Nov 3, 2010

Jamie Geller Goes Quick & Kosher ... Again!

Quick and Kosher. These are two words that I live by. I keep kosher, and I prefer that keeping kosher not keep my calendar in the "rush" formation. When I cook kosher, I want to cook quick, but thoughtful. Quick, but healthful. Quick, but delicious. Can it be done? Is it possible to cook quick and kosher? To set aside generations of slaving over a hot stove for two days for Shabbat meals? Yes, yes it is. And Jamie Geller shows us how (and she makes it look incredibly easy).

I first heard about Jamie's work from the beautiful personality behind In the Pink, so I ordered the book immediately off Amazon, tabbed a bajillion pages, and got cooking. Aside from a few gripes about recipes coming out tasteless (which, to be honest, I can't blame on Jamie -- I am a super taster, if you are familiar with the term; I need lots of spice in order to taste anything), I was incredibly pleased with the ease and speed with which her recipes could be completed. Yes, there were opponents who scoffed at her Duck Sauce Chicken recipe (jar duck sauce, chicken, cook), but that's because people don't get what Quick & Kosher means.

Quick & Kosher: Meals in MinutesQuick & Kosher means easy meals that pack a flavorful punch with minimal ingredients that won't have you multi-tasking on three different devices. Quick & Kosher means giving you the options for meals that you wouldn't have thought of otherwise. Duck Sauce Chicken? Sure, it seems simple, but when you're scrounging for the easiest possible Shabbos dinner dish, would you, off the top of your head, just think about throwing some sauce and chicken together? And if you have a beef with the health issue (onion soup mix and what have you), then you, as the consumer, need to think: look for low sodium options, look for all natural ingredients, and find a way to make the recipes work!

Thus, with Jamie's new installment in the Quick & Kosher series -- Meals in Minutes -- we have a boatload of options that come adorned with side dishes! Jamie offers a main dish and a side dish on every page, so you don't have to think about what to make with your protein. Can you mix it up? Who's to stop you? But the nice thing is that you can stick to one page and have a healthy, quick, delicious meal. In the back of the book, Jamie offers a variety of meal options for every Jewish holiday from Shabbat to Shavuot, and, to be completely honest, I'll probably use the festive meal menus for a regular Shabbat in the future. Why? Because I'm the kind of person who starts building a menu and ends up with two main dishes, six side dishes, and three desserts plus a soup or salad or fish. I overdo it. I kill myself cooking for Shabbat, when I know that -- in reality -- a few side dishes with a main course, a delicious dessert and a hearty salad are all a meal and the guests need to be complete and satisfied. I also love that Jamie offers wine pairings and gives short and sweet explanations of the questions you know you're asking, like, what is lemongrass (check the Thai Chicken Soup recipe)? Or how to pick cheese or wine or why is awesome (for all intents and purposes, Jamie's their spokesperson).

Pumpkin cookies! FTW!

I know what you're thinking -- they gave me the book for free. I'm worshiping at the altar of Jamie Geller and the Quick & Kosher team. To be honest, aside from the spice/flavor issue, I haven't had a problem with any of the recipes from either book, and I've made probably a dozen or so in the past few months. And, as a gluten-free consumer, I've been able to fix up all of the recipes I've made for a gluten-free twist, including the Pumpkin Cookies in the new book. (Easiest cookies out there after, of course, an unhealthy pre-packed mix). I also am a huge fan of the Lamb Meatballs in Pita, which I made for my Israeli friends and paired with an abundance of Israeli salads (they loved the meatballs). I'm super eager to make the Greek-Style Chicken with Lemon and Dill, paired with Tomatoes and String Beans (okay, so I'll have to make Tuvia something else), as well as the Pumpkin Black Bean Soup (what a combo, right?). Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken with Fruit Salsa? Yes, please! The list goes on and on.

And if you know that you only have 40 minutes or 60 minutes, all you have to do is go to that chapter and get cooking. Organized, quick, and kosher. Bravo, Jamie!

So now, what you're really here for, the giveaway. Here are the rules:
  • There will be one winner who will receive one copy of Jamie Geller's new Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes.
  • The contest closes Sunday, November 7, 2010, at 10 p.m. 
  • To enter, you must write a fall/winter food haiku (or limerick, just for you M.E.) OR tell me (and, in turn, Jamie Geller) what recipe or food you love for which you wish there was a "quick and kosher" recipe. 
  • Tweet this, Facebook this, and spread the word. Let me know where you've thrown up a mention (honor system here, folks) for an extra entry into the contest.
Good luck, and happy cooking!


Debbie said...

Great review, Chaviva! I love mushrooms and I would like to see more recipes that use lots of fried mushrooms.

Mara ~ Kosher on a Budget said...

Hmmm, what do I wish there was a quick fix for? Turkey & stuffing? (Can you tell I have Thanksgiving menu planning on the brain?) Seriously, I need shortcuts these days like nobody's business, so I'd love to win this one! Your glowing review seals the deal.

Mara ~ Kosher on a Budget said...

I'm tweeting your giveaway now!s

SusQHB said...

I almost built a shrine to Jamie after the Yom Tovim. Literally every dish came from Quick and Kosher.

As for the haiku....

Soup, soup, I love you

Easy, Simple, by the pot

Lasts me all week long

elisabeth said...

glad to see you acknowledged that the bk was a gift to your blog. i was kinda bracing myself when i started reading. it sounds like the recipes are bland though? did you have anyone else taste them (if there is something a bit unusual with your sense of taste, as you say)?

Phyllis Sommer said...

Winter food is best!
I like to eat casseroles
and bake warm breakfast.

Soup bubbling on stove
Beans and lentils and pasta
Served up nice and hot!

Yummm.....hope I win :-)

Niki said...

There's a lovely season called fall,
whose cuisine choices surpass them all.
Turkey or Latkes for dinner
I don't end up thinner...
For new pants I run off to the mall!

Corny, but it works- I'd love this book!

Jew Wishes said...

What a great review, Chavi!

Devora said...

Oh Jamie Geller
Your recipes replace buds
Gracing my table

How's that?

Anonymous said...

Oh this sounds like a lovely cookbook, Chavi. I am no haiku writer, so quick and kosher recipe wish it is:
- Beef Stroganoff would be my wish. It is such a nice dish, but so time consuming to make, not to mention that most recipes (not my mother's thankfully) are treif. If you could make this into a 20, 40 or even 60 minute dish, I would be in heaven!

decadent cookie said...

kosher is good,

quick food is better

kosher, quick and great tasting is the best!

(can you tell i didn't do to well in enlish class :) )

G6 said...

There was a young girl from Nova Scotia,
Who like her food quick and real kosher,
She searched every nook,
For the most perfect book,
And now her brioches are "Brioche-er"

That's the best I can do, ma'am...
Hope you enjoyed it!
Rhyming kosher is like rhyming orange... or purple....

I'd love to win this book.
Thanks for running the contest.

Oh, and I tweeted... so I'm in for the extra entry too :)

Good Shabbos to all!

Trip'n Mommy said...

As Mom of Triplets
Quick is key to sanity
Oh Thank You Jamie

Not bad, eh? But not too food related. Hmm.

The Trips won't eat soup
It's my favorite fall food
Need new recipes


I am Tweeting and Facebooking too!

Michael said...

There is a story they tell
In these here parts of mine
of the little boy at the well
who had nothing with which to dine

He searched high
and searched low
And with a great big sigh
He collapsed on a bow

He fell into a sleep
Without making a sound
Without even counting sheep
For none were around.

By chance when he awoke
He found a talking book at the site
Quick and Kosher it spoke
Oh what a delight.

He learned quiches, Souffles
and even soups too
How to set up a buffet
And even tie his shoe.

But then he did recall
He still had no food
No ingredients at all
So he sat down to brood.

In the end he was left
With but one choice to make
Woud a book taste anything like a steak?

Shabbat Shalom Chaviva.

Rivki Silver said...

I love Q & K
It has been a life-saver
(not to mention time)

Choc'late Chip Cookies
And, of course, Duck Sauce Chicken
are some favorites

I have re-tweeted
and also shared on Facebook
I sure want to win!!!!!!

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

You guys are *crazy* creative. I'm impressed!

Tzip said...

I would love a quick recipe for latkes! (my current method - buy frozen and pop in the oven :-)

Thanks for the giveaway!

Rebecca Einstein Schorr said...

I STILL don't get haiku. I mean, I really, really don't!

I get stymied by the decision of what to make. I would love to see some easy formula for coming up with easy kosher meals that my picky eaters will LOVE.

Tweeting now...

homeshuling said...

after my turkey
i crave warm, sweet pumpkin pie
pareve version please?

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