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California Kosher

May 9, 2009 | by Emuna Braverman

Balabustas throughout the Jewish world - unite!

Do many of your favorite recipes come from that old cookbook on your mother's shelf? Are you frequently searching for that perfect -- brisket, apple cake, chocolate chip cookie, you name it -- and you can't find the recipe? Inevitably it's in a community cookbook whose name you've forgotten but whose dishes are delicious.

The Cooking Corner will occasionally feature tried and true recipes from balabustas throughout the Jewish world whose specialties can be found in different Jewish community cookbooks. We hope you enjoy these recipes as much as all the people who frequently use them.

The following recipes come from the California Kosher Classics compiled by Yeshiva Rav Isacsohn Torath Emeth Academy -- not coincidentally the school my younger children attend. I've made many of these recipes (and even contributed some!) so I can vouch for their quality.

1. Curried Potato Carrot Soup

3-tablespoons margarine
1 large onion, diced
5 cups boiling water
2-tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1-1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cups shredded carrots
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1-teaspoon curry powder
1/2-teaspoon salt
1/4-teaspoon black pepper

In a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion in margarine for 5 minutes. Add water, bouillon and potatoes. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender. Puree. Add carrots, parsley and curry powder. Simmer 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Makes 8 servings.

2. Sweet Brisket with Apples

5-pound beef brisket, first cut
1/2-cup honey
1-1/2- teaspoons cinnamon
1-teaspoon ginger
1-teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups apple juice
1/4 cup raisins
1 small red apple, peeled and diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place brisket in a two inch deep roasting pan and cook uncovered for one hour. Combine honey, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and apple juice, Pour over the roast. Cover pan and cook 2-2/12 more hours or until tender (water may be added pan if necessary). In the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the raisins and apple. Let sit a few minutes before slicing. Serve with the apple raising gravy from pan. Serves 15-20.

3. Chinese Chicken Salad in Spicy Peanut Sauce

4 chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1-tablespoon sesame seeds
8 ounces angel hair pasta
4 tablespoons sesame oil (divided)
1 English cucumber, chopped
6 ounces bean sprouts, drained
6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons chili sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
6 tablespoons warm water
1-tablespoon ginger
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons red wine
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Cook chicken breasts in boiling water for about 30 minutes. Cool and break into small pieces. Roast sesame seeds in frying pan. Mix with chicken. Cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and drain. Stir some of the sesame oil into the noodles. Mix noodles with chicken. Add cucumber and bean sprouts.

Mix together sesame oil, peanut butter, chili sauce, garlic, water, wine, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, red pepper and cilantro. Toss through the salad and chill. Serves 8.

4. Greek Couscous Salad

1-cup quick cooking couscous
2 cups water
1-tablespoon butter
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup minced watercress
5 tablespoons minced green onion
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
green olives
toasted pine nuts

Bring water and butter to a boil. Stir in couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Cool. When cool, stir in the tomato, feta cheese, watercress and green onion. Toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Garnish with green olives and toasted pine nuts. Serves 6.

5. Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1-cup margarine
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
2-1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz. (2 cups) chocolate chips
1 cup tolled oats
1 cup chopped nuts
1/3-cup wheat germ
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup honey

Cream margarine until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla and cream together. Add eggs one at a time. Mix well. Add flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Stir in oats, wheat germ, nuts, coconut, honey and mix well. Add chocolate chips. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes approximately 60 cookies.

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