Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Rosh Hashanah Feast

The fall holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are arriving in the upcoming week. It's a  time of celebrating the new year as well as atoning and fasting.. The first holy day is a day of feasting , and wishing prosperity to others.Families and friends get together to enjoy a meal as they welcome in another year

A must for the holiday is having something sweet at the table. One of the most traditional dishes is apples dipped in honey. This was taken from 12th Century Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe and is widely accepted worldwide.Pears could be used too, as they're in harvest right now. Many first courses combine the savory and sweet. Melissa Clark marries chicken with figs for her holiday main course as seen in her A Good Appetite column in Wednesday's New York Times Food section.She also gives it bite thanks to Serrano chiles added for color and heat. Many home chefs pair chicken with pomegranates. The last represents fertility and prosperity as well.Fish heads are also served. This symbolizes the prayer "Let us be the head and not the tail." Gefilte or stuffed fish can be served however the tradition can be bent. Try pesce al Ebraica, fish cooked in the Jewish tradition.It''s taking any white fleshed fish such as cod and haddock, Sole could be used too.It's making a marinade out of olive oil, honey and vinegar along with salt.Raisins and pine nuts are then scattered over the fish and its' baked for only twenty minutes. Parsley is then sprinkled on it.

The holiday meal is also about sides as well. Honey glazed carrots are always a Rosh Hashanah staple. They're  the easiest to make,it's first simmering the roots in water and then cooking them in a glaze of honey , butter and brown sugar. Cinnamon is added for spice as are raisins.Carrots can also be turned into tzimmes,This stew also highlights yams and sweet potatoes along with  dried apples and cranberries Chopped pitted prunes are another ingredient that gives the dish color., Black eyed peas are also traditional and add a nice nuttiness to the holiday feast. Serve these just with melted butter or margarine. Spinach is another new year's food. Served just boiled with salt and margarine.A more refreshing way is having it fresh in  a salad, along with eggs, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts. Dessert plays an important part too. Regular contributor to the New York Times Food section, Joan Nathan lent an  apple cider honey cake recipe, coming from Chef Alex Levin of Washington's Osteria Morini. It's his grandmother's who was Craig Claiborne's expert on Jewish cuisine,It's made with apple cider butter, a homemade mix of butter, Granny Smith apples, apple cider, butter and brown sugar. The cake recipe has the extra filip of whiskey. The finished product is simply dusted with confectioner's sugar and served.

Rosh Hashanah is the new year coming in. Celebrate it with traditional and symbolic foods. Enjoy with family and friends.

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