Shabbat

 

What is Key Challah?

 

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After you’ve finally finished putting away your Pesach dishes it’s time to make Schlissel or Key Challah. It is an old and established custom that on the first Shabbos after Pesach we shape a challah into the form of a key or stick a real key inside a regular challah because this was the Shabbos when the Manna, the miraculous food Hashem air-mailed to our forefathers throughout their desert wanderings, ceased to fall.

Imagine what that Shabbos must have been like. All of the Children of Israel simultaneously wondering whether Manna had gotten lost or misplaced or delivered to the wrong address. But don’t feel too sorry for them. Our anscestors had Joshua, Yehoshua Bin Nun to guide them . Remember that he was Moshe Rabeinu’s own hand picked successor and protege and like Moshe he had a hotline to Hashem.  It was time for the Jewish people to start fending for themselves and eating from the land.


 

Shabbat Menu – Passover – Gefilte Fish...

 

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This week Yom Tov leads into Shabbat coinciding with the last day of Pesach.  For this last Pesach dinner until next year let’s stick with tradition.  Be sure to watch the video where Jamie shows you how to make these easy Gefilte Fish Cakes.

Gefilte Fish Cakes with Horseradish Sauce


 

Shabbat Menu – Passover with Beet Salad

 

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This week Shabbat is also the first day of Pesach and we will all be enjoying our first seder.  Some of us might be eating an Asian meal and some of us may be choosing from one of other more traditional menus or making their own menus using one of these Sensational Seder Side Dishes.    So for this week’s Shabbat menu I thought I would give you a light lunch to enjoy before the festivities begin again for a second night.

Smoked Salmon Dill Round with Lemon Mayo


 

Shabbat Menu – Honolulu Barbecue Chicken

 

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This week’s parsha begins with a description of the laws and responsibilities of the kohanim, the holy priests.  The kohanim keep the fire on the altar burning at all times and are able to eat the meat of the sin and guilt offerings, and the leftovers of the meal offering.  As I look across my pre-Pesach kitchen, nearly empty fridge and bare cupboards, fire roasted meat prepared anywhere but my kitchen sounds pretty good right now.  This last Shabbat before Pesach, Shabbat HaGadol, is the perfect time for a barbeque. We’re going to cookout this Shabbat, so c’mon baby light the fire!

 


 

Full Shabbat Menu – Smokey Chicken Stew

 

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This week, as we begin the Book of Leviticus and start the month of Nissan, we read about the korbanot, the offerings to Hashem brought to the sanctuary.  To our modern eyes and ears, the graphic depictions of animal sacrifices seem difficult to fully comprehend.  We strive for elevation, but we recognize our limitations.  Our ancient rites tell the story of our timeless quest to connect more deeply to Heaven.  For our Shabbat menu, we offer up a delicious this Smokey Chicken Sausage Stew on our table.

Mixed Greens, Mango and Pecan Salad


 

Shabbat Menu – Beef Stew with Biscuits

 

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This week is a double parsha and is also called Shabbat Parah. It is also the last section of the Book of Shemot.  In the days and weeks leading up to Passover, we have a few special torah readings, this week it is about the Parah – the Red Heifer, an offering intended to remove ritual impurity and prepare our bodies and souls spiritually.  We also have to prepare dinner.  With the image of the heifer in mind and a chill of winter still in the air, we’re going to enjoy a hearty beef stew and spectacular scallion biscuits.

 


 

Shabbat Menu with Caramelized Onion Soup

 

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As Moshe disappears high among the clouds covering Mount Sinai, the Children of Israel become afraid and construct a Golden Calf.  In this week’s parsha, Moshe returns with the tablets containing the Ten Commandments inscribed by the very hand of Hashem.  After seeing the glimmering symbol of idolatry he throws the tablets to the ground in anger.  Moshe has been betrayed (yet again) by the lack of faith of his people and furiously destroys the Golden Calf.  Hes begs forgiveness and Hashem gives the chosen people a second chance.  This week consider giving someone in your life a second chance, start your Shabbat shiny with Onion Soup with Golden Raisin Pesto and then try a side that’s even better the second time around with Twice Baked Potatoes Stuffed with Shiitakes.

Caramelized Onion Soup with Golden Raisin Pesto


 

Smoked Salmon Fritters

 

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This week’s parsha we read of incense burning, clouds of glory, smoke rising from the altar.  The fire inspires awe and the smoke adds a sense of mystery.  Sometimes you just need to throw down a little smoke at your Shabbos table.  Like this Curried Smoked Salmon Fritters with Mango Aioli.  Because we all can use a little awe and mystery…  Don’t you agree?

Curried Smoked Salmon Fritters with Mango Aioli


 

Shabbat Menu – Best Ever Onion Rings

 

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In this week’s parsha, we celebrate the beauty and mystery of the sanctuary.   The gifts we make help create a space for the presence of Hashem to dwell among us.  From the pure gold of the menorah to the cherubim and colorful fabrics, we are inspired to give from our hearts.  The mishkan is made complete with repurposed jewelry from the Egyptians.  In this way, the gold, silver and gemstones serve as a renewal of the present with a reminder from the past.  To kick off our Shabbat menu this week, we take a simple ring and transform it into something new – like the Best Ever Onion Rings.

Best Ever Onion Rings


 

Shabbat Menu – White Fish with Phyllo

 

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Parsha Mishpatim sets forth dozens of laws that follow the revelation at Sinai.  From laws that govern ethical conduct like the prohibition against murder, assault and theft to laws introducing kashrus and sacrificial offerings.  We are the People of the Book, but it is not what we read that defines us as a people.  We subscribe to a system of justice that is ancient and eternal.   It is a promise and a challenge to live up to the high standards to which we are subject.   This week as we begin our Shabbat meal, we meditate on the meaning of justice with an appetizer that “scales” the heights of deliciousness.

White Fish with Phyllo and Sesame


 

Shabbat Menu For The Ten Commandments

 

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In this week’s parsha, Yistro, the Israelites stand at the foot of Mount Sinai.  We witness thunder, lightning, smoke and the sound of the shofar and experience the declaration of the 10 Commandments.  This week’s Shabbat menu will also come as a revelation to many.  It did to me.  I attended a cooking class in Italy and learned a traditional Libyan recipe that is said to resemble Mount Sinai and is frequently served on Shavuot.  I thought it was a most appropriate dish to enjoy this Shabbat.  It is rustic and comfort food in the middle of February.  And you might just hear the following ten utterances from your guests: Please can I have some more this dish is delish!

 


 

Shabbat Menu – Water, Water Everywhere

 

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In parshat Beshalach time is running out. Pharaoh and his army are chasing after the Israelites and they stop at the edge of the Red Sea.  There is no place left to go.  After witnessing the miraculous signs and wonders that brought Egypt to its knees, fear and doubt begin to consume the former slaves.  After Hashem chastises Moses for timidity in the face of adversity, Moses bravely raises his hands. The waters split and we cross a free people, while Pharaoh and his army drown in the sea. This parsha is all about water – an element bringing salvation and destruction.  As the Israelites continue in the desert, bitter waters are transformed and made potable.  Then later, hunger and thirst overtake the Jews and their complaints lead Moses to strike the rock, a transgression that will ultimately cost him a chance to lead the Jews to the Promised Land.  With this week’s Shabbat menu, we celebrate water, but we don’t forget to include a little bitterness, a reminder of our journey along time ago.

Water Challah

Water Challah


 

Shabbat Menu – Easiest Roasted Lamb

 

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In this week’s parsha Bo, we witness the final three plagues against Egypt.  In preparation for the final plague, the Children of Israel are commanded to sacrifice a lamb and sprinkle blood on their doorposts.  When we commemorate the Exodus on Seder night, we have a tradition to refrain from eating roast meat or lamb so that it does not appear that we are trying to replace the Paschal lamb.  Since Passover is still months away and lamb has a starring role this week, we decided to try a six-ingredient Roasted Lamb with Lemon Potatoes that is going to turn heads this Shabbos.

vegetable barley soup

Vegetable Barley Soup


 

Shabbat Menu – An Italian Feast

 

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In parsha Va’era, it is a remarkable scene in ancient Egypt.  Moses and Aaron standing before Pharaoh in his court.  The brothers are there to redeem the Jewish people and they know their opponent will not bend easily.  The plagues will soon follow, but for the moment it is just Moses and Aaron alone with Pharaoh in the palace of the king. It is this moment when Moses and Aaron throw their staffs to the ground and issue their challenge to Egypt. This week, our Shabbat meal begins with its own symbol to recall that historic summit.  We start with handmade Herbed Focaccia – Italian bread that present a challenge to anyone at your table.  How can you possibly resist this delicious treat?

Red Mullet with Pine Nuts and Raisins


 

Shabbat Menu with Dim Sum Baskets

 

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In Parsha Shemot, we are bent but not broken, the Jewish people persevere despite the cruelty of Pharaoh.  In this week’sparsha, we witness the birth of Moses, the agent of our redemption.  Moses floats along the Nile river in a reed basket, rescued by the kindness of Pharaoh’s daughter.  For this week’s Shabbat menu, discover our Dim Sum Baskets – easy to make, hard to resist.