By Robyn Kohn for COLlive
Obvious from its glitzy cover, the “Dash” cookbook is not like anything one would expect from a school-published and not-for-profit, Jewish cookbook.
What you won’t find among the 159 recipes in the book published by Torah Academy for Girls in Far Rockaway, NY, are multiple recipes for brisket or matzah ball soup.
In fact – you won’t find any.
Instead, you’ll find dozens of innovative recipes over 318 pages alongside larger-than-life pictures of the finished product so you know what the final outcome should look like. The creators, Rebecca Naumberg and Sori Klein, manage to put a spin on familiar dishes that take them to a whole new level.
Examples? chilled honeydew ginger soup, lemon flounder with shiitake crust, lasagna wonton stacks with tomato basil sauce, and Mexican chocolate cupcakes with cinnamon coffee frosting. Any or all of these would be terrific additions to your Shavuos menu.
Each recipe is easy to read using colored type to highlight the not-to-be-missed instructions and hints. The “plan ahead” and “simplify” sections are a big help for people on the go. I appreciated that the instructions were easy to follow, incorporated “common” ingredients that are either already in my pantry or easy to find in the local grocery store, eliminating the need for a special run to the store hunting for items I’ve never heard of.
Anticipating Shavuos, I skimmed through the table of contents to find recipes from 9 sections it featured (bread and dairy is one of them).
First, I tried the chilled avocado gazpacho with spiced pumpkin seeds. The recipe took very little time to prepare and supplied a great start for what was to come. The soup was smooth and creamy with just enough “kick” to keep them asking for more.
Next, we tried the tilapia with pistachio crust and mango salsa. The individual parts of this recipe could stand on their own or be used in other ways: the mango salsa and fish marinade were bursting with flavor and could easily be used with chicken. The marinade provided lots of flavor to an otherwise bland fish.
The spinach and cheese pinwheels with roasted red pepper sauce was a welcome twist on plain-old lasagna. The red pepper sauce was a nice, light surprise to the expected heavy tomato sauce. All seated at my dinner table enjoyed the surprise “kick” provided by the cayenne pepper in their Mexican chocolate cupcakes with cinnamon coffee frosting.
Don’t get me wrong. I love traditional Jewish food, but it’s always nice to break away from the expected dishes and surprise your guests and even your own palate. “Dash” is not your grandmother’s Jewish cookbook and thankfully so. Congrats to Torah Academy Girls for offering Jewish cooks a kosher cookbook for today’s chef.
Below is a selection of Shavous recipes offered as a courtesy for the Lubavitch community. Parve ingredients can be replaced with dairy (i.e. butter for margarine, whole milk for soy milk and dairy white chocolate):
Lasagna wonton stacks with tomato basil sauce
Spinach with goat cheese, roasted beets and pears
White chocolate peach cupcakes with lemon butter cream frosting
The cookbook is available for purchase directly through the school at getyourdash.com or call 718-471-8444 (mention COLlive and get free shipping).