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Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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Highlighting: “The Kosher Palette: Revised Anniversary Edition” by Sandra Blank (co-editor) and Susie Fishbein (co-editor). ArtScroll Shaar Press. 2022. Hardcover. 312 pages. ISBN#: 9781422631751.

In kitchens throughout Jewish America, “The Kosher Palette” cookbook, printed in 2001, opens to recipes that are sometimes obscured beyond recognition from constant use. Cooks, your plaintive cry has been heard. “The Kosher Palette” is being reprinted in a beautifully bound—and sturdy—edition. The editors have made a few tweaks and updates, but it’s the original book you love, with the same recipes and photos on the same pages, coming back to life.

Created as a fundraiser for the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, “The Kosher Palette” is now being published by ArtScroll Publications. “The Kosher Palette elevated the kosher cookbook industry,” said Rabbi Gedalia Zlotowitz, president of ArtScroll. “For many young women, it was their first kosher cookbook. We are proud to bring it back to the same generation and to a new generation to show how it started.”

The newly reprinted edition is expected to be ready for distribution in September. In a special promotion, ArtScroll has allocated an additional percentage of each sale to Kushner for every book ordered through July 14. The pre-sale allows you to cut the line—pre-sale orders will be shipped first. “We are proud to partner with ArtScroll to reintroduce ‘The Kosher Palette’ to benefit JKHA/RKYHS and the Kosher world community,” said Rabbi Eliezer Rubin, head of school at Kushner Academy. “The book made Kushner Academy a household name and it reflected JKHA/RKYHS’s high standards of excellence and spirit of innovation.”

Sandra Blank, co-editor of “The Kosher Palette” along with Susie Fishbein, said the book sold over 80,000 copies, exceeding everyone’s expectations, and made over $1 million for the school. “The book has been out of print for years, and there was tremendous demand to bring it back. The outpouring of excitement and joy about its return is incredible.”

The major changes in the new edition are the size and format of the book. It is now an 8”x12” bound volume with more user-friendly fonts. Blank said they worked with a Kushner alum, Danielle Stark, a registered dietician, to include a guide for people interested in reducing sugar intake and using heart-healthy oils, nondairy milks and other substitutes.

Twenty years is a generation; the children who grew up on meals their moms made from “The Kosher Palette” are now raising their own families, and requesting copies for themselves. “There’s one in my daughter-in-law’s house, and she told me that many of her friends ask how she got it,” Blank said. “When my married children come for Shabbos, I make their favorite dishes from childhood, and many are from ‘The Kosher Palette.’ I know my home is not unique in this. It’s very gratifying to have played a role in a project that became part of the fabric of so many homes.”

Why was “The Kosher Palette” so successful? “For the first time, a kosher cookbook looked professional, had photos and triple-tested recipes,” said Blank. “The ingredients were in order; the directions were clear. Whether you were an experienced cook or new to the kitchen, whatever you made was going to be delicious if you followed the directions.” Blank, who became an art teacher and director of admissions at Kushner, edited one more cookbook for the school called “Kosher Palette II: Coming Home,” which sold thousands of copies and generated significant revenue for the school. ArtScroll will distribute that book as well after the release of “The Kosher Palette.”

Blank was an involved, young school parent who loved to cook and entertain when she volunteered to create “The Kosher Palette” as a fundraising project. She partnered with her friend Susie Fishbein and they edited the book together. At the time, Fishbein was a public school teacher who also loved cooking and entertaining. Her children were not yet school age. “The Kosher Palette” changed her life, turning her into a prolific cookbook author for ArtScroll. Now she teaches cooking and leads culinary tours to Italy and Israel.

“I made the shidduch between the school and ArtScroll,” said Fishbein. “‘The Kosher Palette’ was a beautiful project that got me started. My son is graduating Kushner High School. I wanted to give back on my way out the door. And I’m a big Rabbi Rubin fan.”

Fishbein recalled the hectic days creating the cookbook. “It was a communal effort. People sent in recipes and we had testing parties,” she said. Each neighborhood would test a different category, like chicken or salads. In going through the recipes for the new edition, Fishbein had a chance to rectify errors. One recipe sent in as an original turned out to be from Hershey’s, and she was able to give them proper credit. She is looking forward to seeing how today’s young adults, who have been exposed to new flavor profiles, will use the book.

I asked Fishbein what her favorite recipes are from “The Kosher Palette.” She said she was constantly testing recipes for new cookbooks, and only now will she be able to really go back and enjoy the fruits of her labor. Some have made it into frequent rotation for her family’s meals.

She gave special kudos to the Cheese Noodle Kugel, which was created by her mother-in-law; Grilled London Broil with Rosemary (recipe below), and Ginger Crinkle cookies. My family’s favorites include Apple Souffle, Crispy Garlic and Rosemary Potatoes, Veal and Potato Casserole, World’s Fair Chicken and Oreo Ripple Coffee Cake. My daughter is excited about getting her own new copy of “The Kosher Palette” so she can make her favorite dishes from the book instead of using screenshots and photocopies from mine.

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a pristine new copy of “The Kosher Palette.” I’m promising myself to keep it in better condition, despite the fact that it will still be in constant use.

To pre-order The Kosher Palette, visit https://www.artscroll.com/linker/kushner/link/Books/KPALH.html. For more information and updates, follow @kosherpalette on Instagram.

 

Grilled London Broil With Rosemary

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

  • 2½ pounds London broil
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1½ tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Score the meat on both sides by making shallow, diagonal cuts ¼-inch deep at 1-inch intervals, forming a diamond pattern. Place meat into a shallow dish or zip-top bag. Combine oil, soy sauce, honey, rosemary, pepper, salt, and garlic. Pour marinade over meat, tossing to coat. Cover or seal; refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Remove meat from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium-hot or oven to broil.

Remove meat from marinade, reserving marinade. Grill or broil, basting occasionally, for 10 minutes on each side for medium-rare or until desired degree of doneness.

Transfer steak to carving board; let stand for 5 minutes. Cut across the grain into thin strips. Arrange on a platter and serve.

By Bracha Schwartz

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