Simply Heartsmart Cooking
(check out what I wrote), Heartsmart Cooking For Family And Friends
(check here and here) and Essentials of Home Cooking (check here for my all time favorite recipe or here for the soup that converted my soup averse Honey).
Naturally I was ecstatic to receive a copy of her latest Bonnie Stern Friday Night Dinners.
Growing up in a Jewish home, I remember Friday nights at my grandparents' tiny one bedroom apartment and most of my mother's six siblings, their spouses and the 17 grandchildren. Heavenly chaos complete with traditional Jewish fare...chicken soup with noodles or matzo balls, gefilte fish or chopped liver, main course of roast chicken or brisket usually played the starring roles. It was, indeed, a special night.
When I was handed the proverbial apron and roasting pan, I went further afield with the menu, but the premise was the same...gathering of friends and family after a hard week's work...a time to relax, refresh and just be together with those we care about.
And, there are lots of lovely dinners like that in Bonnie's new book. But it's not just about traditional Jewish Friday night dinners by any means. It's truly a book for everyone who likes to invite people over for dinner, whether that's Friday, Saturday, Sunday or during the week.
So, a little about the new book...the chapters are broken down by dinner type, the menu (complete with appetizers and cocktails) and, of course, the recipes. Here are some of my favorites already...
Hummus with Cilantro Pesto
Grilled Pita with Za'atar
Short ribs with Red Wine & Port (mine are in the oven making the entire apartment smell awesome on a foggy Sunday afternoon ...edit note...they're done and they're delicious)
Smashed Red-Skinned Potatoes
Mixed Greens with Mustard Tarragon Dressing
Lemon Meringue Pie (really makes me think of my mother's version that I never got to write down...perhaps now I'll have an alternative to whining about it)
Lemon Basil Martini
Grilled Chicken Skewers with Rosemary and Garlic
Porcini-rubbed Grilled Veal Chops (definitely bookmarked for soon!)
Roasted Butternut Polenta
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Basil
Peaches Poached in Vanilla Syrup
Gwen's Almond Biscotti
Middle Eastern Dinner:
Matboucha (Moroccan cooked tomato salad)
Creamy Hummos (different to the Comfort dinner one)
Moroccan Chicken Cigars
Bonnie's Chicken Fattah (soooooo good, just don't tell her I made it on a Tuesday)
Moroccan Fruit Salad
Chocolate dipped Medjool Dates Stuffed with Walnuts
There are 25 dinners in all and I will be working my way through them. Indian, Greek, Nostalgia, South African, Australian, Asian, Vegetarian, Fast Food (2 versions) and more, so it might take me a while.
I love her intro stories for each of the menus and one other thing I find very special about this book...recipes are not only hers, but from friends of hers as well, some of whom are fabulous chefs in their own right and others just do great dinners at their homes.
This is definitely a lovely book to add to your collection, and if you make a dish on Tuesday...well, we just won't tell Bonnie.