Over the past few years I have written reviews on a few kosher cookbooks by author’s Leah Shapira and Victoria Dwek. I have reviewed Passover Made Easy, Dairy Made Easy and Secret Restaurant Recipes and I (pardon the pun) devoured them all. Hungry for more great recipes from this duo I was ecstatic when I was asked to review their most recent addition to cookbook shelves everywhere. Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes gives us recipes geared for weekday meals from kosher restaurants all over the world. Recipes that immediately lure you into the kitchen to prepare them. I am amazed by just how many kosher restaurants there are. Some are traditional and their recipes evoke a time when my mother was a child in the 1920s and others are as modern as today. All of them are tantalizingly delicious.
In this new book you will find lots of practical information as well. There are shortcuts and easy to find ingredients for home cooks along with secret techniques and tips directly from the restaurant kitchens. Another feature that I really enjoyed was that there are gorgeous full color photos for each recipe. I have heard a lot of home cooks mention that they learn from the pictures because it shows them what the dish should look like. It’s like a guide. I don’t keep kosher but that didn’t stop me from making the recipes. Don’t let it stop you. Trust me. These dishes are tasty no matter what your ethnic background. It’s just really great food.
- 1 lb chicken breast, cubed
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp water
- Pinch coarse black pepper
- oil, for frying
- 2 Chinese leeks or scallions
- 3 Tbsp salted peanuts
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 4 tsp vinegar
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- 4 tsp ketchup
- Place chicken into a small bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch; top with water and black pepper. Mix to coat the chicken. Let stand for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok or sauté pan over high heat. When oil is very hot, add chicken cubes in batches; fry for 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Drain oil from the pan. Add soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, hot sauce, and ketchup. Cook until sauce thickens slightly, 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and scallions; toss to coat. Top with peanuts.
- Tidbit: Dini makes her own version of hot chili sauce to use in the restaurant. She says it’s the Asian equivalent of Israeli red chug.
- Home Cook: We’ve tested this with all different types of hot sauce and they’ve all been successful. Halve the quantity if serving this dish to children -L.