Deep Flavors makes delicious kosher cuisine accessible for home cooks

If you love cooking kosher or simply enjoy trying new foods and creating memorable meals in your home kitchen, Deep Flavors: A Celebration of Recipes for Foodies in a Kosher Style from Kenneth M. Horwitz offers an abundance of tempting dishes designed for cooks, whether Kosher or non-Kosher, with helpful tips for proper preparation.

“Cooking is worth some effort and attention to detail,” Horwitz writes. “The positive reactions from family or guests, as well as your own enjoyment, will make it worthwhile.”

“Effort” and “attention to detail,” however, don’t have to equate with “difficult.” In fact, throughout Deep Flavors, Horwitz shares his wisdom for sourcing ingredients and breaking recipes into simple steps — and how to do some of this prep work well in advance so that delicious meals can be served in spite of hectic schedules.

Between the covers of Deep Flavors, Horwitz offers an eclectic menu that includes traditional Jewish dishes plus other regional and international favourites reinterpreted to observe some or all of the rules for kosher foods. The result is a diverse anthology of recipes that will appeal to broad audiences everywhere — Jewish and otherwise.

Horwitz’s ultimate goal was to create recipes that are easy to read and easily followed by anyone with a basic knowledge of cooking. He provides detailed instructions with enhanced explanations and alternatives, beneficial to both the novice and the more experienced cook.

The CJC asked Horwitz what he would be serving for Rosh Hashana this year. He says, “for these events we tend to tradition, not modern — for Rosh Hashanah it is always chicken soup with matzo balls, brisket with roasted/braised carrots and potato kugel plus a vegetable such as cauliflower roasted with garlic or a mixture of room temperature grilled vegetables (eggplant/zucchini/carrots/etc.) and fresh such as cucumbers/field-grown tomatoes and a lemony aioli or my ‘pink’ salad dressing. Dessert could include a non-milk apple pie (see recipe for milchik version).

Erev Yom Kippur we would make meat kreplach for the chicken soup.  And break-the-fast always includes my salmon gravlax with bagels/cream cheese/sweet onion slices/capers/muenster or American cheese plus a cheese noodle kugel.”

Copyright: Kenneth M. Horwitz 2014

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I have had many apple cakes over my lifetime. This one is absolutely the best, moistest, most apple-flavoured and most redolent of cinnamon anywhere. It is also perhaps one of the tastiest and most appreciated coffee cakes of any type that I have ever eaten. Bobbie got this recipe from a friend many years ago. This rendition may be the only remaining version.

• 4 large (300g or more each) cooking apples (Honeycrisp variety preferably, or other good cooking apples)
• 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
• 7 teaspoons cinnamon, split use
• 2/3 cup unsalted butter
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 2 cups granulated cane sugar, plus sugar for topping
• 2 eggs
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 cups flour all-purpose, unbleached

Preheat the oven to 180C

Peel, core, and chop apples into ¼-inch cubes. Chop the nuts — mix them with about 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, stir them with the apples, and set aside. By adding the cinnamon, you will not see as much browning on the apples.

Cream the butter, salt, and sugar with the food processor and continue until the butter changes color – 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overbeat, because the goal is only to whip air into the butter mixture. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until fluffy, scraping the bowl to ensure even mixing.

In a separate bowl, whisk the baking powder, baking soda, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon into the flour. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 or 4 additions, mixing well. The batter will be thick. Remove from mixer. Pour into a very large mixing bowl. Then add the apples and nuts, and mix using a large spatula until well mixed. The batter will be a very thick mixture, but you want the batter well distributed among the apples and nuts.

Pour into a 13x9x2-inch Pyrex pan that you have lined with aluminum foil and well-oiled or buttered ahead.

The topping is a most important part. Make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar totaling about ½ cup. Make the topping mixture look really dark brown. The ½ cup will contain 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. Sprinkle it liberally and evenly over the top of the raw apple cake.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes. (Depending on your oven, it may need to be cooked longer if it turns out too moist; trial and error testing may be required.) The mixture will still be moist when done, so the toothpick test does not work. Let cool on top of stove, and serve either warm or cold. I like it frozen. It will not matter; even somewhat undercooked, it will be yummy. It will get eaten any way it is served.


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