Kosher Cooking Guidelines: What You Need To Know

Last week, we had the pleasure of announcing Kitchensurfing’s new Kosher department. In New York City, we have trained chefs ready to prepare exciting meals for any occasion, all with Kosher ingredients and in a Kosher environment.

But what exactly does it mean to prepare Kosher? It’s a technique not all chefs know how to master. So, we’re going to break it down for you in a very digestible way. Here we go:

What is Kosher?

Kashrut is the body of Jewish law dealing with what foods we can and cannot eat and how those foods must be prepared and eaten. Kosher describes the food that meets these standards. Contrary to popular belief, rabbis or other religious officials do not bless food in order to make it Kosher. Food can be kosher without a rabbi ever being involved; for example, the vegetables from your garden are undoubtedly Kosher. However, in our modern world of processed foods, it is difficult to know what ingredients are in your food and how they were processed, so it is helpful to have a rabbi examine the food and its processing to assure consumers that the food is Kosher.

General Rules

Although the details of keeping kosher are extensive, the laws all derive from a few fairly simple, straightforward rules:

  1. Certain animals may not be eaten at all. The restriction includes the flesh, organs, eggs, and milk of the forbidden animals.
  2. Of the animals that may be eaten, the birds and mammals must be killed in accordance with Jewish law.
  3. All blood must be drained from meat and poultry before it is eaten.
  4. Certain parts of permitted animals may not be eaten.
  5. Fruits and vegetables are permitted, but must be inspected for insects (which cannot be eaten).
  6. Meat cannot be eaten with dairy or fish.
  7. Utensils (including pots, pans and cooking surfaces) that have come into contact with meat, may not be used with dairy, and vice versa. Utensils that have come into contact with non-Kosher food may not used with Kosher food.
  8. Grape products, such as wine, grape juice, or brandy, must be Kosher certified.

The Details

Kosher Animals: cattle, sheep, goats, deer, and bison.

Non-Kosher Animals: pig and animals that don’t chew their cud and have split hooves.

Kosher Seafood: Any seafood with fins and scales, including tuna, salmon, sea bass, striped bass, herring, tilapia, flounder, bluefish, arctic char, cod, fluke, grouper, haddock, halibut, anchovies, perch, snapper, sardines, sole, trout, whitefish.

Non-kosher Seafood: Any shellfish, including lobsters, oysters, shrimp, clams, crabs. Other non-kosher fish include swordfish, catfish, eel, sturgeon.

Forbidden Fats and Nerves: The sciatic nerve and its adjoining blood vessels may not be eaten. 

Got questions? Tweet @Kitchensurfing​ or message us on Facebook and we’ll give you all the info.

Presto Pesto

Ok first things first everyone should have a food processor they make little ones for $25 dollars. Buy one.

Now this is a a throw it all on the good processor and tada.

Lots of Greens (spinach, basil, cilantro, parsley, arugula, mustard, radicchio etc.) or sun dried toms, or other dried fruit or veggie probably.

Oil of choice

Salt pepper

Cheese (recommended optional) (Parmesan is best)

Acid (citrus juice and/or zest, vinegar) (recommended optional)

Nuts (recommended optional)

Serve on pasta as a spead on a sandwich as a dip use to marinade meats or veggies in soups. As a sauce. Other ideas??

Good for about 10 days in the fridge or can be frozen.

Coworker is SUPER Kosher. So to be frank, I was only slightly more than extremely displeased by the fact that my first meal in SF couldn’t be at Swan Oyster Depot slurping down oysters and spooning out fresh crab fat and sea urchin. 

Instead, we hit up one of the only two certified Kosher restaurants in the city. Located in Chinatown. My face wasn’t pretty. 

But I’ll give it to them. Just for sake of respecting my coworker and well, my food was cooked perfectly. The fish skin was incredibly crispy while the meat was tender, flaky and moist. The only thing lacking was a saucy component. But hey, I still ate the whole thing.

Fried whole tilapia with rice and beans.

Sabra Grill, SF Chinatown. 

Introducing Kosher Chefs for Kitchensurfing

“We won the war, we lost the war, let’s eat” is a famous Jewish saying. As the saying suggests, food plays a pivotal role in the Jewish social environment. From Shabbat and festival dinners to nachas events like brisses or a graduation parties, food is an important part of every celebration.

When you think about Kosher cuisine, the first foods to come to mind are often gefilte fish from a jar, bland deli meats, and lukewarm matzo ball soup. It’s time to change that.

Kitchensurfing is excited to announce the launch of Kosher operations in New York City. Our new Kosher arm includes 17 trained and vetted chefs who offer gourmet food made from carefully sourced, certified Kosher ingredients, all prepared in your own Kosher kitchen environment.

For many observant families, a chef’s word that her food is "Kosher” often isn’t enough to guarantee that sourcing, handling, and preparation have been correct, down to the letter of the law. That’s where our staff comes in.

What does “Kosher” mean to Kitchensurfing?

Contrary to popular belief, Kosher is not “food that has been blessed by a rabbi.” Kosher has more to do with the entire product and the processes through which your food is prepared.

Literally, “Kosher” translates to mean “fit” or “proper.” When used in relation to food products, “Kosher” means that the item in question meets the dietary requirements of Jewish law. In order to ensure that all Kosher food prepared by Kitchensurfing chefs is fit for consumption, we turn to the head of our Kosher program, Yuda Schlass.

Yuda is a chef born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. He grew up with his parents who owned an event catering company focusing mainly on macrobiotic and health-oriented cooking. In 2002 after graduating high school, he moved to Los Angeles, CA to pursue a culinary career. Since then, Yuda worked as a line cook, sous-chef in several restaurants and cafes in the LA area. In addition, Yuda has also worked for kof-k supervision company, supervising kosher processes for various food manufacturers.

So, how does it work?

Let’s say you want to have an authentic Thai meal with your family. At present, your Kosher restaurant options in the city are limited: there are only so many solid options, and even among those there’s not a whole lot of culinary diversity. Authentic Northern Thai and Kosher? That’s a tough ask.

With Kitchensurfing, you can book a talented, Kosher-trained chef for custom-made meal in the comfort of your home — all with just a few clicks. That’s almost good enough to invite the in-laws over for Shabbat dinner.

Why launch a Kosher market now?

It’s simple, really: the Kosher market is an underserved segment of New York’s dining scene. We know that there is a desire for a broad range of world cuisines among those who eat Kosher, a desire that the current crop of Kosher dining options in the city simply can’t fulfill. We’re eager to change that.

So, if you, your friends, or family keep Kosher, we’re here to find your new favorite chef. Whether it’s a casual backyard cookout, a family member’s sheva brachot, or a Friday night Shabbat dinner, we’ve got you covered.

Come see what Kosher dining can be in 2014.

Student at Yeshiva Torat Emet day school prepares a savoy kosher kugel for families displaced by the Memorial Day flood, Houston, May 28, 2015

For the Jewish Herald-Voice


Hey Jewish followers,

Thought you might like to see two of my Pesach recipes. The top one is cream cheese/cheese filled portobello mushrooms topped with cheese that are breaded and baked (this is a new one for me - I liked it, kids didn’t) and the bottom one is rocky road brownies. I go through three pans of those over Pesach, lol! Recipes on demand if you like!

“A Blessing in Disguise”

The Rebbe’s letter addresses untoward happenings

By the Grace of G-d
3 Nissan, 5738
Brooklyn, NY

Mr. ——-
Birmingham, Mich. 48010

Greeting and Blessing:

I am in receipt of your letter in which you write about happenings in the family and ask why such untoward happenings did occur, though you find nothing in your conduct and activities that would justify them.

I surely do not have to point out to you that the question of “why do the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper?” is a very old one, and was already asked by Moshe Rabeinu, who received the Torah from G-d and handed it over to each and every Jew as an everlasting inheritance for all times. As you probably also know, the whole book of Iyov [Job] is devoted to this problem and it has been dealt with ever since.

Father & Son

The point of the answer given by our Sages, as it has often been explained at length, is by way of the example of a small child who does not understand why his father, who is such a wise and kind person, sometimes acts in a way which causes a child pain and tears. It would not surprise any person that the child is not in a position to understand the ways of his father although, be it noted, only a number of years separate them in age, and also in intelligence. At the same time, the child instinctively feels and knows that his father loves him and that surely it is everything for his benefit., and not for the benefit of any other child or for his own benefit, since it would be unthinkable that a father who has a one and only son cause pain to his child for the benefit of a stranger or for his own benefit.

If this is so in the case of a child and his father, where the distinction between them is only relative in terms of age and intelligence, as mentioned above, how much more so in the case of a created being and the Creator, where the distinction is absolute and unbridgeable. Indeed, it would have been most surprising if a human being could understand the way of G-d, except to the extent that G-d Himself, in His kindness, has revealed some aspects of His Divine Providence and in a necessarily very limited way.

Moreover, our Torah, Toras Chayim and Toras Emes, assures us that when a Jew strengthens his bitochon [trust] in G-d, Whose benevolent Divine Providence extends to each and every one individually, and Who is the essence of Goodness, and it is the nature of the Good to do good – this in itself opens new insights into a better understanding of G-d’s ways and at the same time speeds G-d’s blessings in the kind of good that is revealed and evident.

And, as mentioned earlier, this fact that Moshe Rabbeinu already pondered this question did not in the least affect his simple faith in G-d and did not in any way affect his observance of the Torah and mitzvoth in his daily life and conduct, and this is also what he bequeathed to each and every Jew in all future generations.

Hidden Good

It is surely also unnecessary to point out that this question that might arise under certain circumstances in the life of an individual can just as well be asked in connection with the long-suffering history of our people in exile for the past 1900 years and more. Yet, here too, despite the persecutions, martyrdom and suffering, our people tenaciously clung to the Torah and mitzvoth as their only way of life and it has not weakened their belief in and confident hope of the ultimate true and complete geula through our righteous Moshiach, when it will become apparent that the whole long and dark exile was a blessing in disguise.

Much more could be said in this subject, but I hope that the above will suffice to help you regain fully your true Jewish perspective, especially as what has been written above is not intended to answer the question once and for all, but merely to help minimize the doubts and questions which might distract a Jew from his innate simple faith in G-d and in His infinite loving kindness and justice, which is an integral part of every Jew’s heritage.

At this time before Pesach, the Festival of our Liberation, I send you and yours prayerful wishes for a kosher and inspiring Pesach and a fuller measure of liberation from all distractions, so as to be able to serve G-d wholeheartedly and with joy.

With blessing,


P.S. It is customary in a situation where one is bothered by doubts and questions to have the tefillin checked to make sure they are kosher and to be careful in putting them on every weekday morning, since the mitzvah of tefillin, as put on the arm facing the heart and on the head, the seat of intelligence, is conducive to purifying the heart and the mind and making them more perceptive. It is also customary in such a situation to observe meticulously the laws of kashrus of all foods and beverages consumed.

Today’s Shabbos Recipe

So I haven’t made this in a loooooong time, but I had some extra time today and no kids to bother me, so I went ahead and made a quiche for seudah shlishit (for my non-Jewish followers, that means the third meal on the Sabbath). I ike things that can be served either hot or cold; that way, if I have leftovers I have the option of heating it up later for a meal or taking it to school cold for lunch (that’s for you xandramae - I know you’re always looking for things to pack). This is Quiche Lorraine, originally posted on by user Lynn (always cite your sources, kids!), but modified by me.

1 9in single pie crust (buy a frozen one and simplify your life)
Fake Bacon bits (you non-Jewish types use the real stuff, mmkay?)
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp butter/margarine
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 ¼ cups shredded Swiss cheese (I usually have trouble finding this kosher, so I just use mozzarella or a cheddar/mozza mix, whatever I have on hand)
1 tbsp flour
Garlic, thyme and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325F. Saute onions in butter until soft, then remove from heat and let cool a bit. In a large bowl, mix together eggs and milk. Stir in bacon bits (I don’t have a measurement on this, sorry. The original recipe calls for 8 slices of bacon, so try to eyeball it). Stir in onion. In a separate bowl, toss cheese and flour together, then add to egg mixture. Pour into pie crust and bake for approximately 40 minutes.


I find that there’s just slightly too much mixture for the pie crust, but if you use a deep dish pie shell, there’s not enough. Don’t overflow it and leave just a bit of an edge at the top. I also like to put the quiche on a baking tray covered in foil just in case it does overflow while baking - that way you don’t get melted, baked-on cheese all over your oven which is brutal to try and clean off.

anonymous asked:

I want to convert to Orthodox Judaism but I absolutely HATE the taste of kosher meat unless it's at a kosher restaurant! I'm fine with separating meat and dairy but I just can't eat home cooked kosher meat! What do I do?

Hm…well, I have to preface my answer by saying that I’m not really the best person to ask this question; I don’t keep halachically kosher myself. But here are a couple of suggestions:

1) Is it possible for you to ask someone at your synagogue if they’ll share their recipes for cooking with kosher meat with you? People who kosher cook are the best-informed about how to make kosher food delicious. If you’re nervous about asking someone, there are tons of great kosher cookbooks out there, plus the internet is full of recipes. Think about whatever it is that you don’t care for in the taste of kosher meat and look for recipes that combat that.

2) Look into ways of reducing the amount of meat you eat. Substituting in vegetable broth for chicken broth, for instance, is just as tasty and would eliminate most kosher concerns. Or have veggie burgers instead of beef. Vegan food is kosher, and most vegetarian foods are. Vegetarians and vegans get by without eating meat, so it’s definitely something to look into.

I really hope this helps, nonny. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to give you a more in-depth answer; I’m a non-cook and while I do keep a more Reform version of kosher, I am definitely not well-informed on Orthodox standards of kosher. If anyone has any suggestions for you, I’ll share whatever is sent my way. Best of luck!