The World of Jewish Entertaining: Menus and Recipes for the Sabbath, Holidays, and Other Family Celebrations

Gil Marks, Author Simon & Schuster $30 (416p) ISBN 978-0-684-84788-7
Propelling Jewish cooking forever beyond brisket and the blintz, Marks continues the excellent work of his first cookbook, The World of Jewish Cooking (a James Beard Award finalist), with this innovative guide to celebrating Jewish holidays and occasions. The first of this book's many strengths is thoroughness. Marks, a rabbi, suggests menus for familiar Jewish holidays such as Hanukkah and Purim but also describes foods for Simchat Torah (Apple-Glazed Roast Turkey with Biblical Fruit Stuffing) and Lag b'Omer (Feather-Frosted Carob Brownies, because the holiday commemorates the death of Shimon ben Yochai, who was banished and is said to have survived on carob). Another strength is Marks's creativity: he bypasses more typical Sabbath dinner fare for an international dinner of Persian Meatball Soup and Indian Tomato Salad. A third strength is the recipes themselves. Cleverly, most of the recipes for large gatherings (a Pidyon Haben Luncheon featuring Barbecue Beef Brisket, for example) give measurements for both 10 servings and 80 servings. An extra section on baked goods is appropriate to any occasion, and a highly personal menu for a Southern Jewish family reunion successfully combines two seemingly disparate traditions in a menu that includes Lena's Matza-Breaded Fried Chicken with Honey-Pecan Sauce, Romanian Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Toni's Vegetable Slaw with horseradish. This most definitely is not your grandmother's cookbook. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1998
Release date: 09/01/1998
Genre: Nonfiction
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