two tacos garnished with lemon
From the cover of "Millennial Kosher" by Chanie Apfelbaum

Gems from a ‘Millennial Kosher’ cookbook

More and more kosher cookbooks are being published these days — many of them written by a new generation of observant Jews who keep kashrut but who also understand the appeal of contemporary flavors.

“Millennial Kosher: Recipes Reinvented for the Modern Palate” by Chanie Apfelbaum is one such book. Raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and the mother of five, she has updated her biography on her popular kosher food blog to change “stay-at-home mother” to “full-time food writer/photographer.”

Apfelbaum’s recipes for regular, Shabbat and holiday meals are based on ingredients available in most large supermarkets. She avoids many processed foods and keeps her writing straight-forward.

I tested some recipes from the book, all of which were a hit with friends and family. The first includes a miso glaze — a favorite of mine — and Apfelbaum’s is delicious. The meatballs are her adaptation of her Syrian Jewish mother-in-law’s stuffed zucchini. It’s a tasty adaptation of a classic recipe without any hollowing out or stuffing.

The recipes have been adapted for space, style and my experiences cooking them.

Chanie Apfelbaum’s Miso-Glazed Salmon

Serves 8

Adapted from “Millennial Kosher”

  • ¼ cup white miso paste (see notes)
  • 1½ tsp. grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 whole side of salmon (see notes)
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Sliced scallions (green onions)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together the miso paste, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Place salmon fillet skin-side down on a rimmed baking tray or dish. Brush miso mixture over top of salmon. Place portobello mushroom slices over sauce, slightly overlapping slices. Brush mushrooms with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until to desired degree of doneness. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.

Notes: A “side” of salmon is a single fillet that runs the length of the fish, usually weighing 4 to 5 lbs. You could also use several large fillets; if so, I recommend doubling the miso topping. I lined my baking tray with oiled parchment paper before adding the salmon. White miso paste is sometimes labeled shiro miso (or blonde and/or sweet miso).

Chanie Apfelbaum’s Lazy Mechshie Meatballs

Serves 6

Adapted from “Millennial Kosher”

  • 2 15-oz. cans plain tomato sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ cup diced apricots (see notes)
  • 1½ cups shredded zucchini (see notes)
  • 1 cup water
  • Meatballs:
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ⅓ cup raw basmati white rice
  • 2 Tbs. grated onion
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. water

For serving: Prepared noodles, spiralized vegetables or rice

For sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a big enough saucepan to cook the meatballs in. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover, keeping at a simmer, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are ready to cook.

For meatballs: Combine all meatball ingredients. Gently form into 1-inch balls; drop them into simmering sauce. Simmer for 1 hour (covering if sauce begins to get too thick) or until meatballs are tender and cooked through.

Serve over noodles, “zoodles” or rice.

Notes: I used an extra tablespoon of chopped apricots and a few extra tablespoons of shredded zucchini as garnish.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].