Geila Hocherman is the author of the new cookbook, Kosher Revolution. She attended La Varenne and has received certificates from Paris's Cordon Bleu and Manhattan's Peter Kump's Cooking School, now the Institute of Culinary Education. She was gourmet food buyer for Bloomingdales, worked as a private kosher caterer, and was a prep-cook at the Food Network. She has also contributed to the former kosher-cooking site, bfruitfull.com.
What is the Kosher Revolution?
Kosher revolution is your passport to unlimited kosher cooking, giving you the tools to make any dish Kosher without compromise. Kosher Revolution is a new way of thinking about kosher cooking that removes constraints while still observing kosher practice.
What are your favorite substitutions for making a dairy dish parve?
That depends on whether the dish is sweet or savory. For savory I prefer neutral flavored nut milks, eggs, flavored oils or mayonnaise. For sweet I will lean toward a sweeter finish nut mulk, swiss meringue and again eggs in various forms for thickening.
All us foodies are enjoying the tastes of other cuisines and cultures and you share many in your book, what is your favorite cuisine?
While there are many fabulous Asian recipes in the book they are not from one culture. Of the European cultures my personal preference always runs to Italian. There are many Italian recipes in the book that go both ways, dairy and meat. My favorite is the linguine with roasted vegetables that I finish with a pareve parmesan. I find Italian food with its quality ingredients and simpler techniques well-suited for home cooks.
What is your earliest memory of cooking?
Making kreplach at age 4 with my Bubbie.
What is your favorite food?
Anything chocolate. The lava cakes, chocolate hazelnut souffle roll, and chocolate challah recipes in the book can attest to that.
What is your least favorite food?
It's a tie between lima beans and black-eyed peas, with succotash coming in at a close 3rd place. None of these are in the book.
What is your most memorable cooking experience?
There are two. When I was seven, I set the kitchen on fire trying to make matzo brei for my little brother. In college, I would make shabbat dinner for a raucous crowd of 10-12 and a deafening silence would fall when I would bring out the chicken veronique--with grapes and mushrooms, page 95: The only sounds were the clinking of cutlery on plates and moans of pleasure.
What advice do you have for the busy home cook?
1. prepare as many elements of a dish in advance.
2. have a well stocked freezer and pantry.
3. Plan your menu carefully. Not every dish should be a star, only one complicated dish per meal.
What will be on your Thanksgiving table next week?
Coconut-Ginger squash soup, pg 61; high-heat roast turkey with port gravy and apple, cranberry and sausage stuffing, pg 86; glazed brussel sprouts with chestnuts, pg 139; roasted fingerling potatoes pg ; ratatouille hash pg 132; maple pecan pie, pg 170.
Where will the Kosher Revolution go to next?
I would like to update the holidays while retaining the traditions. I am aiming for a lighter, healthier, more sophisticated versions of the classics.
Enjoy these recipes as a sampling of what you can find in my book.
***GIVEAWAY*** You can win your very own copy of Kosher Revolution by Geila Hocherman. In the comments below, please tell us what's on your kosher Thanksgiving menu. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older, and must be US residents. Contest ends December 2 2011 at 9 am EST. One winner will be picked by online randomizer from qualifying comments.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED