by Shifrah Devorah Witt & Zipporah Malka Heller
We love the flavors and ingredients of Mexican cuisine; most of the ingredients the American cook is familiar with and can easily purchase. Mexican food is more than tacos and burritos - it is the melding of the flavors, spices, and ingredients that makes this cuisine so exciting, flavorful and fun.
Leave it to two Israeli women to write a cookbook about kosher Mexican cooking – the mother/daughter team of Zipporah Malka Heller and Shifrah Devorah Witt. How is it they know so much about Mexican cooking you ask – so did we. How could they replicate the "real thing" we wondered. The duo lived in California for twenty-three years prior to moving to Israel in 2004, where they share a multi-generation home in the center of Jerusalem. They both started keeping kosher over seventeen years ago and, when they lived in Los Angeles,did eat authentic kosher Mexican cooking. Both of them love to cook and enjoy ethnic cuisine so it is a natural fit for them to re-create these Mexican dishes suitable for the kosher kitchen. They understand kosher restrictions and know the wonderful tastes of Mexican cooking. And we are definitely happy that they do!
The Best of Mexican Kosher Cookingcontains over 90 recipes, all accompanied by beautiful full-color photos, plus menus for a party, an easy Mexican Shabbos dinner, a summer barbecue, and tips for the perfect accompaniments to complement each dish. We especially liked the introduction – which we always read as it can contain useful information and this one does. It explains the different regions of Mexico and the cooking ingredients/spices/dishes that are associated with each region; how to stock your "Mexican" kitchen, and the different types of chili peppers and how to use them.
The recipes are clearly written, have easy-to-follow directions, and have been simplified by the authors so that "you don't have to be a master chef to create food that will make your guests think you are one." Their goal was to "create dishes that are both authentic in taste but can be made easily by anyone who wants to step into the kitchen." And they have accomplished their goal.
We are hoping for a series of ethnic kosher cookbooks from these two so we posed the following question:
From the beginning, was a Kosher Ethnic series of cookbooks your goal?
ZM: Yes, I wanted to take it around the world.
SD: Absolutely. All of my favorite foods are ethnic, so it just makes sense.
The Best of Mexican Kosher Cooking is the second in the series, following The Complete Asian Kosher Cookbook. We will be featuring that cookbook very soon. There are so many wonderful cookbooks available to the kosher cook and The Best of Mexican Kosher Cooking is definitely one of them – we are delighted to add it to our permanent cookbook library.
Read more of our very interesting chat with Zipporah Malka and Shifrah Devorah. They shared three delicious recipes from their cookbook. Enjoy!
April 30, 2012