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KosherEye Featured Cookbook

By Laura Silver, Published by Brandeis University Press
Review contributed by Knish Fan and Guest Writer Dr. Michael Keats

While in the old neighborhood, Laura Silver decides to enjoy her favorite treat, a knish from Mrs. Stahl's bakery, a simple dish she enjoyed with her favorite person, her grandmother. Finding that her beloved bakery had closed would lead her on a path of travel, in depth research and major noshing, and would result in what just may be considered the definitive literary work on knishes.


It's often said that the senses of smell and taste trigger vivid memories, but Laura Silver managed to bring back strong memories for me with her description of the deliciousness of her favorite Mrs. Stahl's knish. When it comes to food, we all have our favorite pizza place, burger joint and, it seems, even a favorite knish. As a Jewish man in his mid 50's who was raised in New York City, I am all too familiar with the knishes Silver describes. I've enjoyed them all from Mrs. Stahl's to Gabila's to the ever famous Yonah Schimmel, but her description of Ruby's knishes brought me back to when I was a child and would hear over the bungalow colony loudspeaker that Ruby the Knish Man was on the premises. Her description of Ruby's donut like, moist, fried knishes stuffed with perfectly seasoned mashed potatoes (or kasha) could not have been more perfect, and it flooded me with fond memories that had been stored away for decades.

Knish provides much more than a look at New York City's great knish bakeries. It takes us on an international journey where Laura Silver is searching simultaneously for the roots of the knish and for her roots as well. Silver takes us with her to a small Polish town with hopes of finding the birthplace of the knish but instead finds her family's origins. We tag along with her from Minnesota where senior citizens make knishes for fundraisers to San Francisco, where she meets the granddaughters of her beloved Mrs. Stahl and we feel her excitement as they share "the" recipe with her.

I don't think that when I sat to read a book about knishes, that there would be anecdotes linking the potato pastry to rap music, TV's Mr. Kotter and the Sweathogs, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sholom Aleichem, Isaac Bashevis Singer, competitive knish eating, The Golden Girls, the Borscht Belt, 1950's sitcoms, Hollywood movies, Yiddish theater in South Florida, Henry Roth novels, deli's in Canada and to an Italian pasta maker in New Jersey. Who knew?!?!?!

The argument could be made that there is no Jewish food. Jews borrowed from whichever country they had been residing but since the overwhelming majority of Jews who emigrated to the U.S. came from Eastern Europe and settled in New York City, bagels and lox, chicken soup, matzah balls, stuffed cabbage and pastrami has come to be considered not just Jewish food, but Jewish comfort food. A lesson learned is that many cultures share similar foods. Silver shows the similarity between the knish and dumplings, empanadas, and turnovers and makes quite the convincing argument that the simply prepared knish, in all its permutations is quite possibly, the king of them all.

Maybe it would help to be of a certain age or to be a New Yorker to understand and to connect with the stories of the neighborhoods, people, restaurants and foods described in a very personal way by Laura Silver but one thing is for certain, you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy a good knish.

Try this recipe for Mrs. Stahl's Potato Knishes Recipe


Enter our Free Giveaway
Knish - In Search of the Jewish Soul Food

We thank  Brandeis University Press  for sponsoring the Featured Cookbook and the FREE Giveaway! 

Giveaway limited to continental U.S. only. If not living in continental U.S, you can still enter and, if selected, "gift" your prize to a continental U.S. friend or relative. The winner will be notified by email. Once notified, the winner must respond within 48 hours or the prize will be awarded to the runner-up.

Random Giveaway drawing ended 11:59PM, July 20, 2014. The five winners will be announced shortly.

Buy the book here: Knish - In Search of the Jewish Soul Food

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From Scratch - Inside the Food Network
by Allen Salkin
Big Personalities, High Drama - the Extraordinary Behind-the-Scenes Story

From_Scratch_coverSara, Emeril, Rachael, Sonny, Paula, Giada, Mario, Ellie, Jamie, Guy, Ina, Bobby, Tyler, Trisha, Ree, Alton... If you recognize these names, this book is for you!

Author Allen Salkin shares the history of the Food Network from its beginning as a struggling cable wanna-be – to a cable powerhouse. He dishes on its executives, its founders and its stars. The fledgling network took the concept started by "dump and stir" shows such as Julia Child's The French Chef, The Galloping Gourmet and The Frugal Gourmet... and BAM! WENT UP A NOTCH. The tiny, scrappy Food Network has grown to nurture America's burgeoning food culture and to become part of 100 million US homes, while earning billions. It combines business, media, food and entertainment, and its stars are beloved and followed by an ever-growing fan base.

Salkin, an investigative journalist who has written for the NY Times and other prominent publications, conducted hundreds of interviews over a three-year period to tell the story of the 21-year-old network. He shares an enlightening account of how the Food Network came to be, and the personalities who rose and fell along the way.

A Few Celebrity Morsels:
Emeril gave the network breakthrough star power, but the network did not treat this talented chef gently. His rise and fall as a Food Network star is documented.

The story behind Paula Deen's diabetes—and her "treatment" when it was revealed she was a diabetes-medicine spokesperson. And then, the story behind the controversial remarks, which ended her Food Network career.

Martha Stewart's "snooty" behavior at a meeting

After Ina Garten's first experience filming at her home, she almost ended her TV career. She cut herself on a mandoline, the crew trampled her lawn, trod mud on her carpets , her septic system overflowed and she was in tears throughout.

Guy Fieri, and the hedge fund billionaire who paid him $100,000 to be his friend for a day.

Bobby Flay- is he really a nice guy? Salkin says YES!

Rachael Ray --hard working, comfortable and easygoing on camera. Not a diva in any way and her show runs smoothly. But, she almost burned down Emeril Lagasse's set during her screen test. And as author Salkin says, " Don't try to keep pace drinking cocktails with Rachael!"

Try three of the most popular recipes on The Food Network:
Ina's Asian Salmon
Giada's Chicken Piccata
Ellie's Parmesan Zucchini

Win the book! We thank the publisher, the Penguin Group, for sponsoring our Featured Cookbook and the Free Giveaway. Three lucky winners will each win a copy of "From Scratch: Inside the Food Network" . This giveaway ends at 11:59PM on July 7, 2014

Giveaway is limited to continental U.S. only. If not living in continental U.S, you may still enter and, if selected, "gift" your prize to a continental U.S. friend or relative. The winners will be notified by email. Once notified, the winners must respond within 48 hours or the prize will be awarded to a runner-up.

If you just can't wait to see if you are a winner, or if you would like to buy this as a gift or for your cookbook library, you can order online here: From Scratch: Inside the Food Network

This giveaway has ended, and the lucky winners are Kristin McCall, Cindy Korman Hodkin, and Teri McHugh.

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By Leah Schapira & Victoria Dwek
Artscroll/Mesorah Publications

Just in time for warm weather and summer celebrations, comes this, the 4th book in the Made Easy series, and it's all about dairy. Real butter, cream, milk--yes it's all-real!

Leah Schapira, author of the bestselling cookbook, Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking, co-founder of and a self-taught cook, has once again teamed up with Whisk managing food editor and journalist Victoria Dwek to create the fourth cookbook in their Made Easy series.

We simply love these books. Why? Because Schapira and Dwek share easy to follow, triple tested recipes with simple ingredients, each accompanied by a full color photo. The authors are aware of their audience, who we imagine are busy moms and families searching for delicious, uncomplicated meal ideas. We also can't help smiling when we read the food tips, banter and humorous anecdotes shared by these two dynamos, who we still think never sleep.

Dairy Made Easy explores contemporary foods, with shortcuts in place. The book goes way beyond mac and cheese. You'll enjoy recipes ranging from 30-minute thin crust pizza, grilled avocado sandwiches, broccoli cheddar soup, to rich, gooey desserts. Who knew how easy it was to make homemade ricotta cheese and homemade cream cheese? (Thank you ladies, a culinary revelation!) There is also a calorie friendly "Make it light" guide, a helpful "Make it parve" guide, and a cheese guide by Brigitte Mizrahi, cheese queen at Natural & Kosher Cheese.

Treat yourself or someone to this cookbook! Or for that matter, to the series. What a great bridal shower gift!

If you can't wait to see if you've won our giveaway below, all of the Made Easy series are available for purchase. Just click on a book title to buy the book - for gifting or for your cookbook library:
Starters & Sides Made Easy: Favorite Triple-Tested Recipes
Kids Cooking Made Easy: Favorite Triple-Tested Recipes
Passover Made Easy: Favorite Triple-Tested Recipes
Dairy Made Easy: Triple-Tested Recipes for Every Day

Try these delicious recipes from Dairy Made Easy:
Baked Roasted Veggie Pasta
Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake

Enter our Giveaway!

Giveaway limited to continental U.S. only. If not living in continental U.S, you can still enter and, if selected, "gift" your prize to a continental U.S. friend or relative. The winner will be notified by email. Once notified, the winner must respond within 48 hours or the prize will be awarded to the runner-up.

This fabulous giveaway ended 11:59PM, May 27th. The lucky winner is Lori Calka, Albany NY.

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By Julie Lowenthal, Pelican Publishing Company

Since 1924, Johnny Harris has been a legendary name in Southern Barbecue. From its beginning as a tiny BBQ "joint", the Johnny Harris Restaurant grew to be one of the largest and most popular full service food destinations in Savannah. Unfortunately, the restaurant is NOT kosher; however, much of the restaurant's growing reputation was due to their now famous sauces. In addition to the original flavor, six additional varieties have been added, all offspring of the original sauces and all kosher certified by SAV-K (Savannah Kosher). Family members are still at the helm of the company and the sauces are shipped worldwide. There are currently seven sauce varieties including Original BBQ, Hickory BBQ, Carolina Mustard BBQ, Beef BBQ, Spicy Honey BBQ, Hot Wing Sauce and Steak Sauce.

We are covering Johnny Harris because (1) WE LOVE the kosher sauces, and (2) they have recently published the new Johnny Harris Restaurant Cookbook. The cookbook was written by Julie Lowenthal, the granddaughter of Kermit Lynnwood "Red" Donaldson, who began working at Johnny Harris Restaurant in 1927 and eventually became the full owner.

Yes, substitutions are warranted for some of the recipes, and yes, a few of the recipes may be challenging to find kosher substitutes, but in our opinion, the book is a must-have for those who want to cook authentic southern dishes.

We are currently cooking our way through the pages. Including Vidalia onion rolls (fabulous, we ate way too many!), Sweet Country Cornbread, Fresh Georgia Peach Pie, Honey–Butter Grilled Corn, Chicken Pot Pie and on and on. . . Our recommendation "Y'all":  If you are a fan of southern food or would like to try southern food, buy the book! Even Scarlett would know that this is the real thing.

Enjoy these Johnny Harris recipes:
Vidalia Onion Rolls
Chicken Pot Pie
Fresh Georgia Peach Pie

Buy the book  for your cookbook library or as a gift! To purchase, click: Johnny Harris Restaurant Cookbook

Win the Book. . .
We thank  Pelican Publishing Company  for sponsoring the Featured Cookbook and the FREE Giveaway! 

This Random Giveaway drawing ended 11:59PM, June 15th. The lucky winner is Cindy Bauman, Silver Spring, MD.




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By Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Published by Ten Speed Press

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi are both admired and accomplished chefs who grew up in and around Jerusalem. Sami Tamimi was raised in east Jerusalem, an Arab area --  Yotam Ottolenghi in the Jewish area. Both now live in London. This is Ottolenghi's second book. His first, the popular cookbook "Plenty," was focused on creative vegetarian cooking.

Jerusalem: A Cookbook is much like the city, a vibrant fusion of international and religious influences inspired by the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities who live there. Add global flavors from Iran, Poland, Russia, Africa, Syria, Italy, France,and the palette widens.

This beautiful cookbook offers 120 recipes with a cross-cultural perspective. The photos are spectacular. The ingredient lists are long and diverse, complete with Middle Eastern spices including sumac, za'atar, cumin, coriander, and cardamom. Recipes for classics such as eggplant, lamb, chickpeas and rice are plentiful as is the selection of rich, decadent desserts. Each reflects the tastes, history and foodways of this ancient city.

There is no question that the book offers its readers a cooking adventure.. The dishes range from simple to complex in method and ingredient. In our opinion, this is a food journey well worth embarking on. Since its publication, cooks have been throwing -"Jerusalem" potlucks, and the book has developed what some would term a "cult" following online.

As Julia Moskin of the NY Times reported: "American food lovers are not only cooking from "Jerusalem"; many of them are cooking their way through it as cooks did with "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in the 1960s and with "The Silver Palate Cookbook" in the 1980s. "Jerusalem" is the first book in recent memory to join that group, and the first to do it via social media, as well as old-fashioned word of mouth."

This is a KosherEye "gift yourself, gift others" selection. You may buy it here: Jerusalem: A Cookbook

KosherEye Note: Do be aware that although this cookbook is based on the foods of Jerusalem, some of the recipes will require kosher friendly substitutions. We highly recommend this cookbook, even though the kosher cook at times will  need to make some ingredient substitutions. Don't hesitate to consider adding this book to your culinary library or to your cookbook gift list.

Enjoy these recipes from Jerusalem: A Cookbook:

Basic Hummus
Baby Spinach Salad with Dates & Almonds
Basmati & Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currants & Herbs


Free Giveaway

We thank  Ten Speed Press  for sponsoring the Featured Cookbook and for offering a copy of the cookbook to 2 lucky winners! 

Giveaway is limited to continental U.S. only. If not living in continental U.S, you can still enter and, if selected, "gift" your prize to a continental U.S. friend or relative. The winner will be notified by email. Once notified, the winners must respond within 48 hours or the prize will be awarded to the runner-up.

Good Luck and let this fabulous giveaway begin! Two lucky winners will be randomly selected. Random Giveaway drawing ends 11:59PM, May 12TH, 2014. Enter to win with Rafflecopter:

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Featured Cookbook


We have searched the world of cookbooks and selected some of the most exciting, enticing, fun, entertaining and informative to share in our popular feature Featured Cookbook.

Some of these cookbooks have recipes with non-kosher ingredients. No worries! KosherEye and our team of cookbook authors, chefs and foodies will help you convert these ingredients to kosher substitutes. In fact we are providing an initial, basic list of kosher substitutions for you.

Attention Cookbook Writers and Media: If you would like KosherEye to consider your cookbook for feature, send a note to

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