Untraditional Jewish recipes in new book

“Jewish Cooking for All Seasons” by Chicago restaurateur Laura Frankel (288 pages, Wiley, $34.95) is an inspired collection of 150 seasonal recipes for soups, salads, starters, main dishes and desserts with a professional touch.

There are no recipes for classic or traditional Jewish dishes — instead, the adventurous cook will find Rosh Hashanah suggestions like quince-stuffed veal breast with roasted fennel and baked apples with dates and walnuts.

The recipes look delicious and interesting, and I love the fact that the emphasis is on high-quality, fresh, seasonal ingredients. The dishes are all kosher, and the more difficult-to-find ingredients like bison and za’atar come with suggestions on where to find them.

Grilled Corn Chowder with Salmon Seviche | Serves 6

10 ears very fresh corn
4 cups vegetable stock

or water
1 dried chipotle pepper (optional)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the seviche:
1 lb. skinless, boneless wild Alaskan salmon fillet (do not use farmed salmon)
juice of 2 lemons
juice of 2 limes
juice of 1 orange
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1 roasted red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, diced into very small confetti (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the grill to medium heat (or use a grill pan for indoor cooking). While the grill is heating, soak the corn in cold water, about 20 minutes, to keep the husk and corn silk from burning.
Grill the corn until the kernels pop easily when pressed with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the corn from the grill and cool. When the corn is cool enough to handle, strip off the husks and silk. To remove the corn kernels, stand an ear up on a cutting board. Run a knife down the ear, stripping off the kernels. Continue until all the kernels have been stripped.
Puree half the kernels with the vegetable stock or water in a food processor or blender, and set aside another 1/2 cup of kernels for garnish. Stir together the puree with the remaining kernels in a large saucepan and add the chipotle, if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes. Discard the chipotle and chill the soup until cold, at least 4 hours.
Make the seviche: Cut the salmon into long, thin strips. Gently toss the salmon with the citrus juices in a large bowl and let the salmon cure for 3 to 5 minutes, until the fish is opaque. Add the shallot, red pepper, cilantro, jalapeno (if using), and salt and pepper to taste, toss lightly, and drizzle with a spoonful of olive oil.
To serve, divide the salmon seviche among 6 bowls, spooning the mixture into a tight bundle in the center. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and ladle the soup around the seviche. Garnish with the reserved corn kernels.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sorbet | Makes about 1 1/2 pints

1 cup preserves or jelly
2 2/3 cups peanut butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 cups water (bottled water yields a tastier sorbet)
3 Tbs. honey
1/2 cup chopped roasted, unsalted peanuts (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chunks (optional)
Spread the jelly on a silicone mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spread 1 cup of the peanut butter on a silicone mat or parchment paper on another baking sheet. Freeze both overnight. (The jelly won’t freeze hard because of the sugar content, but it will be very cold and help set the sorbet).
Stir the sugar, water and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a blender or food processor, add the remaining 1 2/3 cups of peanut butter and blend until combined well. Chill completely.
Process the peanut butter sorbet mixture in your ice cream machine, following the manufacturer’s instructions. When the sorbet is ready to be removed from the machine, stir in the frozen jelly and peanut butter and the chopped chocolate and peanuts, if using. Freeze until hard, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Rebecca Ets-Hokin is a certified culinary professional. Visit her Web site at www.GoRebecca.com. She can be reached at [email protected].