Menu Of the Week

 

Shabbat Menu – Red Lentil Stew

 

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Each year when we arrive at this parsha, I try to make the perfect pottage.  This year, I think I found it.  Jacob must have been a great cook, creating a lentil dish so aromatic that Esau would cast off his birthright like a raincoat.  Here is my best try.  Feast your senses on this remarkable red lentil soup, that will take the chill off a cold fall night and fire up your Shabbos table with a simmering serrano pepper.

Red Lentil Soup


 

Shabbat Menu – Pineapple Upside Cake

 

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The courtship of Rebecca is remarkable to watch unfold.  In this week’s parsha, Abraham makes his servant swear to find a bride from among his kinsmen and Eliezer meets a most appropriate match with the beautiful and kind daughter of Abraham’s brother, Nahor.   Eliezer consecrates the auspicious meeting by giving rings and bracelets to Rebecca.  And after the marriage proposal is accepted by Rebecca’s family, an engagement party is enjoyed by all.  The Torah notes the silver and gold bestowed on Rebecca and the delicious fruits given to Rebecca’s brother and mother.  So to celebrate this happy occasion, we take inspiration from Eliezer with a dessert featuring Bacardi Silver Rum and golden pineapple for a most delicious Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Collard Green and Hummus Mini-Wraps

Collard Green and Hummus Mini-Wraps


 

Shabbat Menu – Bedouin Tent Style

 

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Abraham and Sarah were a model of hospitality and kindness.  In the sweltering heat of the desert, their tent was a place of shade and sustenance. The memory of my overnight in a Bedouin tent will stay with me forever. The stars so close you can reach out and touch them… and the food.  Sweet tea, freshly made pita, tender meat kabobs and delicate seasoned rice. Almost makes you want to eat on the floor this week. Wherever you choose to enjoy this Bedouin-inspired feast, you will be dining like the angels.

 


 

Shabbat Menu – Kreplach and Surprises

 

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Lech Lecha, tracing the journey of Abraham from his birthplace to his homeland, is about the hidden and revealed.  From hiding the identity of his wife, Sara, from his neighbors, to the unfulfilled promise of a nation, much is given to Abraham, yet the reason for his chosenness remains a mystery.  This week we celebrate Shabbat with kreplach, a traditional Jewish Shabbat food that appropriately conceals its true essence.  Kreplach is a reminder that sometimes food, like the world around us, needs to be opened up to be experienced.  (There is a surprise kreplach for dessert too.)

Chicken Soup with Kreplach


 

Shabbat Menu – A Rainbow Menu

 

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In a world consumed by violence and depravity, Hashem starts over and selects Noah as his agent for renewal. By remaking the world with a promise to never again destroy his creation, Hashem seals his covenant with a rainbow, an everlasting tribute to a promise kept. This week, we show our true colors with a rainbow-inspired Shabbat menu.

 


 

Shabbat Menu – Quick and Easy Shabbat Dinner

 

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Whenever I get tired at the end of a long week, I take a moment to think about all that Hashem did in six days and I don’t feel quite so tired anymore.  But by the end of three (that’s right, three) 3-day Yom Tovim (including Shabbos), I bet Jewish cooks everywhere are ready to take it a little easier in the kitchen this week.  In Parsha Bereishit, we read about the creation of the world and the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.  While the forbidden fruit remains a mystery, I did find an easy to prepare Shabbat menu that showcases a cornucopia of savory herbs and seasonal vegetables surrounding a tasty roast chicken that will satisfy family and friends and takes less than an hour out of the last day of yom tov to prepare.

 


 

Shabbat Menu – Sukkot

 

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This week the parsha is special for Sukkot, but we just need one more menu idea to get us through these three yom tovim.  By Shabbat dinner most won’t even be hungry anymore, so keep it light and simple.

California Rolls


 

Pre Yom Kippur Menu

 

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This week Yom Kippur falls on Shabbat, so there is no need for a Shabbat menu, but I will supply you with a pre fast meal that will prepare you for this Day of Atonement.

If you missed it around Tisha B’av or need a reminder, take a look at my fasting tips.  At this meal we do want to eat well, but not overstuff ourselves and of course go light on the salt.


 

Shabbat Menu – Salad With A Honey Lime...

 

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In this parsha, Moses sings a final song before ascending Mount Nebo.  He earlier reminds the Children of Israel of the days of old, when Hashem guided the people through the wilderness, “allowing them to ride upon the high places of the earth, that they would eat the produce of the field. He let them suck honey from a rock, and oil from the mighty part of the crag.”  In this Shabbat Menu to follow Rosh Hashanah, we savor both the sweetness of the honey and the earthiness of the oil with our Honey Lime Vinaigrette adorning the produce of our field in this spectacular salad.

 


 

Shabbat Menu – From Heart To Mouth

 

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This week’s double portion includes a most beautiful conceptualization of our Torah.  Moses teaches that “the laws which I command you this day, it is not beyond you nor is it remote from you.  It is not in heaven… It is not across the sea… Rather, it is very close to you, in your mouth, in your heart, that you may do it.”  We have the potential to reach for what seems impossible and bring heaven down to earth.  I love the connection of the heart to the mouth – whether it is a kiss from someone you love or a special dish that will make someone you care about smile.  It’s why I love to cook.  And it’s why I am so excited to share this heavenly hearts of palm recipe along with our Shabbat menu.

hearts-of-palm-fritters-joyofkosher


 

Shabbat Menu – Chicken and Fig Kabobs

 

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This week’s parsha begins with the ritual of the bikkurim – the offering of the first fruits brought by the Children of Israel to the Kohen in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.  Echoing the now familiar verses from the Hagaddah, the individual bringing the offering recounts a brief recitation of the history of the Jewish people, from the time an Aramean sought to destroy “my father” to our sojourn in Egypt and our miraculous emergence from slavery to a land flowing with milk and honey.  The offering of the first fruits is thus a connection to a long distant history, complete with its trials and tribulations, and ultimately redemption in our homeland.  As we approach the New Year, with its promise of sweetness, we highlight some of our favorite first fruits of the fall season with our delicious Shabbat menu.

Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup


 

Shabbat Menu – Live Long and Prosper

 

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It’s the little things that matter. In this week’s parsha, we encounter a bird’s nest. If the mother is sitting upon the baby bird or its eggs, we cannot take the mother with the young. We are taught to send away the mother bird first, and only then take the young or the eggs. The reward for this act of compassion is a long life. For this week’s Shabbat menu, we take the eggs.  Live long and prosper.

Deviled Eggs


 

Shabbat Menu – Raise a Glass to Good Taste

 

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This week’s parsha includes a remarkable exemption from combat for those who either just built a home, planted a vineyard, married, or are afraid.  We can easily understand why to exempt a coward.  And as any new bride can appreciate, the first year without seeing your husband would be a grave injustice.  For the other categories, the Rabbis explain that it would be unfair to deny one who has exerted the extraordinary effort to build a home or plant a vineyard, the chance to enjoy the fruits of his labors.  I think these exemptions also reflect the values of creating a sustainable community and sanctifying your labor with the fruit of the vine.   Wine is a partnership between those who work the land and Hashem who creates the daily miracle of sun, water and air that makes great wine possible.  This week we highlight a Shabbat menu that includes wine in each course – raise a glass to good taste.

Orange Trout Salad with Spiced Walnuts


 

Shabbat Menu – Berry Cobbler Crisp

 

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For Jewish foodies, the highlight of this week’s parsha is the recap of the laws of kosher and the commandment to donate a tenth of all produce to the tribe of Levi and another tenth to be either eaten in Jerusalem or exchanged for money to be taken to Jerusalem to spend on fruits and vegetables.  This evokes a spectacular image of the Holy City as a robust marketplace bursting with fresh produce.  For this week’s Shabbat menu, we highlight some of our favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables worthy of a pilgrimage to your local green market.

Beet Carpaccio

Beet Carpaccio


 

Shabbat Menu – Kids In The Kitchen

 

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This week’s parsha continues the retelling of our history, and Moshe reminds the people to recount the miracles and the teachings to their children and their children’s children.  Every family shares their personal history with stories, pictures, and jokes.  We also share our history with our food.  The moments I spend in the kitchen with my kids is my way of teaching them what I know and love and what I learned standing in the kitchen with my parents and what they learned at the feet of my grandparents.  This week’s Shabbat menu includes recipes that are perfect for preparing with children at your side.  Mixing, kneading, pouring and stirring are a great way to create lasting memories together.  Here are some tips on age appropriate kitchen duties and here is a menu to get the whole family involved.

Salmon Cakes with Tropical Salsa