combine the curry powder and lime juice. Pour over the fish. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Before cooking bring the fish back to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
TO MAKE THE SAUCE: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop in tomatoes, return the water to a boil, and drain. Core the tomatoes and slip off the skin. Cut tomatoes in half width-wise and squeeze gently to remove the seeds. Dice the tomatoes.
Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté over low heat until soft. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper and bring it to a boil. Pur it into a nonreactive baking pan large enough to hold the fillets in one layer. Spread the sauce, and place the fish on top, of the sauce with skinned side up. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the inside of the fish has just turned opaque (the fish will continue cooking whe it is removed from the heat).
*I forgot to ask the fishmonger to skin the fish, so I left it on to cook it. Once cooked, the flesh pulled away easily from the skin.
2 tbsp unsalted margarine, for greasing pans
2 1/3 c sifted unbleached all purpose flour, plus 2 tbsp for dusting pans
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Scant 2/3 cup surgar
1 c strong brewed tea (made with 3 tea bags), cooled
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 c honey
½ medium-rip banana. thoroughly mashed
Grated zest of 1 navel orange
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with the margarine and dust with flour. Invert the pans and tap to shake off excess flour.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a measuring cup.
Beat the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed, and gradually add the sugar until pale and ribbons start to form, about 10 minutes. Lower the speed and add the tea, oil, honey, banana, orange rind, cinnamon, and cloves. Combine thoroughly.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture a little at a time, combining well after each addition; there should be no traces of flour visible.
Divide the batter evenly between the 2 loaf pans. Place side by side (without touching) in the center of the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for another 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out dry. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack, then loosen the sides of the cake with a knife and unmold.
If you’d like to freeze the cakes, wrap each first in wax paper, then foil, and place in a freezer bag.