Kosher Cuisine with a Millennial Twist

In her new cookbook, Millennial Kosher (ArtScroll), Chanie Apfelbaum embodies her passion for new food for a new generation, featuring traditional Jewish dishes reinvented for the modern palate. Influenced by international cultural cuisine, her cookbook incorporates bold flavors and spices, using fresh seasonal ingredients and fewer processed foods.

Kofta Stuffed Dates
Adapted from Millennial Kosher: Recipes Reinvented for the Modern Palate by Chanie Apfelbaum (ArtScroll)
Yields 24 dates

Stuffing the sweet dates with the spiced kofta filling and wrapping them in smoky kosher beef fry creates the perfect party bite that pairs well with beer.

1 lb ground chuck
2 tablespoons grated shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts
24 Medjool dates
12 slices beef fry, sliced in half lengthwise

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a large bowl, combine meat, shallot, garlic, parsley, spices and pine nuts. Form the mixture into torpedo-shaped logs, each about 1 heaping tablespoon.
3. Slice open dates lengthwise, making sure not to cut all the way through. Discard pits.
4. Stuff dates with meat mixture. Wrap each date with a strip of beef fry; place on a rack set over a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Honey Roasted Za’atar Chicken With Dried Fruit
Adapted from Millennial Kosher: Recipes Reinvented for the Modern Palate by Chanie Apfelbaum (ArtScroll)
Yields 4–6 servings

10 oz dried apricots (scant 2 cups)
10 oz pitted dried prunes (scant 2 cups)
3 tablespoons za’atar
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken legs, skin-on
1/2 cup dry red wine
Kosher salt, to taste
1/3 cup honey

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread apricots and prunes into a 9 x 13-inch pan.
2. In a bowl, combine za’atar and olive oil to create a paste. Rub the za’atar paste over chicken; place chicken on dried fruit. Pour wine around the chicken; sprinkle with salt.
3. Cover tightly with foil; bake for 1 hour.
4. Uncover the pan. Drizzle the chicken with honey. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 30–45 minutes, basting every 10 minutes with the pan juices.

Mushroom Barley Risotto
Adapted from Millennial Kosher: Recipes Reinvented for the Modern Palate by Chanie Apfelbaum (ArtScroll)
Yields 6 servings 

Courtesy of Millennial Kosher by Chanie Apfelbaum and ArtScroll/Shaar Press

Chanie writes: “I love risotto. What I don’t enjoy is standing over the pot, stirring in ladle after ladle of stock to make the classic dish. Here, I let the barley do the thickening, and with little effort you’re left with the creamiest bowl of comfort food that really hits the spot, even without the meat. My mushroom barley-loving kid approves!”

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz cremini mushrooms, stems removed
3.5 oz oyster mushrooms, stems removed
3.5 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup barley, rinsed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
8 cups vegetable stock
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
White truffle oil, for finishing

1. Heat a 5-quart stock pot over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onion; sauté until translucent. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant.
2. Slice mushrooms; add to pot. Cook until softened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add wine; cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.
3. Add barley, soy sauce, thyme, bay leaf and stock; bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium; simmer with the cover half off, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender and the risotto is creamy, with a porridge consistency, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. To serve, discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs; divide risotto between serving bowls. Finish with a drizzle of truffle oil.

For dairy meals, add parmesan cheese to taste. For meat meals, use beef stock in place of vegetable stock.

Mom’s Honey Chiffon Cake, Up-“Dated”
Adapted from Second Helpings, Please! by Norene Gilletz and Harriet Nussbaum (Gourmania Inc.)
Yields 15 to 18 servings

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups silan (date honey) or buckwheat honey
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup cold brewed tea or coffee (or 3/4 cup tea and 1/4 cup brandy)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place oven rack in lower third of oven. Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine eggs and sugar in the large bowl of an electric mixer; beat on high speed until thick and light. Gradually pour in oil and silan and blend well.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix well. Gradually add to batter, alternating with tea or coffee, starting and ending with dry ingredients.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
5. Bake for 15 minutes (it’s best to set a timer). Reduce oven temperature to 300°F and bake 1 hour longer, or until cake tests done. (A wooden skewer inserted into the center should come out dry.)
6. Remove cake from oven and let cool for 15–20 minutes. Loosen cake from pan using a flexible spatula. Carefully invert onto a round serving plate and remove from pan.

Variation: Honey Spice Cake: Add 1/2 tsp ground allspice and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg to dry ingredients.

Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. The author of twelve cookbooks is a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, cookbook editor, and now a podcaster (! Norene lives in Toronto, Canada and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website at

This article was featured in the Fall 2018 issue of Jewish Action.
We'd like to hear what you think about this article. Post a comment or email us at