Deep Flavors: A Celebration of Recipes for Foodies in a Kosher Style
It’s a strange year, and the large family celebration that’s a long standing High Holiday tradition for “Deep Flavors’” author Ken Horwitz and his wife Bobbi, will, instead, be a dinner for two. Even so, the basic menu will include all of the traditional favorites.
“You have to have matzo ball soup, sliced apples with honey, brisket and potato kugel,” Horwitz, who lives in Dallas, observes. “That’s what our parents’ generation served, and that’s what we serve.”
While the menu is familiar, the recipes have been kicked up a notch or two to enhance the flavor of the finished dish.The potato kugel, for example, calls for schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) in lieu of vegetable oil or olive oil.
“For those who turn up their noses at the thought of rendered chicken fat, remember that for calories, fat is fat,” the author writes. “This small amount (2 tablespoons) of fat adds a desirable flavor. Since a tablespoon equals 3 teaspoons, and the recipe makes at least 10 servings, each serving will have less than1/2 teaspoon of fat-far less than a pat of butter.”
Horwitz, a CPA by profession, says his cooking is “kosher style,” as opposed to kosher. In short, he eschews pork, shellfish, and fish without fins or scales (think catfish) and never mixes milk products with meat or poultry. Still, his palate is eclectic, and he includes recipes for culinary classics like jambalaya, quesadillas, and tagine, in addition to the dishes sourced from the culinary traditions of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews.
Asked to sum up his approach, Horwitz says, “When I’m working on a recipe, flavor comes first. The finished dish has to be delicious.”
Horwitz’ style is as personal as his recipes. While the ingredients are listed in the usual way, the directions for cooking are more like a conversation with a chef whose recipe you’re using for the first time.
Orange Fudge Pudding Cake
This recipe is for an 8-inch square pan. If you double the recipe, use a 9×13-inch pan. I use Pyrex and not metal for this recipe.
2/3 cup dutch-process cocoa, sifted, split use
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed well
1 cup white cane sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces dark semisweet or bittersweet (not milk) chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk (not skim)
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 teaspoon orange extract
no more than 1 teaspoon orange oil
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
Butter or spray the pan. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of sifted cocoa, all of the brown sugar, and 1/3 cup of white cane sugar.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler (or microwave), being careful to just melt the chocolate so that it does not burn and whisk till smooth. Whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup of cocoa. Cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 2/3 cup of white cane sugar, vanilla, and milk until dissolved and combined. Whisk in the egg yolk. Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and stir until evenly moistened. Pour the mixture into the baking tray (pan) and spread evenly. Sprinkle the dry cocoa mixture evenly over the batter so that it covers the entire surface of the tray.
Now comes what will seem to be a very strange process. Mix together the orange juice, orange extract, and orange oil; then gently pour it over the chocolate mixture. Put the pan in the oven. Bake until the cake is puffed and bubbling and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the baking dish (about 45 minutes). Do not overbake. Cool the cake in the dish for 25-30 minutes before serving. The cake will have a wonderful orangey, fudgy, saucy bottom with a cake topping-a most strange result, but delicious.
“Deep Flavors, A Celebration of Recipes for Foodies in a Kosher Style” by Kenneth M. Horwitz (Inspire On Purpose Publishing, Irving Texas $39.95). The book is available from Amazon
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