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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

(OUTview AMERICA) EXCLUSIVE: The Kosher Baker Previews Hanukkah Favorites in her New Cookbook!

by MK Scott
Too often, Jewish recipes have too much salt, fat, sugar, and processed foods and lack whole grains and fresh ingredients. But now Paula Shoyer, THE kosher food expert and best-selling author has released her newest cookbook: The Healthy Jewish Kitchen: Fresh Contemporary Recipes for Every Occasion, a delicious new take on Jewish cooking. 

In each of Paula’s recipes she uses only natural ingredients and offers a fresh, nutrient-dense spin on every dish. Here you’ll find very little frying, and no margarine, frozen puff pastry, soup stocks and powders, and most jarred sauces. More than 80 recipes include both Sephardic and Ashkenazy Jewish classics (Israeli Herb and Almond Salad, Sourdough Challah, Tzimmes Puree, Potato and Scallion Latkes, Schnitzel with Nut Crust) as well as American and international dishes that extend beyond the Jewish culinary world.

With Hanukkah coming up next week,  the timing couldn't better to order this book as a gift or cook up a storm this holiday season. I had a chance to chat with Paula Shoyer by e-mail.

MK Scott: What's Cooking Paula? I wanted to ask you about your new cookbook, The Healthy Jewish Kitchen: Fresh Contemporary Recipes for Every Occasion, the timing is perfect for Hanukkah next week, What should be the number one dish item this Hanukkah?

Paula Shoyer: My baked potato and scallion latkes- they are baked rather than friend but taste fried. I serve them with pickled apple sauce (See Recipe below)

MK: The recipes look great for those on a healthy diet, What dishes are your favorites?

Paula: mango coleslaw, Indian BBQ chicken, winter red salad, grilled corn with cilantro pesto, and
fruit galette with chocolate crust.

MK:  For Passover season, tell me what food makes for the perfect seder?

Paula: Modern borscht soup, coa au vin blanc, charred cauliflower with orange vinaigrette,
chocolate quinoa cake.

MK: What in your book should inspire anyone (non-jewish) from getting your book?

Paula: The book does not have processed ingredients so it's how everyone should be eating, Jewish or not. The recipes are easy, delicious and nutritious.

MK: The book also makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys baking?

Paula: You know I love baking - I'm the kosher baker! In Healthy Jewish Kitchen I took my favorite jewish desserts and made them with less sugar and fat and with whole grains. People do not have to give up eating the desserts of their grandmothers because I developed a way to make them better for you.

MK: What are your Holiday plans?

Paula: I'm busy doing chanukah demos from now through chanukah but will definitely make latkes, chuttos and donuts for my family. I have a DIY donut kit out which makes the process even easier.

MK:  Burning Question: What one non-kosher item is your guilty pleasure? 

Paula: Wine, and eating pastries in shops around the world


Parve, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Passover • Serves 6
Everyone loves potato latkes but no one likes the mess of frying them, or the guilt associated with eating them. These latkes are baked in the oven and easily won over my kids. You do need to watch them so they do not burn; they were done at different times in different ovens. The Pickled Applesauce is basically a tangy-spicy applesauce, which we also eat with schnitzel.
PREP TIME: 10 minutes • COOK TIME: 20 to 24 minutes • ADVANCE PREP: Latkes may be made 2 days in advance and reheated in the oven or frozen; applesauce may be made 4 days in advance • EQUIPMENT: Cutting board, knife, vegetable brush, measuring cups and spoons, citrus juicer, vegetable peeler, 2 jelly roll pans, food processor, medium bowl, box grater, wooden spoon, oven mitts, slotted spatula, small saucepan with lid, immersion blender
2 tablespoons sunflower or safflower oil, or more if needed
½ medium onion, quartered
3 scallions, ends trimmed, cut into thin slices or chopped into small pieces
3 medium potatoes (about 1½ pounds [700g]), scrubbed clean and unpeeled
2 teaspoons (10ml) fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons potato starch
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sunflower or safflower oil
1/3 cup red onions, chopped into ¼-inch (6-mm) pieces
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 apples, peeled and cut into ½-inch (12-mm) cubes
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper

• To make the latkes, preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). When the oven is hot, pour 2 tablespoons of oil onto 2 jelly roll pans and turn them in every direction so that the oil coats the pans. Heat the pans in the oven for 5 minutes.
• Place the onions and scallions in the bowl of a food processor and chop them into small pieces. Place them in a medium bowl. Shred the potatoes by hand on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor with the shredding blade, and place in the bowl. Add the lemon juice, eggs, baking powder, potato starch, salt, and pepper and mix well.
• Very carefully (I mean really carefully; move very slowly) remove one of the pans and use your hands or a spoon to scoop up and drop clumps of the potato mixture, a little less than ¼ cup, onto the pan. I use my hands. Press the mixture down to flatten it a little.
• Place the pan in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes and immediately remove the second oiled pan. Repeat the same process with the remaining potato mixture and bake the second pan of latkes for 10 to 12 minutes. Bake them until the edges are well browned, and then with a slotted spatula turn them over and cook the latkes for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are browned. May be made 2 days in advance and reheated in the oven.
• Meanwhile, to make the applesauce, heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook them for 3 minutes, until they soften. Add the vinegar and brown sugar and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the apples, coriander, ginger, cinnamon stick, salt, and pepper, and cook, covered, on low heat for 15 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes and then purée it, using an immersion blender or a food processor. May be made 4 days in advance and served warm or cold.

 The Healthy Jewish Kitchen: Fresh Contemporary Recipes for Every Occasion by Paula Soyer, is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For more on Paula, check out her site at thekosherbaker.com. 

MK Scott is a Seattle-based Arts blogger, check out his blog at outview.online.

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