Noah and Rae Bernamoff opened Mile End Deli in Boerum Hill with a mission in mind–bringing the Jewish comfort food they both grew up eating, and loving, to Brooklyn. Now, with The Mile End Cookbook they’ve expanded their culinary reach far beyond Brooklyn, to anyone willing to roll up their sleeves and mix pastrami cure or form matzo dough with floury hands.
Using their grandmothers’ recipes as a starting point, Noah and Rae update traditional Jewish dishes, elevating them with fresh ingredients and walking readers through from-scratch cooking techniques. The Mile End Cookbook interweaves more than 100 recipes with beautiful photographs and personal memories of cooking with their families, and with each other throughout their marriage. The Bernamoffs have defined the essential recipes, flavors, and techniques that form new Jewish cuisine, and the recipes they share in The Mile End Cookbook are rooted in tradition, inspired by Jewish holidays, and influenced by creativity that the Brooklyn food scene has come to be known for. This heady mix has led to recipes like blintzes with seasonal fruit compote, chicken salad studded with fresh gribenes (crispy fried chicken skin), veal schnitzel with pickled green tomatoes and preserved lemon, and cinnamon buns made with challah dough.
The Mile End Cookbook is available now, and the Bernamoffs will be signing copies at Book Court on Sunday, September 9 at 7pm. Or, make Rae’s recipe for quick pickles with the late summer bounty from the farmer’s market, one of the many recipes from the book you’ll find yourself making time and time again.
Quick Cucumber Pickles
Rae: The miraculous thing about this preparation is that you can get that pickle-y sensation and flavor without having to put something in a jar and wait three weeks. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: For this ultra-quick pickle, you’ve got to prepare it à la minute and eat it right away. Let it sit around and it’ll get too salty. I think of it as I do a salad: something I make fresh right before serving the meal.
1 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons ground coriander
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 English cucumber (about 8 ounces), skin on, sliced very thin, ideally on a mandoline
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Toss the cucumber with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture (save the rest; it will keep for months at room temperature). Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 ounces or 4 servings