Kosher Blogger Whitney Fisch and Three Others Release Modern E-Cookbook for Passover
"Modern" isn't a word typically associated with Passover. For starters, the holiday, which begins April 14 this year, commemorates the Jews' escape from slavery in Egypt thousands of years ago and is rife with age-old traditions. And when it comes to the food served throughout the eight days, many will tell you their families have been eating the exact same stuff since they can remember.
Photo courtesy of Whitney Fisch Cashew "cream" tomato soup with sun-dried tomato relish from 4 Bloggers Dish: Passover; Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors.
What's more, options are limited by Passover being the holiday of unleavened bread, where the only grain product permitted is matzo (unleavened bread). Though much can be made from matzo's byproducts, such as matzo flour and matzo meal (coarsely ground matzo), it's easy to tire of it all around day three.
This is where 4 Bloggers Dish: Passover; Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors comes in handy. The new kosher e-cookbook ($3.99 plus tax on Amazon) is a medley of twists on traditional recipes (think caprese matzo brei and sweet potato, apple, fennel, and onion kugel) and thoroughly modern ideas (think turkey-and-quinoa-stuffed cabbage and blueberry walnut chicken salad lettuce wraps).
Co-author and Miami Beach resident Whitney Fisch says the idea behind the book was to eschew packaged foods and to create a "handbook on how to do a whole-foods approach to Passover." Fisch is a young mother and a school counselor, as well as the creator of JewHungry, a kosher food blog. The Georgia native describes her culinary style as "semi-hippie healthy and semi-Southern decadence."
Photo courtesy of Whitney Fisch The e-cookbook costs $3.99 plus tax on Amazon.
Her unique approach led influential kosher food bloggers Sarah Lasry of the Patchke Princess and Amy Kritzer of What Jew Want to Eat to ask her to collaborate on a cookbook. They also sought out the expertise of Liz Rueven, author of the blog Kosher Like Me.
Their different personalities and culinary backgrounds ensure varied recipes catering to myriad tastes. Fisch also points out that the majority of the dishes can be prepared year-round and cater to gluten-free and grain-free diets, while some recipes are even vegan. For example, Fisch's spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce and quinoa meatballs excludes gluten and animal bi-products.
Everything from appetizers, to side dishes and dessert is featured in the book, as well as prep-ahead rules and freezer instructions. Fisch says the problem with keeping kosher is how expensive the products are, especially ones designated as kosher for Passover. For this reason, all the recipes were put-together with money-saving tips in mind.
Fisch says she wishes Miami had more affordable kosher dining options, like House of Dog, which is known for its delicious hotdogs and creative toppings. Her other favorite local spots include Cine Citta Cafe for pizza and homemade pasta, and Bunnie Cakes for vegan and kosher cupcakes.
The blogger is also a friend and huge fan of Zak Stern, AKA Zak the Baker. Stern has plans to open a kosher bakery and café in Wynwood this month, expanding upon his much praised sourdough bread. Fisch credits Stern with playing a major part in getting people to realize that kosher food can appeal to a broader audience.
On the next page, Short Order has Fisch's recipe for cauliflower mac 'n' cheese -- a favorite of her toddler daughter, and a main that's satisfying 365 days a year.