rosh hashana dinner

September 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Happy new year everyone!  In addition to lots of apple and honey, this is what we ate:

Stuffed Mushrooms

I’ve made these stuffed mushrooms many times before, and they’re always “a big hit.” I ended with much more stuffing than mushrooms, so I put it in a casserole dish and surrounded the mushrooms with the extra stuffing. But normally it would look like stuffed mushrooms, not like a casserole. First take the stems out of the mushrooms and bake the mushrooms in the oven for about 20 minutes, and drain the liquid that collects on the sheet and in the mushroom caps. (Perhaps you could save it for vegetable stock.) Meanwhile, toast  pine nuts, and saute finely chopped onion and raisins. Add the nuts, onion, and raisins to a bowl with bread crumbs, finely chopped fresh parsley and mint, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. Fill the mushrooms with the mixture and top each mushroom with a thin slice of tomato.  Return to oven to bake about 20 more minutes, with the breadcrumbs look golden.

Potato Leek Spinach Keftes

You may be looking at that picture thinking, wait a minute, aren’t those latkes? And isn’t this Rosh Hashana, not Chanukah? Well, it’s a funny story. I was looking up Rosh Hashana recipes and learned about keftes, which a traditional Sephardic dish for Rosh Hashana. A kefte is basically a vegetable croquette or fritter. Apparently keftes de prasa, leek fritters, are especially popular for Rosh Hashana. And then I added potatoes, and they turned into latkes! Then I decided to add spinach and spices. They turned out really freakin’ good, whether you want to call them keftes, latkes, or hashbrowns. The trick to making them crispy and not all soggy is to cook the vegetables beforehand to eliminate some of the water. So, first grate the potato and squeeze out extra water with your hands. Put it in the microwave for about 4 minutes if you’re not afraid of microwaves. Dice the leeks and chop the spinach, and sautee them until the leeks are transparent and the spinach is looks totally reduced/wilted. Put all the vegetables in a bowl and add salt, pepper, cumin, coriander (I toasted mine), and paprika. Throw in an egg or two and some bread crumbs until you are able to form loose patties. They should be able to keep their shape in the palm of your hand more or less but not be a wet blob. Fry them until the potato is very golden and crispy. I sprinkled a bit of lemon juice on top. They’d also be good with a yogurt dipping sauce.

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic

This one’s super easy. Chop up some carrots and mix them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and thyme or your herb of choice. Spread them out on a baking sheet. Put whole garlic cloves on the same sheet in the corner. (Cut the two ends of the cloves so you can easily remove the peel later.) Bake at 450 degrees F for about 40-50 minutes, until soft and golden. Mix in the roasted garlic paste with the carrots and serve.

Simple Honey Cake

I followed  a very simple honey cake recipe because it’s hard for me to find a lot of ingredients here. The regular grocery store down the street doesn’t sell vanilla, for example. I didn’t have orange, so I didn’t add orange zest. I also added a bit of nutmeg and clove. I was very happy with the result. Light and fluffy texture, with a warm, not overwhelmingly sweet flavor. It would be good with ice cream. I think it’s the type of flavor that makes me thirsty.

Rosh Hashana Salad

Not pictured is the mega salad that Elena made. It contained escarole, apple, pomegranate seeds, roasted beet, goat cheese, fried garlic, paprika, salt, and olive oil. Delicious! It may sound like a lot of sweet ingredients, but with the right proportions, the escarole, cheese, and garlic should balance it out. Plus it’s very beautiful. I wish I had taken a picture!

L’shana tova umetuka!


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