Reviewing: “More Real Life Kosher Cooking,” by Miriam Pascal. Mesorah Publications Ltd. 2019. English. Hardcover. 304 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1422625316.
Well known for her blog Overtime Cook, Miriam Pascal claims that she is not a foodie yet, although “More Real Life Kosher Cooking” is her third cookbook in print. This book is the continuation of “Real Life Kosher Cooking.”
What I found most impressive about her recipes is that I regularly have many of her ingredients in my kitchen, and I would imagine other people do as well. We have all experienced the annoyance of taking out a cookbook to prepare a specific recipe only to find that we are missing half of the ingredients. With the knowledge that I do not have to go running around town in search of ingredients, using this cookbook is a no-brainer.
One important aspect of Pascal’s cookbooks that should be noted is that she takes all the photos of each delicious concoction herself. (In this case it took two years.)
The following recipes are being reprinted with the permission of Mesorah Publications. Pascal explained in her own words how and why she chose them to be a part of her book. “More Real Life Kosher Cooking” is available at all local Judaica stores as well as on Amazon.
Wontons in Garlic Sauce
This recipe began with my obsession with wontons in garlic sauce from a particular Chinese restaurant that’s nowhere near my home. Naturally, I had to recreate it myself. Since then, these wontons have become the stuff of Pascal family legend. It’s my family’s all-time favorite Yom Tov appetizer. The only downside? It’s pretty much guaranteed to upstage basically any other dish you serve at the same meal!
Yields 10-12 servings
- 1½ pounds ground beef
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, preferably a mix of
- black and white
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 50 wonton wrappers, approximately
- 1 (18-ounce) jar hoisin sauce
- 1 cup of soy sauce
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ cup water
- 12 cloves garlic, minced
- sliced scallions and sesame seeds, optional, for garnish
1. Prepare the wontons: Combine beef, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions and garlic in a large bowl; stir gently until just combined.
2. Place about 2 teaspoons meat mixture onto the center of a wonton wrapper. Brush a small amount of water along the edges before pressing them together to help keep them sealed; bring the edges together to form a wonton. Set aside; repeat with remaining meat and wonton wrappers.
3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop a few wontons into the boiling water; cook for about 6 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. Remove wontons with a slotted spoon; place on parchment paper, not touching each other. Set wontons aside.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the garlic sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat; simmer mixture for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens.
5. Just before serving, toss cooked wontons in sauce; warm through. If desired, garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
Plan Ahead: Wontons can be frozen, without sauce, either before cooking (boil just before serving; if boiling frozen, add 1 minute to cooking time) or after cooking. Sauce can be prepared up to three days ahead and stored in the fridge. Combine wontons and reheated sauce just before serving.
Roasted Vegetable Soup
What started out as a fridge full of produce that had to be used up has morphed into one of my all-time favorite soups. Roasting the vegetables brings out their flavors, resulting in a healthy soup that’s packed with flavor and so filling! Feel free to customize your soup based on whichever veggies you happen to have on hand.
Yields 6-8 servings
- (Preheat oven to 400 degrees)
- 2 large zucchini, diced
- 3 medium yellow squash, diced
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 pound frozen cauliflower florets, defrosted
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Place vegetables, oil, salt and pepper into a bowl. Toss to combine. Divide between prepared baking sheets. Roast for 50-60 minutes, until vegetables are starting to brown.
3. Prepare the soup: Place roasted vegetables, along with any juices, into a large soup pot. Add soup ingredients; bring to a boil.
4. Simmer for about 1 hour. Discard bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, blend soup well, for about 3 minutes, until fully smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Plan Ahead: This soup can be prepared ahead and frozen in an airtight container.
By Nina Glick