is rapidly drawing to a close and the High Holidays are quickly approaching. The
usual question on everyone’s mind is what to prepare for their holiday table
and what can be prepared in advance in frozen.
I asked some of my foodie-friends for their tried and true holiday dishes, I
received several recipes for brisket, which is always a favorite, along with
chicken and cabbage rolls. When it comes to preparing for the holidays, meat
dishes definitely take center-stage. They’re excellent for the busy cook
because they can be prepared in advance and frozen successfully.
are some tasty dishes that my pan-pals near and far will be enjoying with family
and friends at their tables for the upcoming High Holidays, along with some
sweet dishes and wishes for a sweet year. Enjoy in good health!
Baker of New York offered the following suggestions: "There are several
things I always make ahead for most holidays. Chicken soup can be made well
ahead and frozen. Brisket also freezes well, but if you don't want to freeze it,
can still be made a few days ahead and kept in the refrigerator. I find that
honey cake freezes well. Apple or other fruit pies freeze well if frozen
unbaked. They can be baked without thawing, by putting them in the oven right
from the freezer and they taste as good as never frozen ones. Challah, if you
bake your own, also can be made well ahead and frozen. I generally make a whole
bunch of fairly small challot and freeze them for the whole month of holidays.
If you have a decent bakery, this is something that you can buy and save that
fuss if time is short.
is my recipe for Easy Chicken Bake that is included in “Kosher Catskill
Cooking” (Congregation Bnai Israel, Fleischmanns, New York), which I edited. I
find that I put this in the oven and then go take my pre-shabbat shower while it
cooks unattended. You can serve this with rice or noodles, or just stick
potatoes into the oven to bake along with the chicken, as the oven is hot enough
to bake the potatoes. You could also set this up Thursday night, refrigerate it
and then cook it Friday afternoon. Enjoy!"
EASY CHICKEN BAKE
chicken in parts or just the parts you like - with or without skin, but with
1 medium onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed or pressed
1 small green pepper, sliced
3 to 4 plum tomatoes (or a 14 1/2 oz. can tomatoes, undrained)
Salt and pepper to taste
Thyme to taste (I use quite a lot here)
A glug of wine, optional
Chunked mushrooms, optional
all the ingredients into a pan that can be covered with the chicken in a single
layer. Cover the pan or use foil to cover.
in a 425 to 450 F degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Keep warm until dinner.
Serves enough for 4 - easily doubled or halved.
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dear friend, Dalia Carmel of New York, has a collection of several thousand
cookbooks. She writes, "Here is a favourite dish that I have prepared in
the past for the holidays. It has been adopted by friends and colleagues from
work with great success. It is a super recipe which I received from my friend
Ani Stern, who got it from her Hadassah friends."
Stern is the owner of the notebook of recipes "In Memory's Kitchen"
handwritten in German and Czech by a group of women interned in Teresienstadt
concentration camp. Many years later, the notebook was brought to Ani from
someone who had received it from someone else who was in Teresienstat and to
whom Ani's mother, Mrs. Pachter, entrusted the notebook to deliver it to Ani in
Palestine. Dalia Carmel was the catalyst in getting the manuscript published.
She was credited by the director of the Holocaust Museum in Washington as
performing "a great mitzvah."
BRISKET WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE
to 5 lbs. brisket, trimmed of as much fat as possible
1 can of light beer
16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1/2 cup chili sauce or ketchup
2 onions, sliced
1 large bunch of parsley
5 cloves garlic, peeled (do not chop)
Pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste
a bowl, mix the beer, cranberry sauce, onion soup mix and chili sauce or
ketchup. Mix well. In a heavy pot that can hold the brisket flat, spread the
onions and parsley on the bottom of the pot, then throw in the garlic. Place the
brisket on top and pour the liquid mixture on top. Rub the meat with the liquid
mixture, then with the pepper and red pepper flakes.
in a preheated oven (350 F degrees) and cook for an hour. Turn the meat over and
cook for another 30 to 60 minutes. If the meat is not tender yet, let it cook
for another 30 to 60 minutes. When done, let it all cool. Store the brisket
separately from the sauce. Refrigerate overnight.
next morning, remove the fat from the sauce. Before serving, slice the meat into
serving pieces. Blend the sauce into a smooth sauce with a hand blender or in
the blender. Place slices in a Pyrex casserole, pour the sauce over the slices
to the table and serve with mashed potatoes, rice or couscous. Perfect with
creamed spinach, carrot salad and cucumber salad.
6 to 12 servings.
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friend, Barbara Wasser of Schenectady, is the co-author of the wonderful
cookbook, Divine Kosher Cuisine. She says, "I have been making this brisket
for 35 years. I got it from the Jewish proprietor of a small neighborhood
grocery store when we lived in Pawtucket, RI. It's a winner! Our two older
children who are now vegetarians still remember the taste of this gravy, and our
youngest son always asks if I have cooked brisket."
lbs. beef brisket, preferably first cut
3 large onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt, freshly ground black pepper and paprika to taste
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup A-1 steak sauce
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup wine vinegar
2 1/2 cups water (or more if needed)
oven to 375 F. Place 2/3 of the onions and garlic on the bottom of a large
roasting pan. Rub meat all over with salt, pepper and paprika. Place meat fat
side up on the bed of onions and garlic. Cover with additional onions and
garlic. Combine ketchup, steak sauce, chili sauce, wine vinegar and water; pour
over the meat.
the roasting pan with foil or a lid and roast for 3 hours, or until fork tender.
Check while cooking, adding more water if necessary.
to cool, slice and put back in the gravy that has been put in the blender to
incorporate the onions. Gravy may also be chilled to remove the fat.
10 to 14 servings.
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tasty recipe for tongue comes from the late Leah Perez of Montreal, who usually
as a side dish along with another meat or poultry dish. Leah said, "I
learned how to make this from my Moroccan friend, Rutie, years ago. The last
time I made it, the ‘I don't eat tongue' people tasted it and were actually
surprised! Too bad, because by then there was hardly any left."
TONGUE WITH MUSHROOMS
large beef tongue (or 2 veal tongues)
1 tbsp. oil
3 or 4 sliced garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. turmeric
Fresh chopped parsley (about 1/2 a bunch)
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup water (approximately)
tongue until tender, about 2 to 3 hours, depending on size. Peel and let cool.
When cool, slice tongue into thin slices.
oil in a large frying pan. Add garlic and saute on medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add tongue slices and brown lightly. Season with salt, pepper and turmeric. Add
parsley and mushrooms. Cook 3 or 4 minutes longer. Add water and cook until
mushrooms are cooked through.
6 to 8 servings as a meat side dish.
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Sobel of Atlanta wrote, "This is my late mother-in-law's recipe for stuffed
cabbage. It is quite different as it has no addition to the filling - just beef.
The sweet and sour sauce is exceptional and I use it for other dishes. When I
prepare this, I always make meatballs along with it for the kids. I haven't seen
another recipe that calls for adding flanken. It is better when made in advance
and chilled so fat can be removed easily and the flavors can blend. It freezes
beautifully. My family likes it in mini portions in grape leaves served warm as
sauce can be frozen and used for meatballs or even chicken fricassee. It is
necessary to experiment with the sugar and sour salt to get just the right
taste. Go easy on the sour salt!"
SOBEL'S CABBAGE ROLLS (PRAAKES) WITH FLANKEN
large heads of cabbage
3 pounds flanken (short ribs)
2 tbsp. oil
3 pounds lean ground beef
1 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
3 large onions, sliced
1 large can of tomato paste
1 cup hot water (approximately)
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. sour salt (citric acid)
cabbage in plastic bags and place in the freezer overnight. Take out several
hours before using. Cabbage will wilt and it will be easier to roll. Leaves will
not need to be cooked or steamed in advance. Take off the dark green leaves. Use
the rest for other cabbage dishes (e.g., cole slaw or steamed cabbage). Turn
each leaf over and carefully slice the thick vein parallel to the leaf. (This
makes them more flexible and easier to roll.)
a large Dutch oven or heavy pot , brown the flanken on low heat in a little oil.
Meanwhile, mix the ground beef with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Take about
1/4 cup of meat mixture and roll it into an oval. Place in the middle of the
cabbage leaf and fold over sides of leaf. Bring up the bottom of the leaf and
roll up very tightly. If you have sliced off the vein, you won't need string or
toothpicks to hold it together.
cabbage rolls in a layer over the flanken. When you have a tightly packed layer,
add 1/3 of the sliced onions and 1/3 of the tomato paste. Repeat until cabbage
leaves are used up. You should have leftover ground beef. Make small meatballs
and add to pot. End with the onions and tomato paste. Add a cup of hot water.
Sprinkle with sugar and sour salt, cover pan and simmer on low heat for 1 1/2
hours, or until everything is cooked and tender.
the cabbage and meatballs to a serving dish or a freezer-safe container. Remove
bones from flanken and discard. Cut meat into serving size pieces, trim off any
fat and add to cabbage rolls. Taste the sauce and adjust with either sugar or
sour salt. (Add sour salt sparingly.)
sauce over cabbage rolls and either freeze or serve. (If you freeze it first,
you can remove the hardened fat.)
8 or more servings.
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very dear friend and pan-pal, the late Eileen Mintz of Mercer Island, WA, wrote a
terrific food column for the Mercer Island Reporter and also did public
relations for many restaurants and chefs. She generously shared some sweet
dishes along with sweet wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.
are some sweet dishes from Eileen Mintz’s recipe collection and her thoughts
on preparing for the upcoming holidays:
so happy to share some of my favorite recipes with you! Because my daughter Gina
married someone Sephardic, each Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Break-the-Fast and
Hanukkah we will be trying to add a Sephardic dish into our usual repertoire.
Being Ashkenazi, I like the traditional dishes that I grew up with and of
course, adding something from your cookbooks. Recently, my associate was
entertaining the Seattle food critic at a book group and brought your confetti
vegetable kugel to demonstrate Jewish food!
go over ALL my recipes a few weeks before the holidays and oh, are they coming
up fast! I love to put away Apple Strudel, Rugelah (apricot and chocolate),
apple cake, a sour cream coffee cake and my mother in law’s honey cake. That
works for sweets for Rosh Hashanah and Break-the-Fast.
husband Dave's garden produces an abundant crop of tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini,
lettuces and green beans. I will incorporate all of them in side dishes. Dave
and his twin brother Joe will be making raisin crown challahs and this year I
will feature them in my colorful recipe column for the Mercer Island Reporter.
Joe likes to add in some whole wheat flour and Dave doesn't. They are something
to see and each works at home separately on the bread making. I am putting the
twins to work together! What fun.
favorite dish to serve is a sweet and sour brisket that is a winner in our
family. I always make a Kosher turkey, a big hit too. As one of the side dishes,
I make an upside-down cinnamon pecan kugel, my late sister in law's favorite. It
is a sweet side dish for a sweet year!”
UPSIDE-DOWN NOODLE KUGEL
ounce package egg noodles (medium to wide width)
8 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup (1 stick) non-dairy margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 to 1 cup pecan halves
Grease a Bundt cake pan well with margarine. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Boil noodles until just tender - no more. Drain well.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs until blended. Then add in
sugar and cinnamon and continue to beat until light. Stir in raisins by hand;
then add the cooked noodles and mix well.
In a saucepan, melt margarine with brown sugar. Put into the bottom of the
greased Bundt pan. Then add pecans in a pattern at the bottom, pressing them
into the butter and brown sugar mixture. Pour the noodle mixture on top.
Bake about 55 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Let cool for about 10
minutes. Take a knife and loosen all around the Bundt pan, then invert the kugel
onto a serving platter. Now you will see how the topping on the bottom becomes
the topping for the kugel! Enjoy!
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Mintz wrote, “This is my mother in law's honey cake recipe. My husband Dave
always said she made the best one and so I followed her directions, but I use
toasted pecans instead of walnuts. A good hint is to use fresh spices for
optimum flavor. It’s best to bake it at a lower temperature, 325 degrees so it
won't burn as easily. You don't need to frost it - it's just a tremendously
delicious cake as is! I often come in after services and enjoy a hunk while I am
warming the holiday meal.”
MINTZ’S HONEY CAKE
1/2 cups toasted chopped pecans (if you like nuts - or you could substitute
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup of warm honey (Eileen uses clover honey)
4 large eggs (room temperature)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 cup of strong coffee (Eileen lets the coffee
cool down and then adds the baking soda. You can use decaf if you like)
To toast pecans, put them on a baking sheet and let them lightly toast for
around 7 minutes in a 300 degree oven. Check done-ness and see if you need a bit
more time. Also, if you smell them roasting, take them out - they are done!
Increase oven temperature to 325 degrees F. In an electric mixer, beat the brown
sugar with the honey. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each
addition. Add the oil and mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon
and allspice and add to batter alternating with the coffee mixture. Stir in the
Pour batter into a greased 9 by 13 inch pan and bake at 325 degrees for 40
minutes. Then check to see if the middle of the cake springs back. If not, then
bake for another 5 to 8 minutes. Check with a toothpick - if it comes out
without any batter clinging to it, then take the cake out of the oven. Enjoy!
12 to 15 servings.
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MINTZ'S FAVORITE APPLE CAKE
is the kind of cake that my family enjoys during the high holidays. It freezes
well, thus allowing me the peace of mind that it will be perfect when I defrost
it! I like to serve this luscious cake while it is slightly warm, so I often put
slices into the microwave. It can be stored covered with foil at room
temperature and it freezes well.”
4 medium size Golden Delicious apples (1 1/2 pounds) peeled, cored and cut into
1/2 inch pieces
5 tbsp sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice (preferably fresh)
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Additional ground cinnamon (about 1/2 tsp)
Confectioners' sugar for dusting on top of cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 cup Bundt pan.
Filling: Mix the sliced apples with sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.
Cake: Combine the remaining 2 1/2 cups of sugar with the eggs, oil, orange
juice, orange zest and vanilla in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Blend on
medium speed until light. After measuring the dry ingredients (flour, baking
powder and salt), sift them and add to the mixing bowl. Shake in a little more
cinnamon. Beat until blended.
Spoon 1 1/2 cups of batter into the Bundt pan. Top with half of the apple
mixture. Cover the apples with another 1 1/2 cups of batter. Top with remaining
apples and then top with remaining batter. Mix some of the juices from the
bottom of the bowl from the apples into the batter on top of the cake and blend
Bake in a preheated 350 F oven until the top is golden brown and a cake tester
shows that the moist crumbs are attached, about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour
and 25 minutes.)
Cool cake (still in the pan) on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Run a knife
around the sides and center tube of the pan to loosen the cake. Turn cake onto
the rack and cool it for at least an hour. Dust with confectioners' sugar.
12 to 15 servings