Cook the Book

Cook the Book: 'The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home'

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By now, you've probably heard that the fourth Thursday in November is going to be a mighty special holiday. For the first time in 70,000-ish years (might as well be 1 million), Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will fall on the same day, to create the über holiday, Thanksgivukkah. You may have seen our entry into a Thankgivukkah cook-off with Food52 (a turkey-latke-cranberry-stuffing fritter of epic proportions) but are probably wondering if there's another, slightly more practical way to bring the two holidays together on your table.

The answer? Of course! Over the next two weeks, we'll be bringing you Hanukkah and Thanksgiving favorites from some of fall's best cookbooks. Feel free to mash-up as you see fit.

This week, we'll start things off with Nick Zukin and Michael C. Zusman's The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home. Between the two is an exceptional amount of knowledge. Zukin is the proprietor (along with Kenny Gordon) of the Portland, OR deli, Kenny and Zuke's; Zusman is freelance writer, experienced baker, and deli enthusiast. While they do feature many recipes from the Kenny and Zuke's menu, their cookbook is more than a homage to one particular restaurant. Many recipes come from other delis across the country, like Mile End, Katz's and Wise Sons, while others are traditional family recipes, all co-mingling in a love letter to Jewish comfort food.

Expect deli staples like bagels, pickles, and pastrami (smoked and oven-steamed versions, at that), as well as dinner-friendly meals like noodle kugel, kasha varnishkes, and matzo ball soup. A few of the classics get extra attention with three or four variations each—a boon for fans of brisket, chicken salad, and, most importantly for our Thanksgivukkah needs, latkes. Yet this collection would be little more than an enthusiast's recipe file if not for the detailed essays on everything from matzo balls to Joan Nathan that anchor the book.

This week, we'll sample a few deli classics that will be at home on any Thankgivukkah table (or perhaps a leftover spread the next day): Brisket with fall vegetables, latkes, pastrami Benedict, and chicken salad.

Win 'The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home'

Thanks to the nice folks at Andrews McMeel, we have five (5) copies of The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home to give away this week. All you need to do for a chance to win a copy is to tell us about your favorite deli meal in the comments section below.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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