It is a privilege and an honour to have the opportunity to review Susie Fishbein's latest book, "Cooking Coach". Susie has managed to change the face of Jewish cooking with her series "Kosher by Design". She has raised the bar for all of us cookbook authors out there, whether we like it or not :).
Susie’s latest book, “Cooking Coach", brings readers into her own kitchen, drawing them into a comfortable place, where daunting cooking terms such as "soft peaks, pin boning, and oven poaching" are now easily accessible to the average home cook. I particularly enjoyed the section that clearly identifies the kosher cuts of meat available to us, as that has always been a bit of an enigma to me. I know, just from hearing feedback from colleagues, neighbors and friends, that they will be using the meat guide often too.
The pictures displayed in the book are, as we have come to expect, quite beautiful, and I, like so many others, shop with my eyes. The pictures that spoke to me, those ones that said "eat me", were the Raspberry Lemon Bars, Hot and Crispy Chicken with Mango Slaw, Lemony Grouper, Caramel Apple Cake, and Sicilian Chicken.
I don't actually cook from cookbooks, but I usually get ideas and inspiration from them. Susie takes us all over the world with her recipes as well. Recipes such as Spicy Fish Hot Pot, Latin Chicken, Vietnamese Burgers with Peanut Sauce, and Tandoori Salmon, are just a small sampling of recipes that inspire new tastes and adventurous flavour.
I wish Susie the best of luck, and to keep doing good work! Below we have compiled a list of reviews from those who Artscroll sent out copies of this exciting new cookbook! Read on!
(p.s. Heres two great recipes Artscroll sent our way- Raspberry Lemon Bars and Hot and Crispy Chicken with Mango Slaw, and don't forget to try the Almond Thumbprint Cookies that The Baker's Daughter made!)
(p.p.s. to purchase the book click here: Kosher By Design Cooking Coach: Recipes, tips and techniques to make anyone a better cook)
Paula Shoyer of paulaspastry.com says:
"Tonight I cooked the Lemon-Garlic Spatchcocked Chicken from Kosher by Design Cooking Coach. At the beginning of the Poultry chapter, Susie explains how to "spatchcock" a chicken by removing the backbone. The result is a faster cooking time that at the same time preserves the moistness of a whole roasted chicken. Susie's recipe has a great spice, garlic and lemon mixture to rub all over the chicken and also under the skin, a method I started following when I did the recipe testing for Susie's Entertaining Book. I did not have onion powder so I just added more garlic powder. This chicken was extremely easy and fast to prepare and was perfectly cooked in one hour. I strained the pan juices and had a delicious sauce for the chicken and rice I served alongside. My family loved the flavors of the chicken and I believe this recipe will end up in our regular rotation. "
The Baker’s Daughter, our beloved Cookie of the Week author, says:
"Chanukah came early this year!
Lately, I find that new cookbooks are released every year around Chanukah time. As an avid cookbook collector, I will usually treat myself to a gift. So, when Estee Kafra called to let me know Artscroll was sending me a free copy of Susie Fishbein’s latest treasure, I was elated.
The first thing I do with a new cookbook is read it cover to cover like a novel. And I must say, this made for a great read.
Some of the features I absolutely love are:
-An extremely extensive equipment list: How often have you stood in front of the kitchen gadgets section trying to figure out which thermometer would work for candy apples and which one for your meat? Do you know what kind of knife is the most suitable for the task at hand? What kind of mixer will give me the stiffest egg whites? Susie includes descriptions and pictures of the many accessories she considers essentials.
-Fabulous photographs: I find recipes that come with a picture will always grab me first. In this cookbook, every recipe has a beautiful, drool-worthy picture accompanying it. But, there are also great pictures demonstrating many cooking instructions – ex. Cuts of meats; how to prep your vegetables; varieties of fish; etc..
-The playbook: Susie offers great ideas for how to make a new dinner from your leftovers. I have a child that is a real foodie and absolutely abhors leftovers. He claims that G-d made food taste special for Shabbat, to let us know that it is not meant for Sundays! I am thrilled to be able to impress him with leftover makeovers.
-A very thorough guide to meat: I find it frustrating when I see a great recipe but can’t seem to find the cut of meat required at any of my local butchers. Meats seem to be labeled differently in every country. This section helped me to learn the various names for the same cut of meat, and I can now feel more confident finding a suitable substitution without driving my butcher insane.
The one downside for me is that Susie’s palate is extremely exciting and diverse. She uses a huge array of flavorings that my family is not especially fond of (or brave enough to taste). While many of the recipes will be just for looking at, there are definitely enough that I can use to make this book an extremely worthwhile buy.
I decided to try out some recipes on my family and received rave reviews. I tried the tuna quiche, which was lovely. I have actually never used spaghetti squash and had always wanted to – so I made the mushroom arabbiata over spaghetti squash – it was great, just a tad too hot, so I’ll cut back on the pepper flakes next time around. Potatoes are usually something I can’t go wrong with, so I made the ranch roasted potatoes and that was a hit as well. With our weekly pizza dinner, I often serve French fries, but switched it up for the panko crusted green beans. The kids absolutely loved them with the dipping sauce, and I am so happy to have a healthier alternative. This will definitely be a weekly staple.
Try the Almond Thumbprint Cookies I made!
Thanks Estee, Artscroll and Susie for this great gift!"