Today I’m reviewing Real Life Kosher Cooking by Miriam Pascal. When I decided to review this book, I had to take a well used copy off of my shelf. I have kept this one on hand since it’s release, and I love to reference it when I’m looking for some inspiration.
WHAT’S INSIDE Cover to cover, there are about 140 recipes in 10 chapters. There are menu suggestions throughout this cookbook (a helpful, unique feature). There is also a Pesach guide, which highlights the friendly recipes. This would also be very helpful for a gluten-free cook. Lastly, there is an ingredient index so if you really just want to use up that ground beef, you can search for recipes that use it.
EASE OF USE The chapters are color-coded, as is the table of contents to match. This makes quick-flipping very easy. Each recipe indicates if it is meat or dairy or parve as well as how much the recipe makes. There are also notes for what freezes well and what doesn’t.
For this review, I decided to branch out and prepare a recipe from this book that I’ve never made before. I made the Ground Beef Stir Fry from page 158. This particular recipe had many ingredients, but they were all easy to get. I spent about 15 minutes preparing all of the vegetables (mise en place!). I cut down on the prep time, by doing some of this prep while my meat was browning. This recipe was simple to prepare. I used my big wok pan, which I found the most suitable for this job (if you don’t have a wok pan, you should get one!) I started a pot of water to boil while the vegetables were cooking. I waited until the vegetables and meat were all done and combined before I dropped the ramen into the boiling water. Ramen noodles cook VERY fast, so this worked out great. It says on the notes that this can be kept for a day in the refrigerator. I can’t speak to that because we polished it all off that night. I should also note, that I prepared a double batch. To do this, I doubled ALMOST all of the ingredients. I did not double the broccoli or the red onion.
WHAT I LIKE I love that there is a clear large photo for every recipe. The photos are all close-up shots, so you can really see the texture of the food. This helps me to decide what I want to make. In general, the recipes are easy and use readily available ingredients. I also love that there are menu ideas given throughout. “Sheva Brachos Menu” “Guy’s Night Menu” These are a helpful way to reference recipes that work well together.
WHAT I DON’T LIKE I have to put something here. It’s a requirement for a good and thorough review to show pros and cons. I’m struggling here though. Here it is… The Blueberry Peach Kugel is NOT a kugel. It’s a crisp (or a crumble, or a cobbler, or whatever term you use.) There you have it. That’s the only negative I can find.
CONCLUSION I highly recommend this cookbook for its versatility and ease of use. Check out this link to purchase Real Life Kosher Cooking. Be sure to hop onto Facebook as well, and look up the Overtime Cook group. Miriam Pascal answers any questions about recipes or even if you are looking for ideas on what to make. You can find Miriam Pascal on Instagram as well at @overtimecook.
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