Home Food The Shabbat Table – Good ways to break the fast!

The Shabbat Table – Good ways to break the fast!

Blueberry cheesecake (Flickr photo)

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, and G’mar Chatima Tova! Bagels and lox are a popular choice for Yom Kippur break-the-fast. They are an easy way to feed your guests, whether you’re expecting six or sixty! And as a bonus, there’s no cooking required! My Lox and Bagel Cheese Strata (below) does double-duty—it’s also a wonderful way to use up those bagels and lox leftovers after your Yom Kippur get-together.

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can make some homemade Montreal-style bagels. In contrast to Toronto bagels, Montreal bagels are smaller, thinner, sweeter, and denser, with a larger hole. They are hand-rolled, boiled in honey-sweetened water, then baked in a wood-fired oven, resulting in a somewhat chewy, slightly sweet bagel. Top your bagel with a shmear of cream cheese and pile on the lox! http://www.cjnews.com/food/the-shabbat-table-lets-celebr-eat-food-day-canada

Roz Brown’s Hot Cheese Cake (below) is a winner! A cheese platter served with assorted breads and rolls make a terrific choice and can feed a crowd. Chopped egg, tuna salad, and herring are always popular additions. Need more inspiration? http://www.cjnews.com/food/the-shabbat-table-chilled-dishes-are-perfect-for-a-potluck-shabbat

For dessert, my Easy Cheesecake (below) can be made in advance and is always devoured in moments. Another winner is Zingerman’s amazing Sour Cream Coffee Cake:  http://www.cjnews.com/food/the-shabbat-table-singing-the-praises-of-zingermans

Don’t forget to set up a beverage station with assorted juices, coffee, tea, water, and soft drinks to help rehydrate those that have fasted. May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life!


This do-ahead dish is an excellent choice for your ‘Break-the-Fast’ buffet table. So “dill-icious!”

5–6 whole bagels, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 8 cups)

8 oz/250 g lox (smoked salmon), cut in bite-sized pieces

8 oz/250 g low-fat Swiss and/or Havarti cheese (about 2 cups grated)

2 green onions, chopped

2–3 Tbsp minced fresh dill

6 large eggs

1 cup light sour cream or plain yogurt

2 cups milk (skim or 1%)

1/2 tsp salt (optional)

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • Spray bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Spread bagel pieces evenly on bottom of dish. Top with lox and sprinkle with grated cheese, scallions, and dill.
  • In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, milk, and seasonings; blend well (you can use a blender, whisk, or large food processor). Pour evenly over bagel-cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (If desired, you can prepare the recipe up to this point and refrigerate for 24 hours.)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour or until puffed and golden. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes for easier cutting. Serve with garden salad.

Yield: 12 servings. Keeps for 2–3 days in the refrigerator and reheats well. Freezes well for up to 2 months.


  • Use your favorite savory-flavored bagels, such as sun-dried tomato, spinach, multigrain, or all-dressed. You can also make this using whole wheat or multigrain bread, cut in 1-inch pieces.
  • Instead of lox, use 2 cans (7 1/2 oz/213 g each) sockeye salmon, drained and flaked. You could also use 1 1/2 cups of leftover cooked salmon. This can also be made with canned tuna.
  • Other cheeses can be substituted; try Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Jarlsberg, or a mixture. For a different twist, add 1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese.


This longtime favorite comes from my longtime friend, Roz Brown of Montreal. It makes a fabulous main dish for your Break-the-Fast buffet, brunch, or anytime at all. Serve it with sour cream or yogurt and fresh fruit salad or berries.


1 cup corn flakes (or 1/4 cup crumbs)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp brown sugar


1/4 cup butter or margarine

2 Tbsp granulated sugar

1 egg

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


2 cups dry cottage cheese (see note below)

2 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Dash salt

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup milk

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Topping: In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process corn flakes with cinnamon and brown sugar until fine. Transfer mixture to a small bowl.
  • Base: Process butter or margarine with sugar and egg for about one minute, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. Add flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Process just until dough begins to form a ball around the blades, about 10 seconds. Pat dough into a sprayed, 8-inch square glass baking dish or a 9-inch pie plate.
  • Filling: Process cheese for 15 seconds. Add eggs, sugar, and salt, and process 15 seconds longer. Dissolve cornstarch in milk and pour in mixture through feed tube while machine is running. Process 10 seconds longer, until well mixed. Pour over the base and sprinkle with reserved topping.
  • Bake in the oven for one hour. Serve hot.

Makes 8 servings. Keeps 2–3 days in the refrigerator, and reheats and/or freezes well.

Double Your Pleasure! Recipe may be doubled and baked in a sprayed 9- x-13-inch glass baking dish. Baking time will be about the same.

Note: If you aren’t able to find dry or pressed cottage cheese, substitute small curd cottage cheese (low-fat or fat-free). Place in a colander and press out excess liquid. You’ll probably have to add extra cottage cheese to make up for the drained liquid and processing time will be slightly longer.



Adapted from The New Food Processor Bible (Whitecap)

I just returned from visiting with family in B.C. and went to the yearly Yom Tov get-together at the home of Paula Segal of Richmond, BC. One of the desserts that Paula served was my Easy Cheesecake, topping it with blueberry pie filling—it was perfection on a plate! This cheesecake feeds a crowd (hopefully!) and can be made in advance, so it makes a perfect addition to your Break-the-Fast buffet table. The individual mini cheesecakes (below) are a fun way to serve these. To switch it up, substitute chocolate or vanilla wafers in the crust.


18 single graham wafers (about 1 1/2 cups crumbs)

6 Tbsp soft butter or margarine, cut into small chunks

2 Tbsp sugar (granulated or brown)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


4 cups (2 pounds) cream cheese, cut in chunks (half cottage cheese may be used)

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla extract (or 2 Tbsp lemon juice)

Topping of your choice (Paula Segal topped it with blueberries)

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Crust: Break wafers into chunks. Process on the steel blade until coarse crumbs are formed. Add remaining crust ingredients and process until blended, 5 or 6 seconds. Press into a sprayed 10-inch springform pan. Wipe bowl and blade with paper towels.
  • Filling: Process cheese with sugar until blended, about 15 seconds. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Process until smooth and creamy, 20 to 30 seconds longer. Pour over crust.
  • Place a pie plate half-filled with water on lowest rack of oven. Place cheesecake on middle rack. Bake for 40–50 minutes. When done, edges will be set but center will jiggle slightly.
  • Turn off heat and let cheesecake cool in oven with door partly open for about one hour. It will firm up during this time
  • Refrigerate. Add desired topping and chill for 3–4 hours before serving. Can be made a day or two ahead.

Makes 16 servings. If frozen, crust won’t be as crisp.

Mini Cheesecakes: Prepare filling for Easy Cheesecake as directed, but omit crust. Line muffin pans with 24 paper cupcake liners. Place a vanilla or chocolate wafer in each liner. Top with cheesecake mixture. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for 10-12 minutes, until set. When cooled, top each cheesecake with a large strawberry or a spoonful of thick jam.

Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, cookbook editor and now a podcaster. Norene lives in Toronto and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website at gourmania.com..