High Holiday Cooking

Good thing the team captain posted about the High Holidays coming. I knew they were coming but didn’t realize how close they are. Got a lot to do…..menus to make out, shopping lists to make, and finding the right recipes to cook. For some people, the best part of the holiday is hearing the Shofar. I have to admit I love the Shofar but I’m all about the food. I love cooking and preparing a meal with traditional Jewish food for  everyone to enjoy. When I was young I loved going to Grandma’s and helping in the kitchen no matter what she was preparing. Setting the table with a pretty challah in the center was special. Even walking up to the bakery for more bread was special (I made a good gofer…you know, go for this, go for that). For some reason, she always made chicken and chicken soup, though. Took me years to discover things like brisket or cholent then another 15 years or so to perfect the recipes.

Traditional Rosh Hashanah food includes things made with honey and apples for a sweet new year, like Taiglach (honey). And things that can cook slow to eat after you get home from shul, like cholent. And easy things to make ahead and serve a crowd, like roast chicken and potatoes. A few salads are good, too.  Well, I put the word out to the team for some recipes to share and I have some wonderful ones. Here ya go.

My first encounter with cholent was terrible….scary terrible. I swore never to make it again, however, the recipe I used didn’t look a bit like this one from Sandra Wollin. Give it a try. I’m going to.

Cholent recipe from Sandra Wollin (A Cache Of Jewels)

Recipe Inventor:

My Grandmother Reba

No. of Servings:

many (depending upon their appetites)


This is our old family recipe that's been made for a very long time... since I was a kid - and probably way before that.

Special Notes:

You can use any herbs you like with the flour, but these are what we use (herbs d' Provence are great also)
If you don't like potatoes you can leave them out and serve over broad egg noodles or rice.


2 1/2 - 3 pounds good quality chuck beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 (750-ml bottle) good red wine
5 - 6 garlic cloves, smashed
3 bay leaves
2 cups all-purpose flour (to use as dredging with herbs)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
2 small yellow onions, cut into quarters
1/2 - 3/4 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally in 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 pound white mushrooms, stems discarded and cut in 1/2
1 pound small potatoes, halved or quartered
2 cups or 1 (14 1/2-ounce can) beef stock or broth
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (optional) or 3 TBS Tomato Paste
3 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Crock Pot and Large Sauté Pan


Place the beef in a bowl with red wine, beef broth, 1/2 of the garlic, bay leaves and onion soup mix (which has been heated to allow the soup mix to dissolve and then cool to room temperature). Place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight.
The next day, prepare to use crock pot.

Add the herbs to the flour. Dredge the beef in flour. Heat the frying pan over a medium heat then add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil (hot pan, cold grease….keeps things from sticking). Add the meat chunks and brown them. After browning the meat, set it aside. Add the onions and brown (caramelize…makes them sweet…trust me), then add the mushrooms and lightly brown them, too. Place the meat, caramelized onions, vegetables, the marinade, remaining garlic, and tomato paste in the crock. Place the crock pot on low and let it cook about 8 hours or more. Salt and pepper to taste.

An alternative is to not dredge the beef in flour but brown it in oil. It saves a few calories. You can make a gravy after the meat is done.

Another alternative is to use a Brown in Bag. Sandra says “But I use the oven and a Brown in Bag.  I use the Lipton Onions Soup Mix (2 pkgs) in 3 cups of water in a saucepan, brought to a boil with about 2tbs of garlic powder, Worch (Worcestershire sauce) Sauce, once all boils, let cool. Pour over meat, seal, put into a cold oven and let cook very VERY low and slow... I use this for Brisket or Flank Steak... GREAT and easy!!  After removing meat it can be sliced or refrigerated in aluminum foil...”

In my house, or Grandma’s really, it was always chicken. Roasted with a garlic-paprika rub and served with oven roasted potatoes and whatever vegetable was on sale and looked good. She always served in courses, to make the dinner more “spread out.” First course soup followed by salads such as a tossed salad, egg and potato salad, or radish salad (grated white radishes with onion, oil, salt, and pepper). If we were really lucky she made chopped liver (it was OMG good). Oh, for the days before I knew about cholesterol. sigh.

Roast Chicken

1 3-5 pound roaster    

garlic powder

Paprika (I like the Hungarian paprika, costs a little more but it’s worth it for the flavor)

salt and pepper

1-2 pounds of new potatoes, scrubbed well (if new potatoes aren’t available use regular ones cut in quarters)

Clean the chicken (sorry, but I don’t trust the butcher that much and I don’t like pin feathers). Salt the inside of the bird, not a lot, just a little. Make a paste of the garlic powder and paprika by adding a little water and coat the chicken with it. Place aluminum foil in your roasting pan and set the chicken in the center. Place the potatoes around the chicken. Cover the chicken with another piece of foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours. The temperature of the bird should be 165 degrees. During the final 10 minutes, take the top foil off the pan to let the skin brown. The potatoes should be tender. If you’re inclined, you can use the juices to make a gravy to serve with the potatoes.

Chopped Chicken Liver (from The Art of Jewish Cooking by Jennie Grossinger) You can use beef liver but I prefer chicken. I know, lots of cholesterol. So here’s the rule about eating liver. Once a year….on your birthday. My birthday comes around Rosh Hashanah. So there.

1 pound chicken livers

4 tablespoons of chicken fat (this is an old recipe. Every good respectable Jewish grandma had a jar of chicken fat in the fridge for chopped liver or mashed potatoes, or just to put on bread with a little salt. After all, there was no butter with meat!) You can use a little bit of vegetable oil or mayonnaise in place of the chicken fat.

2 onions, diced

3 hard cooked eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon of black pepper

Wash the livers and drain. Heat 2 tablespoons of fat in a frying pan, brown the onions in it. Remove the onions. Cook the livers in the fat remaining in the skillet for 10 minutes. You can grind or chop the onions, livers and egg yolks but be sure you have a smooth mixture. Add the salt, pepper and remaining fat. Mix and taste for seasoning.

Serve cold with crackers as a spread or on lettuce. Serves 6 as an appetizer or 12 as a spread.


A traditional Rosh Hashanah dessert is Taiglach.

No. of Servings:



A favorite Rosh Hashanah treat of mine growing up, although I doubt ginger was ever in the ingredients in the past, it's really great in this recipe.

Special Notes:

-You can bake the nuggets in the oven for 5-10 minutes before cooking in honey, to harden them more.
-My notes:
-You can add candied cherries or dried cranberries along with the walnuts.
-As the honey cools, you can mound the nuggets higher into a mountain shape, but you have to keep pushing them all together if they slide around until all the honey has hardened.
-You can oil a muffin tin and make individual sized portions, too.


Dough:3 eggs
1 Tablespoon oil
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
2 cups honey
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup chopped walnuts to garnish


1-Beat the eggs with the oil, salt and powder. Add just enough flour to make soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes, till smooth and elastic, adding a little flour if dough is too sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave in fridge for 1/2 hour.
2-With floured hands, roll dough between palms into pencil-thin ropes about 1/2" thick. Lay on a floured board and with a sharp knife, cut into 1/2" pieces.
3-Bring honey to boil in a pan and add lemon zest & ginger. Put in taiglach, a few at a time, so they don't stick together, and simmer for about 15 minutes, till they are a rich brown color. If honey becomes too thick and sticky, add a little water to thin it. Pour into an oiled dish to prevent sticking and sprinkle with walnuts.

OK, there’s a few recipes to help you plan a traditional, totally wonderful Erev Rosh Hashanah meal with enough leftovers for the next day or so. Wait until you see the Break-the-Fast recipes! Oy! So Good!!

Post by Eileen Patterson aka GoofingOff aka MissEileen

1 comment:

tamdoll said...

Taiglach is my favorite to make and eat at Rosh Hashana - with candied cherries. Thanks for the other recipes, I may try something new this year!