Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes

by | Jun 13, 2014 | Book Reviews

Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes
Jamie Geller
William Morrow, 2013
375 pages, $30.00
ISBN: 9780062207821
9780062207838 $23.99

Jamie Geller is the author of the Quick & Kosher series, magazine publisher and operates a leading kosher food and recipe website, She is often called the Jewish Rachel Ray.

Geller doesn’t guarantee a healthful and delicious meal in 30 minutes or less, but like Ray she cheats a little. Ray shaves her prep time by doing a lot of pre-preparation when she brings her produce home. (Fans will note that when she goes to the cupboard for anything—it is always right there in front.) Some of Geller’s recipes that call for 15 minutes prep time appear a bit optimistic for the everyday cook. Joy of Kosher has many recipes that require, after minimum preparation, one or two or more hours cooking—which doesn’t quite fill the bill for “fast.”

Be careful, however of recipes that appear too easy to be believed. Two come to mind:

First, her recipe for latkes is guaranteed to produce a latke that has no texture and might come in second to store-bought frozen latkes. Second, her recipe for “family fricassee” uses two pounds of chicken wings, which can’t be easily skinned and, therefore, are bound to produce a greasy meal. Her meatballs are not seared before cooking—so the resulting product is not likely to be my family’s favorite. I found the index a bit less than user-friendly.

Despite these grumbles, the book is full of good ideas, delivered with a healthy dose of self-deprecating good humor.