Home Food The Shabbat Table: They’ll definitely want second helpings!

The Shabbat Table: They’ll definitely want second helpings!

Norene recommends using matzah meal for her sweet and sour meatballs FLICKR PHOTO
Norene recommends using matzah meal for her sweet and sour meatballs FLICKR PHOTO

The Shabbat Table is the latest CJN column from noted chef and food blogger Norene Gilletz. Click here for last week’s recipes.

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! Are you looking for something new to serve this Shabbat, or do you like to serve something tried and true? Do you change your menu each Shabbat, or do you prefer to serve the traditional dishes your family has come to love? Every family has different likes and dislikes, and each family has its own traditions.

It’s amazing how certain recipes can stir up so many special memories. Lawrence LeVine (Lawrence J), of Chicago, a member of my popular Facebook group, Norene’s Kitchen!, recently posted a photo of the cover of Second Helpings Please!, published nearly 50 years ago as a fundraising project by Mount Sinai Chapter, Montreal, Bnai Brith Women (now renamed ACT to End Violence Against Women).

It’s almost impossible to find a copy now, as this well-loved culinary legacy is now out of print, with no plans to republish it at this time. (A recent online search turned up a copy selling for $400.01!) Lawrence J was so excited that he had found one online.

He wrote: “I found it used on half.com. It came with a hand-written card from someone in Hollywood, Florida. I love cooking and love using old cookbooks with tried and true old-style recipes.”

He subsequently posted a photo of several chicken recipes and wrote: “I’m having trouble choosing a chicken recipe to make. There are too many good ones to choose from. Has anyone else had a similar problem?”

Lawrence J also posted a question about another favourite, Tangy Sweet & Sour Meatballs. This man definitely has a nose for some of the best-loved recipes in Second Helpings! The recipe for these yummy meatballs is probably the most popular one on my website, Gourmania. They’re great as an appetizer, minis are excellent as hors d’oeuvres, or you can double the recipe as an additional meat dish for the Shabbos table that the kids (and adults) will devour. And if you don’t feel like making them yourself, then you can buy a package or two under my brand name, Norene Gilletz Kitchen at Sobey’s on Clark in Thornhill.



1 cup raw (uncooked) rice

3 – 4 lb chicken, cut in 8ths

1 pkg dry onion soup

4 oz can sliced mushrooms (See comments, below)

2 cups water

Place rice in bottom of roasting pan. Add chicken and sprinkle with onion soup mix. Add mushrooms with liquid, and water.

Bake covered at 325 F for 1 hour, or until tender.

Yield: 4 servings.


  • Second Helpings was written nearly 50 years ago, when it was convenient to use canned mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms can definitely be substituted.
  • Janice Rothman of Toronto wrote: “The best thing about the chicken and rice is how easy it is to make. Literally 5 minutes prep time, throw in the oven, and you have a one-pot meal. I buy my fresh mushrooms pre-sliced, so even that cuts down on the work on a busy day… I make sure to use onion soup mix that has no MSG.”
  • Lynda Meyerowitz Greenberg of Thornhill wrote: “I have been making the chicken and rice every Shabbat for 35 years! My kids, who are now grown with their own kids, used to tell me I can ADD something to the Friday night main course but I cannot replace it! And when they come with their kids for Shabbat, our grandkids say the same! And the Lemon BBQ chicken! Not to be believed, but there is a lot of sugar. I put half Splenda and half sugar.”


4 lb chicken, cut in 8ths

1 egg, beaten

1 cup corn flake crumbs

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp pepper

4 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Dip chicken in egg and corn flake crumbs. Place in a 13 x 9-inch foil-lined pan in a single layer, skin side down. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 F. Turn over chicken, combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Continue baking for 30 minutes, or until tender, basting several times.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Note: If desired, have butcher cut white and dark meat of chicken into small pieces. This recipe is especially delicious when the chicken pieces are tiny.

Harriet Nussbaum of Montreal, who received the mail orders for Second Helpings Please for nearly 50 years, always had her butcher cut the chicken into small pieces for her children when they were little!


1 1/2 lb minced meat

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 egg

2 Tbsp matzo meal

1 1/2 cups ketchup

2 cups ginger ale

Combine first 6 ingredients and form into small balls. Combine ketchup and ginger ale in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Drop meatballs into sauce, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Yield: 6 servings as an appetizer, 4 servings as a main course.


  • No matzah meal? Substitute rolled oats, breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs or panko.
  • No ginger ale? Suggestions were made to substitute either Sprite or 7-Up and add a few pinches of powdered ginger.
  • Lawrence J. asked if he could use beer, because that is what he had in the house. “Go for it!” was the unanimous response!

Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is the author of eleven cookbooks and divides her time between work as a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, and cookbook editor.

Norene lives in Toronto, Canada and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website or email her at goodfood@gourmania.com.

Photo: Mr. Usaji Flickr

Norene Gilletz
Noreen Gilletz is the author of 12 cookbooks , is a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, cookbook editor, and now a podcaster! http://www.noreneskitchencast.com. Norene lives in Torontoand her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website at www.gourmania.com.