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A Joyful Sukkot Menu

September 23, 2012 | by Gitta Bixenspanner

A complete menu, delicious and simple.

With many meals to serve during this Yom Tov, let’s keep things simple and easy.

Roast Cod With Pomegranate-Walnut Sauce

Low-fat cod comes alive with this tangy sauce, made of antioxidant-packed pomegranate and walnuts. Walnuts rank highest in their fiber and anti- oxidant content. It is good for your brain and heart.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 c)
  • 1/3 c ground walnuts + 1/4 c broken halves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1½ Tbsp pomegranate juice fresh or concentrate
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 4 cod fillets (6 oz each)
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

Prepare quinoa per package directions. (Makes about 3 cups.)

Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat while quinoa cooks. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 minutes. Add ground walnuts and garlic and cook, stirring, until walnuts are golden brown, about 4 minutes longer. Remove from heat and reserve. Mix water and cornstarch in a small saucepan adding wine, water, pomegranate juice, honey . Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 4 minutes. (Makes about 3/4 cup of sauce.) Transfer sauce to gravy boat.

Heat oven. Season fish with salt and pepper. Arrange in single layer on sheet pan lined with nonstick foil. Broil until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.

Toss quinoa with parsley and broken walnuts. Spoon onto 4 plates and top with fish and sauce.


Flanken & Vegetable Soup

Flanken & Vegetable SoupOur family loves beef. But we do not eat it too often, so when Yomtov comes I make sure to make even the soup with beef flanken. When I want it to look traditional I serve it with whole vegetables just as I would my chicken soup, but for a variation I can blend the vegetables with a blender stick and serve the flanken as the main course with the side dishes below.

  • 2-3 lbs beef short ribs, known as flanken
  • 4-5 quarts water
  • 6 ounces dry vegetable soup mix
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 medium carrots cubed
  • 2 stalks celery slices
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed, to taste, or garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt, to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper, to taste, can use whole peppercorns
  • fresh parsley in a cooking bag (optional)

In a large pot, cover the flanken with water; bring to boil for 5 minutes; then change water to remove the scum, wash the meat and clean up the pot and then fill to the full amount (4-5 quarts).

Bring this fresh water with flanken to a boil. Add the dried soup mix with contents of seasoning packet enclosed, and the bay leaf. Cook for ½ hour.

Add vegetables and cook for at least 2 hour on a low flame, stirring occasionally. Then add garlic fresh or powder. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste, and add potatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

When ready to serve, remove bay leaf. If you want the soup creamy, you may remove the flanken and blend veggies with a blender stick. Be careful for any bones that may have come loose from the short ribs.

Once the veggies are blended, you can add the meat back to the pot.

Serve a bowl with a piece of meat in each

This soup freezes well and can be prepared ahead and re-warmed as needed.

Preparation 30 minutes+ cooking time
Serves 8

Sesame Chicken

Sesame ChickenSince I chose a very hearty soup for this meal, I am lightening up the menu with a quick easy and delicious stir fry that is sure to please every palate. It takes minutes to make if we prepare all ingredients ahead it can easily be assembled on Yom Tov, and as we all know fresh is best.

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, pat dry with paper towels
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
  • ½ -inch fresh ginger pierce a toothpick through it so you can remove it before serving
  • ½ -1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

In a dry skillet toast sesame seeds for 5-8 minutes until aromatic, stir constantly so it does not burn, that will make it taste a whole lot better.

Cut chicken breast into 1 inch strips or bite size pieces. Heat a large non-stick skillet that has been sprayed with Pam, over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for about 6 minutes or until no longer pink.

Mix together honey, soy sauce, water, corn starch, ginger and red pepper flakes.

Whisk until no corn starch lumps appear. Pour sauce mixture into skillet with chicken.

Cook for about 5 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Add more water if sauce is too thick.

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken starts to soak up the sauce. Serve over a bed of cooked Basmati rice or your favorite pasta.

Preparation 15 minutes
Serves 6

Beet Salad With Red Onion, and Pistachios

Beet Salad With Red Onion, and PistachiosThis salad is delicious and adds color to any dish. Beets are in season this time of year so take advantage of the many hues of beets available that blend well together for a splendid side dish, while enhancing your health along the way.

  • 2 medium red beets, with greens
  • 2 medium golden beets, with greens
  • 1 small red onion, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons sherry wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt


  • 1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Preparing the beets: Cut off the greens and set aside.

Place the beets in an ovenproof dish and add enough water to cover the bottom. Cover with foil and bake 1 hour or until they pierce easily with a knife. Remove beets from the oven and allow to cool.

Peel and discard the skins

Cut them into wedges or slices. *Remember*: Keep the red beets separate from the golden beets to avoid the red beets bleeding.

Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite vinegar on the red beets and the other one half teaspoon on the golden beets. Toss to coat and set aside.

Assembling the salad: Wash well and coarsely chop the beet greens. Place in a colander.

Slice the red onions into thin rounds and place on top of the greens

Transfer to a bowl and stir in the beets. Drizzle the vegetables with the remaining 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and the olive oil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper; toss. Garnish with the pistachios.

Preparation 10 minutes +cooking time
Serves 6

Delectable Chocolate Honey Torte

  • Delectable Chocolate Honey Torte1 (6 ounce) cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 stick transfat free margarine
  • ½ cup honey
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs instant coffee granules
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/ 4 teaspoon salt

Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with waxed paper.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt margarine; stir in chocolate morsels.

Remove from heat; continue stirring until chocolate is melted. Gradually add honey, stirring to blend.

Lightly beat egg yolks; whisk into chocolate mixture. Stir in flour, coffee, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

Fold 1/4 of egg whites into chocolate mixture. Stir lightened chocolate mixture into remaining whites; do not over mix.

Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 325 F for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted halfway from center to edge comes out clean; cool 5 minutes.

Run knife around edge to loosen cake from pan Invert cake onto plate; remove paper. When cool sprinkle with chopped almonds and chocolate shavings and a dollop of whipped cream for garnish.

Can be served warm.

Preparation 25 minutes
Serves 8.

Delicious Nutty Baklava

Delicious Nutty BaklavaThere is a custom in most Jewish homes not to eat nuts during the High Holiday season because it is believed that nuts have a tendency to disturb the prayers.

But on Simchat Torah since it is the very last day of this wonderful period we again indulge in nuts. This Nutty Baklava is one of my favorite desserts it is a specialty that we reserve for special occasions. If not Yom Tov then when? It is a bit time consuming but well worth the effort.

  • Delicious Nutty Baklava1 pound Phyllo pastry sheets (defrost overnight in the fridge – keep covered with damp cloth while working with them)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 lb walnuts finely chopped
  • ½ lb toasted blanched almonds, chopped – (toast at 300* oven for 20 minutes-shake often)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 3 cups of honey syrup

Combine 1 cup of honey with 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water in sauce pan. Bring this to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Make this syrup early in the day and set aside to cool. You will pour this syrup over the warm Baklava, making sure it goes all through the Baklava. Combine nuts and cinnamon. Line the bottom of a cookie sheet with 8 sheets of phyllo dough placing the sheets down one at a time while brushing each one with oil. Sprinkle the top sheet the 8th one with the nut mixture. Continue adding oiled phyllo sheets and sprinkling every third sheet with nut mixture until it is all used up. Spread the remaining 4 or 5 sheets on top and pour the remaining oil over them. Cut Baklava into small diamond shape pieces before baking. Bake at 350* for 1 hour or until golden. Pour the cooled honey syrup over the warm Baklava.

Garnish with toasted ground pistachio nuts

Preparations 40 minutes
Yields approximately 60 pieces.

Wishing all our readers a wonderful Sukkot!


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