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Rosh Hashanah Cooking Made Easy

September 6, 2009 | by Sara Finkel

Select recipes from Sara Finkel's latest culinary collection The Complete Yom Tov Cookbook.

Click here to purchase The Complete Yom Tov Cookbook.

Round Honey Challah

Here's a fabulous challah that's perfect for a sweet new year. The extra little braid in the center of the loaf in the shape of a ladder, is a symbol that we should climb upward in the new year.

2 packages active dry yeast, or 2 cakes fresh compressed yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups warm water
8–9 cups flour, sifted
¾ cup honey
⅓ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder, (optional)
¾ cup margarine, room temperature
3 eggs, beaten
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup raisins

1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
sesame or poppy seeds, (optional)

In a large mixing bowl dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in ½ cup of warm water. Cover and let stand for 5–10 minutes until it foams. Beat in 4 cups of flour and remaining ingredients, except raisins, until smooth — about 5 minutes. Add remaining flour 2 cups at a time, beating well after each addition. Add raisins. Knead with a dough hook or by hand for 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn dough to grease all over. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise until double in bulk — about 1½–2 hours. Punch down. Divide dough into 3 equal parts, setting a handful aside for the ladder. Roll each part into a rope 18 inches long. Taper ends. Coil rope around itself (there should be no hole in the center) and tuck ends under. Place in a round, 9-inch springform pan.

To make ladder, make 2 pencil- thin strips, 4 inches long, for sides; and 4 thin strips, 2 inches wide, for rungs. Fasten securely to top center of each challah. Cover and place in a warm place for 50 minutes to rise again. Brush with glaze. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 40–45 minutes. When challah is done, it has a hollow sound when tapped on bottom.
Yields 3 challahs.

Fish Roll with Pepper Rings

A decorative fish loaf. When the loaf is inverted colorful rings of green pepper, carrot, and onions appear on top.

2 pounds ground fish (carp, whitefish, pike, Israeli casif, or a combination)
1 large Spanish onion, diced (about 1½ cups)
1 level tablespoon salt
4–5 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon pepper
3 eggs
2 tablespoons matzah meal
or bread crumbs, (optional)

Combine ingredients. With wet hands, form into loaves.

1 green pepper, cut into rings
1 small onion, cut into rings
1 carrot, thinly sliced

Place wax paper on bottom and sides of a greased 12x4-inch loaf pan and spread with 2 tablespoons of oil. Make a decorative pattern by placing rings of green pepper on wax paper, rings of onion inside the pepper, and a thin slice of carrot in the center. Spoon gefilte fish mixture on top, packing down well. Cover with aluminum foil or greased waxed paper. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 1 hour. To serve, invert pan on platter. The design will be on top. May be frozen.
Serve with horseradish and mayonnaise.
Serves 6–8.

Vegetable Trifle

A beautiful and appealing way to serve vegetables at a Shabbos table or a formal get-together. Use any four or five of the vegetables listed.

5–6 medium carrots,peeled and shredded
2 cups shredded lettuce
1½ cups shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded white cabbage
1–1½ cups frozen peas,defrosted and cooked
1–1½ cups corn niblets, canned or frozen
3 tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2–3 tablespoons water

cherry tomatoes, (optional)
red, green, and yellow
peppers, (optional)
2–3 raw mushrooms, halved or sliced, (optional)

In a large salad bowl layer shredded vegetables, corn, peas, and tomato slices. A combination of four or five of the suggested vegetables can be used. Combine the dressing ingredients and pour it in a circle over the top layer. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, strips of pepper, and slices of raw mushrooms, if desired. Serve immediately.
Serves 8–10.

Roast Turkey

Roast turkey is a popular dish when entertaining a large group for a special dinner. Roasting time is 25 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey, or 20 minutes per pound for an unstuffed turkey.

1 12-pound turkey
3 cloves garlic, minced, or 1–1½ teaspoons garlic powder
salt, to taste
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cinnamon
oil, for brushing turkey
2 cups water

⅓ cup orange marmalade
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon tamari sauce

orange slices
grapes or kumquats

Combine seasonings and rub on inside and outside of turkey. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for seasonings to penetrate. Tie turkey legs together and fasten wings to sides. Brush turkey with oil. Roast turkey, breast side up, uncovered in a preheated 325° oven for 1½ hours. Combine ingredients for glaze and brush over turkey. Add 2 cups of water to pan (with part orange juice, if desired). Roast for an additional 2½–3 hours, basting 3–4 times. When the drumstick pulls away easily from body, turkey is done. If turkey becomes too brown, cover with a tent of aluminum foil during last ½ hour. Remove turkey from oven and let stand for 20 minutes before slicing.
Serves 14–16.

Honeyed Roast Beef with Sweet Potatoes

In our home, this roast beef was a regular yom tov dish, served on Rosh Hashanah, Sukkos, and Simchas Torah when it is customary to eat sweet foods.

1 4–5-pound beef roast
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 large onion, sliced
4–5 carrots, cut into chunks
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
10–12 pitted prunes, checked
½ cup honey
1 cup water

Combine pepper, garlic powder, and nutmeg and rub into meat. Refrigerate 1–2 hours to allow flavors to penetrate. Scatter onion slices in bottom of roasting pan. Place the roast on top of them. Roast in a 375° oven for 45 minutes. Add carrots, sweet potatoes, and prunes. Pour honey on top. Add water to pan and continue roasting at 350° for about 2½–3 hours until meat is tender. Let cool before slicing.
Serves 10–12.

Scandinavian Medley

A variety of vegetables baked with a thin layer of rice. A real favorite!

1 medium eggplant
2 green peppers
2 zucchini
2 large onions
2 carrots
2 medium potatoes
⅔ cup uncooked rice
½ cup water
⅓ cup oil
3 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
2 tablespoons parsley
1–2 teaspoons dill, (optional)
4 medium tomatoes, sliced

Cut all vegetables except tomatoes into 1-inch chunks and mix together. Put half of mixture in a 10x15-inch baking pan. Spread rice on top. Cover with remaining vegetables. Combine water, oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, parsley, and dill, and pour evenly over vegetables. Place sliced tomatoes on top. Cover pan securely with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 1 hour. Serve hot.
Serves 10-12.

Apple Kugel

This kugel is prepared like a cake, but has a kugel-like consistency. Serve as an accompaniment to a roast beef or poultry dinner, and add raisins or pecans to give it added zest.

4 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup oil
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tart apples,
peeled and sliced
½ cup raisins, (optional)
⅓ cup chopped pecans, (optional)

Combine eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and oil. Stir in flour and baking powder. Fold in sliced apples, raisins, and nuts. Pour into a well-greased 9x13- inch pan and bake in a 350° preheated oven for 45–50 minutes.

Honey Chiffon Cake

This cake is particularly tasty when topped with the icing on the following page.

6 eggs, room temperature, separated
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar (or white, if preferred)
6 tablespoons honey
¾ cup oil
¾ cup very strong coffee
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
juice and finely grated rind of ½ lemon
finely grated rind of 1 orange
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ginger
2½ cups flour, sifted
2½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup raisins, (optional)

Beat egg whites until frothy. Gradually add white sugar and beat with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Set aside. Beat egg yolks and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in remaining ingredients in order given.
Lastly, fold egg whites into mixture.
Pour into a greased, 10-inch tube pan and bake in a preheated 350° oven for 1 hour.
Ice with Silky Beige Icing (see below).

Silky Beige Icing

1½ cups brown sugar
⅓ cup water
1 tablespoon corn syrup
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
or almond extract
pinch of salt

In a saucepan, bring to boil sugar, water, and corn syrup. Reduce heat and cook until mixture spins a thread when dropped from a spoon. Do not stir. Meanwhile, beat egg whites until frothy. Slowly, in a thin steady stream, pour hot syrup into beaten egg whites. Continue beating until mixture is thick and holds its shape.

Fruit Crystal Ice Dessert

A light, refreshing dessert that's perfect after a heavy meal.

2 cups water
⅔ cup sugar
¾ cup orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
strawberries, orange slices, or black grapes,for garnish

In a saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and add orange juice and lemon juice. Pour into a medium- sized bowl and freeze. Remove from freezer, scrape with a large spoon, and separate into crystals. Spoon iced crystals into dessert glasses and top with a fresh strawberry, a thin twisted orange slice, or alarge black grape.

Sara Finkel's first cookbook, Classic Kosher Cooking, has been a bestseller and all-time favorite in Jewish homes throughout the world. In her latest culinary collection, The Complete Yom Tov Cookbook: Winning Recipes for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkos, she presents us with a sparkling array of holiday recipes culled from her previous cookbooks, plus an assortment of fabulous brand-new Yom Tov dishes. Featuring complete menus for each day of Yom Tov and sumptuous, traditional holiday dishes, this is the only cookbook you'll need this Yom Tov. Click here to buy The Complete Yom Tov Cookbook online at a discount price .


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