I love artisan cooking! There is much pleasure (and even a little pride) in making something from scratch. Watching delicious foods come together from nothing rather than from a bunch of pre-made ingredients provides a sense of satisfaction. I also love anything Jewish. So, when The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home came out, I nearly jumped out of my seat with excitement.
Nick Zukin and Michael C. Zusman did not disappoint me. This cookbook is indeed an artisan’s delight as the recipes continually build off each other. A basic bread or pastrami recipe will appear in many different recipes ranging from sandwiches, to soups, or desserts, and the list goes on.
This book integrates so much more than just recipes. It’s a learning experience. I discovered a lot about the history of the Jewish deli from reading all the extras packed between the pages. At the end of the book, the authors included a Metrics Conversions and Equivalents section, which is really helpful, especially when living in an international family like mine. A Sources and Resources section tells cooks where they can purchase those tricky or hard-to-find ingredients.
Now, without further ado, here are a few recipes I tried:
RUSSIAN EGG SALAD–This one was a big hit. It was quick and simple to make. It flew immediately and I had to turn right around and make a second batch so that everyone could have a taste.
HONEY-SWEET APPLE-CABBAGE SLAW—Cole slaw has always been a favorite of mine, so I couldn’t wait to try this apple and cabbage salad. The honey and vinegar mixture provided the perfect combination of sweet and sour.
HUNGARIAN MUSHROOM SOUP—I can honestly say, I have never tried anything quite like this. The blend of spices offers a unique and tasty flavor that will have you returning for seconds.
AUTUMN CABBAGE AND SMOKED MEAT BORSCHT—I’ve wanted to try out a borscht recipe for quite some time. I can finally say I have! The brown sugar gave this stew a sweet flavor while the vinegar offered a contrasting kick to it. This recipe, as well as several others, give seasonal variations, which I really like and look forward to trying out in their respective seasons.
The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home is a treasure trove of recipes and I have barely cracked the surface. There are some recipes such as homemade bagels, pastrami, and corned beef that I am eager to test out. Sadly, due to time requirements, I’ll have to wait until I get some time off from work to fully experience the whole process from beginning to end in making these mouth-watering dishes. I especially recommend this book to those who are passionate about Jewish, international, or artisan cooking.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Thank you!
**Originally posted on Radiant Lit.