Rosh HaShana Menus

Here we go. Its a three day Rosh Hashana and that means guests, company and food! Of course, it also means prayers, repenting and atonement. I find that Rosh HaShana is the time to review the past year and prepare for the coming year. We make our choices on Yom Kippur with a 25 hour day of fasting to drive home the implications of our choices.

On this Rosh HaShana, we are hosting two young ladies (don't know who or from where, check the next post for details). Alas, I have been told that they are only eating one meal with us. Our community is hosting at least 10 post-high-school students this holiday. We will have the opportunity to be both hosts and guests over the next 6 major meals (lunch and dinner only).

We have a pretty set invite list for Rosh HaShana. Local families that we have been friendly with for more than 10 years will eat with us and visa versa. This sometimes makes for very large meals, but that's what makes it fun!

We have been invited our for two meals (first night and Shabbat lunch). To make matters more complicated, our second day dinner (Thursday night) will be dairy. Too much meat gets repetitive and so we try to break up the sequence with one good dairy meal. In the past, this meal has been my Achilles heal. I don't often cook dairy and the position of the meal at the beginning of the second day means that everything will be warm at best. Even though you can cook over an open flame on Rosh HaShana, we hold that you cannot cook on one day for the subsequent day. So Dinner food is either prepared ahead of time, or cooked on the spot! As my wife points out, we eat almost immediately after nightfall, so there is no time to cook even if we wanted to. This year, we are trying for a Bagel dinner. I hope its foolproof!

On to the menus!

First day lunch - 16
Corned Beef
Chicken and Tomatoes
Brussels Sprouts
Broccoli Kugel

Second day dinner - 16
Kushner Salad
Tomatoes and Bulgarian Cheese
Cream Cheese
Strawberry Ice Cream

Second day lunch - 21
Thai Chicken Salad
Cuban Chicken Stew
Kol Duce Con Carne
Meat Balls
Broccoli Kugel

Shabbat dinner - 12
Shabbat Chicken
Turkey Pot Pie


Chicken and Tomatoes
Loosely based on Alicia's Pollo Entomatada from Nicole Aloni's Secrets from a Caterer's Kitchen.

2 chickens cut into 8ths.
16 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
2 large cans cubed tomatoes - drained
5 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried marjoram
4 bay leaves
1.5 tsp dried oregano
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

first boil and then simmer the chicken, one onion and six garlic cloves for about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and let dry. I used this opportunity to halve the large breasts so that they serve better.

In a large frying pan, saute the remaining onion and garlic until golden. Add the tomatoes and simmer for a 5-10 minutes. Add the spices and herbs along with 2-3 cups of the stock that you just made. Simmer for 10-20 minutes.

Brown the chicken if you like. put the chicken into a large oven-safe pot and cover with the tomato mixture. Cook in a 325 oven for 30 minutes. Reheat over a hot plate to serve.

Cuban Chicken
Derived from Cuban Chicken in Nicole Aloni's Secrets from a Caterer's Kitchen.
Marinate 4 pounds of boned chicken breasts for at least 2 hours in
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 hot pepper minced
2 Tbsp zest from oranges and lemons

Remove chicken breasts and reserve the marinade. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and saute lightly to brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and saute the following for 15 minutes until the onions are translucent:

4 cups chopped onion
1.5 cups chopped red bell pepper
1.5 cups cubed potatoes (bite size pieces)

Put the vegetables and chicken into a large pan or over safe pot. Add:
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup capers (drained)
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup pitted olives
The reserved marinade

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp lemon zest as a finish.
Refrigerate and reheat to serve.


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