Did you know that it is traditional to eat stuffed foods on Sukkot?
Originally, I thought it was just because they tasted good. Not quite content, I did a little bit of research and came up with a few answers.
Some say that we eat stuffed cabbage on Simchat Torah because if you put two of these bundles together they look the two tablets of the Ten Commandments.
This answer didn’t thrill me because two store-bought dinner rolls have the same effect, except they don’t require, blood, sweat, and tears to serve them.
A bit more digging and I uncovered another answer: we eat stuffed foods because they symbolize an overwhelming bounty. Fall is when farmers harvest wheat in Israel. A simple vegetable overflowing with delicious filling reminds us of our desire for a year of overflowing harvest.
In biblical times, farmers would put collecting their crops on hold to sit in a sukkah with their family and celebrate Sukkot. Sitting out on the field studying Torah with their children, these farmers were surrounded by two great desires; one, that this year’s harvest would be plentiful and two that like those vegetables, their year would be bursting with moments like that one, doing what they loved most, studying Torah with who they loved most.
In the year 2013, when most of us do not run out to cut wheat, and the closest thing we’ve done to harvesting is scope out sales at the mall, I think it’s time to give this ancient tradition a modern twist – and what better than with dessert!
This is a healthy autumn dessert that helps you stick to your new year resolutions. Or you can serve it with a side of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. My favorite part about this recipe is that if I somehow end up with leftovers, I can have dessert for breakfast without even the slightest bit of guilt!
5 large apples (whichever variety you prefer)
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup of crushed walnuts
1/2 cup of almond milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup of instant oatmeal
1/4 cup of craisins
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted margarine cut into five small cubes
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and boil 1 1/2 cups of water.
Place a small pan over a medium heat and toast your spices and nuts. Toast until they become fragrant, around 3-5 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
This shouldn’t take more than five minutes. Keep an eye on them while you continue with the recipe to prevent them from burning.
While you wait for you ingredients to toast, cut off the top of your apple.
You should cut off about 1/4 inch off the top, enough that it isn’t a wobbly thin slice of apple but a sturdy "hat" you can easily place back on top of your apple later.
Remove the center of your apples creating a hollow circle in the middle of your apple with an inch or so diameter. You can use an apple corer to help you remove the center of your apple. If you don't have an apple corer you can also using a paring knife or any small sharp knife.
Remember the hollowed core of you apple doesn’t have to be a perfect circle as long as you remove all the pits your apple is perfect.
Once your spices and nuts are fragrant, add the almond milk and honey and continue to heat.
Once your almond milk mixture is hot but not bubbling, stir in the oatmeal and craisins.
Cook the oatmeal stuffing for a few more minutes, until most of your almond milk has been absorbed, stirring every few minutes.
Fill your apples with approximately 1 1/2 Tbsp of filling so that they are entirely filled.
Place your apples into a small baking dish.
Put a single piece of margarine on top of each apple's filling and then the top of each apple in order to "seal" the apple closed.
Pour the 1 1/2 cups of boiling water into the baking dish along with the apples.
Cover your baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Bake your apples for 30-40 minutes while basting their stuffing with the cooking water every 10-15 minutes.
They are ready when the apples' stuffing is hot and the apples are soft but not mushy.
Pomegranate truffles are a popular dessert in my Rosh Hashanah table. Persians are addicted to pomegranates; they even use pomegranates in stew! Hence, it seemed logical to use them for dessert as well. I love how tangy and sweet these truffles are, not to mention how well they go with a cup of tea (instead of using sugar).
I am proud that pomegranates are native of Persia – they are packed with nutritional value and antioxidants that protect against cellular damage. Mulberries, my husband’s favorite dried fruit, are a great source of iron and vitamin C. They also have an antioxidant present in red wine that has the potential of promoting a healthy heart. Hence, these truffles are not only absolutely fabulous to taste but packed with superfood qualities!
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup pitted Medjool dates
½ cup pomegranate powder
¼ cup mulberries or golden raisins (optional)
Gold decorating dust, cocoa powder, chocolate sprinkles
Place walnuts in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until a paste forms.
Add pitted dates, salt and pomegranate powder and continue to pulse until well mixed. The dough will be crumbly and moist but easy to mold into truffles about 1-1/2 inches diameter.
Optional step: Place a golden raisin or a mulberry inside the truffles and reshape as a sphere.
Dip truffles into gold decorating dust for a whimsical look, or cocoa powder and sprinkles for a more traditional truffle look.
If you’re anything like me and my family, you’re probably in denial about the fact that Rosh Hashanah is mere days away.
But don’t fear. You can enjoy these last days on the beach, long Sunday mornings with the paper, and weekend brunches, because we’ve done the thinking for you. Check out our complete Rosh Hashanah menu including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options for each course of the meal. Click through the slideshow, see our recipes below, and start making your shopping lists.
Still concerned? Leave us your last-minute Rosh Hashanah questions in the comments or on our Facebook page! I’ll answer a selection of them on Tuesday, just in time to head off the last-minute panic.
For me, Rosh Hashanah always symbolizes the beginning of Fall (although it is way early this year, practically still summer) and I love celebrating apples at my holiday table.
This sweet, nutty apple cake will be the perfect ending to your Rosh Hashanah or Sukkot meal, and is sure to satisfy even the most gluten-loving guests.
¼ cup coconut oil (or margarine or other fat of your choice)
¼ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup almond meal
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup millet flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup diced apple
1 tsp sucanat (raw sugar)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (if you have convection, use it!) and grease an 8-inch round pan.
Using a mixer, cream coconut oil, honey, and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, allowing to incorporate before adding the next. Stir in applesauce and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: almond meal, brown rice flour, millet flour, teff flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches, allowing each batch to incorporate before adding the next. The batter will become thick and sticky. Stir in diced apples.
Spread batter into prepared pan and sprinkle sucanat over the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is firm, the edges are golden and crispy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
For more of Rella's delicious gluten-free recipes check out her blog The Penny Pinching Epicure.
Rosh Hashanah is an auspicious time, meant for new beginnings and good luck. We wish people inscriptions in the book of life, say special prayers for health and prosperity, and even wear white, symbolizing purity and cleansing from sin.
I like to put my money where my mouth is: according to Sephardic custom, certain foods – like dates, squash, and pomegranates – are lucky, and should be eaten in abundance on the New Year.
Another one of these auspicious foods is black-eyed peas, which I’ve been eating regularly ever since returning from Southeast Asia this past December. While they aren’t a traditionally Thai or Vietnamese food, they’re a staple in Burma, just over the border from Thailand. With the steady influx of Burmese émigrés to Thailand, vendors have started selling specialties from their hometown on the streets of Chiang Rai, near the border. One of my favorite dishes, which I first encountered in Naomi Duguid’s excellent book Burma, combines black-eyed peas with turmeric, shallots, ginger, and fish sauce. It’s a surprisingly addictive combination.
I built on that original recipe in honor of Rosh Hashanah, adding another auspicious food – pomegranate seeds – and some pomegranate syrup, for good measure. I swapped out fish sauce for soy sauce, added a heaping handful of parsley, and finished the dish with a big squeeze of fresh lime.
Because Rosh Hashanah starts so early this year, we’re planning on at least one picnic lunch, to take advantage of what we hope will be good weather. I’m planning to serve this, alongside the usual round challah and apple slices dipped in honey. Double good luck!
1 heaping cup black-eyed peas
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh grated turmeric root or ¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 large shallot, minced
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp pomegranate syrup, optional (if not using, double lime juice)
½ cup pomegranate seeds
2-3 Tbsp chopped parsley, chives, or a mixture
Juice of ½ a lime
If your black-eyed peas are old, soak them overnight in enough water to cover them by at least 1 inch.
When ready to cook the peas, fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add drained peas, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until peas are fork-tender, between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. Cooking time varies drastically and depends on the age of your peas, so check them regularly.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in your smallest sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the turmeric and shallots, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until shallots are soft, fragrant, and browned in spots. Add salt, stir to combine, and remove from the heat.
When peas are soft but still retaining their shape, drain them, transfer them to a bowl, and pour the shallot mixture over the peas, making sure to scrape the sauté pan for all those little bits of turmeric and shallot clinging to the bottom. Stir beans to incorporate, taking care not to smush them too much.
Add soy sauce and pomegranate syrup if using, and toss to combine.
Right before serving, fold in pomegranates, fresh herbs, and lime juice. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
I have a love-hate relationship with the High Holidays (who doesn’t!?). It always seems to coincide with a busy time of work and I never have enough time to cook all the recipes I want to try. This year is the first time my husband and I will be celebrating the holidays at home (as opposed to going to family or friends). We are hosting lots of meals, which means I am forced to/have the opportunity to explore new recipes and adapt some of my favorites.
The one thing I make year after year without fail is my mom’s honey cake. It is moist, sweet and the perfect addition to any Rosh Hashanah meal. It is the first thing I eat after the Yom Kippur fast with a big glass of orange juice. When I think of the holiday season I can smell the honey cake and see my mom’s kitchen counter covered with honey cakes and challah.
This year, I wanted to change up the cake by utilizing the same concept and making it a little more interesting. Here is the recipe for a Honey Pomegranate Cake with a pomegranate glaze on top. You can make the cake ahead of time and freeze it for later, however you should not glaze it until you the day you are serving.
For the cake:
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 ½ cups honey
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup cold brewed pomegranate tea (brewed for 30 min)
For the glaze:
½ cup pomegranate juice
¼ cup sugar
juice of ½ lemon
4 Tbsp powdered sugar
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and slowly add to liquid ingredients. Pour into 10” ungreased angel food cake pan (tube pan), not a Bundt pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
When the cake is done invert and allow to cool completely before removing.
For the glaze, combine pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil then let simmer uncovered for 15 minutes stirring frequently. It will become a syrup and reduce to about half. Remove from heat, let cool slightly and whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.
Stir in pomegranate seeds and pour over the cake.
You might still be thinking about summer tomatoes, peach pie, and drinks by the pool, but we are thinking about honey cake and apple desserts since Rosh Hashanah will be upon us in just two weeks!
Apple and honey cakes are traditional, sweet New Year desserts but they can definitely get a bit stale. The honey cake from my childhood? My Great Aunt Ruth would make honey cake sometime around June, cut it into slices, freeze it, and then defrost it in the fall to serve at my grandma’s house for Rosh Hashanah. Is it any wonder honey cake is far from my favorite dessert!?
So I set out to find the freshest, traditional and non-traditional, super scrumptious apples & honey desserts perfect for your Jewish New Year celebrations. Please note: Great Aunt Ruth’s version is not included.
Got a great recipe? Post below and let us know!
I’m kind of obsessed with beets. I’ve made Beet Fries, Pickled Beets and even Beet Hummus. Not only are they tasty and healthy, but a shade of vibrant pink (or golden yellow) that pops on your holiday table. Beets are rich in vitamin C, fiber, and some even consider them to be a natural aphrodisiac. Can’t hurt! Pass by the canned variety in favor of the more flavorful fresh. Totally versatile, beets are perfect roasted, pickled, raw or in this case, fried.
Sprinkled with a little salt, these crunchy chips are delicious on their own, and even better when paired with a sweet and spicy pareve mayonnaise. Sort of a modern twist on apples dipped in honey. I used just red beets, but throw in some golden ones as well for a colorful addition to your Rosh Hashanah meal. The prayer said over beets in Hebrew means to remove, which signifies the hope that enemies and faults will be removed in the New Year.
Amy Kritzer is a food writer and recipe developer in Austin, TX who enjoys cooking, theme parties and cowboys. She challenges herself to put a spin on her Bubbe’s traditional Jewish recipes and blogs about her endeavors at What Jew Wanna Eat. Her recipes have been featured on Bon Appetit, Daily Candy, The Today Show Blog and more. You can follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook and watch her cooking videos on Google+.
For the beet chips:
1 quart vegetable oil
3 medium beets, washed and dried well
Coarse black pepper
For the spicy honey mayo:
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 tsp honey
2-3 tsp Sriracha (or to taste)
In a large, wide pot heat the oil over high heat to 375°F.
Cut the root end off the beets, and cut using a mandolin into 1/8-inch thick slices.
Set up a cooling rack over paper towels near the pot.
Once oil is hot, slip one layer of beets into the oil and fry until golden and the bubbling and sizzling stops, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper and let cool on the rack. The chips will crisp up as they cool.
To make the Spicy Honey Mayo, combine mayo, honey and sriracha in a small bowl. Chill for at least 10 minutes. Serve alongside freshly made beet chips.
Have you heard of the cronut, a donut-croissant hybrid that is all the rage currently in NYC? On any given morning I log in to Facebook and at least one of my friends has been standing on line (sometimes in the rain) since 6:00 am in order to procure one of Dominque Ansel’s much-coveted cronuts. Well, the cronut craze has officially landed in Israel! The Forward reported earlier this week that Lenchner bakery in Tel Aviv has made the first kosher version; and now other bakeries in Israel are coming up with their own versions. Will the cronut be the new cupcake? It doesn’t have my vote yet, but then again, I have yet to wait online at 6:00 am to actually taste one. Looks pretty tempting though, eh?
On Chosen Eats this week Mari Levine presents us with the results of a kosher hot dog taste test “throwdown.” Many of the hot dog brands are ones I haven’t even heard of including International Beef Frankfurters and the winner, Shor Harbor Beef Franks. My own favorite from the list? Abeles & Heyman! What’s your preferred kosher hot dog brand – we want to know!
Are you a fan of the Food TV show ‘Chopped’? If not then you might have missed Chef Katsuji Tanabe, the chef of kosher restaurant Mexikosher in Los Angeles, take the win last week! The Jewish Journal has a full write-up of the chef and his TV appearance, including his tips for winning – don’t drink the coffee!
In other kosher restaurant-related news, The Prime Grill Cookbook is coming out in mid-September. The new cookbook by Chefs David Kolotkin (a Nosher contributor!) and Joey Allaham, takes you inside Prime Grill and will include some of the restaurant’s signature dishes including Smoked BBQ Short Ribs, Texas Style Rib Eye, Chicken & Waffle Nuggets with Maple Syrup Dip, Quinoa Cake “Latkes,” among many more.
Last but certainly not least, did you hear about our Rosh Hashanah Ingredient Challenge?! Our own version of Top Chef, High Holiday Edition, we are asking our favorite contributors and YOU, our readers, to submit your best Rosh Hashanah recipe and photos. Your mission – use two of the following traditional New Year ingredients and send us the recipe by August 23rd: pomegranate, honey, apples, dates, gourds, beets, fenugreek and black eyed peas. More info here.