Wednesday, January 02, 2013

If Your New Year's Resolution is to Learn to Cook, Then Susie Fishbein Has a Design for You!

Asparagus Fries Ready for the Oven
The New Year is traditionally the time to start thinking about resolutions and if your vows for 2013 include learning kitchen basics or tackling some new recipes, Susie Fishbein’s “Kosher by Design Cooking Coach” (Artscroll) can take you from vow to wow.  

Fishbein’s new book, the latest in her Kosher by Design series, is not just for the novice.  The popular cookbook author has designed a book that works for any level by starting each chapter out with a “game plan” that covers the basic knowledge as well as more advanced techniques the home cook will need for appetizers, soup, salad, poultry, meat, fish, desserts and more.  She also includes information on kitchen equipment such as choosing and sharpening knives, stocking a pantry and planning menus.  Fishbein also has a chapter that lists ideas for repurposing leftovers for most recipes.

The cookbook is also not just for kosher or even Jewish cooks.   Fishbein’s recipes reflect America’s wide-ranging palate with dishes including Slow-Roasted Shiitake Asparagus Salad, Kansas City Ribs, Tandoori Salmon, Kale Chips, Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cakes and Thai Sticky Rice and Mangoes.   Jewish-inspired recipes include Vegetable Stuffed Cabbage, Yemenite Beef Soup, Israeli Eggplant Pepper Salad, Lamb Couscous, Shakshouka (a tomato and egg dish), Sweet Spaghetti Squash Kugel, and Chocolate Babka Meltaway.

Thanks to her clear and straight forward directions and the full-color photos of techniques and finished dishes, the recipes I tried were easy to follow and delicious. 

I really enjoyed her Green Bean and Asparagus Fries (although I skipped the dipping sauce in favor of a garlic aioli) as an appetizer or hors d'oevere.  For a main course, try the Pomegranate-Honey Chicken.  Be sure to line the pan with foil for easy clean up.  I would add a little salt and pepper to the recipe, but it was delicious even without it.  Leftovers made a scrumptious casserole with the chicken pulled off the bone and mixed with pomegranate molasses, sauteed onions, garlic and carrots and cooked wild rice mix then baked until heated through.

The recipes for both dishes are below and are from “Kosher by Design Cooking Coach: Recipes, Tips and Techniques to Make Anyone a Better Cook” by Susie Fishbein  (Artscroll Mesorah Publications/October 2012) The recipes have been edited for space.  The recipes are used with permission.  A version of this article appeared in j weekly.

Kosher by Design Cooking Coach’s Pomegranate-Honey Chicken
Serves 8-10

I used the silan (date honey) which added a lot of dimension to the sauce.

12 chicken parts, bone-in, with skin (legs, thighs, breasts) 1/2 cup silan (date syrup) or honey 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 tsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs. margarine
Fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Use foil to line a broiler-safe baking dish that holds the chicken snugly.  Arrange the chicken in a single layer.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a small pot over medium heat, wisk the silan, brown sugar, juice, terikyaki sauce, cornstarch, tomato paste, thyme and garlic. Bring to simmer for a minute or two until thickened.  Whisk in margarine. Reduce heat slightly.  Cook for 1 minute.  Generously brush the mixture on each piece of chicken.  Drizzle additional sauce over the top of each piece.

Bake uncovered 45 minutes until chicken is no longer pink at the bone (dark meat may take longer, if so remove white meat to a platter and cook dark until done).  Brush the chicken with the sauce in the baking pan every 15 minutes while cooking.  After 45 minutes, turn on broiler and broil chicken until skin is brown and crispy; keep a close eye on it.  Transfer to platter, baste again with pan sauce.  Garnish with seeds and more pan sauce.

Kosher by Design Cooking Coach's Green Bean and Asparagus Fries with Dipping Sauce
Serves 8-10

4 large eggs, whisked well
1 3/4 cups panko bread crumbs
1 lb. green beans, stem ends sliced off
1 bunch (20-28 spears) medium-thick asparagus, bottom 2”cut off
Non-stick oil spray
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs. yellow mustard
1 tbs. finely chopped dill or Israeli pickles
2 tsp. pickle juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place eggs in large bowl, bread crumbs in a second.  Dip a small handful of green beans at a time into eggs and then panko, patting to adhere the panko to the vegetables.  Place in a single layer on large baking sheet(s).  Repeat with remaining green beans and asparagus.  Spray non-stick cooking spray over vegetables.  Bake, uncovered, for 12 minutes, until crisp and light golden brown.  In the meantime, prepare dipping sauce by whisking together mayonnaise, mustard, chopped pickle and pickle juice.  Serve fries with dipping sauce.


Cooking Quidnunc said...

omg this looks great!!

FJKramer said...

Thanks, Natalie. Hope you try them.