High Holidays Feature (11): the Gourmet Touch; a Rosh Hashanah Dinner for All
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High Holidays Feature (11): the Gourmet Touch; a Rosh Hashanah Dinner for All

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L’shanah tovah – “May you be inscribed for a good New Year” – will be repeated throughout synagogues and Jewish homes starting at sundown on Sept. 24.

“May it be a good sweet year” it is the theme of Rosh Hashanah. Jews eat accordingly during this period, with many of dishes prepared with honey.

Years ago, Grandma could be counted on to bake the challah; grind the fish for gefilte fish; grate the horseradish; make, fill and shape the kreplach; and simmer the chickens for soup.

But times are different.

The round challah studded with raisins, gefilte fish and horseradish all are available at local markets.

If time permits, try a new version of gefilte fish or honeycakes that can be made ahead of time and frozen until needed. Use the time to prepare other foods for this special holiday. Salmon Gefilte Fish 3/4 lb. chilled, boned, skinned salmon cut into 1-inch chunks 3/4 lb. chilled, boned, skinned whitefish cut into 1-inch chunks 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 2 large eggs 1/3 cup matzah meal salt to taste 1 1/2 tsps. white pepper broth recipe follows

Whirl the fish – one-third at a time – in a processor until finely chopped, which takes about 20 seconds. Do not puree. Put fish in a large bowl, cover and chill. Whirl onion and egg in processor until smoothly pureed. Add onion, eggs, matzah meal pepper and salt to fish; stir until blended. Mixture should be firm enough to hold its shape when formed into a ball. If too soft, stir in two to three more tablespoons of matzah meal. With your hands, pat fish mixture, 2 Tbsp. at a time, into smooth balls and set slightly apart. Rinse hands frequently in cool water to prevent sticking. In a 6-quart pan over high heat, bring the broth t a boil and adjust heat to simmer. Add enough fish balls to pan to make a single layer without crowding. Simmer, uncovered, until balls are opaque in center (cut to test), which takes about 10 minutes. Lift balls from broth with a slotted spoon; drain. Repeat to cook remaining balls. Cover and chill fish. Broth:

In a 6-quart pan, combine 1 large onion, quartered and 2 large carrots and 2 stalks celery, each cut into 1-inch pieces; 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns; 2 quarts water; and 3 fish or chicken bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil on high heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 45 minutes. Pour both through a colander into a bowl. Discard vegetables and return broth to pan. Makes about 24 small balls. Honey Roasted Capon with Fruited Rice 8 lb. capon, washed inside and out; dried with paper towels 1/2 cup honey 2 Tbsp. lemon juice Stuffing: 1/4 cup margarine 2 onions, chopped 1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice 2 cups chicken broth 1 apple, cored and chopped 1 pear, cored and chopped 1 cup (4 oz.) snipped dates 1 cup shredded carrots 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 tsp. dried thyme

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 1/4 cup margarine. Add onions and saute until tender. Add rice and broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer covered, about 20 minutes, or until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed. Stir in apple, pear, dates, carrots, walnuts, egg and thyme until well-mixed. Spoon stuffing into a greased casserole dish. Bake during the last 30 minutes of cooking capon. Makes about 5 cups.

In a small bowl, mix honey with lemon juice. Remove and discard fat from neck and body cavity of capon. With Kitchen string or dental floss. tie legs together; pull excess skin over cavity openings and secure with poultry pins. Place capon on rack in roasting pan. Brush capon with half of honey mixture. Roast for 15 minutes in a 425 degree oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and roast 1 1/2 hours longer, basting with remaining honey mixture and drippings every 30 minutes or until internal temperature of thigh registers 180 degrees. Place on serving platter. Serves 8. Gravy (if desired):

Drain off all fat from roasting pan. Add 3 cups chicken broth; bring to boil. In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup flour an 1/2 cup cold water until blended. Whisk into broth, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened slightly. Add salt and pepper if needed. Makes about 3 cups. Vegetable Salad with Honey Soy Dressing 1/2 lb. broccoli florets (2 cups) 1/ 2 lb. snow peas 1 bunch green onions 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, torn 1/2 red pepper, julienned 1/2 lb. sliced large mushrooms 2 cups sliced celery 1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained Soy Dressing: 1 clove minced garlic 1/2 cup vegetable oil 3 Tbsp. wine vinegar 3 Tbsp. soy sauce 1 Tbsp. honey 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seed 1/2 tsp. ground ginger salt and pepper to tastes

Cover broccoli and peas with boiling water. Allow to sit 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with ice water to stop cooking. Combine with remaining salad vegetables. To make dressing beat or blend all dressing ingredients. Toss vegetables with soy dressing. Honey Spice Cake 3 1/2 cups flour 1 cup sugar 3 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. ground ginger 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp. ground allspice 1/8 tsp. ground cloves 5 large eggs 1 cup honey 2 tsp. instant coffee dissolved in 2/3 cup boiling water and cooled 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 tsp. vanilla 1 1/2 tsp. grated orange rind

In a medium bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. In large bowl with an electric mixer at low speed, beat eggs, honey, coffee, oil and vanilla until blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture until smooth. Stir in orange rind. Spoon into an oiled and floured 12-cup bundt pan. Bake in 325 degree oven about 70 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen edges with a narrow metal spatula and turn out on rack to cool completely.

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