Rosh Hashanah Delicacies

By Helen Nash

Here is an eclectic group of nutritious and easy-to-prepare recipes that I hope will appeal to different palates.

Corn Soup

6 servings

This soup has a silky, creamy consistency without the addition of cream. The ingredients for the soup are readily available all year round. In creating this recipe, I drew inspiration from Mexican cuisine, which is rich in corn, lime and cilantro.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

4 1/2 to 5 cups chicken stock

2 pounds frozen corn, thawed

Kosher salt

Freshly ground white pepper

2 tablespoons lime juice, approximately

Finely chopped cilantro, for garnish

In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil; add onions and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

Add 4 1/2 cups of stock and the corn. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook covered for 20 minutes. Cool a bit.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender until very smooth. Strain the soup, in batches, through a mesh sieve, pushing it through with the back of a wooden spoon to retain as much of the puree as possible. Season to taste with limejuice, salt and pepper. Adjust the consistency as needed with the extra 1/2 cup of stock.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.

 

 Pasta with Leeks and Wild Mushrooms

6 servings as a first course

4 servings as a main course

This is a versatile dish that can be served warm or at room temperature; mushroom lovers will enjoy it. Any pasta can be used, but I prefer linguini.

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with 1 teaspoon salt

2 leeks (white part only), rinsed well and cut into thin rounds

3/4 pound wild mushrooms such as chanterelles, shiitake, oyster, cremini or others

1 cup dry white wine

1 pound linguini, or any other pasta

Fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic and sauté over low heat for a minute. Add leeks; cover the pan and cook until leeks are tender, about 5 minutes.

Wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel to remove any bits of dirt. Trim the bases of the stems if necessary. Cut all the mushrooms into thick slices including the stems (except for shiitake, where the stems should be discarded). Add all the mushrooms to the leeks, and sauté over high heat for 1 minute. Add wine and reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

In the meantime bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large covered pot. Add 2 tablespoons salt and all the pasta at once; stir well. Boil briskly, uncovered, for about 6 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente—tender, but firm to the bite. Pour into a colander and shake vigorously to drain. Toss with the hot sauce and season again with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Note:

If you wish to make this dish dairy, use butter instead of olive oil, and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Spiced Carrots

6 servings

1 1/4 pounds carrots

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon honey, approximately

1 tablespoon lemon juice, approximately

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup loosely packed Italian parsley, finely chopped

Peel the carrots and steam for 3-4 minutes, or until almost tender. Cut into thick matchsticks and set aside. In the meantime place cumin, paprika and olive oil in a medium saucepan, and cook for 1 minute, over low heat, to release the flavors. Add the carrots, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for a few minutes. Toss with parsley before serving.

Note:

If you own an electric gadget or a mandolin, cutting the carrots into thick matchsticks is very easy, and they will look pretty.

 

Striped Bass with Ginger and Scallions

2 servings

This is a light dish that may be served with, among other things, steamed asparagus, sautéed and shredded leeks and sushi rice flavored with rice vinegar.

2 scallions (including the green part) very thinly sliced

1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Kikkoman Lite Soy Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 skinless striped bass fillets

Topping:

In a small dish combine scallions, ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, oil, lemon juice, soy sauce and salt.

Preheat the broiler. Cover the broiler pan with foil. Grease the foil lightly with oil. Spoon the topping over the fish. Broil 6 inches from the heat source for 5 minutes without turning, or until the inside of the fish has turned opaque.

 

Turkey Burgers

4 burgers

This is a healthy way to prepare ground turkey meat. The combination of mushrooms, mustard and herbs makes it moist and flavorful. The burgers are also tasty when served at room temperature.

1/2-ounce dried imported Porcini (mushrooms)

1/2 cup boiling water

2 small shallots, peeled and quartered

1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms

1 pound ground turkey breast

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

10 fresh thyme sprigs (use the small petals)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Place the dried Porcini in a small bowl and pour boiling water over them. Cover with foil and let stand for a few minutes to soften.

Squeeze the mushrooms dry and place in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

Strain the mushroom liquid through a fine sieve lined with a paper towel, and save for another use.

Add the shallots to the food processor. Discard the shiitake stems. Wipe the caps with a damp paper towel and quarter them. Add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture is chopped almost finely, scraping the sides.

Transfer to a bowl, then add the meat, breadcrumbs, mustard and thyme. Season well with salt and pepper. With wet hands form into thick patties.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet with a cover. Sauté the burgers (covered) over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side or until just cooked through.

Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 1 minute.

 

Chocolate Soufflé Torte

10-12 servings

For chocolate lovers this is a wonderful moist, light cake. It is equally delicious when pareve or dairy.

12-ounces imported bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces

12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted margarine or butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 eggs, at room temperature

1/4 cup unbleached flour

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 2 1/2 inches springform pan. Line it with wax paper and grease the paper.

Place chocolate and margarine or butter in a double boiler, cover and set over simmering water until the chocolate is melted. Remove the top and whisk; gradually add 6 tablespoons sugar, vanilla extract and 1 egg yolk at a time; whisk until smooth. Fold in flour.

In a dry, clean bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed until foamy, gradually adding the rest of the sugar until soft peaks form. With a large rubber spatula fold half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then reverse the process, pouring the batter over the egg whites. Gradually fold the two batters together, making a motion like a figure eight until all the whites have disappeared.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Bake in the center of the oven for 30-32 minutes. The cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center should come out moist.

Cool on a wire rack. Remove the rim, then invert the cake to remove the wax paper; invert and slide the cake onto a serving platter. The top of the cake will be crumbly.

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This article was featured in the Fall 2004 issue of Jewish Action.
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