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Simple Starters That Impress


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First Impressions – Excite your company from the get-go with these simple starters

You won’t catch me moving into the kitchen for a full month before a Yuntif, catching my zzz’s between kitchen timer alarms. But that doesn’t stop me from kicking off each meal with an impressive dish. You can do it too! Go for one simple starter that makes a bold statement in taste and appearance.

Tuna Tartar with Honey Sesame Wonton Crisps

Tuna Tartar with Honey Sesame Wonton Crisps

It’s gorgeous, it’s crunchy, it’s soft, it’s slightly sweet and savory—a perfect beginning to an elegant meal.

Tarragon Fish Croquettes with Honey Wasabi Dipping Sauce

Tarragon Fish Croquettes with Honey Wasabi Dipping Sauce

This recipe calls for cod but if you love salmon or some other fish, go for it!  It’ll be just as delish.

Don’t miss the Honey Wasabi dipping sauce!
I use it with almost everything! While I favor it for fish, you can also serve it with chicken, beef, or lamb (not all at once, of course—even I have my limits).

Beef Satay with Horseradish Mustard

Beef Satay with Horseradish Mustard

These are kid-friendly and adult-friendly.  Nothin’ better than pleasing the entire crowd at once.

Tip: Soak your wood skewers for 1 hour before using to prevent burning.

Simanim Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Dressing

Simanim Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Dressing

This recipe calls for cooked beets.  You can use boiled, canned or roasted (my favorite!)

To roast beets: scrub the beets, leaving the skin on, and cut off the greens and the root end. Toss the beets with a generous amount of olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast at 400° F for about 45 minutes in a baking dish with about ½ cup of water and cover tightly with foil. Allow to cool 5 minutes before peeling, slicing, and seasoning with additional salt & pepper as needed.

I am especially proud of this creation because I love to incorporate the simanim throughout my menu. This gorgeous, healthful and refreshing recipe satisfies so tastefully—I wouldn’t wait for the holidays to make it!.

What is your favorite way to start a meal?


Originally published in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller (Rosh Hashanah 2011) – Subscribe Now.

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About Jamie Geller


Jamie Geller is the only best-selling cookbook author who wants to get you out of the kitchen – not because she doesn’t love food – but because she has tons to do. As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing” Jamie found her niche specializing in fast, fresh, family recipes. Now the "Queen of Kosher" (CBS) and the "Jewish Rachael Ray" (New York Times), she's the creative force behind JoyofKosher.com and "Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller" magazine . Jamie and her hubby live in Israel with their five busy kids who give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen - quickly. Check out her new book, "Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes."




11 Responses to Simple Starters That Impress

  1. avatar says: niteowl

    I cook mostly meatless. My favorite starters are my vegetarian chopped liver (1 can green beans, drained, 4 hard boiled eggs, 1 large onion chopped and nicely browned, and 1 cup walnut pieces, salt, pepper, combined well in the food processor). I serve one scoop on a small plate with a small pile of salad greens, a grape tomato and a piece of flatbread or a couple of crackers.
    Another favorite is the Moroccan turnovers from the Kosher by Design Short on Time. I use imitation chopped meat and serve each turnover with a Chinese porcelain soup spoon filled with tehina.
    Both appetizers always get rave reviews.

  2. I love all these recipes because of the colors and bold flavors! I am especially impressed with the tarragon fish croquettes..I find that tarragon is underused and overlooked. I like that you used this herb!

  3. Presentation is really important to me because people eat with their eyes first. I love all the beautiful colors in these dishes!

  4. avatar says: drmommy

    Beautiful salad and perfect for Rosh Hashana. Where is the Pomegranate Balsamic dressing recipe? Thanks and Shana Tova!

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