The Modern Jewish Table (Skyhorse Publishing, August 2017) is the new, essential kosher cookbook for every Jewish home, whether you are a reluctant cook or a dedicated balabusta. Bringing their fun, upbeat, and infectious brand of energy to the kitchen, self-proclaimed Jewish Princesses Tracey Fine and Georgie Tarn don their high heels and aprons to revamp the kosher kitchen and raise the culinary bar. It’s no longer just chopped liver, chicken soup, and matzo bread; instead, learn to make Mock Chopped Liver, Sephardi Saffron Chicken Soup, and Princess Pitta Bread!
Writing from the point of view of the average home cook, the Jewish Princesses dish out their witty know-how and inspire amateur cooks to create simple and hip recipes, with all the short cuts included. Learn to make delightful dishes such as:
· Street Food Gefilte Fish Bites
· Crème Fraiche Vegetable Latkes
· Cohen-Tucky Baked Chicken
· Princess Pad Thai
· Kunafa Middle Eastern Cheese Cake
· Cuban Sweet Corn Soufflé, and more!
Complete with stunning photography, outrageous tips, and a dash of chutzpah, The Modern Jewish Table introduces innovative dishes that will soon become Jewish traditions for the future.
Tracey Fine and Georgie Tarn are the Thelma and Louise of kosher cooking. In 2005, they created their brand, the Jewish Princesses (TheJewishPrincesses.com), to promote Jewish food and lifestyle in the style of Sex in the City meets Desperate Housewives. They have published three books and have appeared in major magazines, websites, and television and radio shows. They live in London, the United Kingdom.
We had the pleasure to interview the authors exclusively on The Culture News:
What brought you to do a book entirely dedicated to the Jewish Table?
We are known as the UK Ambassadors of Jewish/kosher cooking, after having published three successful cookbooks in the Jewish Princess series. This is our fourth, and we believe our best book, as finally we can see our food in beautiful full-color photography. We feel we have matured, (like a good bottle of wine), honing our taste buds, learning new cooking skills, (being foodies we love a course,) plus collecting new inspiring ideas from wherever we go, (whether that’s down the road, or if we are lucky enough to travel). This has resulted in The Modern Table being filled with recipes, from classics to fusion, which follow the kosher dietary rules, use mostly less than ten ingredients, exciting and have the ‘look like a celebrity chef has invaded your kitchen,’ even though most recipes are so easy, suitable for even a novice. The one thing our recipes have is the ‘WOW’ factor, and we simply can’t wait for the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of delight our readers will enjoy from making dishes from The Modern Jewish Table.
What would you say about the evolution throughout the years of the Jewish table?
From the ingredients we buy, to the equipment we use, (who can live without a Kitchen Aid?) To tasting wonderful flavors from all over the globe, whether traveling, or trying them out in a restaurant. Or the fact that now discovering dishes and ingredients are only ever a click away, (who had heard of Lemon Grass ten years ago, or for that fact, Instagram?) Because of the above the Jewish Table is now so exciting. As cooks we will always look to the classics, and our tables will always be heaving with tempting delights. However, the Jewish dishes we now make are far more health conscious, using less sugar, (when we can,) less fat, (Olive oil not schmaltz.) We also have to keep in mind that many people are eating less meat or fish, or not eating them at all, therefore we have devoted a whole chapter to vegetarian food, (try our Mock Chopped Liver, see if you can tell the difference?) Now, the Jewish Table demands a gluten free cake, (try our Fruit and Veg Cake). Friday night is still a ‘must’ and wouldn’t be Friday night without a bowl of Chicken Soup, (its called tradition,) but this doesn’t mean we can’t move with the times, our Sephardi Saffron Chicken Soup with Fragrant Matzo Balls is less expensive, substituting chicken wings for fowl, and is much speedier to make, as we are aware people simply have less time. Therefore, The Jewish Table is modern, healthy and takes inspiration from around the globe, creating Jewish fusion ie Jewshi, Japanese Gefilte Fish or Cohen-Tucky Chicken, baked not fried, but just as delicious, using traditional matzo meal?
What is your favorite dish?
For Tracey, she is a cheesecake-aholic, therefore for her the Kunafa Middle Eastern Cheesecake made with Ketaifi pastry, almonds and pistachios with a cheesecake filling and a scented rosewater syrup that doesn’t overpower but creates a cake which is a slice of heaven.
For Georgie – it is Princess Toad in the Hole – this a real British treat, similar to a popover in the USA or in the UK, a Yorkshire pudding, plus it uses delicious chicken sausages and is served with a warm onion and apple relish. It simply has the ‘feel good factor,’ comfort food at its best.
In what the Jewish cuisine is specific?
First we follow the kosher dietary laws, only certain cuts of meat, not mixing milk and meat (therefore a fabulous chapter devoted to dairy free desserts, (Lazy Lemon Tart.) Many of our recipes are perfect answers for the Jewish Holidays. For Passover, how about some Princess Passover Pita using matzo meal and potatoes or Egyptian Sweetmeats, a new walnut and almond cookie? For Shavuot our fish blintzes, and if you don’t fancy Middle Eastern Kunafa Cheesecake opt for the Sultana Cheesecake, its amazing. Rosh Hashanah, Apple Pear and Honey Pudding or Rosh-a-Challah Pudding (using traditional Challah and of course apples.) To finish the year at Chanukah dive into our Couture Chocolate chapter, Chocolate Orange Churros with Chocolate Sauce or create your own gifts with our Hazelnut & Liqueur Truffles, Rocky Road or both. Whatever you make, the one thing about Jewish cuisine it is always served with love.
What are the origins of the Jewish cuisine?
Jewish cuisine dates back many hundreds of years and Jews have lived all over the world, therefore our food is an exciting, melting pot of eclectic dishes and flavors that look to tradition, i.e. Our weekly Friday night, Shabbat dinners, to our festivals, to the fact that our culture demands we share our food with family and friends, (and our readers of course). We simply love to eat, and we simply love Jewish food. The Modern Jewish Table is not just a recipe book, like Jewish Culture, it offers advice, (whether asked for or not,) served with a dash of Chutzpah, as our writing is fun, upbeat, encouraging everyone to have a go, after all “if we can do it, you can do it.”