Shabbat Shalom and Chag Samayach! Rosh Hashanah kicks off fressing season and I can already feel my clothing getting a little more snug these days. Breaking the fast is my favourite holiday meal. After fasting on Yom Kippur, I tend to make up for those lost calories at the breaking the fast meal. It’s hard not to. My sister makes a lovely buffet spread every year. She always serves what has become a modern kosher classic – Blintz Soufflé.
The recipe calls for defrosted frozen blintzes. Back in the day, what self-respecting balabusta would have used pre-made blintzes? It’s actually my favourite item on the buffet table.
I have made blintz soufflé a few times from Jamie Geller’s online recipe. It’s incredibly easy and really delicious. My sister uses a mix of fruit and cheese blintzes but I stick to cheese-filled blintzes and I like the richness of high-fat (18 per cent) sour cream.
I usually bring a salad or two and a dessert. I was intrigued by Harvest Kale Slaw, a colourful and crunchy vegan salad from a new Canadian cookbook, Fraiche Food, Full Hearts: A Collection of Recipes for Every Day and Casual Celebrations by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer. I have made a couple of small alterations to the dressing in this salad. I left out the nutritional yeast because it’s not readily available in supermarkets and I also omitted the addition of fried tofu, because some vegans don’t eat soy. The salad is delicious without the tofu and yeast and because it is a slaw, it doesn’t wilt as readily as a green salad, when it’s dressed.
He said this dish is one of the most popular items at his Israeli restaurant, Zahav, in Philadelphia. This year Zahav was named best U.S. restaurant by the James Beard Foundation.
No breaking the fast meal is complete without a selection of desserts. An apple cake is always festive and a High Holiday staple. The Maple Apple Cake recipe below is from the Science of Baking: a father and son baking laboratory. This Canadian baking website is run by Dr. Marvin Gelkopf, a Toronto family physician, and his son, Max, a second-year medical student.
10 to 12 frozen cheese blintzes, defrosted just enough to separate
250 ml (1 cup) sour cream
60 ml (¼ cup) sugar
60 ml (¼ cup) orange juice
4 eggs, beaten
30 ml (2 tbsp) butter, melted
10 ml (2 tsp) pure vanilla extract
1 ml (1/8 tsp) salt
*15 ml (1 tbsp) cinnamon sugar
45 ml (3 tbsp) granulated sugar
10 ml (1½ tsp) cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place blintzes in a 33 x 23-cm (9 x 13-inch) pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together sour cream, sugar, orange juice, eggs, butter, vanilla and salt. Pour mixture over blintzes.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serve with sour cream on the side, if desired.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Cinnamon Sugar: Mix the sugar and cinnamon well together and store in a screw top jar or zip-lock bag. Makes 60 ml (¼ cup).
HARVEST KALE SLAW
2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
60 ml (¼ cup) tahini (tahina sauce)
50 ml (3 tbsp + ½ tsp) tamari
30 ml (2 tbsp) apple cider vinegar
15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh lemon juice
5 ml (1 tsp) pure maple syrup
125 ml (½ cup) water
100 ml (1/3 cup) avocado, grape-seed oil or other neutral-tasting oil
1 L (4 cups) lightly-packed finely chopped green curly kale with stems removed
750 ml (3 cups) shredded red cabbage
375 ml (1½ cups) grated carrots (2 to 3 large carrots)
75 ml (1/3 cup) finely chopped red onion
125 ml (½ cup) sunflower seeds
125 ml (½ cup) pumpkin seeds
125 ml (½ cup) dried cranberries
Make the tahini dressing in a blender (or deep, narrow container if using an immersion blender). Combine the garlic, tahini, tamari, cider vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, water, and avocado oil. Blend for 2 minutes, or until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the kale, cabbage, carrots, red onion, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries. Toss to combine and set aside.
Slowly pour the Tahini Dressing over the Slaw, adding just enough dressing to coat the salad or to taste (you will not use all the dressing).
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
BEETS WITH TAHINA
1¼ L (5 cups) plus 3 ml (½ tsp) kosher salt
8 medium beets
125 ml (½ cup) Basic Tahina Sauce
125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
60 ml (¼ cup) lemon juice
60 ml (¼ cup) chopped fresh dill plus more for garnish
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh mint plus more for garnish
3 ml (½ tsp) salt
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Spread 1 cup salt in an oven-proof skillet or baking dish. Put the beets on the salt and cover with remaining salt. Bake until the beets are tender, about 90 minutes.
When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove them from the salt, and peel. Set them aside to cool completely.
Grate the beets into a mixing bowl using the course holes of a box grater. Add the tahina sauce, oil, lemon juice, dill and mint. Season with ½ tsp salt. Mix well to blend. Garnish with dill and mint.
Serve at room temperature or cold. Makes 4 cups.
BASIC TAHINA SAUCE
1 head of garlic
185 ml (¾ cup) lemon juice (3 lemons)
10 ml (1½ tsp) kosher salt, divided
500 ml (2 cups) tahina (sesame paste)
3 ml (½ tsp) ground cumin
Salt season to taste
Cumin season to taste
375 ml (1½ cups) ice water
Break the head of the garlic, letting the unpeeled cloves fall into a blender or food processor. Add lemon juice and 3 ml (½ tsp) salt. Blend on high for a few seconds until the mixture becomes a course puree. Let the mixture stand 10 minutes to let the garlic mellow.
Pour the mixture over a fine mesh strainer, set over a large mixing bowl. Press on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids.
Add the tahina to the strained lemon juice in the bowl along with the cumin and remaining salt. Whisk the mixture together until smooth or use a food processor, adding ice water a few tablespoons at a time to thin the mixture out. The sauce will lighten in colour as you whisk. When the tahina seizes up or tightens, keep adding ice water (about 1½ cups in total), whisking energetically until the mixture becomes a smooth, creamy, thick sauce.
Taste and season with salt and/or cumin if necessary. If the sauce is not being used immediately add a few more tablespoons of ice water to loosen the mixture before refrigerating. The tahina sauce will keep a week refrigerated or it can be frozen for a month.
Makes 4 cups.
25 ml (1½ tbsp) butter or margarine
45 ml (3 tbsp) brown sugar
3 ml (3/4 tsp) vanilla extract
3 ml (3/4 tsp) cinnamon
3 Granny Smith apples, chopped
335 ml (1 1/3) cup packed brown sugar
125 ml (½ cup) butter or margarine, melted
125 ml (½ cup) maple syrup
10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour
3 ml (3/4 tsp) salt
2 ml (¼ tsp) baking soda
30 ml (2 tbsp) butter or margarine
60 ml (¼ cup) pure maple syrup
3 ml (½ tsp) vanilla extract
2 ml (¼ tsp) cinnamon
125 ml (½ cup) powdered sugar
Apple Filling: On medium low heat, melt the butter or margarine, add the brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well and add the apples. Cook for 5 minutes and set aside to cool.
Cake: Preheat oven to 180?C (350?F). Spray a 33 x 23-cm (9×13-inch) pan with cooking spray.
In a stand mixer, beat the brown sugar, melted butter or margarine, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs. Add the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix well. Fold in the cooked apples with a spatula and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes.
Glaze: Melt the butter on medium low heat. Add the maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well. Add the powdered sugar and mix until it dissolves.
Allow the glaze to cool for 10 minutes before pouring over the cake. Using a fork, poke holes all over the cake. Pour the glaze overtop.
Makes 8 to 12 servings