Chic Made Simple

Fresh. Fast. Fabulous.
In stock
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Imagine this: An exquisite coffee-table cookbook that’s also your most used companion in the kitchen.

An unlikely combination?


Until Now.

Prepare to be smitten with this collection of more than 185 deliciously dazzling recipes, accompanied by over 210 magnificent photographs. Includes a comprehensive 20-page index with full recipe cross-referencing.

Yet the recipes are so easy, they take just minutes.

Who Says Easy Can't Be Fabulous?

More Information
Dimensions9.375 x 10
AuthorEsther Deutsch
PublisherDistributed by Feldheim
Number of pages384
Item #6698
Binding typeLarge Format
Weight3.640000 lbs.
Customer Reviews
  1. as seen in the American Jewish World from Minneapolis
    The first thing you notice about Esther Deutsch’s Chic Made Simple are the glossy, full-color photos of what must be incredibly delicious food — everything from Sake-Glazed Salmon with Shitake and Portobello Mushrooms and Stuffed French Bread with Spinach, Herbs and Cheese, to Pareve Cheese Mousse with White Viennese Crunch and Fudge Marble Bundt Cake. And the best part is that the recipes for these delectable dishes are simple! Deutsch is a self-taught cook and New York-based food stylist who believes that if food looks iresistible it will taste as such. Her cookbook features “nofuss cuisine” that is simple enough for the novice cook, fast enough for the busy cook and impressive enough for the accomplished cook. Deutsch has compiled more than 185 recipes that are accompanied by more than 210 photos, including dishes for everyday meals and special occasions — and it’s all kosher. In her introduction, Deutsch says she comes from a “long line of stellar cooks” and relates that it was her grandmother’s “efforts at the stove top that have been immortalized in family lore.” Once she got married, Deutsch was swept away by America’s culinary renaissance, paying “luxurious attention to detail” in hosting dinner parties. But then she had kids and got busy, which resulted in a change in the way she cooked. What she learned in now included in this cookbook. “I thrive on creating fabulously chic recipes that require barely any prep time but look elaborate and taste amazing,” Deutsch writes. “And I reap the ultimate reward of fuss-free cooking: as my time in the kitchen grows shorter, my time gathered around the table with the people I love grows longer.”

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  2. CHIC Made Simple: Fashionably Fabulous Food Without The Fuss. As seen on
    Goodbye humdrum. Hello, gorgeous!!

    With the release of CHIC Made Simple, an all new cookbook written by food stylist, columnist and recipe developer Esther Deutsch, kosher food continues to blaze new trails, offering sophisticated, appealing recipes that are, (surprise, surprise!) both delicious and deceptively easy to prepare.

    As a food editor at Ami Magazine, Mrs. Deutsch, a Flatbush resident, developed a loyal following with her MANNA column, which dazzled readers with recipes that were a cut above their usual fare, but didn’t require endless hours in the kitchen. Fast forward to her debut cookbook CHIC Made Simple, a 384 page volume studded with over two hundred photographs that are so appealing you have be careful not to drool all over the pages.

    CHIC Made Simple features over 185 recipes, some original and some reader favorites, with chapters devoted to Appetizers and Sides, Soups, Salads, Poultry, Meat, Fish, Dairy and Desserts. Creativity abounds here from Gefilte Fish Sushi to Balsamic Grilled Peaches with Basil-Pistachio Ice Cream on Cinnamon Skewers to an intriguing recipe for ice bowls, made out of empty half gallon and quart containers.

    The Jewish Press: How did someone with no formal culinary training become so intricately involved in cooking and styling food?

    Esther Deutsch: Aside from the actual satisfaction I get from cooking, plating and eating, of course, I am a photography enthusiast and would capture my plated dishes on camera. Looking to take things to the next level, I scheduled a session with a professional food photographer to take pictures of my favorite family recipes in order to get my cookbook project going, but with a son and daughter close in age, I put the idea of writing a cookbook on the “back burner.”

    Fast forward a couple of years, and while organizing family photos on my hard drive, I came across the food photographs and I thought “what a shame that such beautiful mouthwatering images were left forgotten.” So, I posted them on Facebook, where Rechy Frankfurter, who was then the editor for Mishpacha magazine and is now editor of AMI magazine, stumbled upon them. The rest is history.

    The term food stylist didn’t even exist until recently. Why do you think the visual presentation of food has become so important?

    ED: The presentation of food will determine whether your dining experience will be an adventure or an just an average eating experience. A few extra seconds devoted to prettying up a plate will whet the appetite. Even if you are preparing a dish for yourself, it is amazing how much more enjoyable your meal will be if your food is nicely displayed. “We eat with our eyes” is an old, but true, cliché. When it comes to food, the more senses you capture, the more enjoyable the eating experience.

    How tough is it to come up with things that not only look and taste great, but don’t take forever to prepare?

    ED: Raising young children definitely does not offer the luxury of fussing in the kitchen all day. I don’t want to spend an entire Friday cooking in the kitchen, even when we are expecting company, while my children are home. So my main objective is recipes that are quick and easy. When I developed and tested the recipes for CHIC Made Simple, there was a rigorous mental checklist. First and foremost, I would ask myself “Is this fast and easy? Delicious? Beautiful? Will I want to prepare this dish many more times?” If there was a resounding yes to all four questions, I knew it was a keeper.

    Is it even feasible to expect today’s women, who are typically working full time and doing it all, to create elegant presentations in addition to turning out incredibly delicious food?

    ED: CHIC Made Simple was designed for the busy woman. The recipes are fast, the ingredient lists are short and the dishes only look complicated. In reality, they are a snap to prepare. My approach of “less is more” works best when it comes to cooking and plating food. If you look at cookbooks or magazines from several decades ago you see how food presentation has evolved. In the past food was over styled. The serving pieces were ornate and there were lots of props surrounding the dish. Because life has sped up and become busier, we look for simplicity wherever we can, especially in the kitchen. What people find appealing now is presentation that’s kept simple: all you need is a clean white plate, a simple garnish, and a little TLC in order to produce a well presented dish. It is okay if it isn’t perfect looking; there is beauty in imperfection. There are also so many fabulous inexpensive white plates available and they add lots of visual interest to the dish, while eliminating the need to fuss with the styling.

    Do you ever miss the days of PB&J, Grilled Cheese, Franks and Beans and Macaroni and Cheese, when Swiss Fudge Cookies were considered a seriously good dessert?

    ED: We still have those days. My children are picky eaters and they prefer many of the same comfort foods that other kids enjoy. During the week, I try not to introduce new dishes more than twice a week so that they enjoy a nice balance of familiar foods and new cuisine. I save most of my experimentation with new dishes for Shabbos meals. My idea of gourmet food? A well prepared tuna sandwich.

    Leafing through CHIC Made Simple, everything looks both gorgeous and delectable, but a little intimidating. Are these recipes are really fast to prepare and present?

    ED: The recipes and presentation are much like that woman who is wearing the dress from H&M but you are convinced she is wearing haute couture. The recipes only look intimidating, but they are easier than easy. You won’t believe it until you try them for yourself.

    While certain ingredients look very intriguing, but I don’t know that I have ever seen them with kosher certification. Sriracha sauce? Pomegranate molasses? Where do you find these with a hechsher?

    ED: To truly label a recipe quick and easy, the shopping list must be taken in consideration as well. The recipes in CHIC only call for ordinary ingredient and most of the recipes use ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Sriracha sauce has become a staple in most supermarkets and one bottle will last you awhile. And yes, there is one recipe in the book that calls for pomegranate molasses, which can be found in some supermarkets.

    CHIC Made Simple is published by Feldheim and is available online and in Judaica stores everywhere. Trust me when I tell you this is one cookbook you don’t want to miss!

    * * * * *

    Filet Mignon au Poivre

    This savory dish may serve as a midweek dinner or you can save it for your Friday night menu. If you’re serving this dish alongside other main-course dishes, the portion sizes can be cut in half. If preparing this in advance, you can reheat it, uncovered, in an oven set to 175° F for no more than two hours.

    Filet mignon, prized for its melt -in- the-mouth texture, is considered a kosher cut, even though it is located near the sciatic nerve. According to kosher dietary laws, it’s forbidden to eat the sciatic nerve, so it requires a very experienced butcher to separate the sciatic nerve from the filet mignon. For this reason, filet mignon is hard to obtain. If you can’t get kosher filet mignon, club steak and rib eye resemble the flavor of the well-marbled filet mignon in taste. Both of these cuts of meat work in this recipe; your butcher might even be labeling them “filet mignon.”

    For this recipe, I use port as the wine of choice because of its rich color, but cognac and madeira both work well, too.


    4 round-cut filet mignon steaks (6 oz. each)
    * Kosher salt
    * Fresh black pepper
    2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    3 Tbsp. oil

    Deglazing Sauce

    7 Tbsp. shallots, finely chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    ¼ cup port wine
    2 cups chicken stock
    1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
    2 sprigs thyme
    2 sprigs tarragon
    3 Tbsp. trans-fat-free margarine


    1. Season the steaks with the salt and black pepper to taste, then sprinkle with the Worcestershire sauce. In a sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat. Sear the steaks in the oil until medium-rare or they reach the desired level of doneness, about 4–5 minutes per side. Remove the steaks from the pan.

    2. To prepare the sauce: Add the shallots and garlic to the pan in which the steaks were pan-seared and sauté briefly, about 5 minutes. Leaning away from the stove, add the port, madeira, or cognac and cook for a few seconds. Add the chicken stock, mustard, thyme, and tarragon and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to scrape up all the drippings. Reduce the heat to medium–high and continue to cook until the liquid is thickened and reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the sprigs of thyme and tarragon. Add the margarine and stir until incorporated.

    3. Pour the sauce over the steaks and serve warm. Serves 4.

    * * * * *

    Sweet Gefilte Fish with Caramelized Tomatoes,
    Mushrooms, and Onions

    If the concept of a gefilte fish craving sounds foreign to you, well, that’s about to change. At Toby E.’s house we’re always served a glorious amount of fabulous food (which leaves me with a glorious amount of inspiration). This is one of Toby’s recipes, and it’s the kind of recipe that travels fast. You’ll see…

    Note: If the frozen gefilte fish loaf is wrapped in parchment paper, let the fish thaw slightly. It will be easier to remove the paper before baking.


    1 large onion, chopped
    2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
    10 oz. white button mushrooms, quartered
    2 Tbsp. oil
    1/3-½ cup sugar, to taste
    Pinch salt
    Pinch of white pepper
    1 loaf (20 oz.) gefilte fish


    1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a 9×13-inch baking pan, combine the onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, oil, sugar, and salt. Roast, uncovered, until caramelized, 30–40 minutes.

    2. Remove the pan from the oven and stir the roasted vegetables to combine. Add the gefilte fish loaf to the pan and bake, covered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes longer. Serve the gefilte fish warm, topped with the vegetables. Serves 6–8.

    * * * * *

    Healthy Moist Carrot Orange Muffins

    These muffins contain the sweet goodness of freshly grated carrots, unlike so many other carrot muffin recipes that call for a jar of baby food—which imparts a slight bitterness to the muffins. Grating the carrots does require a bit more effort, but it is well worth it! When your children insist on ice cream, or sweets for breakfast, these carrot muffins may work as a reasonable substitute for satisfying a sweet tooth. Keep the muffins tightly covered to maintain moistness.

    Tip: It’s best to bake these muffins directly in a muffin pan. Using disposable cupcake holders will not yield uniform looking muffins.

    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1 cup all purpose flour
    1 lb (16 oz. bag) fresh carrots, finely grated
    1 cup sugar or sugar substitute
    ¾ cup canola oil
    ¼ cup orange juice, fresh or bottled

    1 orange, zested (optional)
    4 eggs
    2 Tbsp lemon juice
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    ½ tsp cinnamon
    ½ tsp salt


    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the flours, carrots, sugar, oil, orange juice, orange zest, eggs, lemon juice, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt until well combined, about 1 – 2 minutes. Pour the batter into a 12 generously greased muffin tin (or 2 greased disposable muffin tins), filling the cups 2/3 full.

    2. Bake for 22 – 25 minutes until the center tests clean with a toothpick. Do not over bake. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for maximum freshness.

    Yields: 12 muffins

    * * * * *

    Warm Deep-Dish Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Torte

    Shoshana treated my family to the most incredible chocolate chip cookies…and the recipe! The original recipe called for shortening, but because the ingredients are so well balanced, it doesn’t miss a beat with oil. I’m convinced this is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve ever tasted. But how do you transform an already great chocolate chip cookie into a full-blown dessert? Make it an inch and a half thick, of course. And…serve it with ice cream.

    Note: This recipe yields two 9-inch round cakes. You can serve the second one as a breakfast cake.


    2 cups oil
    1 cup sugar
    2 cups dark brown sugar
    1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
    4 eggs
    4 cups all-purpose flour
    4 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. salt

    1 pkg. (10 oz.) chocolate chips
    *Store-bought vanilla ice cream


    1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the oil, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt on medium speed until well combined, about 2–3 minutes. Add the chocolate chips and combine.

    2. Pour the batter into two 9-inch round baking pans and bake, uncovered,

    for 55–60 minutes. Serve the torte warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

    3. To reheat, warm the torte, tightly covered, in a preheated 200° F oven for no longer than 1 hour. Serves 16.

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  3. as seen on
    “Chic” is defined as elegantly and stylishly fashionable, however Esther Deutsch, a New York-based food stylist, columnist and recipe developer, takes it to a different level. In the introduction to her cookbook, she writes that she thrives “on creating fabulously chic recipes that require barely any prep time but look elaborate and taste amazing.”

    And I might add, not only is each one more tantalizing than the one before, but also they are truly gourmet, elegant and kosher. Yes, every one is really kosher and there are 185 of her favorite dishes.

    Many recipes sit on the lefthand page with measurements and title in blue, ingredients and numbered directions in black, and an informative, blue-framed box with information related to that page’s recipe. On the righthand page is a mouth-watering color photograph.

    Chop up kiwi, mango and strawberries; add raspberry sauce and you have a light and sweet treat. The same format is used when a recipe is on a page alone with smaller accompanying photographs.

    Thus we have a highly readable, userfriendly layout. There are 35 appetizers and sides including: scallion quinoa patties with lemon garlic paprika aioli, Mexican chicken-filled crepes with shallot sauce, skirt steak spring rolls with corn off the cob, minced garlic and rosemary pita crisps, and roasted eggplant and red pepper dip.

    The soup chapter has nine soups such as: vegetable dumpling soup, roasted chestnut pumpkin soup and creamy broccoli asparagus soup.

    In the salad chapter, the 19 salads include: Asian slaw with chow mein noodle and sesame dressing, smoked turkey and chicken salad with creamy avocado dressing, crispy beef salad with warm peppers and Thai sweet-chili vinaigrette, and tropical kani salad with sriracha lime dressing.

    Fourteen poultry recipes include: savory chicken with papaya salsa, chicken fire poppers, Tuscan chicken with spaghetti and caramelized baked sticky sesame chicken.

    Although there are meat recipes in other chapters, the actual meat chapter has 15 recipes including: Creole veal burgers with remoulade sauce, rack of lamb with orange mustard rosemary sauce, and Tamari French roast or brisket.

    Among the 14 recipes for fish are: sixty-second Cajun salmon with dill, sushi gefilte fish and Aburi sesame tuna with wasabi garlic cream.

    Mini cheese babkas, linguine with wine cream sauce and mushrooms and Heirloom caprese salad on rosemary skewers are just a few of the 25 dairy recipes.

    The amazing dessert chapter with 53 recipes includes: pomegranate strawberry mocktail with sorbet, truffles, pareve cheese mousse with white Viennese crunch, sea salt caramel bundt cake, tangerine glazed apple apricot strudel, and tiramisu with chocolate liquor.

    Although one might consider this a look at, coffee table book, the recipes are definitely easy to make, impressive, creative, imaginative and even some will definitely look like works of art.

    This is a great gift book for any kosher cook.

    Here are some different recipes to make this Chanukah “chic.”

    5 potatoes, peeled and grated
    5 eggs, beaten
    1/2 small onion, grated
    1 tsp. sugar
    1 scant Tbs. kosher salt
    fresh black pepper
    1/4 cup oil

    1/2 lb. deli pastrami, cut into
    thin strips

    Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a bowl, combine the grated potatoes, beaten eggs, grated onion, sugar, salt and black pepper. Add the oil and pastrami strips and mix until well combined. Pour into 12 six-oz. greased ramekins or a greased nineinch round Pyrex dish. Bake until the tops are crispy and golden, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Cool for several minutes before removing from the ramekins. Serve warm.

    Serves 8-12.

    If you’re tired of sufganiyot, try this fried dessert for Chanukah.

    1 1/4 cups sugar

    8 oz. non-dairy whip topping
    1 tsp. lemon juice
    1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/4-1/2 cup coconut milk

    16 wonton wrappers
    16 squares chocolate
    peanut oil
    confectioners’ sugar

    In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, whipped topping, lemon juice and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved then occasionally until the bubbles become bigger and the sauce turns a rich amber color.

    Stir in coconut milk (1/4 cup for rich and gooey sauce, 1/2 cup for thinner sauce). Pour warm water into a small bowl. Place wonton wrappers on a clean, dry surface. Place one chocolate square in the center. Brush the edges with water. Bring each corner to the center, allowing them to overlap slightly and press to seal. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat until hot. Fry wontons until golden brown, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.

    Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm with caramel sauce.

    Serves 8.

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  4. as seen on
    What better source for fast, fabulous, kosher cuisine – that looks good enough to eat — than a food stylist, columnist, and recipe developer. CHIC Made Simple, by Esther Deutsch successfully conveys the author's cooking philosophy: if your food looks irresistible - it tastes as such. Her recipes are designed to look – and taste – like gourmet cuisine.

    If delicious reading alone isn't enough to get you off the couch and into the kitchen, Esther's ardor for impeccable no-fuss presentation will surely inspire you to recreate these mouthwatering dishes. Dishes like Spiced Mocha Mousse with Viennese Crunch, Savory Club Steak with Caramelized Onions,, Coconut Tilapia with Apricot Teriyaki Sauce, Chicken Fire Poppers, Filet Mignon au Poivre, Tropical Kani Salad with Sriracha Lime Dressing, and many more that you and your family and friends will declare the best you've ever had.

    With over 185 recipes, accompanied by beautiful colored photographs (and food styling by the author herself), this cookbook will appeal to everyone: the novice, the busy cook and the more accomplished cook.

    Esther Deutsch is a self-taught cook who has never taken a single culinary class. She is a food editor of AMI magazine, and resides in New York with her husband and children. Her debut cookbook, CHIC Made Simple, features her most celebrated recipes, as well as many that have never before been published.

    Buy the Book…CHIC Made Simple for your cookbook library, or as a gift!

    KosherEye Notes: This cookbook is a feast for the eyes - just looking at the gorgeous pictures made us want to try all of the recipes, which do appear to be easy and fuss-free. We especially liked the array of thumbnail recipe photographs that appear at the beginning of each chapter. This is a beautiful cookbook; a Gift Yourself, Gift Others KosherEye selection.

    Enjoy the following recipes from CHIC Made Simple: Chicken Fire Poppers, Savory Club Steak with Caramelized Onions, and Tropical Kani Salad with Sriracha Lime Dressing.

    As you enjoy reading about these fabulous cookbooks, some featured cookbooks have recipes, or indeed chapters with recipes that have non−kosher ingredients. No worries! KosherEye and our team of knowledgeable cookbook authors, chefs and foodies will help you find, convert and substitute ingredients to create kosher recipes. To get you started, we are providing an initial, basic list of kosher substitutions. As is the case with many outstanding cookbooks, this is a worthwhile exercise, which enables the kosher cook to have access to some of the world’s greatest, classical and most contemporary recipes, created by experts in their field.

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  5. Highly recommended
    Chic Made Simple is a gorgeous hardcover cookbook showcasing over 185 artful kosher recipes, each of which can be prepared in just minutes. The 210 full-color photographs reveal the dazzlingly beautiful culinary displays that cooks of all skill and experience levels can learn to make for everyday meals or special get-togethers. Side anecdotes enhance this treasury especially recommended for cookbook collectors, but also ideal for anyone short on time but not tastebuds! Dishes include "Garlic Teriyaki Roast", "Creamy Roasted Tomato Vodka Soup", "Warm Chocolate Souffle with a Hint of Chili", "Stuffed Eggplant Canapes with Veal" (chopped chuck beef can be substituted for the veal if desired), and much more. Highly recommended especially for cuisine connoisseurs!

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  6. as seen on

    CHIC: Fresh. Fast. Fabulous. Kosher Cuisine.

    Author Esther Deutsch has a theory that if your food looks irresistible -- it tastes as such. Her recipes are designed to look -- and taste-- like gourmet cuisine. Yet the recipes are so easy, they take just minutes. CHIC MADE SIMPLE features delectable, no-fuss cuisine that's made to order for all cooks: recipes simple enough for the novice, fast enough for the busy cook, and impressive enough for the most accomplished. Esther is a self-taught cook who has never taken a single culinary class. If she can do it, anyone can—effortlessly.

    Readers will delve into this exciting array of sensational dishes again and again— dishes they’ll treasure for both everyday meals and special occasions. Chic will help readers treat their guests and family to food that is both a work of art, absolutely delicious -- and easy to make!

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  7. as appeared in The Jewish Advocate - Boston
    CHIC Made Simple, by Esther Deutsch is a beautiful coffee-table size book
    that has a lovely sky-blue cover; the entire book is light and airy, bathed
    in white. The dishes and serving pieces used in the many pictures
    throughout the book are also pure white. This choice showcases the food and
    not the serving pieces. On the other hand, a few of the close-ups render
    the edges of the photo a bit blurry, a stylistic decision that made me
    wonder if my eyes were a problem. Still the photography is beautiful, the
    food so artfully plated and artistically arranged as to balance color and
    texture, that one can almost taste each delicious dish.

    The recipes look delicious and, while I have not had time to make any of the
    recipes (busy gearing up for Thanksgiving), I have used my sticky tabs to
    mark off well over a dozen that I will try right after Thanksgiving. Food
    that looks this good, will taste terrific.

    This is a great book for any cook; even a beginner can follow these simple
    recipes and be successful, though the picture perfect plating may take some
    care and time.

    I love the simplicity and the sophistication of this book; I especially love
    the twists on certain recipes that we seem to know by heart. For example,
    her chicken soup recipe has very little chicken in it, but does have
    flanken, green and chipotle peppers, and 12 cloves of garlic! I can't wait
    to try the Vegetable Dumpling Soup and Roasted Corn and Sausage Soup. (of
    course there is Kosher sausage!). Deutsch pushes the ingredient comfort
    zone for some cooks; Crispy Kani with Spicy May uses imitation crab;
    strictly kosher - but again maybe not in the comfort zone of some kosher
    cooks. She also expands our horizons with international fare such as Coconut
    Couscous with Scallion and Lime Syrup and Mango or Fusion Chef Salad with
    Triple Crunch (in Tortilla Wraps).

    These recipes may sound exotic or complicated; they are the opposite. Not
    too many ingredients and simple directions make this a keeper. As the press
    release says, "this is an exquisite coffee table cookbook that's also a
    cook's most used companion in the kitchen." It just might be true, as I
    expect this to become a favorite. This book is perfect for anyone who likes
    to cook but does not like complicated.

    Review by

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  8. as seen on
    This year at Kosherfest I had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Esther Deutsch, the author of the new Kosher cookbook Chic Made Simple. Published by Feldheim, this beautiful new cookbook boasts fresh, fast, and fabulous recipes. At Kosherfest, I asked Esther what was the most important thing she wanted to convey to her cookbook readers. She replied “My cookbook has easy, delicious, and pretty recipes that make everyone happy”. After going through the cookbook I can honestly say that Esther achieved her goal. The recipes in this book are pretty to look at! I went over each page, tagging my favorites with a sticky tab, until my dear daughter asked if there were any pages I didn’t tab! There are so many recipes I can’t wait to try based upon the gorgeous photos, the straightforward instructions, and the simple, fresh and accessible ingredients. This book has more “gourmet” recipes, such as Salmon or Tuna Tartare and Mexican Chicken-Filled Crepes with Shallot Sauce and more everyday family friendly recipes such as Chicken Fire Poppers (my family’s new favorite!!) There are recipes with mock crab, and sushi grade tuna, and simpler fare such as No Bake Cheesecake Mousse. There are recipes in this book that truly will make everyone happy. Chic also has a lot of recipes with mushrooms, wahoo! I couldn’t wait to try the Mini Mushroom Beef Sliders which use mushroom caps! instead of a bun – sheer genius and perfect for the Matten Mushroom Loving Family!!

    When I started reading the Chic, I was struck by how much Esther Deutsch sounded like she could be a friend of mine, sitting in my kitchen discussing recipes with me. From her “Then life happened” to the basic theme of the book: “…fuss-free became the way to go. My essential criteria for good food hadn’t lapsed – food still needed to be absolutely delicious and served with flair – but quick and easy now made the list too.” Those are the same beliefs that I have for!! I couldn’t have said it better myself!

    Each recipe has a little blue box associated with it that contains stories, tips and alternatives for each recipes, making each recipe not just a single recipe but a whole variety of recipes. Bonus! For example, the Chocolate French Macarons with Caramel Cream can be made as described in the main recipe, but the little blue box gives you an alternative chocolate filling, as well as additional recipes for vanilla and coffee macarons. And who wouldn’t want to make the latest, trendiest Macaron dessert for their guests – all tied up in a bow (as shown in the recipe photograph!). You can also impress your guests with Quilted Fondant Cupcakes with step by step instructions for doing the quilting on top of the cupcakes – with quick tips for speeding up the process in the little blue box.

    I can see why Chic is such a popular cookbook, with easy, fast, and fabulous recipes, it’s simple to find recipes that will make your family happy…just like mine was!!

    Chicken Fire Poppers
    My family’s new favorite! When I made these my dear Daughter said “You must make these again!” Dear Husband said “Wow, these are really good!”, and dear Son said “YUM!” That pretty much sums it up!! I did find I needed more eggs than the recipe stated for dipping the chicken in, and I would keep a whole box of corn flake crumbs on hand to make sure you don’t run out. I also used canola oil for the frying. Here is the original recipe but I doubled the recipe when I made them.
    2 eggs
    ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    ½ teaspoon onion powder
    1 pound chicken cutlets, cut into bite-size (1 ½ - inch pieces)
    Corn flake crumbs
    Oil for frying
    ½ cup sugar
    ½ cup brown sugar
    ¼ cup honey
    1/3 cup hot sauce (I use Franks)
    Sliced chives to garnish (optional)

    1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the garlic powder and onion powder. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then coat with cornflake crumbs.
    2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the coated chicken pieces in the oil on both sides until golden and crispy. Let drain on paper towels for a few minutes, then transfer the chicken to a baking pan.
    3. In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients. Pour the sauce over the fried chicken. Bake the chicken, covered for 20 minutes (do not overbake). Spoon the sauce from the bottom of the pan over the chicken, garnish with the chives, if desired, and serve warm. Serves 4-6.

    Mini Mushroom Beef Sliders

    We LOVE mushrooms here in the Matten house, so I was especially excited to try out this recipe. I didn’t have Worcestershire sauce in the house so I substituted teriyaki sauce instead, and the mushrooms came out great! I also added slightly less salt to the recipe as well. I baked the caps for half the time top down, then flipped them and baked them top side up for the remaining time. Be prepared to fend off the hungry crowd until they are done – the aromatic spices make the sliders smell great while they are grilling!
    20 large white mushrooms
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    Kosher salt
    Fresh black pepper
    1 pound chuck ground beef
    1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 teaspoon basil, minced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
    ¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper
    1 egg beaten
    ½ cup bread crumbs
    16 mushroom stems minced
    Barbecue sauce
    10 fresh basil leaves
    2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (10 slices total)
    Fresh rosemary sprigs, to garnish

    1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Remove the mushroom stems from the caps. Mince the stems and set aside for making the sliders. On a baking sheet, spray the mushroom caps with nonstick cooking spray and drizzle with the Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle the caps with the salt and black pepper. Bake, uncovered for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.
    2. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, herbs, garlic, salt, black pepper, egg, bread crumbs, and minced mushroom stems. Form into small patties the same size as the mushroom caps. Grill the patties on an indoor or outdoor grill or sear in a nonstick skillet in hot oil for 4-5 minutes per side.
    3. To assemble the sliders, spread the barbecue sauce on the insides of two mushroom caps. Place a patty on one mushroom cap, add a basil leaf and a slice of tomato, and top with the other mushroom cap. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary: stick the sprig through the top of the mushroom cap and pierce all the way through. (This will also help keep the slider intact.) Yields 8-10 burgers.

    No-Bake Cheesecake Mousse

    7/8 cup (1 ¾ sticks) butter
    4 tablespoons sugar
    2 egg yolks
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
    2 cups heavy cream
    4 tablespoons sugar
    4 containers 9% soft cheese (I use Tnuva or Norman’s)
    1 ¼ cups confectionsers sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
    1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dough crumbs until the mixture is crumbly. Press two-thirds of the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9 ½ - inch springform pan to form and even crust. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
    2. In a baking pan, bake the remaining one-third of the dough crumbs for 25 minutes. Transfer the baked crumbs from the pan to a sealable plastic bag and crush to form fine crumbs. Set aside.
    3. To prepare the cheese filling: Whip the heavy cream with the sugar. Set aside.
    4. Beat the soft cheese with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla sugar. Fold gently into the heavy cream. Pour the mixture over the baked crust and sprinkle with the fine crumbs. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving. Serves 10.

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  9. As seen on
    As a home cook, I strive to create delicious meals that are beautiful, yet simple. Meals that fit comfortably within the realities of every day life, with it's incessant hustle and bustle. That is not to say that once in a while I will not find the time to prepare a dish that requires the use of 3 pans, 12 different ingredients, 2 different kinds of meats, and homemade broth, for the sake of being a la Julia Child. But for weekday dinners, casual gatherings, and even special occasions, I try to keep it simple, quick, and easy. Esther Deutsch, in her new cookbook Chic Made Simple, brings 200 new recipes to pique your interest and satiate your appetite.

    In Chic, you have a little bit of everything, from French-inspired Beef Bourguignon to Orange-Scented Rack of Veal, from Pistachio Pesto Fettuccine Alfredo to Spiced Mocha Mousse with Viennese Crunch. And there is even a step-by-step guide to make the cutest Chanel cupcakes.

    I got a chance to ask Esther a few questions about the book.

    What drives you to keep on creating and developing recipes?
    I have a hard time following recipes precisely. When cooking with a recipe I have this innate compulsion to change or add ingredients. (It’s so much easier using ingredients you already have on hand than having to run out and buy ingredients). Because of my "inability to follow a recipe syndrome" developing new recipes became second nature. Many of the recipes in CHIC include substitute suggestions that can be used to replace certain ingredients in the recipes. Other than being convenient, the suggestions convey a message of confidence to the readers that enables them to use their own creativity in the kitchen. Most of all, it's a thrill for me to create recipes that are super easy yet give the impression that you slaved for hours.

    Where do you gain inspiration?
    Wanting to spend time with my children inspires me to create fast and easy recipes. Raising young children definitely does not offer the luxury of fussing in the kitchen all day. When expecting company, I don’t want to spend an entire Friday cooking in the kitchen while my children are home. So when I cook, my main objective is to cook recipes that will be quick and easy.

    How long did it take you to work on your cookbook?
    It took me two years to work on the book. But, since I was having so much fun doing it, it went by fairly quickly.

    What makes you feel successful in this endeavor?
    I am most proud that I managed to write this book while still being there for my children
    when they got home from school every day. Balancing both was a daunting challenge.
    Cramming full time hours in to a part time day taught me tremendous discipline and
    focus that transfers to other aspects of my life.

    You have great skills in styling and plating the food. Where did you learn and what tips
    can you share with our readers?
    I have never gone to culinary school and don't consider myself to be a chef - I am a cook. So, there isn’t really a specific method of training behind my food styling. My approach is "less is more" when it comes to plating food. What people find appealing is presentation that's kept simple - all you need is a clean white plate, a simple garnish, and a little TLC to produce a beautiful dish. It's ok if it's not perfect. There is beauty in imperfection. The photographers that worked on Chic Made Simple are amazingly talented and they were able to capture the special quality of the recipes. The camera is less forgiving than food that's presented in real life, so in the studio my most important tool is a pair of tweezers. Who knew tweezers can be so effective?

    Thank you Esther for sharing your experience with us.

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  10. beautiful work
    pictures look heaven. hope the recipe gives instructions to come away with such beautiful creations.

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