According to expert food predictors, “Kosher is the new natural,” enjoying mass appeal that goes way beyond traditional products. More and more products are becoming kosher-certified with more than 150,000 food items available and continuing to grow. Many of these products are creating trends for 2013. Even the Food Network features chefs “brining” meats and poultry to enhance flavor and texture. Of course, national taste tests always have placed brined kosher poultry and meat favorites at the top of the list. Braising and cooking slow and low will be showcased often, proving to me that Shabbos dishes such as cholent may be considered among the features of gourmet restaurants someday. My new favorite recipe for 2013 is sushi salad. It makes a great lunch or side dish and beats rolling individual sushi rolls at the last minute.
As more chefs are leaving behind butter and cream, you will notice menu dishes using brown rice, high-fiber grains and healthy sauces, reduced with ordinary vegetables and beets and portobello mushrooms.
The recent Kosherfest in late 2012 showcased many new innovative products. Shop carefully this year and you will see natural, organic, artisanal, local, nut-free and gluten-free items everywhere: gefilte fish sushi, kosher foie gras doughnuts, “facon” (better than any real or fake bacon). Turning the traditional into something new and creative is very appealing to young kosher shoppers. More kosher products are putting whole grains into kids meals. Watch for more chicken and less beef recipes. Pereg Natural Gourmet Foods now offers a unique regional variety of grains and rice, both easy to prepare and delicious. Manischewitz continues traditional holiday favorites, as well as Mediterranean, gluten-free and flavored couscous for kosher customers.
And, which were my favorite picks at Kosherfest? I loved the Brownie Brittle by Sheila G (it’s available at Gourmet Again). But mostly I am intrigued with Voila! Hallah by Tribes A Dozen. It’s an instant all-natural challah mix that needs no kneading, stress or mess. (My kind of homemade!) And it’s versatile enough to transform into babkas and even savory egg breads — totally natural and no preservatives.
Wishing everyone a delicious and healthy 2013!