The idea for More Please, the cookbook produced by Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto’s Parent Teacher Council, was born in the kitchen of one of its members about 2-1/2 years ago.
The almost 400-page, 900-recipe hardcover cookbook has become the largest project ever undertaken by the council.
Jody Pasoff, who chaired the cookbook committee along with Ann Rastin and Dina Farber, said that after they embarked on the project, it quickly became a labour of love.
“We turned each of our houses into a studio, and we tested, tasted and rated the more than 1,000 recipes that were submitted by parents, grandparents, teachers and administrators, friends and nannies.”
Rastin said they rated the recipes using four levels – wouldn’t feed a dog, edible, family worthy and fit for the queen. “Only recipes that we would feed to the queen made it into print.”
Despite using recipes fit for a queen, however, they also wanted to include recipes that are easy to cook, with ingredients that are easily accessible.
“We want people to open the book, choose a recipe, and find most of the ingredients in their cupboard. Associated is a diverse community, and we have included recipes from around the world.”
Their families were their guinea pigs, Pasoff said. “One day we made 26 chicken recipes, and on another, 65 people turned out to test 73 cookie recipes. We spent many days cooking along with 14 other people.”
They consulted with Simcha Wines in order to pair the main courses with an appropriate kosher wine, she said. “They paired the wines and the recipes thoughtfully, and kept the wines reasonably priced.”
The entire book, from testing to editing to layout to photography to publishing, was done by committee members, Rastin said.
The “buzz” around More Please has been unbelievable, Pasoff said. “We have already raised $70,000 for the school. All the money will be spent on things desperately needed by the school, such as a scoreboard for the gym at the Kamin campus.”
The book is available in Judaica stores and at Indigo Books.
Along with favourites such as dairy free butter chicken, three-day brisket and Friday night potatoes, a number of recipes, including the following, are perfect for the upcoming Shavuot holiday.
2-3 bunches broccoli, stems peeled, chopped into small pieces
1 cup red onions, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1-2 tbsp. sugar, to taste
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1 cup pine nuts or sunflower seeds
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, old or medium, optional
In a large bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, cranberries, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Sprinkle wih cheese at serving time if desired. Yields 12-16 servings.
FOUR CHEESE LASAGNA
2 tbsp. water
12-15 pieces oven-ready lasagna noodles
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
2-3 cups ricotta cheese or pressed cottage cheese
2 cups pasta sauce
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a lasagna pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl combine mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. In a separate bowl combine ricotta/cottage cheese with some pasta sauce until it is spreadable but not too watery.
Put 2 tbsp. of water on the bottom of the pan. Line with lasagna noodles. Spread a thick layer of pasta sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle with shredded cheese until you cannot see the sauce. Spread another layer of pasta sauce over cheese.
Line again with noodles. Spread ricotta mixture over noodles. Layer again with noodles. Spread a thin layer of sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle shredded cheese until you cannot see the sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese all over. Cover lasagna with aluminum foil. Bake for 50 minutes. Yields 12 servings. Serve with Gamla Chardonnay.
DELICIOUS EASY SALMON TERIYAKI
8 salmon filets
sesame seeds, to garnish
6 tbsp. dry sherry
6 tbsp. brown sugar
4 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. soya sauce
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. ginger, minced
2 tsp. garlic, crushed
In a large bowl combine sherry, brown sugar, water, soya sauce, oil, ginger and garlic. Mix well. Place salmon fillets in marinade. Let stand 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Remove salmon from marinade and place on prepared baking dish. Keep marinade.
In a saucepan, boil remaining marinade until it becomes thick and syrupy. Brush it on the fish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to coat well. Cook for 10-15 minutes uncovered, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Yields 8 servings. Serve with Dalton Safsufa Sauvignon-Viognier.
CARAMELIZED PEAR CHEESECAKE
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
3 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
6 pears, peeled, seeded and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl with a pastry cutter or 2 knives cut 1/2 cup butter into 1 cup of flour forming tiny pieces.
In a separate bowl beat 2 egg yolks. Mix with flour pieces until dough forms a ball. Press into bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
In a mixer, combine cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar. Beat well. Gradually add 3 eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Set aside.
Once crust has cooled slightly, pour in cheese mixture and return to oven for 40-50 minutes or until set.
In a large skillet over low heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Carefully add 3/4 cup sugar allowing it to brown. Do not burn sugar. Add pears. Cook uncovered for approximately 15 minutes or until pears are tender. Reduce until mixture is quite thick. Remove from heat and cool.
In a bowl combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut in 1/3 cup butter until mixture is crumbly.
Once cake is done, remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Spread with pear mixture and sprinkle with topping.
Preheat oven to broil. Place under broiler until browned. Refrigerate overnight before serving.