Cookbook features world's kosher cuisine

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By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO—Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School has devised a delicious corollary to this publication’s motto that “there is a Jewish story everywhere.”  Gourmets may like the Orthodox school’s saying even better: “There’s great kosher food everywhere.”

Coming out next week, in plenty of time for the December 11th first evening of Chanukah, will be Volume I of the Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School Kosher Cookbook.  Recipes were donated by the families and friends of the faculty, staff and students, whose ancestral countries of origin and ethnic tastes span the globe.

My daughter, Sandi Masori, who coordinated the project with graphic designer and illustrator Aliza Shalit, said it’s anticipated there will be a Volume II in another two or three years.  “I’m already beginning to collect the recipes for it,” she said.

In the meantime, there are some 200 recipes in this volume to digest.  They are culled from a wide variety of international cuisines, including those of these United States of America.  The recipes are grouped in ten chapters: Breakfast, Appetizers and Side Dishes, Breads, Dips and Sauces, Soups and Salads, Fish, Dairy, Poultry, Beef and Lamb, and Desserts.

It’s a Jewish cookbook for people who want to travel the world while staying in their own kitchens. Of course, there are many of the Eastern European dishes that people often associate with kosher cooking such as blintzes, gefilte fish, kugels and  latkes.

But there are also numerous recipes that may be a surprise to those who don’t realize that the basics of kosher food preparation are to eschew certain proscribed foods like pork and shellfish, and to refrain from mixing meat and dairy products.

In the mood for tastes from Europe?  There are recipes for Cheese Quiche (France) from Muriel Algazi , Cold Pesto Pasta (Italy) from Rayna Levitt, Mediterranean Eggplant Salad from Tamar Adato;  and Grandma Rosey’s Honey Sponge Cake (Hungary) from Daniel and Eliezer Kraiman, who are the sixth generation of their family to love it.

Do you like the flavors of the Middle East?   A sampling of recipes include those for Shakshuka (Israel) from Liat Alon; Kubana (Yemen) from Shahar Masori;  Red Chatzilim (Morocco) from Leah Moryosef; Tbit Brown Rice (Iraq) from Anat Levi;  Tadiq (Iran) from Loretta Levi; and Goundi  (Afghanistan) from Shoshi Bogoch, the Israeli shlicha stationed at the United Jewish Federation.

The Far East also is represented in this volume with Oriental Hot and Sour Soup (Asia generally) from Cheryl Horn; Thai Tom Yam Soup (Thailand) from Sara Reisman; Kosher Mock Crab Eggrolls (China) from Betty Weiser, and Cucumber and Carrots Sushi (Japan) from Gabriel, Max, Alexis and Valeria Simpser.

How about the savory foods of South America and the Caribbean?   There are recipes for Huevos Ahogados in Tomato Sauce (Mexico) from Becky Krinsky; Caribbean Salmon with Guava Barbecue Sauce and Mango Veggie Salsa from Jessica Breziner; Arroz con Pollo (Chile) from Jacqueline Jacobs; Papa Rellena (Peru) from Aliza Shalit; and Cuscuz Caipira (Brazil) from Carla Berg.

What about the U.S.A.?  Well, what could be more American than a recipe for Coca-Cola chicken from Shari Marks or Coca-Cola Brisket from Debbie Rappoport?

Included with the recipes are the brachot (blessings) to be said over various foods, as well as the ritual for burning a piece of challah as a symbolic offering to God.  Rebbetzin Ariella Adatto provided the religious instructions and explanations.

Given that the cookbook was created as a fundraising project for Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School, its cost is not surprising.  It is $18 – eighteen being the numerical value of the Hebrew word “chai,” which means life.  Just as people need food to live, schools need money for their programs to thrive.

To purchase a cookbook, contact Sandi Masori at [email protected].

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Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World

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