Mitchell Davis must have written The Mensch Chef just for me. I'm more interested in re-creating the Jewish dishes I grew up with than in keeping kosher, and he delivers recipes for brisket, borscht and rugelach without a lecture. Like many of his dishes, his soup with beef short ribs, barley and lentils is designed for occasional, blowout cooking; it serves 20. But it's so good and simple I'd make a fraction of it to serve anytime. Best of all, Davis has solved the problem of what to bring to the Passover seder. This year my potato kugel is coming from The Mensch Chef.