Friday, September 18, 2009

Free Range Friday - Rosh Hashana, sort of

Being the unobservant half Jew that I am not quite, I thought I'd pay tribute to my family on Rosh Hashana today, the beginning of the Jewish New Year holiday (which is tomorrow but in the Jewish tradition starts at sundown tonight...go figure). It is a time of celebration but also (because what is great joy without some guilt thrown in?) a time to begin reflecting on the past year of your own life, and preparing for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It's sort of like Mardi Gras before Lent, but with a lot heavier meals. And no one at the family table will yell out "Show us your ta ta's!!" unless your uncle gets really drunk. In which case, no one in the family will talk about it except for speculation over the next 500 years, in the pantry. Whispering loudly.

What I looked at on cooking breaks

Because it is the New Year and in theory, the New Year should begin sweetly, this meal is about sweet things. Of course, I went not all out here, hence no dessert or traditional challah bread, but close enough. I'm not unsatisfied. I think I made the best vegetables, based on a tzimmes recipe, that I've ever made in my entire life. Ok, my entire life that I have been cooking. A long time. Let me just say that, as a child, I once was kept in a hospital for close to a month because I refused to eat cooked carrots. My father, who also hated cooked carrots, gave the supreme sacrifice at last and ate them to get me released. Why didn't we just throw them away? I have no idea....against the creed, I can only guess. Needless to say, cooked carrots are not on my menu as a norm. But in the interest of as much authenticity as I could muster up, and having carrots, I added them. And ate them. With relish and glee. Dad, I hope you were watching.

Parts of a Sweet Dinner for Rosh Hashana

Two (boneless, skinless) chicken breasts, cut into slightly larger than bite sized pieces
One cup of sweet peas (fresh or frozen, NOT canned)
One large shallot

One large sweet potato
One large carrot, peeled (the big ones)
Two apples (I used a Granny Smith and a Red Delicious - because that's what I had but I like the contrast), I didn't peel them, do as you like
One two inch piece of ginger, peeled & grated

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 T. Honey
1/4 c. honey mustard
1/4 c. butter, room temperature

Happy Rosh Hashana and mazel tov!

Slice carrots the long way

Sprinkle brown sugar in the bottom of a baking pan that has been
either sprayed with a non-stick oil or greased with butter

Peel the sweet potato, cut cross wise.
Layer with carrot and apples, adding ginger between each layer

Ginger on the top, drizzle on honey
Dot with softened butter. It should look something like this.
Cover with foil. Put in a 350 oven for one hour

Pretty shallot from the veggie guy. Slice thinly (after peeling)

Marinate the chicken in some good honey mustard for at least a half an hour
(yes, I cheated with pre-made mustard, but it was/is SOOO good! Door County Honey Mustard.

Shallots, caramelized by sauteing in the rest of the butter about 25 minutes,
higher heat for 5 then lower for the rest

Chicken, peas, shallots, garlic, all gently sauteing - long enough for the chicken to slightly brown and the peas to heat through (peas can go on about half way through the chicken being done)

Happy Rosh Hashana!

A friend of mine in Haifa says her view of the sea is pretty awesome as well,
but I'll stick with Culebra


  1. a celebretorious Culebra Rosh Hashana to you too, I spelled it wrong too, because we are only half chosen. Tried to call, no luck, or maybe the kosher wine?

  2. Love your side dish with sweet potatoes and apple. I'm going to keep this in mind for Thanksgiving!

  3. Jackie, I'm honored! I'll learn how to make it beautiful as well as delicious.

  4. Oopsy on the spelling...but you're so right, bro! I might have been out in the yard with the can try again!

  5. boy am i sorry i read this late, or I woulda come over for dinner. and of coarse Bro is right. :)