Tag Archives: Rosh Hashanah

Sweet Rice with Carrots and Nuts

9 Sep

Sweet rice with carrots and nutsIf you’re looking for something new for your Rosh Hashanah feast, consider this tasty dish.This comes from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia. It’s the first recipe I made from the book.

The full recipe makes a lot of rice, so it can probably be halved if you’re serving just a few people.

Carrots are very traditional for Rosh Hashanah among Ashkenazi Jews (of Central European ancestry) because the Yiddish word for carrots, mehren,  sounds like mehr, the Yiddish word for more, and so it represents a wish for an increase in blessings in the coming year. And the honey, of course, represents a wish for a sweet year to come.

Ingredients:

2 cups white basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
3 cups water
Sea salt
2 Tbs. butter or refined coconut oil, at room temperature
3 Tbs. refined coconut oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 scant cups grated carrots (2 large or 3 medium)
½ cup slivered or coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. ground turmeric
½ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped, plus 1 Tbs. for garnish
Grated zest of 1 orange (about 1 Tbs.)
¼ cup honey
½ tsp. saffron, ground and steeped in 1 Tbs. hot water

Directions:

Drain the rice and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. In a large saucepan, combine the water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add the rice, return to a boil, then turn down the heat to its lowest setting. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 5 minutes, then dot with the 2 Tbs. butter or coconut oil and fluff with a fork. The rice should be dry and fluffy.

While the rice cooks, heat a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion in the 3 Tbs. coconut oil for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the carrots, almonds, cinnaomon, cardamom and turmeric, and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender.

Add ½ cup pistachios, the orange zest and the honey and cook for about 2 minutes, until heated through. Season with salt to taste.

Scoop the rice into a large bowl. Add the carrot mixture and drizzle in the saffron. Mix gently and season with more salt if needed. Garnish with the remaining pistachios.

Serves 12

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Jewish Apple Cake

24 Sep

Jewish apple cakeThe Jewish holidays are almost behind us (Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are Thursday and Friday) but apples are right in season, — and it’s a great year for them, at least in Michigan. So this seems like a good time to share this a classic recipe. It’s excellent for Shabbat dinner, Rosh Hashanah or any festive occasion.

As a variation, you can substitute sliced prune plums for the apples, which I almost like better because it gives the cake a lovely dark  purple ribbon. But I haven’t seen prune plums in the market yet, and apples are tried and true!

The hardest part of this recipe is peeling and slicing the apples. After that, you just mix the batter in one bowl and assemble the cake in the baking pan. I keep a  shaker of cinnamon and sugar in my cupboard to make cinnamon toast — if you do the same, you can skip the part about mixing cinnamon and sugar and just sprinkle some of the mixture from your shaker over the  apples.

This cake freezes nicely too!

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten well
⅓ cup orange juice
2 tsp.vanilla
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
3 large, tart apples (Granny Smith are great), pared, cored and sliced thin
1 tsp. cinnamon mixed with ½ cup sugar
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Measure everything into a mixing bowl except for the apples and the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Beat until smooth.

Pour one-third of the batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan. Arrange half the apples over the top of the batter (overlap the slices slightly) and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Pour on half of the remaining batter, then add the rest of the apples and some more of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Pour the rest of the batter over the top of the apples. Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

If you like you can sprinkle the top with confectioners’ sugar.

A Honey of a Cake

4 Sep

honey cakeWith apologies to those of you who also read my Feed the Spirit blog, where this ran last week, I’m posting my Honey Cake recipe here as well. Just in case you haven’t finished your Rosh Hashanah planning and cooking — ha!

As you may have guessed, the reason I’m taking the lazy way today is that I’m up to my eyeballs in kitchen chores, getting ready for the big day tomorrow when we’re hosting a lunch. Honey cake will be on the menu. Not everyone likes honey cake,  which is actually more of a spice cake.  Honey cakes tend to be dry. This recipe is quite moist, especially if you add a maple syrup glaze on the top. It has a nice, spicy taste, and the coffee balances out the sweetness of so much sugar and honey.

You can halve the recipe if you want only one loaf. Or you can freeze one loaf and save it for another occasion.

I wish my Jewish friends everywhere a shanah tovah u’metukah, a very happy, healthy and sweet New Year.

Ingredients:

1 cup strong coffee
1¾ cups honey
4 eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
1¼ cups dark brown sugar
3½ cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ cup chopped walnuts, optional
Maple syrup, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Generously grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.

Combine the coffee and honey in a large bowl or saucepan and bring to the boil in the microwave or on the stovetop. Let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then stir in the oil and brown sugar. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and nuts if you use them.

Alternately add the flour mixture and honey-coffee mixture into the egg mixture and mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake 70 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when touched lightly. If you want a sweet glaze on the cake, drizzle maple syrup over the top as soon as the cake comes out of the oven.

Cool in the pan. Let the cake stand for 24 hours before serving.