On Thursday, December 20, the Young Israel of New Rochelle’s Women’s League presented a culinary demonstration and tasting featuring Chanie Apfelbaum, the renowned food blogger Busy In Brooklyn and cookbook author of “Millennial Kosher.” Participants were able to sample some of the recipes from “Millennial Kosher,” prepared by the event’s committee members, and each participant was provided with a pink pencil and clipboard, along with the evening’s recipe cards, designed by Jenny Platzman of ArtScroll Printing.
“I am not a millennial,” admitted Apfelbaum. “It doesn’t mean you have to be a millennial to use my recipes; it just means cooking for this generation. People don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen but still want to put out food that looks beautiful. They want to cook a little healthier than they did growing up; like out with margarine and in with coconut oil—a modern approach to food.”
Apfelbaum entertained a sellout crowd of 75 women. Her tasting menu included an amuse bouche of pita chips with chestnut hummus and an appetizer of kofta stuffed dates. The entrée was stuffed chicken over parsnip puree, with a dessert course of pecan pie bites.
Through her presentation, Apfelbaum offered many useful cooking tips. Her first tip was the concept of “mise en place,” French for “everything in its place,” which is a method of preparing and organizing ingredients and tools to maximize efficiency. For Apfelbaum, these items are: kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, plastic spoons to taste her food, paper towels, containers and disposable gloves.
Additionally, she suggested appeasing guests who do not like large onion slices in their salad by using a microplane grater to add onion to your salads for a mild onion flavor. Further, she advised to always keep spices in a cool dry place, and only buy spices in small amounts, as they do expire and lose their flavor. She advised against keeping one’s Passover spices year after year.
Apfelbaum revealed that roasting is her preferred method of preparing vegetables and has moved away from typical kugels. She spent a significant amount of time explaining to the audience how one should never overwork raw meat. To keep meat tender, one should work it as minimally as possible. While the group sampled the parsnip puree, she queried whether the coconut oil or coconut milk was detectable in the dish. She explained how refined coconut oil has no coconut taste or aroma.
Apfelbaum concluded the night by explaining that she entered the foodie arena because her friends started calling her for her recipes. She saw people were not just interested in her food, rather they were intrigued by her creations and how she plated her food, as well. That is when she realized that “Food is not just a way of sustaining ourselves, but a form of art and how we express ourselves creatively. You can have fun with food.” Apfelbaum invited the audience to “Open your palate, try new recipes, try new flavors, cook millennial, cook more modern and just have fun with it!
By Judy Berger