After giving me a lesson in how thin I needed to roll the dough to make a proper knish, my neighbor Lois sat down with me in my kitchen to tape the audio for a planned iPad app called The Book of Schmaltz. I had intended to use only the audio, but now that the app is temporarily unavailable because of the publication of the hardcover book, I find Lois’s words too engaging (and funny) to hide. And so here I present her thoughts on schmaltz, chicken fat rendered with onion, against the backdrop of our messy kitchen backdoor area. She is an articulate woman who waxes beautiful on this most ethereal of fats. And, from this humble goy to Jews far and wide, L’Shanah Tovah. May your year be fruitful and filled with schmaltzy goodness. Read On »

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Stephanie Stiavetti (@sstiavetti) writes The Culinary Life blog. Her first book, Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, will be available October 22 from Little, Brown, and it’s superb, the best one I’ve seen, in fact, accept no imitations! I’m always game for a rant, especially first thing in Monday morning. Take it away, Steph! —M.R. You’ve heard Michael’s spiel on Americans being trained to believe they’re too stupid to cook. It’s an unfortunate reality that people in this country place a higher priority on time than they do nearly everything else, which greatly affects what we eat. Which affects our health. Which, in the end, affects EVERYTHING. When you eat poorly, guess what? You feel poorly too. You don’t have the energy to do the things you want to do: hitting the gym, playing ball with the kids, actually getting Read On »

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The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat is available today. And while I love the impact of schmaltz on classic Jewish dishes such at kreplach and helzel, I also love the new uses I’ve found for the much maligned fat—these Parisienne gnocchi, for instance, pâte à choux made with schmaltz instead of butter, boiled, then sautéed in schmaltz. Here’s a post on pâte à choux, or use this ratio to make as much or as little as you want. Schmaltz, rendered chicken fat flavored with onion, is one of the great flavors and fats to use in cooking. It’s too good to be relegated to Jewish cuisine alone, though, I have to admit, there’s not a lot that can beat pure schmaltz spread on warm rye toast. L’chaim!

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  When Donna and I published The Book of Schmaltz as an app for iPads, I never expected it to be published as a book book. (Yes, even though it’s called “The Book of.”) And yet, I always knew that would be its most valuable form. The book’s muse, for instance, my neighbor Lois Baron, had never even held an iPad, and she’s the ideal customer. And I’m lucky my editor at Little, Brown thought publishing an actual book was a good idea, too. Tomorrow, The Book of Schmaltz is officially released as a book book. David Leite wrote this about the app when it came out. Max Gross wrote about the book in this weekend’s New York Post. (Though I must take issue with the use of “grease” in the headline. Schmaltz is a Read On »

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