Creative Purim Dishes.
From triangle sushi to onion-filled challah.
Triangle Shaped Onion Filled Challah
- 5 large onions
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Chop the onion and garlic and sauté in the olive oil until a golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.
Use your regular challah recipe and when ready to shape, tear off medium pieces of dough and form into balls. Using a rolling pin flatten the dough into a circle making sure it is not rolled too thin. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the onion mixture into the center of the circle. Pinch 3 sides together and form a triangle shape, but leave enough of an opening in the triangle so that the filling shows through. Place on your baking sheet with the filled side down so that it will not split open as it rises. Let the filled dough rise. Brush with beaten yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 30 minutes at 350 for small challah.. These may be frozen and reheated in a warm oven for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy the challah and the compliments!!
Delectable Triangle Sushi
Sushi has become an obsession in North America; it seems never to get enough of it. It is being served in many homes instead of the traditional gefilte fish. It has cropped up in every pizza store and take out store. Well I must say that these delectable morsels do grow on us and why not they are delicious.
For the Rice:
- 3 cup white rice (sushi rice if you can get it) Sushi rice is best but any rice that sticks (Arborio rice) will work well.
- 6 cups water
- 3 Tbp rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbs sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 6 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
- 3 cup julienne veggies – (carrot, cucumber, red pepper, avocado)
- Optional: kani, tuna or spicy tuna
- Soy sauce, pickled ginger, wasabi for serving
Start by preparing your rice. Rinse rice in a fine mesh strainer until your water runs clear. Then add to a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Once it boils reduce heat to low, cover and cook until water is completely absorbed – about 15 minutes.
In the meantime, add vinegar, sugar and salt to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until sugar and salt are dissolved. Place in a jar or dish and cool in the fridge until rice is ready.
Once the rice is done, kill the heat and add the cooled vinegar mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or fork as to not overmix. It will appear wet but will dry up as you lightly stir to release heat. It should be sticky and completely dry once it’s ready.
In the meantime, prep your veggies by chopping them into julienne i.e. thin pieces. If they’re too bulky they won’t allow the sushi to roll well.
Now it’s time to roll: grab a thick towel and fold it over into a rectangle and place it on a flat surface. Top with plastic wrap, then with a sheet of nori. Using your hands dipped in water (to avoid sticking), pat a very thin layer of rice all over the nori, making sure it’s not too thick or your roll will be all rice and no filling.
Then, arrange a serving of your veggies or preferred filling in a line at the bottom 3/4 of the rice closest to you (see photo).
Start to roll the nori and rice over with your fingers, and once the veggies are covered, roll over the plastic wrap and towel, using it to mold into triangle shape and compress the roll (see photo). Continue until it’s all the way rolled up.
Slice with a sharp knife and set aside.
Alternatively you can start the Sushi in the same way Nori and a thin layer of rice but turn it over so rice will be on the outside and Nori on the inside and then proceed as before with the vegetables and then roll the same way you would the other roll. Press lightly with a plastic wrap before cutting roll into slices.
Serve immediately with pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi or spicy mayo recipe follows.
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
- 1 tsp lemon juice
Mix well until incorporated. Serve with the sushi.
2 feet Pastrami Loaf
This Pastrami loaf This is a show stopper. It brought out lots of laughter . Everyone was welcome to cut a piece and enjoy it with their meal. It was such a success that by the end of the evening there was not a crumb left.
- A long two foot submarine loaf or a French baguette or bake your own long challah formed out of balls for easy cutting.
- Lots of your favorite cold cut such as pastrami , corned beef or turkey salami etc.
- 3 tomatoes cut in rounds
- Head of lettuce washed and checked over
- 4 pickles
- Sliced onions
- Bunch of olives
Slit bread in the middle and spread a layer of mustard over the bread then fill it with layers of lettuce, tomatoes, cold cut of choice. Cover with the other side of the bread and place in middle of the table. Watch your guest’s faces and delight at the sight of this centerpiece.
Decorative Gefilte Fish
The mazel of the month of Adar is Pisces why not delight your guests with a centerpiece of delectable gefilte fish presented in the shape of a fish.
Defrost a gefilte fish roll, partially, and form into balls . Cook your gefilte fish in balls the way you do normally. Place it in a large platter and create a head and tail either with the balls, or with a real head and tail of fish. Decorate with carrot slices and parsley. Allow guest to help themselves. Serve with hot horseradish and mayonnaise or other dips.
On special occasions when we are serving a lot of guests we make a very big challah that can be cut by the host/ hostess and served around the table. It makes for a beautiful centerpiece.
Here are intructions for your special challah which I would bake for Purim or other special occasions.
Use your favorite 5 lb. challah recipe and allow to rise in the usual manner. Depending on the occasion I either use the entire batch for one big challah or 2.5lb for a smaller but sizeable challah. It is important to buy the appropriate size pan, for best results. A 5lb Challah can go in a small aluminum oval roaster while a 2.5 lb challah should go in a smaller pan. Remember the size of the pan will show in the ready product.
Divide the dough into 15 strands; 6 larger and 6 smaller the last three can be even smaller and thinner.
Then you braid the biggest 6 to form a six strand loaf.
- Take another 3 strands and braid. Then take another 3 strands and braid again. Set aside.
- Take three smallest strands and braid them very thinly and tightly.
- Cover all the braided parts of challah with a cloth and let rise for 45 minutes When putting a plastic over the challah with a towel on top they rise faster.
- Take a small aluminum oval roaster (depending on the size of the challah as you want it to rise on the height not width).
- Place the two challas braided with three on the outer edge of the pan.
- Place the challah braided with six right in the middle over the two other braided challah.
- Finally place the skinny braid over the six strand challah and cover once again and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Warm up the oven on the lowest setting 200 degrees F.
- Egg wash the challah with yolks only for a nicer sheen. Sprinkle with your choice of sesame seeds or with poppy seed.
- Place in the warm over for 20 minutes, then raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes again depending on the size of the challah. Check for doneness.
- Place the oven rack appropriately to make sure your challah has enough room to grow.
- You might have to turn challah over in the pan and bake for another 10-15 minutes for a beautiful crust all around.
Here is the challah before and after being baked. The 4 layer challah.