Shabbat

 

Shabbat Menu – Almond Cherry Biscotti

 

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The double portion of Mattot-Massei includes a detailed overview of where the Children of Israel have been since the Exodus from Egypt.  Now, standing just outside the Land of Canaan at the gates of the Promised Land the Jewish people are nearly ready to realize their national destiny in the land that was originally pledged to Abraham so many years ago.  The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” But don’t arrive empty handed.  One of my favorite treats to bring over for dessert is Biscotti.  This  week we’ve got a fabulous Shabbat menu, but make sure you leave room for these Almond Cherry Biscotti.

Start with two kinds of Bruschetta:


 

Shabbat Menu – Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cake

 

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In parsha Pinchas we deal with succession.  Passing things down.  From parents to children.  From Moses to Joshua.  These are the things we’ve handed down.  As I get older and look in the mirror or hear myself talking to my children, I am following in the well-trodden footsteps of my mother and her mother and on and on.  It is our immortality.  When we try to recreate a recipe from a parent or grandparent and capture the taste, sight and smell of something near and dear and precious to us, we are able to keep something very much alive and allow our own children, friends and family to join us in that experience.  This week we highlight recipes from our community that are inspired by their family.  I hope you enjoy and hope you are also creating and sharing memories with the people you love most.

Grandma Sylvia's Salmon Croquettes with Fried Onions


 

Shabbat Menu – Chimichurri Beef Kabobs

 

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In Parsha Balak, we learn how Balak, a Moabite King, selects the prophet Balaam to curse the Jewish people and how Balaam experiences the mysterious ways of Hashem when he and his talking donkey witness an angel standing in the road, with a sword drawn. We are also drawing our swords this week (or at least our skewers). Our Shabbat Menu offers a taste of Latin America.  These Grilled Chimichurri Beef Kabobs are perfect on or off the grill.

 


 

Shabbat Menu – Lava Rocks

 

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In Parsha Chukat, Miriam dies and the people bitterly complain of thirst.  Moses is told to speak to a rock and command it to give water.  Frustrated, tired and still in mourning over the loss of his sister, Moses angrily strikes the rock.  While water miraculously appears, the price is high.  Moses is told that he will not be able to enter the Promised Land.  We are going to rock your world with our Shabbat dessert this week.  We are baking delicious Chocolate Lava Rocks that no one could possibly get angry at!

 


 

Jewish Food for a Long Shabbat

 

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Its always a challenge making hot foods for Shabbat lunch other than cholent. I came up with the idea to make a Yaptzik, a.k.a over night potato kugel with meat. It is so easy to make and so delicious. It is always a big hit and great for sitting around on a long Shabbat enjoying your guests. I tried to google the origins of the recipe and the name and there wasn’t much except for that it was layers of potato kugel and meat cooked in an over night oven.  This is not a light recipe nor the most Summery, but I like the changeover from cholent, try this Yaptzik recipe.


 

Shabbat Menu – Chocolate Almond Panna Cotta

 

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After Korach and his followers challenge the leadership of Moses and meet a dramatic end, Hashem asks Moses to collect a staff from each of the tribal leaders. For the Tribe of Levi, the staff is inscribed with the name of Aaron.  The next day Aaron’s staff is blooming with almonds, signifying the continuity of Aaron’s spiritual leadership.  We’re blooming almonds this week at Joy of Kosher with a delicious summer Shabbat menu that is perfect hot or cold — we kick things off with a brightStrawberry Cucumber Salad with Almonds and Mint, Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers that the kids will love and a decadent Chocolate Almond Panna Cotta for dessert.

Strawberry-Cucumber Salad with Almonds and Mint


 

Shabbat Menu – Lamb Kebabs on Cinnamon...

 

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This week we read about the Spies exploration of the land in Parsha Shelach.  They return with the bountiful fruits of the Holy Land – grapes, pomegranate and figs.  I will resist the temptation to share a menu featuring these items (since I did that last year) and tackle a more complex (from a menu planning perspective) episode in this week’s parsha, the issue of a man gathering sticks on Shabbat.  The punishment is severe and the lesson to be drawn is that any work must be completed before Shabbos begins.  So let me make it easy for you, with a menu featuring a delightful recipe that isn’t much “work” at all (20 minutes prep time) and will “stick” with you for a while, Lamb Kebabs on Cinnamon Sticks with Chutney.

Lamb Kebabs on Cinnamon Sticks with Date and Mango Chutney


 

Shabbat Menu – Matzo Ball Soup

 

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In Behaalotecha, unable to bring the Passover offering at the appointed time, some Jews who had been ritually unclean and therefore prohibited from making a sacrifice on the appointed day, asked Moses for another opportunity to participate in the ancient ritual.  Moses, in characteristic humility, asked Hashem for help resolving this question and remarkably, those who were excluded from the sacrificial rite were granted a second chance to celebrate Passover.  While I would not want to provoke a rebellion by suggesting another seder, I am going to suggest a recipe for Matzo Ball soup (Manischewitz Cook-Off Winning recipe) that is perfectly acceptable for Passover or any day you want to remember the miraculous Exodus from Egypt and the sacrifices of our ancestors.

Mod Matzo Ball Soup


 

Shabbat Menu – Brisket in Wine Sauce

 

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In this week’s parsha, we encounter the laws of the nazir, an individual who voluntarily foresakes wine, grapes or any products distilled from grapes, lets his or her hair grow long, and avoids contact with a dead body.  Today, we have many ways of expressing piety without abstinence.  This parsha is also a reminder that grapes have the potential to sanctify or to debase.  We look to this week’s menu with the spirit of elevation, incorporating the grape (in various forms) throughout each course of our Shabbat menu.

Spicy Chicken and Grape Lettuce Cups


 

Shabbat Menu – Grilled Salmon Over Lentil...

 

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This week’s parsha includes the census of the Children of Israel as they continue their wanderings in the desert.  Against the sweltering heat of the sun, battered by the dust storms and harsh elements,  I can’t help but wonder how they managed the difficulty of the journey and the uncertainty about when (and even if) they would see the Promised Land.  As our own weather turns toward summer, I like to spend Shabbat outdoors as much as possible, but it’s nice to come back home when the day is done.  This week, I’m thinking of a Shabbat menu that also travels well — whether it’s outside to a deck, balcony, picnic table or a great lawn.

Roasted Beet Salad with Cumin and Cilantro


 

Shabbat Menu – Cherries Jubilee Brownies

 

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In this week’s parsha we learn about the laws of the Sabbatical year whereby on the seventh year, the land is granted a year of rest.  The Children of Israel are promised that with faith and fidelity, the sixth year will produce enough produce to sustain them through the seventh.  After seven cycles, there is a great celebration to commemorate the Jubilee Year.  It includes a release of debts, freedom for slaves and servants and a time to rest from the toil of harvest and planting.  Although traditionally served tableside with flames rising from a frying pan, this easy Cherries Jubilee Brownie recipe can be prepared in a Shabbat-friendly way as a rich and delicious parsha-inspired ending to your Shabbat meal.


 

Shabbat Menu – Mother and Child Reunion

 

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In this week’s Parsha, we encounter another ethical dimension of the Torah, recognizing the special bond between parents and children.  A newborn calf, lamb or kid must be left with its mother for seven days before being eligible to be brought as an offering and it is not permissible to slaughter an animal and its offspring on the same day.  As Mother’s Day falls the day after this Shabbos this year, it is an especially timely and timeless story.  In the popular contemporary song by Paul Simon entitled “Mother and Child Reunion,” the singer-songwriter’s inspiration was later revealed to be a chicken, rice and egg drop soup he saw at a New York Chinatown restaurant.  I thought this would be a perfect recipe for this parsha and for everyone celebrating Mother’s Day.

Mother and Child Reunion - Chicken, Corn and Egg Drop Soup


 

Shabbat Menu – Potato and Goat Cheese...

 

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Goat a minute?  Reading this week’s parsha, Acharei Mot combined with parsha Kedoshim, we are reminded of the centrality of the humble goat in the Jewish tradition.  It is from this reading (which is retold on Yom Kippur), that the notion of the “scapegoat” emerges. The Kohen, seeking atonement for himself, his household and the entire nation of Israel, confesses all of the sins of the people to the goat of Azazel and sends it off into the wilderness.  It is an auspicious week to remember the goat by trying a recipe made with goat cheese.  Jamie Geller’s Potato and Goat Cheese Triangles are the perfect appetizer for a dairy Shabbat dinner.  They can be prepared in advance, reheat well and are sinfully delicious!

Potato and Goat Cheese Triangles


 

Shabbat Menu – Orange and Apricot Chicken...

 

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After reading this week’s portion of Metzora, it’s understandable if you’re not the least bit hungry.   Leprosy and the details surrounding ritual impurity do not exactly give one inspiration for a Shabbat menu, but the challenge remains.  The kohen (Jewish priest) purifies the recovering leper with an elaborate ritual involving two birds, spring water in an earthen vessel, a piece of cedar wood, a scarlet thread and a bundle of hyssop.  Somehow, we’ve got a mouthwatering menu that includes EVERYTHING if you consider Saffron the scarlet thread.  Who knew this parsha could taste so good?

Hummus with Pine Nuts and Zaatar


 

Shabbat Menu – Water Challah

 

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From the rejuvenating waters of the mikvah, to the memory of Miriam’s triumphant dancing after the splitting of the Red Sea, water plays an important role in the collective memory of the Jewish woman. In this week’s Parsha, the Torah describes the purifying power of water to transform vessels that have become unclean. It is, in a very profound way, a new beginning. After two straight weekends of matzoh we look forward to a Shabbat with my most favorite treat, Challah bread. We maintain the mystique of that curious combination of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen with a wonderful Water Challah recipe that will be a splashing success at your dinner table.

Sara Maybergs Water Challah