Sound the Shofar, it’s Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sun­down on September 16. Although no work is per­mit­ted on this day, this cer­tainly doesn’t mean there is no feast­ing. Here I’ve gath­ered a selec­tion of all my favourite recipes for a tra­di­tional fes­tive din­ner. From brisket to kugel, I’ve got you covered.

One of the cus­tom­ary treats on Rosh Hashanah is apples dipped in honey, a deli­cious snack at any time, and espe­cially now that  local apples are lit­er­ally falling off the tree, and Ontario boasts many amaz­ing aviaries pro­duc­ing stel­lar liq­uid gold. Like the fine folks at Munro Honey in Lambton, whose clover honey is the per­fect accom­pa­ni­ment to a juicy, crisp McIntosh, or any of the more hard to find vari­eties like the rare Red Astrachan that are grown at the Spadina Museum Gardens.

The Shiksa in the Kitchen Tzimmes

Apples and honey sym­bol­ize a sweet New Year, and are often served with round chal­lah bread, sym­bol­iz­ing the cycle of the new year.  Tzimmes, an Ashkenazi sweet stew often made with dried fruit is also a favourite dish on Rosh Hashannah. Carrots, sliced into rounds to sym­bol­ize gold coins-and the promise of pros­per­ity –are often added to the stew.

The elab­o­rate prepa­ra­tion, it has been sug­gested, has spawned the Yinglish expres­sion, “To make a big tzimmes out of some­thing,” mean­ing, to make a lot of fuss. This is my favourite recipe, from Martha Stewart. She uses sweet potato, prunes and apri­cots in this dish, along with the carrots.

Another good recipe comes from The Shiksa in the Kitchen site, where she uses yams, white sweet potato, cran­berry and dried apple in a stove­top ver­sion, always help­ful dur­ing the hol­i­days when oven space is at a premium.

Saveur Magazine’s Lokshen Kugel

Noodle Kugel is other del­i­cacy that is often served to cel­e­brate the New Year. This baked pud­ding is served as a side dish, and  there are count­less vari­a­tions of Kugel, most are sweet, and some savory, made with egg noo­dles, sour cream and cream cheese. We like this recipe by Lisa Share-Sapolsky, who replaced the sugar with honey and won first prize with it at L.A.’s Yiddishkayt. I also love this ver­sion from Smitten Kitchen that incor­po­rates dried cher­ries into the dish and this savory ver­sion from Saveur is dyna­mite.

Jamie Oliver’s per­fect roast chicken

Now, what would a proper Rosh Hoshanah spread be with­out a lit­tle brisket and roast chicken? Chatelaine’s food edi­tor, Amy Rosen, has you cov­ered in the brisket depart­ment. She calls for Coca Cola, Lipton’s onion soup mix and apri­cot jam in her recipe but don’t get ner­vous, she knows what she’s doing, just fol­low her instruc­tions to brisket-y bliss. Rosen is a great writer, to get in the hol­i­day spirit read this lovely piece about her Bub Fran that was pub­lished by Canada Writes last year..

For a per­fect roast chicken I sug­gest you lis­ten to Jamie Oliver, he’s got all the tips and point­ers you need to get a crispy skinned juicy bird on the table. From prep to cook­ing to carv­ing, this is the ulti­mate roast chicken recipe.

The High Holidays are here, enjoy fam­ily, friends and most impor­tantly, lots and lots of food. L’shanah tovah!

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  • Barry A. Martin

    Ivy, that was a hel­luva roundup. Nice work–it made me hun­gry, and I wouldn’t be sur­prised if it inspires some peo­ple to cook.

  • Ivy Knight

    thanks Barry!