Panache: Montreal’s Flair for Kosher Cooking

Book Review by Norene Gilletz


When I first moved from Montreal to Toronto in 1997, I was fortunate enough to meet Shawna Goodman-Sone, a well-known cooking teacher and chef. She became my link to the local culinary community, helping me connect to the food mavens of Toronto – a mélange of cooking teachers, cookbook authors, caterers and food stylists who all shared my passion for food.

We still stayed in touch when Shawna moved from Toronto to Philadelphia. She later moved to Montreal and initiated a cookbook fundraising project for the Jewish General Hospital. Over 100 volunteers from Montreal’s Jewish community gathered, submitted and tested recipes for Panache, which took two years to create.


Panache: Montreal’s Flair for Kosher Cooking ($42 Cdn, $36 U.S., Auxiliary of the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital) is an exceptional collection of more than 175 mouth-watering Kosher recipes from some of Montreal’s best cooks. You’ll find delicious recipes for starters, soups, hors d’oeuvres, main courses and desserts.

The recipes combine fresh, easily-available ingredients and the step-by-step instructions are clearly written and easy to follow. You’ll find helpful tips to help you with preparation and presentation, along with beautiful photographs that almost leap off the page and onto your plate. There are many favourite restaurant dishes that you can prepare simply and successfully in your home kitchen. This is truly Kosher fare with flare, reflecting the fabulous flavours of Montreal.

Recipes include Spinach Salad with Mangos and Candied Pecans, Baked Phyllo Chicken Spring Rolls, Hoisin London Broil with Sauteed Mushrooms, Chicken Provencal, Moroccan Tagine with Chickpeas, Rustic Plum Galette, Cranberry Pistachio Crisps…and much more!

Panache is a must for any Kosher cookbook-collector.

For information on purchasing a copy:
Tel. Susan Puritz 514-340-8216 or Email:
You can also visit their website at

One hundred percent of the proceeds from Panache are going to support the JGH Emergency Department.

For elegant but easy summertime entertaining, here are some pan-tastic dishes to add your repertoire. They are fabulous for a Father’s Day brunch, a simple summer lunch or supper, a bridal shower or any special occasion. The salmon and asparagus recipes can easily be multiplied for a larger crowd. Enjoy…


So simple to prepare and yet so delicious, friends will think you run a bed and breakfast in Vermont! Heat leftovers, if there are any, in the microwave.

1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon, optional

12 thick slices challah or brioche
1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries

5 large eggs
1½ cups milk
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt

For the caramel, bring the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon to a boil in a small saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon. Let boil for 2 minutes and turn off the heat. The caramel will be brown, thick and bubbly.

Drizzle the caramel evenly over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch (3.5 L) baking dish. Cover with 6 slices of bread. Scatter the berries overtop. Place the remaining 6 slices of bread on the fruit.

For the custard, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and salt in a medium-size bowl. Pour this evenly over the bread. Press down lightly with plastic wrap so that the bread absorbs the custard. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Remove the plastic wrap and bake the French toast uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes until puffed and golden. Cut into squares, invert to show the caramel and place on a serving platter.

Variation: Sliced bananas, raspberries or a combination of both may be used instead of the blueberries.

Chef’s Tip: To clean the dried caramel from the pot, fill the pot with water and bring to a simmer. Let sit and then clean. Residue will wash away quickly.

Serves 6 to 8


An elegant no-fuss classic. This can also be prepared with chicken or very firm tofu. In the summertime, grill the marinated fish directly over hot coals for about 3 minutes per side.

¾ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup soy sauce
4 – 6 ounce (175 g) salmon fillets, skin removed
¼ cup coarsely ground pepper
½ tsp. peanut or other vegetable oil, or a fine mist of oil spray

In a small deep bowl, or resealable plastic bag, mix together the maple syrup and soy sauce. Arrange the fillets so that the marinade completely covers the fish. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Rub oil over the foil.

Place the pepper on a small plate. Remove the salmon from the marinade and pat the top side only into the pepper to coat. Place the fillets, pepper side up, on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake on the top rack of the oven for 7 minutes. The syrup may cause the fish to smoke when cooking so don’t be alarmed. If it starts to burn, loosely cover with foil. Serve with Oven Roasted Asparagus (below).

Serves 4.


Add to any antipasto platter, frittata or salad – these are so good there may be none left when it comes time to put them on the platter!

2 pounds (1 kg) asparagus, stems trimmed
2 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss the asparagus with the oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Place in the oven and roast until the asparagus is vibrant green, soft and starting to wrinkle, about 10 minutes, depending on thickness.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Variation: Trimmed green beans, Brussels sprouts and broccoli can all take the place of the asparagus. Just remember that all the vegetables should be cut the same size to ensure even cooking. Reduce the cooking time for thinner vegetables such as green beans.

Chef’s Tip: To snap the tough ends off the asparagus, hold the spear about 1 inch up from the bottom. Bend the spear until it snaps.

Serves 4.


An Italian trifle that is often made with stale sponge cake that is soaked in espresso and brandy. When translated literally, tiramisu means “pick me up” – and it certainly does! This version is made without eggs. For a sophisticated finale, prepare the tiramisu in individual martini glasses.

2 pounds (1 kg) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1½ cups (375 ml) heavy cream (35%)
1¼ cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups cold strong espresso coffee
¼ cup brandy or dark rum
1 – 14 oz. (400 g) package ladyfinger cookies (about 40 cookies)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish

This can be prepared either in a large trifle bowl or a 9 x 13-inch (3.5 L) dish.

In a large stand mixer bowl, beat the marscapone, cream, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes until thick and creamy.

In a shallow bowl, mix the cold coffee with the brandy or rum. Lightly dip half the ladyfingers into the liquid one at a time and place them very close together in the trifle bowl or dish.

Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the soaked ladyfingers. Sift half the cocoa powder over the mascarpone through a fine mesh sieve. Top with the remaining ladyfingers, dipped in espresso mixture, then with the remaining mascarpone to make another layer. Sprinkle with the cocoa powder again.

Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours. The longer it rests, the more flavourful it will be. Just before serving, remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle some shaved chocolate overtop.

Makes 16 to 20 servings.

Panache: Montreal’s Flair for Kosher Cooking

editor Shawna Goodman-Sone

Auxiliary of the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital

$42.00 CDN/$36.00 US

To Order Tel. Susan Puritz 514-340-8216 or Email: