Fress - Emma Spitzer

Fress: Bold Flavors from a Jewish Kitchen by Emma Spitzer beautifully delivers a melting pot of Middle-Eastern and Eastern European flavors with this contemporary Jewish cookbook.

Emma is a UK MasterChef finalist who is big on flavor and spice. Fress, in Yiddish, means: "to eat copiously and without restraint". 

"Spitzer's style of cooking is unfussy and uncomplicated, extracting the maximum taste from the humblest of ingredients without spending hours in the kitchen. Her melting pot of inspiration embraces Poland and Russia, Jewish recipes learned from her mother, travels in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and North Africa, as well as Algerian recipes shared by her mother-in-law." I couldn't say it better than the press release so I am sharing that portion in this post. 

Aunty Rachel's Beef-stuffed Artichokes, a gorgeous Mahkuda with Harissa (think potato and onion dish), crispy Chard, Ricotta and Parmesan Bourekas and Pastrami and Sauerkraut Pierogi with Dill and Mustard Sauce - all call to me. I used Emma's Caramelized Onion and Potato Pierogi recipe not too long ago and they were fabulous.

Special thanks to Mitchell Beazley and the author for sharing the following recipes with our members. Be sure to check out our contest page to enter our giveaway. Good luck! 

Salmon and Sweet Potato Fishcakes with Lime Za'atar Yogurt

I like to involve my kids in the preparation of these, as their little hands make surprisingly neat little cakes. This works really well as an appetizer served on a bed of the Fennel, Orange, and Carrot Salad (seepage 187) or as a lovely family dinner. The fishcakes benefit from being made a little in advance and chilled so that they hold together better when fried.

Serves 4 as a main or 6 as an appetizer; makes around 
14 fishcakes

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 sweet potatoes, around 1lb 2oz in total, scrubbed
4 skinless salmon fillets (or remove skin), about 1 ½ lb in total
1 small bunch of dill
8 black peppercorns
1 small bunch of cilantro leaves, 
finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
2¼ cups medium matzo meal
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the lime za'atar yogurt
2 cups plain yogurt
1 tablespoon Za'atar
grated zest and juice of 2 limes 

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Rub 1 tablespoon of the oil into the sweet potatoes and season with salt and black pepper, then place them on a baking pan and roast for about 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on their size, until cooked all the way through. Let cool while you make the fishcakes.

Place the salmon fillets in a wide, shallow pan with the dill and peppercorns, and barely cover with water. Gently poach, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes until just cooked through. Lift the salmon from the poaching liquid and flake into a large bowl. 

Halve the sweet potatoes, scoop out the flesh, and add to the fish along with the cilantro and lemon juice. Season well with salt and black pepper and mix together thoroughly. If you have the time, cover and chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to make the cakes easier to form. Shape the mixture into palm-sized cakes.

Put the flour, eggs, and matzo meal in 3 separate shallow bowls. Season the flour with salt and black pepper, then coat the cakes in the seasoned flour, dip into the beaten egg, and then roll in the matzo meal. Repeat the egg and matzo meal coating for a second time if you want an extra-crispy fishcake.

Place the fishcakes on a tray lined with nonstick parchment paper or foil and refrigerate until you are ready to fry.

Mix the ingredients for the lime za'atar yogurt together in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a wide skillet and fry the fishcakes, in batches, over medium heat for around 3 minutes on each side until they are nicely golden. 

Serve with a generous spoonful of the yogurt on the side and a crisp salad.

If you can't find matzo meal, you can substitute any other bread crumbs 
of your choice; panko would be my next favorite.

Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).


  • darcie_b  on  7/19/2017 at 9:52 AM

    My family is German (although Protestant, not Jewish), and my grandparents frequently used the word 'fress' in a similar context. This brings back many memories, and the foods described in the book echo many of our family recipes. I am putting this book on my acquisition list!

  • sipa  on  7/19/2017 at 12:07 PM

    The only food I eat copiously is maple sugar. I just can't stop.

  • Siegal  on  7/19/2017 at 3:06 PM

    I can't stop myself from eating cheese!!

  • matag  on  7/19/2017 at 3:47 PM

    I just bought some Za'atar!

  • JenJoLa  on  7/19/2017 at 3:59 PM

    Chips and salsa are difficult to stop eating for me.

  • heyjude  on  7/20/2017 at 2:31 AM

    My Jewish grandmother never cooked a bold flavor in her life, but she baked like a pro.

  • PennyG  on  7/20/2017 at 7:36 PM


  • hirsheys  on  7/20/2017 at 8:30 PM


  • jezpurr  on  7/20/2017 at 9:59 PM

    Sandwiches there is so much variety from burger to taco to even a gyro there is no getting tired of a sandwich!!!^_^

  • lhudson  on  7/21/2017 at 8:13 AM

    Spicy mushroom and cashew rice

  • lgroom  on  7/21/2017 at 1:22 PM

    Good Genoa sausage and cheese. I'm a fool.

  • sgump  on  7/23/2017 at 5:24 PM

    Eating copiously and without restraint? Fresh berries of all types!

  • abihamm  on  7/24/2017 at 5:17 PM

    Cookies! Its hard to say no. :)

  • kitchenclimbers  on  7/27/2017 at 10:18 AM


  • LaurenE  on  7/28/2017 at 10:09 AM

    Watermelon from the local farmstand

  • ohyoucook  on  7/29/2017 at 1:34 PM

    Spaghetti. Followed by ziti. Followed by penne (you get the idea).

  • LizyB  on  7/29/2017 at 4:07 PM

    Looks like another cookbook I'll want!

  • FrenchCreekBaker  on  8/6/2017 at 2:41 PM

    Ice cream is my weakness.

  • RSW  on  8/6/2017 at 7:25 PM

    Bing cherries.

  • love2chow  on  8/9/2017 at 10:00 AM

    skinny crisp french fries, preferably fried in animal fat

  • Jenamarie  on  8/9/2017 at 1:01 PM

    Pasta!! I wish I could eat it non-stop.

  • t.t  on  8/13/2017 at 11:25 PM


  • orchidlady01  on  8/18/2017 at 3:40 AM

    I make a huge salad of various greens and add diced veggies to eat copiously.

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