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Food Management for Rosh Hashana

May 9, 2009 | by Chef Herschel Arnow

With seven meals to prepare, keep it simple!

This year, the meal preparations are overwhelming, especially for us living in Israel where we are not familiar with three-day holidays. With a few days before Rosh Hashana, we must be realistic in order to keep it manageable.

Many years ago I asked Rabbi Noah Weinberg, the dean of Aish HaTorah, if gourmet is a Jewish concept. He thought for a minute and said, "Yes. God wants us to taste the bouquet. He wants us to enjoy his gifts." Of course the main purpose of Rosh Hashana is not to enjoy the food, it is to realize our purpose and recognize our Creator. But that won't happen if you collapse making the food.

I have my menus out in front of me. I need to make some changes in order to really get the most out of the holiday. For example, fish and soup don't need to be served every meal. Prepare and freeze as much as you can before the holiday so you don't need to prepare too much on Rosh Hashana. Choose some simple recipes (and don't forget the Eruv Tavshilin!), like Herbed Schnitzel, Pasacove Rolled Breast of Turkey, or just plain roast chicken.

Frozen vegetables with simple seasonings are enjoyable. Store-bought desserts are a timesaver. Fruit salad out of a can with a little fresh fruit added can work just fine. Jello prepared with a little less water than the manufacturer recommends is a really great dessert - add a little Pareve whipped cream. Fresh fruit and melon make a fine first course or dessert.

Check out these recipes I have written in the past that are easy and good.

Keep It Simple Sweetheart and have a healthy, happy, tasty and meaningful New Year!

-- Chef Herschel


How to make a perfect turkey without really trying. This recipe works for any size turkey.

Cover wings and drumsticks to prevent drying out. Place turkey on its side. Insert into preheated 450º F oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn turkey over to the other side. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off oven. Allow turkey to remain in oven 30 minutes. Carve and serve.

Traditional Stuffing

Bread (old, new, any bread you have)
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper

For this one you need to use your intuition on some of the amounts.

Wet bread, squeeze out water and tear up. Fry lots of onions and mushrooms (dark brown but not crisp). Add oil (as much as you can stand). Add eggs - 1 ½ eggs per loaf of bread. Add lots of paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper (it should have a strong taste).

Place in pan. Do not pack tight. Bake at 375º F until firm. Brown on top.

* * *



1 can of pineapple chunks
sweet and sour sauce (directions follow)
3 tbsps. soy oil
1 3/4 pounds chicken breasts, skinned, boned, and cut in half by 2-inch strips
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 medium-size onion, thinly sliced
1 medium-size green pepper, seeded and cut in thin strips
About 4 cups hot, cooked rice
Fresh coriander sprigs (cilantro or Chinese parsley)

Just before cooking, drain the can of pineapple chunks; reserve juice for other use.

Prepare sweet and sour sauce and set aside.

Place wok over high heat. When wok is hot, add 2 tablespoons of the oil. When oil is hot, add chicken and garlic; stir-fry until chicken is opaque (about 4 minutes); remove from wok and set aside.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to wok. When oil is hot, add onion and green pepper. Stir-fry for about 1 minute, or until tender-crisp. Return chicken to wok. Add sweet and sour souce and pineapple. Stir until liquid boils and thickens (about 1 minute).

Spoon equal portions of chicken mixture into a serving dish; mound the mixture at one end and spook in equal portions of rice alongside. Garnish with sprigs of coriander, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

Stir together 4 teaspoons cornstarch, 1/4 cup each sugar and wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons minced fresh coriander (cilantro) or 1 1/2 tsps. dry cilantro leaves, 2 tbsps. catsup, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and dry sherry, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and crushed red pepper, and 1/4 cup regular-strength chicken broth.


5-Minute Yummy Chicken

This recipe will give you the "That's-great-can-I-have-the-recipe" response.

One chicken cut into eighths
One onion cut into 1/4 inch slices
One clove garlic chopped fine or garlic powder or equivalent
1/2 cup of ketchup
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1-tablespoon soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute onions with garlic till translucent. Add brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce and simmer until sugar melts. Spread over chicken. Roast in hot oven 400 degrees F about 45 minutes.

Salmon, Nile Perch, or any other fleshy fish with Mustard and Dill

1 lb. fresh or frozen fish fillets (or steaks)
1 tablespoon Dijon, poupon, or regular mustard
1 teaspoon dried dill weed or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice

Place fish in baking dish skin side down. Spread with mustard; sprinkle with dill and pepper; drizzle with lime/lemon juice. Bake or microwave. Serve with pan juices.

Bake: 10 minutes per inch of thickness at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) until done.

Microwave: covered with waxed paper at 70% power for 3 minutes per inch of thickness.

Serves 2

Teriyaki Perch or Salmon

4 lb. fresh or frozen fish fillets(or steaks)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons wine (any)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Place fish in flat dish or re-sealable plastic bag. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour marinade over fish and marinate for 15 minutes. Drain salmon/perch and place in baking dish. Grill, broil, bake, or microwave. Halfway through cooking time, baste with marinade.

Bake/grill/broil: 10 minutes per inch of thickness. (Do not turn.)

Microwave: covered with waxed paper at 70% power for 3 minutes per inch of thickness.

Serves 2.


Tenderize the boneless chicken breast halves by flattening them as you would for a chicken piccata, then marinate in lemon juice.

(6 servings)

6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups plain dry breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons chopped fresh or dry basil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh or dry parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dry rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Lemon wedges

Using meat mallet, pound chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thickness. Arrange chicken in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour lemon juice over cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Remove chicken from dish and pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt margarine with oil in small saucepan over medium heat; cool slightly. Mix bread crumbs, basil, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper in pie dish. Brush chicken breasts on both sides with breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken on baking sheet. Bake until chicken is cooked through and breadcrumbs are golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to plates. Serve, passing lemon wedges alongside.


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