or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel › Help with a Kosher dinner
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help with a Kosher dinner

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Here is the situation...I ran into an old professor who is also a Rabbi. He taught a comparative religion class that I had over 15 years ago. I invited him and his family over to my house for dinner. I have a few weeks to prepare. His parting words to me were...make sure it is Kosher.

My wife wants to make Pho, which is a Vietnamese beef noodle soup that is quite good. How do I make sure all of the ingredients are Kosher? I know some stuff in stores is marked Kosher but what about the stuff that isn't? I would like to make an appropriate 5 course meal.

Anybody know where I can buy Kosher beef? I want to order some beef from Lobel's but I am sure that it isn't Kosher.

If anybody can point me in the right direction, I would be most appreciative.
post #2 of 57
He was probably joking with you. You have a very slim chance of making a five course meal, and not breaking one rule of Kosher or another.

For instance, it sounds like this will be a meat meal. This means there can be no dairy, and no utensil, plate, or silverware can have touched dairy. Ever. Some items can be "koshered" and some can't, such as normal plates. Prep areas should be separate for meat and dairy also.

There's much more to Kosher, than simply buying a bunch of Kosher certified ingredients.
post #3 of 57
I suggest Kosher takeout on disposable plates.
post #4 of 57
Kosher catering is a good suggestion. Cooking a kosher meat meal presents many challenges. I suggest a vegetarian or fish (with scales and fins--no shellifish, monkfish or swordfish) dinner. Many people who keep kosher eat vegetarian or fish meals in restaurants. Fish (like eggs, fruit, and all vegetables) is technically neither meat nor dairy and so can be cooked with dairy ingredients (e.g., butter). The vast majority of dairy products sold are kosher; ditto most pastas. If you are using a prepared sauce, check the label for kosher certification. Vietnamese and Thai specialties can be tricky; ingredients like fish sauce typically have non-kosher ingredients unless they are specifically labeled as kosher. If you need more specific advice, please PM.
post #5 of 57
Selection of raw oysters to start and a bacon cheeseburger as the main. Make sure you prepare everything on Saturday. I'm baffled by how eating chicken/turkey and cheese is against the rules. Isn't the dairy/meat rule there to prevent someone from eating the milk of the mother with the flesh of the child? Last time I checked, and I check pretty frequently, I couldn't milk a chicken. (I won't even go into the odds of you winding up with milk/cheese of a mother and child of the same mother in today's world).
post #6 of 57
There's gotta be a jewish deli in your town where you can buy kosher meat.
post #7 of 57
seriously, if he actually meant that you should serve him a kosher meal, then you need to get catering and serve it on disposible plates. I have a lot of observant friends, and they would never eat anything that I cooked in my house, probrably not even coffee. if he meant "don't serve me pork" that is another thing. what kind of rabbi is he?
post #8 of 57
Thread Starter 
You are the 2nd person to suggest disposable plates. What is the story behind this? As far as I know, he considers himself a conservative Jew.

I will get in touch with a local deli about meat on Monday. I would cater but he is interested in the flavors of Viet food (my wife is Viet). I feel really pressured as his wife has a Kosher catering business here in town. They want to try something differet...but want it Kosher. I will go through any means to make it happen as I want to be respectful of their customs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
seriously, if he actually meant that you should serve him a kosher meal, then you need to get catering and serve it on disposible plates. I have a lot of observant friends, and they would never eat anything that I cooked in my house, probrably not even coffee. if he meant "don't serve me pork" that is another thing. what kind of rabbi is he?
post #9 of 57
Would it be offensive to ask ahead of time what degree of Kosher he is?

I am Jewish, but I eat everything, scallops wrapped in bacon, bring 'em on!

I have many Jewish friends in addition to varying degrees of observance in my own family. Some keep kosher at home only, others will make exceptions i.e. eating at non-kosher restaurant and sticking to non-meat dishes, some just avoid the big no-nos i.e. shellfish. pork, mixing milk and meat. It would be a shame to go to great trouble, and great expense, to prepare a kosher meal that winds up being non-kosher. Kosher meat is significantly more expensive than non kosher and is harder to find. Rather than seek to impress why not offer mostly vegetarian dishes, maybe a mediterranean theme, buy some ready made spreads with pita, oven roast a whole fish or kosher chicken in a new roasting pan. If you are uncomfortable using paper plates I have seen slightly fancier disposable/reusable plastic plats, Chinette maybe, perhaps another forum member knows. If you want to add a Jewish flair, perhaps buy a bottle of Israeli wine, some are quite good and inexpensive.
post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xiaogou View Post
You are the 2nd person to suggest disposable plates. What is the story behind this? As far as I know, he considers himself a conservative Jew.

I will get in touch with a local deli about meat on Monday. I would cater but he is interested in the flavors of Viet food (my wife is Viet). I feel really pressured as his wife has a Kosher catering business here in town. They want to try something differet...but want it Kosher. I will go through any means to make it happen as I want to be respectful of their customs.

Kashrut is a very complex issue - for the vast majority of observant jews, it covers a codex of rules that is probrably just slightly less complex than a state's penal code. but, in general it means

1. you can't eat the meat or by products of a long list of animals, most famously pork and sea food, but essentially anything that isn't beef, chicken, lamb, goat, turkey, and standard gilled and scaled (non-scavanging) fish


2. the meat has to be slaughtered according to jewish law

3. you can't mix meat and milk

4. if anything non kosher touches a dish, it makes the dish, and anytihng that touches it in the future, non kosher. if anything meat touches a dish, then if any milke touches it in the future it is unkosher and anything that dish touches in the future is unkosher. ditto vice versa.

5. all of the above must be supurvised by somebody that is trusted - so, in many cases, observant jews will only eat food that has gone the whole cycle of production under the observation of a proffetional from an organization that they trust.


now, that said - my sister keeps kosher and will eat in a "red lobster" resteraunt, but she eats the fish cooked in a bag. essentially kosher fish, cooked in a bag so it doens't touch the stove. most of my friends who keep kosher think that is crazy.

think about this - if you are cooking with a fish sauce that has any shrimp in it, or any other seafood that isn't scaled and gilled, even one drop will make the meal non-kosher.

anyway, you really should ask him what his criteria are.



by the way, I would love a home cooked vietnamese meal, and I don't keep kosher. just saying....
post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xiaogou View Post
You are the 2nd person to suggest disposable plates. What is the story behind this? As far as I know, he considers himself a conservative Jew.

Did you read the first reply in this thread? I told you then, meat cannot be placed on a plate that has EVER touched dairy, and dairy cannot be placed on a plate that has EVER touched meat.

As Globetrotter said, Kashrut is very complex. I'd just call and see if the guy was kidding you.
post #12 of 57
It all depends on how observant he is. Nothing more, nothing less. Given that he's only conservative and accepted an invitation to dinner at your house, I'm willing to bet the plates won't be an issue. But I think he would appreciate a call or email from you about the plates. Otherwise I think you'll be fine.
post #13 of 57
Thread Starter 
This week, my wife will buy some new China at Nordstrom or Saks as well as new utensils, pots & pans. She is all to happy about this.

There will be 0 dairy products for the dinner.
post #14 of 57
oh wow man you're going a long way for this. you must have liked his class a lot.
post #15 of 57
My guess is that he doesn't really care or he wouldn't be eating at your house, at least not without telling you exactly what his requirements are beforehand.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel › Help with a Kosher dinner