Q&A with Susie about “Teens and 20-Somethings”

Q: You’ve produced six bestselling cookbooks in less than ten years. Was this what you had in mind when you started?

A: Not at all. But the response from the early adopters of Kosher by Design was so enthusiastic, I just kept going. My family and friends were very encouraging, as well. And the world of kosher food has shifted dramatically in the last decade. We have choices today that would have been unthinkable ten years ago, with world class kosher wines, kosher sausages, kosher gelatin, and many new kosher ingredients. Also, we have a proliferation of fine kosher restaurants which have influenced how people cook and entertain at home.

Q: Your latest project focuses on teens and 20-somethings. Why this group?

A: There are really two groups in this demographic. There is the segment that subsists mostly on fast food, whose idea of home cooking is a store-bought entrée warmed in the microwave. I want to widen their choices. Then there’s another segment that is really into cooking, that has a more developed and health-conscious approach to eating. This group is more aware of ingredients, portions, nutrition, and actually reads packaging labels. I’ve observed firsthand that this is true of boys as well as girls. They are looking for new recipes and new approaches to eating. I also have in mind the college student cooking in a dorm or a first apartment. I considered the adventurous teen who wants to have friends over for something more substantial than pizza and pretzels. More personally, I have teens in the kitchen now. Their tastes have changed; they and their friends are more sophisticated. You should see what my kids can create in our kitchen! My recipes designs are crafted with all these in mind, as well as the adults who cook for them.

Q: So this cookbook isn’t just limited to the young, aspiring home chef?

A:  Not at all. Over-30’s will find great ideas in Teens and 20-Somethings. And if you are a parent who cooks for this age group, you’ll be very happy because they’ll love the diverse cuisine – not to mention that all the older adults I’ve surveyed said that would use this cookbook for their regular meal planning as well.

Q: From looking at your previous cookbooks, it seems you like an international mix of recipes. Does that carry through in Teens and 20-Somethings?

A: I simply write about what I like to eat. I like to keep things fresh and exciting in the kitchen. I look for inspiring ideas from countries that have interesting cuisine. I take an eclectic approach and end up with fun combinations. Imagine coming home to a dinner made by your college student, featuring Mexican Pizza Empanadas, Creamy Gnocchi Pesto Salad, Thai Chicken Burgers, Hoisin Vegetables, and finishing with a Chocolate Tart in Pretzel Crust. There are dozens of suggestions here to “eat your way around the world.”

Q: It’s an odd question but how “Jewish” is this kosher cookbook?

A: As you’ll notice with Kosher by Design Short on Time, Teens and 20-Somethings is not a thematically Jewish cookbook, though many of the recipes are great for Shabbat and holiday meals. Among the 100 new recipes, few are discernibly Jewish (OK — the Hot Pretzel Challah, perhaps — and there is a good recipe for traditional Chicken Soup). You’ll find some pretty tantalizing American-style dishes such as Turkey Sliders, Peanut Butter and Banana French Toast, Tater Tot Casserole, and Tie-Dye Cookies. But they are all kosher.

Q:  How labor-intensive are these recipes?

A: They were designed for young people in minimally-equipped kitchens – like a dorm room or a first apartment. They are simple, quick, fun to prepare, and really delicious. While these recipes are really for anyone anywhere, we’ve prepared them with a specific demographic in mind that has shown a keen interest in eating and learning about cooking.

Q:  Is the last installment in the Kosher by Design series?

A: Would you be surprised to know that I’m already thirty recipes into the next project?
kosher by design, susie fishbein, teens and 20-somethings, kosher recipes, simple kosher cookingThis post comes from the upcoming release “Kosher By Design: Teens and 20-Somethings” by Susie Fishbein and published by ArtScroll Shaar Press. Preorder your copy today and receive free shipping within the continental U.S. on your entire order from ArtScroll.com.

Southwest Rotisserie Chicken Wraps

Give your boring leftovers new life! This dish is a great way to up leftover chicken, but it is yummy enough that I have even made a fresh roasted chicken to use in this recipe.

1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded with 2 forks
¾ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (8.75-ounce) can whole kernel yellow corn, drained, or 1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
½ small red onion, peeled, very finely chopped (about ½ cup)
½ cup fresh cilantro, stems discarded, leaves chopped
½ cup favorite bottled barbecue sauce, such as KC Masterpiece®
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons parve sour cream, such as Tofutti brand Sour Supreme®
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 head Boston lettuce, leaves chopped (about 6 cups, loosely packed)
3 plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, cut into ¼-inch dice

1. In a medium bowl, toss the shredded chicken, beans, corn, red onion, and cilantro. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, parve sourcream, salt, and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture and stir to mix well.

3. The tortillas are easier to roll when they are warm, so heat each one for about 10 seconds in the microwave. Lay the tortillas flat on a work surface. Top with lettuce and tomatoes. Pile on 1 cup of the chicken mixture.

4. Roll and serve.

kosher by design, susie fishbein, teens and 20-somethings, kosher recipes, simple kosher cookingThis post comes from the upcoming release “Kosher By Design: Teens and 20-Somethings” by Susie Fishbein and published by ArtScroll Shaar Press. Preorder your copy today and receive free shipping within the continental U.S. on your entire order from ArtScroll.com.

If you can read, you can cook – an introduction to “Teens and 20-Somethings”

Got the study munchies? Friends coming over to hang out? Helping your family with dinner? First time living on your own?
Many young kids help out in the kitchen with a batch of cookies or brownies. Once you are old enough to be responsible for your own food, there are so many reasons to find your way into the kitchen other than a sweet dessert. Cooking is a skill that will serve you well. It is easy to go the “pizza or takeout” route, but that can be unhealthy, uninspired, and expensive. Explore new ingredients; discover that cooking can be quick, easy, and rewarding. Good food is also a great excuse for gathering friends and family.
If you can read, you can cook. Following a recipe is nothing more than following step-by-step directions.
More importantly, once you get into it and learn how flavors meld and how ingredients behave, you will develop your own personal style, freeing yourself from this or any cookbook. So turn up some music, grab a skillet and spatula, and let’s get cooking!

kosher by design, susie fishbein, teens and 20-somethings, kosher recipes, simple kosher cookingThis post comes from the upcoming release “Kosher By Design: Teens and 20-Somethings” by Susie Fishbein and published by ArtScroll Shaar Press. Preorder your copy today and receive free shipping within the continental U.S. on your entire order from ArtScroll.com.

Tools to use – your kitchen equipment

You don’t need a lot of fancy stuff to get going in the kitchen but here is a list of all the equipment used in this book.

Basics:

  • mixing bowls
  • skillet
  • jelly-roll pans
  • cookie sheets
  • oven-to-table baking pans
  • metal baking pans
  • tube pan
  • microplane

Tools:

  • can opener
  • silicone spatula
  • wooden spoon
  • pastry brush
  • rolling pin
  • metal spatula
  • whisk
  • knife
  • cutting boards
  • tongs
  • potato masher — optional
  • parchment paper
  • strainer
  • ladle
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups, liquid and dry
  • cupcake tin
  • garlic press

Safety:

  • disposable gloves
  • oven mitts
  • fire extinguisher

Big-ticket items:

  • immersion blender
  • food processor
  • blender — optional
  • stand mixer

kosher by design, susie fishbein, teens and 20-somethings, kosher recipes, simple kosher cookingThis post comes from the upcoming release “Kosher By Design: Teens and 20-Somethings” by Susie Fishbein and published by ArtScroll Shaar Press. Preorder your copy today and receive free shipping within the continental U.S. on your entire order from ArtScroll.com.

Free shipping when you preorder Teens and 20-Somethings

“Kosher By Design: Teens and 20-Somethings” is coming on Oct. 27! We’re offering our blog readers a special deal – preorder today and receive free shipping (continental U.S.) on your entire order from ArtScroll.com. Just enter the code “KBDBLOG” at checkout.

Since her first cookbook bearing the Kosher by Design moniker appeared in 2003, self-taught chef Susie Fishbein has become the culinary liberator of borscht-bored kosher cooks throughout North America. So influential is the home-based wife and mother of four that in May 2010 Fishbein was invited to the White House in recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month.

Popularly known as the Kosher Diva, Fishbein is releasing her seventh cookbook, Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation, aimed at the young and digital-savvy fast food generation and those who cook for them. Commenting on how her family life has influenced her career as a cookbook author, Fishbein notes, “When my kids were younger, I published Kosher by Design Kids in the Kitchen. They learned to cook amazing recipes with me. I have a couple of teens now and their appetites have changed. And they are my proof-positive! This new cookbook equips young adults with knowledge and skills to create their own amazing foods, from a quick and delicious snack to a whole party.”kosherbydesign-teens-20somethings-susie-fishbein-kosher-cookbook

While unapologetically a Jewish mother, Fishbein’s recipes are light–years beyond traditional chicken soup, gefilte fish, and kasha varnishkes. In fact, among the 100 new recipes, little is discernibly Jewish (OK — the Hot Pretzel Challah, perhaps — and there is a good recipe for Chicken Soup). Teens & 20-Somethings serves up tantalizing American-style dishes such as Turkey Sliders, Peanut Butter and Banana French Toast, Tater Tot Casserole, and Tie-Dye Cookies.

But the international influences are abundant. Imagine coming home to a dinner made by your college student, featuring Mexican Pizza Empanadas, Creamy Gnocchi Pesto Salad, Thai Chicken Burgers, Hoisin Vegetables, and finishing with a Chocolate Tart in Pretzel Crust. There are dozens of suggestions here to “eat your way around the world.”

Award-winning food photographer John Uher, whose client list includes Godiva Chocolates and Bacardi Rum, has worked with Susie since the original Kosher by Design was released in 2003. Uher’s 100+ images in Teens & 20-Somethings are vivid and motivating.

Fishbein provides clear and simple guidance throughout the cookbook to help young cooks develop confidence in preparing dishes that appeal equally to the eye and palette. She offers important tips for healthy eating, safety in the kitchen, essential utensils, and menu planning.

Anyone with food sensitivities will appreciate the convenient sidebar symbols that indicate gluten-free, fat-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian recipes. In accordance with kosher cooking requirements, each recipe is clearly marked as meat, dairy, or parve (neither meat nor dairy).

She also encourages her culinary protégés to go beyond personal or family cooking; she offers four lively party templates, including a baseball theme and a board game night.

Susie’s sold-out coast-to-coast cooking demos, along with her appearances on national television and radio, have elevated kosher cuisine to a more sophisticated level in public perception. Book critic Benyamin Cohen, former editor of youth-oriented Jewsweek.com and American Jewish Life, says of Susie Fishbein, “She’s a phenom — singlehandedly redefining kosher cooking.”

But bottom line: What can the average digital-centric teen or 20-something expect to find in this curiously different cookbook? Susie quips, “Delicious fun — LOL!”