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The Art of Cooking with Style

October 25, 2011 | by Efrat Libfroind

Revolutionize your dinner presentations with stunning dishes, made from simple, classic ingredients.

We all appreciate a delicious, beautifully served meal. But what do we do when faced with a special occasion that calls for something unique? We often hesitate to attempt the extraordinary, assuming that the art of exquisite presentation is beyond us.

In Kosher Elegance: The Art of Cooking with Style (Feldheim, 2011) Israeli chef Efrat Libfroind dispels that notion. Efrat, a highly acclaimed pastry chef, presents her finest recipes; sharing trade secrets that will help you transform any dish into a work of art. Flip through the pages of this sensational cookbook and you’ll encounter an incredible variety of stunning dishes. Made from simple, classic ingredients, these recipes will revolutionize your dinner presentations and upgrade any meal you host into something you can truly be proud of.

Not halfway. Not partly. Perfectly.

Chicken Drumsticks Stuffed with Pomegranate-Honey Sauce

Serves 10

When I called my butcher and asked him to prepare chicken drumsticks for stuffing, I warned him that they had better be photogenic—the chickens would be showcased in this book.

I usually receive my order the same day, but this time the delivery arrived the following day. When I opened the package, I instantly understood why. My butcher had taken my request quite seriously and prepared each and every drumstick with utmost care. I quickly called him to express my appreciation, and I warned him that from now on I would settle for nothing less…

  • 10 boneless chicken drumsticks


  • 2 onions
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 4 slices turkey roll


  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce

Stuffing: Dice onions and sauté in oil until golden. Add the rice, salt, pepper, and paprika and fry for 1 minute. Add boiling water and cook uncovered on a medium flame until water is completely absorbed. Add pine nuts and turkey roll and cook for 2 minutes. Cool slightly.

Fill the hollow of the drumsticks with stuffing and place in a baking pan, packing the drumsticks tightly.

Sauce: Mix all sauce ingredients and pour over drumsticks. Cover pan and bake for 1 hour at 400°F. Uncover, lower temperature to 350°F, and bake for another 15 minutes until chicken has a deep, rich color.

Tip: You can also use this stuffing for thighs, stuffing it between the skin and the meat, but the chicken will take longer to bake.

Sweet Potatoes with Onion Jam and Red Wine

Serves 12

Onion jam makes a wonderful addition to meat and liver dishes. I created this recipe one day as I was cooking up a generous batch of this jam. Since I love the flavor with meat, I thought I’d try it on sweet potatoes, one of my favorite vegetables. I was rewarded with an upscale vegetable dish, the delicious result of a little unconventional thinking.

  • 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes

Onion jam:

  • 4 teaspoons margarine
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 red onions, sliced into rings
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup sweet red wine
  • 2 sprigs thyme

Sweet potato coating:

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Garnish (optional):
  • 5 scallions

Onion jam: Heat margarine and oil in a small pot. Add onions and sauté approximately 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, honey, wine, and thyme, and let simmer for about 45 minutes until most of the liquid cooks down and the mixture has the consistency of jam. Remove thyme.

Sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 4000F. Slice the sweet potatoes into 1-inch slices. Use only the large, round, center slices. For a perfect presentation, shape each slice with a round cookie cutter. Mix the oil, paprika, garlic, and soy sauce and brush sweet potato slices with the mixture. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until soft and golden.

Place a mound of onion jam on each sweet potato round and serve.

Tip: Garnish with scallion curls. To make curls, tear scallions into long strips by hand and place in a bowl of ice water. Within minutes the strips will curl up into beautiful green ribbons. The curls will keep for up to a week in a dry container in the refrigerator

Lettuce, Sweet Potato, and Apple Salad

Serves 8

If you thought sweet potatoes are just a starchy side dish, think again. This incredible salad showcases brightly colored cubes of sweet potato. Each one of this salad’s ingredients adds taste, color, and a healthy touch. Don’t leave anything out!


  • 1 small sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 red apple, sliced into long, thin strips
  • ½ red onion, sliced in thin rings
  • 1 handful pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup sugared cashews


  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar

Salad: Fry sweet potato cubes in a frying pan with oil and salt until fork-tender. Cool slightly and transfer to a bowl. Tear lettuce into thick strips, and add to bowl. Add apple slices and onion. Add pomegranate seeds and cashews.

Dressing: Combine all ingredients with an immersion blender, pour over salad, and toss.

Tip: For a variation of this salad, you can substitute a persimmon or firm nectarine for the apple.

Chocolate Nougat Mousse

Serves 15

This is an easy-to-prepare, foolproof recipe that belongs in this section because of its unique presentation. Thanks to silicone molds and step-by-step decorating instructions, you can get gorgeous results with minimal effort.

I used a distinctive mold here, but the results will still be stunning if you use a standard half-sphere.


  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces pareve bittersweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons nougat powder or praline paste
  • 1 8-ounce container Rich’s RichWhip

Decorative topping:

  • 3½ ounces pareve bittersweet or baking chocolate
  • ⅔ cup ganache (see recipe on page 00)
  • 1 3 x 3 inch acetate sheet
  • 1 decorating comb (available at specialty baking stores)

Mousse: Whip egg whites with sugar until stiff. Melt chocolate in a microwave or double boiler. Lower the mixer speed, and with mixer running slowly, add the egg yolks, melted chocolate, and nougat powder or praline paste.

Beat the RichWhip in a separate bowl until fluffy. Fold the egg and chocolate mixture into the whip. (This can also be done with a mixer set on low speed.) Pour into individual silicone molds. Freeze for 6 hours. Remove frozen mousse from molds.

Decorative topping: Melt chocolate and spread over the acetate sheet in a thin, even layer. Use the decorating comb to “comb” the chocolate, forming thin strips. Position the sheet in front of you so that the strips run across the sheet horizontally. Lift the right-hand side of the sheet and roll the sheet up so that the edges overlap. Seal the roll with a rubber band and freeze for 10 minutes. Remove the rubber band and carefully unroll the sheet while releasing the chocolate. You should end up with chocolate rings. If rings stick together, use a scissors to separate them into individual rings. Fill a pastry bag with ganache and attach a star-shaped tip. Squeeze a small star on top of each serving of mousse, and place a chocolate ring on the star.

For an elegant presentation, dip the bottom edges of the mousse in sugar tinted with a drop of food coloring.

Tip: This tip is actually a professional secret for making a perfect, creamy mousse, free of air bubbles: If the mousse is too stiff after whipping, whip it 2 minutes longer to “break it up” and make it runnier. Second, after pouring the mousse into molds, shake well to release any air bubbles.

Tip: If you use bittersweet chocolate, you must temper it. Since tempering chocolate is a complicated process, I recommend using baking chocolate, but only for the decoration, to create solid chocolate rings. For the mousse, you can still use bittersweet chocolate, since there’s no need to temper it there.

Click here to order Kosher Elegance: The Art of Cooking with Style


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