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Brisket With a Soda-Pop Kick and Gefilte Fish With Snap of Ginger

September 21, 2011
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Photo by Angela Coppola

Rosh Hashanah brings families together to celebrate the autumn harvest and a sweet new year.

Along with any good celebration comes food. Naturally sweet foods like honey, apples, raisins and carrots are served at holiday meals to remind us of the sweet things that lie ahead.

Jill Colella Bloomfield, author of Jewish Holidays Cookbook: Festive Meals for Celebrating the Year, suggests preparing these recipes this Rosh Hashanah and sweetening up your table in a variety of ways.

Soda Pop Brisket

(Meat)

This is a traditional Jewish dish and a real crowd pleaser. Your friends and family will be surprised to learn that the secret ingredient is cola.

1 medium onion, sliced into rings 
3-4 lb. flat brisket, trimmed 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
2 Tbsps. yellow mustard 
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 
1 Tbsp. olive oil 
1 cup cola (not diet) 
parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place half of the onion slices on the baking sheet, and place brisket, fat side up, on top of the onions.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the garlic, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil and soda.

Pour the mixture over the top of the brisket and place the remaining onion slices on top. Cover with foil.

Bake for 2 hours, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 175°.

Let the meat sit for about 10 minutes before slicing it thinly across the grain.

Serves 8 to 10.

Sweet Ginger Gefilte Fish

(Pareve)

Gefilte fish is made from finely chopped fish that has been cooked with onions and carrots. Sweetened by orange juice and honey, this fish recipe can help you welcome a sweet new year.

1 loaf (16 oz.) gefilte fish, defrosted (jarred gefilte fish will work just fine) 
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated 
1/4 cup soy sauce 
1/4 cup orange juice 
1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Press fish into a jelly roll pan or round cake pan.

Whisk remaining ingredients in bowl and pour on top of the fish.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until heated through.

For a twist, you can cut your finished gefilte fish into fun shapes using cookie cutters.

Serves 8 to 10.

Sweet Carrot Tzimmes

(Pareve)

The longer you cook tzimmes, the more like a thick sauce it will become. You can serve it chunky or blend it smooth.

1 and 1/2 lbs. carrots, sliced into coins 
1/2 cup dried cranberries 
1/2 cup dried apricots, diced 
1/4 cup golden raisins 
1/4 raisins 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
1 can (11 oz.) apricot nectar 
1 cup water

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, making sure that the carrots and fruit are covered in liquid.

Bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil for 10 minutes.

Reduce heat and allow mixture to simmer, uncovered for 25 to 35 minutes or until the liquid evaporates and the tzimmes thickens.

Serves 6.

Harvest Rice With Pomegranate Seeds

(Pareve)

Pomegranates are a traditional Rosh Hashanah fruit. They represent wishes for a year filled with many new beginnings.

2 Tbsps. olive oil 
1/2 cup onion, chopped 
1/2 cup celery, chopped 
1 cup apple, chopped 
1/4 cup dried cherries 
1/4 cup pecans, chopped 
1 package (6 to 8 oz.) quick-cook rice pilaf mix 
1/2 cup pomegranate arils

Heat oil in a medium-sized saute pan over medium-high heat.

Add the onion, celery and apple, and cook until soft and translucent, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium, and add cherries and pecans.

Set mixture aside on plate.

Using the same pan, prepare the rice according to package directions.

To remove arils, cut the crown off a pomegranate and break the fruit into segments. Holding the segments over a bowl, use your fingers or a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

Add arils and the fruit-and-vegetable mixture to the cooked rice, stirring to combine.

Serves 4.

Honey Lemon Cake

(Pareve)

Don't wait for Rosh Hashanah to make this cake. You can bake this moist, spicy dessert anytime.

1/2 cup sugar 
1 cup honey 
3 eggs 
1/2 cup vegetable oil 
2 tsps. grated lemon zest 
1/4 cup lemon juice 
3 cups all-purpose flour 
3 tsps. baking powder 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. cinnamon 
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350°. Oil and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan or a bundt pan.

Combine sugar, honey, vegetable oil, eggs, lemon zest and juice. Stir well.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add this mixture slowly to the honey mixture, combining well. Stir in the water.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. To test the cake for doneness, insert a wooden toothpick into the center. It should come out clean.

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