Appropriately, this cookbook is dedicated to the authors’ grandmothers, Nana Lee and Grandma Bea. Noah and Rae Bernamoff call the two matriarchs “our enduring sources of wisdom and inspiration.” Any Jewish grandmother would approve of their recipes for braised brisket, kreplach, chicken soup and challah. More surprising, but probably just as delightful to them, would be those recipes that marry classic Jewish deli food with the extreme DIY, food-centric aesthetic of contemporary Brooklyn. For example most Jewish home cooks leave smoking meat and lox to the experts, but the Bernamoffs show you how to do it at home. Then there’s the deconstructed tongue sandwich made with pickled lamb’s tongue, freshly grated horseradish root and raisin-onion marmalade (made from scratch, naturally) on homemade pumpernickel.
As the authors explain, though, how DIY you want to get is up to you. “Don’t despair if you haven’t got time to whip up every element of the meal,” they write reassuringly; these dishes will still turn out great if you substitute some high-quality store-bought ingredients.