Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rosh Hashanah Dinner 2010...old favorites and new takes

Last year, I held my first ever Rosh Hashanah party. Since I am not Jewish all these foods and customs were so forgeign to me that I pretty much just followed the recipes as written. The one place I felt comfortable doing my own twist was in the noodle kugel I figured as an Italian I knew all I needed to know about what is basically a pasta dish but those who know and love kugel were not happy! They wanted the old-fashioned kind.

This year was a complete flip....I did the traditional for the kugel but went my own way on the other foods and it seemed to turn out well. We were joined by even more of our veggie loving friends so the brisket was barely touched but the roasted vegetables were demolished! Looks like I should have cut up those last two sweet potatoes!

One thing that my mother did teach me was to always keep a holiday book. I started my book of dinners & trips when Jeremy and I moved in together but I am looking forward to going to a book strictly for holidays. She always notes the menu, any new recipes and then makes some comments about how things turned out. I think that my comment for this year would be more roasted vegetables! and try for 8-ball squash instead of stuffed peppers as it seemed that while the suffing was good no one was interested in their pepper.

I love the idea of Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year celebration. One of the main themes is to eat sweet foods so that you will have a "sweet" year ahead of you. In theory this is a great idea but after having 2 pounds of left over carrots and potatoes in cranberry sauce last year I decided to keep the idea but not interpret it so literally. I still used all of the traditional ingredients but instead of having everything so sweet, I used a good dose of chipotle powder to balance it out.

The Menu
Challah round w pumpkin butter & honey
Spice-Rubbed Brisket
Stuffed Vegetables
Roasted Carrots & Sweet Potatoes
Traditional Dairy Kugel (recipe below)
Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon
Stuffed Grape Leaves

Traditional Jewish Dairy Kugel
1 bag egg noodles - cooked, rinsed and drained
1 lb lt cream cheese
1 lb lt cottage cheese
6 eggs - beaten
2 tbsp cinnamon
1tsp nutmeg
1 c raisins - soaked in hot water then drained

1) Combine all ingredients and place in a greased pyrex casserole dish at 400 F for 35-45 min or until bubbling throughout
2) All to set and cool for 5- 10 min before serving