≡ Menu

Bais Yaakov cookbook review

For those of you who don’t know, Bais Yaakov just came out with a beautiful 380 page gourmet cookbook. Being a professional cook with a lifelong obsession with Bais Yaakov girls I deemed the publishing of this much needed cookbook as an act of God on my behalf. Unfortunately there were no up-skirt shots of Bais Yaakov girls, but there were a lot of interesting recipes. 

One of my problems with frumma, heimishe, gourmet, cuisine is that it tries to go so far outside the “box” that it ends up messing with you. Can you please tell me where you’re going to find organic heirloom tomatoes in Boro Parkl in order to make the heirloom gezpacho? Or what about the recipe for broccolini and crasin salad (a gourmet spin off of the classic frum dish of frozen broccoli stems and cranberry’s in a mayonnaise slather) do they expect frum ladies to have the time or energy to wash the broccolini (whatever the heck that is) for this salad? Rapini seemed like the better option to me.

It was a welcome site to see so many classics in print. Deli Roll is showcased in their fleishig section (I’m glad that Bais Yaakov has become a little more modernishe in recent years and finally allowed the cookbook to contain both milchig and fleishig dishes in the same book – they are split up by fish in this book)  and in this case their recipe for Deli Roll shines, they use real pastrami from the deli, rather than the packaged kind and the recipe calls for grainy mustard, rather than smooth – it is truly gourmet deli roll.

Other super gourmet recipes included were the classic iceberg lettuce, mangoes and strawberry salad. Cabbage and la choy noodle salad and the classic cucumber and onion salad. I also really appreciated the guide to kugels, it finally laid to rest the debate in our home about whether or not cake served at the main meal is called kugel – according to a nearly unanimous vote – everyone single Bais Yaakov girl in America besides those in Baltimore (Baltimore is only a Bais Yaakov in name) agreed that cake served at the main meal is called kugel.  I especially the liked the recipe for zucchini kugel, change the name to bread if served at desert.


{ 35 comments… add one }
  • What is going on? January 17, 2012, 1:33 PM

    Ugh. Bais yaakov girls suck at cooking.

  • TheRealJoe January 17, 2012, 1:39 PM

    Next up Chabad bochrim George foreman cookbook

    • Synapse January 17, 2012, 7:36 PM

      Not to be confused with the every bochur who can’t bring himself to eat the recycled supposedly kosher but probably poisonous meat for the 30th time this month hotplate experiance.

  • Philo January 17, 2012, 2:01 PM

    “a gourmet spin off of the classic frum dish of frozen broccoli stems and cranberry’s in a mayonnaise slather”

    Frozen? I tasted it only once that way and it was gag-worthy. I thought that it was just a really bad cook. I didn’t know that using frozen broccoli is widespread among frummies.

    I make the fresh broccoli version all the time and it’s delicious

    • Philo January 17, 2012, 2:07 PM

      only the stems? Oh right, the insane bug thing.

      I feel bad for people who have never tasted broccoli florets. The stems are just lame.

      Also, it’s “cranberries

    • A. Nuran January 17, 2012, 9:13 PM

      It sounds nasty warm or cold.

  • Mark January 17, 2012, 2:50 PM

    First step in cooking: Eliminate anything related to Zionism from your kitchen!

  • A. Nuran January 17, 2012, 2:52 PM

    Anyone who is interested in good Jewish food needs to buy a copy of Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food. It’s part history lesson, part anthropology, but mostly a fantastic survey of Jewish cooking from Bengal to Brooklyn. Ms. Roden has gotten more awards for her lifetime of writing cookbooks than a South American dictator has medals.

    • Anonymous January 17, 2012, 3:27 PM

      i love that book, more for the read than the recipes.
      favourite recipes, however, include baked whole salmon, basic pie dough (made with oil, not butter) and flourless orange cake.

      • A. Nuran January 17, 2012, 3:40 PM

        My one criticism is that Ashki recipes come off looking kinda sad and schmatte compared to the Middle Eastern, North African and Inidan ones.

        • Synapse January 17, 2012, 7:37 PM

          That is probably because the Ashkie foods are “sad and schmattes” compared to Middle Eastern and co dishes.

    • Should be working January 18, 2012, 6:36 AM

      My husband (the cook, and a Catholic who bought Roden when he married me) loves Roden but says she makes it sound like EVERYTHING there is is originally Jewish. Which I guess is not only a point about food.

  • AztecQueen2000 January 17, 2012, 3:32 PM

    Deli roll? Ugh.
    My policy on bugs–it only counts if it can be seen with the naked eye.

  • OfftheDwannaB January 17, 2012, 6:16 PM

    Half dressed bais yaakov girls would have sold so many books, they’d never have to charge tuition again.

  • tesyaa January 17, 2012, 7:19 PM

    It’s about a decade too late to capitalize on the Susie Fishbein bandwagon.

  • Rebbetzin Hockstein January 17, 2012, 8:23 PM

    you said: (Baltimore is only a Bais Yaakov in name) . Take it back. That’s mamesh loshon hora! My nieces go there, and they are SO aidel maidel. What makes a Bais Yaakov a Bais Yaakov anyway? The dumpy looking uniforms (check)? The tznius checker at the door to make sure that there are no uniform infractions and that the tznius button is buttoned (check)? Girls doing the face in the siddur thing during davening (check)? Being in the hosting rotation for the the yearly Bais Yaakov convention (check)? Having a revolving door of teachers during one school year due to engagements with the subsequent move to Lakewood for the single teachers and maternity leaves for the married teachers (check)? Creating a “production” every year, with the requisite “song dance” and “ensemble”, over the top, hit them hard over the head cheesy theme, cheesier theme song and even cheesier overacting (check)? Check, check, check, check, check….what am I missing here??? Oh yeah, the not so subliminal commercial for kollel life, along with “career planning” so that the aidel maidels will enroll in lock step formation into OT/speech/special ed courses that are NOT chalila v’chas at a college campus but instead are held in some alternative location with substandard coursework and no lab components, even for those planning to do something in health care (BIG check mark!!!) I think given these criteria, Bais Yaakov Baltimore IS definitely a REAL Bais Yaakov.

    Heshy, I can’t wait to see YOUR post on what constitutes a REAL Bais Yaakov. Trouble is, how are you going to do your research?

    • Person January 18, 2012, 6:11 PM

      Of all the things to take offense… Pretty sure bais yaakov in name alone is probably a compliment more than a slight on this blog.

      I wouldn’t know personally never having been to Baltimore, but the idea I get is that the NY area bais yaakov schools have a certain personality to them, not necessarily technical differences. But as I said, I haven’t experienced it.

  • Woodrow/Conservadox January 17, 2012, 9:37 PM

    My policy on bugs- I don’t eat them unless the alternative is broccoli!

  • ModernOrthodoxObserver January 17, 2012, 9:53 PM

    How many recipes of kugel are there?

  • Anonymous January 18, 2012, 6:40 AM

    Best shidduch date question ever: “So nu, what is your favorite type of kugel? I like potato but I’m looking for a girl who is a bit spicy like Yerushalmi kugel… you chap?”

  • Sarah January 18, 2012, 8:26 AM

    My mom went to Bais Yaakov of Baltimore in the sixties, and was one of the only Chassidish girls there. Most of the girls were centrist or MO, and there were even a couple Conservative girls. Oh, and it actually had high quality academics.

    • Rebbetzin Hockstein January 18, 2012, 12:21 PM

      Sarah, you do know that the 60s was almost 5o years ago, right? Baltimore has changed A LOT since then. Most notably, a lot of New Yorkers have moved in! Bais Yaakov Baltimore does still have quality academics, though they do have a big inferiority complex, trying to be like all the “other” Bais Yaakovs so that their girls can get into “good” seminaries. Still sounds very Bais Yaakov to me….

      • Sarah January 18, 2012, 12:50 PM

        Sure, just saying.

Leave a Comment