The Jewish High Holidays are upon us, and I have found a new cookbook that will fit any need for any holiday: “The Silver Platter: Simple to Spectacular Wholesome, Family-Friendly Recipes” by Norene Gilletz and Daniella Silver (ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications).
“The Silver Platter” is an intergenerational cookbook that combines the best of both worlds—Daniella’s modern recipes and presentation and Norene’s 50 years’ of cooking experience with her tips and advice on every page. Norene brought an incredible amount of wisdom and culinary expertise to the proverbial table, and Daniella matched it with her fresh outlook and youthful creativity. Daniella comes from a long line of talented artists, and in her case, artistry is manifested in her culinary creativity as she transforms simple ingredients into spectacular dishes.
“The Silver Platter” features elegant appetizers like Roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs, and everyday favorites like Chunky Chili and Sesame Ginger Chicken, kid-friendly offerings like Halibut Fish Sticks, succulent mains like Bourbon Marinated Prime Rib, and innovative sides like Apple Cranberry Couscous, and plenty of sweet treats like Fudgy Pretzel Brownies. It includes over 160 wholesome, family-friendly recipes you will make again and again; ways to turn fresh, healthful, easy-to-find ingredients into spectacular dishes; mouthwatering full-color photos with every recipe; tips, techniques, and advice from best-selling author and culinary legend Norene Gilletz; many gluten-free options; and nutritional information for every recipe. Each dish even has an indication for freezer-friendly or make-ahead cooking.
Like me, Daniella belongs to the “desserty” subset of foodie culture and needs something sweet after every meal. Actually, I need two or three sweet things to satisfy me.
Combining her talent, creativity passion, and enthusiasm, Daniella created this magnificent cookbook to help cooks of all levels simplify their cooking and enjoy better food. Daniella lives in Toronto with her husband and children. You can visit her website at www.daniellasilvercooks.com
Norene joined forces with Daniella to pass on her legacy and wisdom to a new generation, and what started with a phone call turned into a remarkable collaboration and friendship between these two talented women. “For the first time ever, I took on a protégé. Daniella and I make a perfect partnership as a writing team because we each have unique strengths that merge together, resulting in one clear vision.”
Norene Gilletz is a leading author of kosher cookbooks and the owner of Gourmania, Inc. (www.gourmania.com). She divides her time between her work as a food writer, culinary consultant, cooking teacher/lecturer, food manufacturer, and culinary spokesperson, who also has expertise in a wide variety of health concerns and special diets. Her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good. … Our world revolves around food!”
Fudgy Pretzel Brownies
Sweet with a touch of salty, gooey with a surprising crunchy topping, these fudgy, pretzel-topped brownies have all your favorites covered. A huge hit at bake sales parties, and potlucks, these brownies look as good as they taste.
pareve | dairy option | gluten-free option | freezes well | yields about 2 dozen
1 cup flour (or gluten-free flour with xanthan gum)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
about 24 whole pretzels, salted or unsalted (gluten-free or regular)
1/2 cup semisweet or white chocolate chips
1 tsp vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, sugars and vanilla until well blended. Add flour mixture and stir just until combined.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Arrange a layer of whole pretzels over batter.
Bake 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool slightly.
Glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips with oil. Drizzle glaze in a zigzag design over pretzel-topped brownies. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Variation: For Black & White Brownies, add 1 cup white chocolate chips to brownie batter. Bake as directed.
Variation: For Caramel Pretzel Brownies (dairy), prepare and bake brownie batter as directed above, but do not top with whole pretzels and do not glaze. For caramel topping, combine 1 bag (14 oz/396 g) unwrapped caramels, 3/4 cup butter, and 1 Tbsp milk in a saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring often. Immediately pour caramel mixture over warm baked brownies. Let cool. Sprinkle ½ cup chocolate chips and 1 cup crushed pretzels over caramel.
Roasted Beet Salad With Lemon-Basil Dressing
This magnificent magenta salad is packed with vitamins, minerals, and almost everything else you need. Each ingredient has its place: something crunchy, something smooth, something tangy, something sweet, something leafy. Perfect!
pareve | dairy option | passover | gluten-free | yields 8 servings
2 bunches red or rainbow beets, scrubbed and trimmed (about 8 medium)
1/2 medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (preferably fresh)
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
6 cups micro greens or mixed greens
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Coat a large piece of heavy-duty foil with nonstick cooking spray. Center beets on foil; wrap tightly, pinching edges together.
Bake for 1-1½ hours, or until tender (see Norene’s Notes below). Carefully open packet and let beets stand until cool enough to handle.
Using paper towels, rub off and discard skins. Slice beets into wedges. Place into a large bowl; add onion.
Add oil, lemon juice, honey, basil, salt, and pepper to the bowl; toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate. (Can be done up to a day in advance.)
Arrange a layer of greens on a large serving platter. Top with dressed beets. Scatter pistachios and goat cheese, if using, over salad.
Norene’s Notes: For even cooking, choose fresh beets that are approximately the same size. Small to medium-size beets are more tender, while larger beets tend to be tough. Beets are fully cooked when a metal skewer glides through them easily.
Editor’s note: For more edible delights by Sheilah Kaufman, go to www. cookingwithsheilah.com.