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New Jewish Cooking

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-10-20

New Jewish Cooking

New Jewish Cooking

The last decade has seen an explosion in the growth of kosher eating in London, from new restaurants to new products which can be bought, Londoners have never had it so good to eat kosher.

Along with that explosion is husband and wife team Kenny and Susan Arfin who have been part of that growth operating a number of establishments. Their current eaterie, Bevis Marks The Restaurant is located in the courtyard of The City’s famous Sephardi synagogue.

Since opening a few years ago, Bevis Marks has been well received for its take on kosher cooking by offering a upscale fusion experience.

And now, the Arfin's chef Jason Prangnell has written a book on how you can make some of its famous dishes in the comfort of your own home.

Prangnell himself is not Jewish and explains his crash course in learning the intricacies of diary-free cooking and his quest to offer a world quality kosher restaurant which would be respected by not just its Jewish  clientele, but also be a place which even non-Jews would want to do.

The book, like the restaurant offers a quality approach to kosher eating. Its 190-ish pages are packed wit a full choice of dishes from fish and meat to vegetarian, side dishes and desserts.

It's a real fusion of the Jewish old world with influences from the new world, the east and everywhere else in between.

Among the highlights in the starters is Crispy Thai Beef with Coriander, a great way to make use of the end pieces of salt beef. Chopped liver gets a makeover with spiced fig compote added to it.

For mains, it's wonderful. A lamb tagine with couscous and beetroot harissa makes the mouth water along with a wonderful photo to show what the end result should look like. Chicken legs are cooked with pomegranate, walnuts and aubergine rice to make another delight.

And so the book goes on and on with more and more tempting dishes that are suitable both for lunch or dinner.  And of course, no self-respecting Jewish cooking book would be complete without a recipe for chicken soup which Prangnell provides a classic take on to allow the reader to make one as good as their own Yiddishe grandmother.

For anyone interested in Jewish cooking, whether they are Jewish or not, Pragnell's book is a delight to read and offers recipes to aspire to. An essential book for grace any home.

New Jewish Cooking is published by Absolute Press (£25)