Kosher App-etizing

Kosher App-etizing

Want to add a little spice to your great-grandmother’s century-old noodle kugel?

There’s an app for that.

Just in time for the holidays, the team at Web design firm Appsolutemedia has launched a $4.99 iPhone/iTouch application called “CookShelf,” the touchscreen wireless “Kosher Cookbook” that provides over 300 step-by-step recipes, a shopping list generator and 52-week meal plans.

Thus far, the recipes are all by local Jewish chef Gloria Kobrin — an experienced food writer and instructor — but CookShelf will soon incorporate other material as well, according to Alex Libkind, the CEO of Appsolutemedia. While traditional Jewish fare like chicken soup and roasted potatoes are certainly available, the application aims to diversify the kosher repertoire, providing recipes for international favorites like hoisin spare ribs (using beef flanken) with apricots.

“You won’t find a cholent there at this point,” Libkind said. “We’re moving away from the gefilte fish and kugel markets to the sushi and more advanced palates.”

The newest item on the list will be Spanish-Catalan kosher recipes — coming soon, according to Libkind, along with a wine list to match each dish. Though Kobrin grew up in a kosher home, she regularly ate at non-kosher restaurants and experienced cooking styles far-flung from the Ashkenazi Jewish norm.

“I needed to be able to reproduce the kind of food I had enjoyed,” said Korbin, who mentioned duck dishes and Greek beef mousaka as prime examples of her kicked-up kosher cuisine. “It’s really a lot of food that people might not find in a kosher cookbook.”

For Libkind and his staff, CookShelf is all about convenience, and a simple search tool allows users to sort through recipes by food type, course cuisine or key ingredients.

“We were looking to create a very focused cookbook that served the dietary needs of the kosher market while at the same time not ignoring the modern Jewish kitchen, which is really much more advanced.

Meanwhile, Appsolutemedia is working on several other iPhone applications, including a tool that will be able to locate local happy hour times in eight different cities. On the kosher app front, Libkind has little competition thus far, though a quick AppStore search finds a $4.99 app called “Kosher” by RustyBrick, which is a database of over 2,000 restaurants.

But aside from a variety of non-kosher cookbooks available, Libkind’s CookShelf remains largely original.

“We are kosher and at the same time stay true to a lot of the regular tastes,” he said. “The app was designed by my company to really simplify the cooking experience.”

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