By Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray
St. Martin’s Press, $35
When two cultures come together in a family, mealtime often brings delightful surprises. This is especially true for Todd and Ellen Gray, the couple who owns Equinox Restaurant in Washington, DC. An acclaimed chef, Todd isn’t Jewish, but when he married Ellen he embraced her family’s passion for Jewish food. In the couple’s new book, Todd elegantly refines such Jewish classics as matzo ball soup, brisket, and latkes (his version gets topped with crème fraîche, horseradish, and salmon caviar). The 125 appealing recipes, which assume a certain competence on the part of the cook, range from fresh modern fare like Quinoa Salad with Figs and Mint, and Grilled Lamb Burgers with Olive Tapenade to cherished family favorites like Kassoffs’ Sweet Noodle Kugel. There are also dishes that represent Todd’s Italian-inspired, seasonally driven cooking style. Though you don’t need to keep kosher to enjoy the food in this collection, each recipe has been given a dairy, pareve, or meat designation.
Ricotta Cheese Blintzes (page 6) These ricotta-filled crêpes were a big hit, and I loved the flavor that the orange zest gave the filling.
Pumpkin Risotto with Mascarpone Cheese (page 31) This somewhat unusual no-stir risotto was soothing and deeply flavorful, with a texture that was spot on.
|Sweet Noodle Kugel||Matzo Stuffed Cornish Hens||Apricot Hamantaschen|
Photos by Renee Comet