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Elegant and Light

Elegant and Light

Complete menu for any special occasion.

by

The yeshiva was hosting a special occasion -- the dedication of a new Sefer Torah given as a gift by the Harari Family. With the family's feedback, we put together the following elegant, light meal.

Appetizers

Chimichurri Sauce

  • 3 tbsps. wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tbsp. garlic
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup oilve oil
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup cilantro

Chop parsley and cilantro medium fine. Chop hot pepper fine. Add to mixture. Add all other ingredients. Mix and serve or place all ingredients in a blender, mix and serve.

* * *

Cherry Tomato and Lemon Salad

  • 2 large lemons
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tbsps. chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tsps. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Trim ends of both lemons, then stand lemons on a cut side and cut peel, including all white pith, from lemons with a sharp paring knife. Cut segments free from membranes, then cut segments crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss lemon segments gently with sugar in a bowl.

Makes 4 servings.

* * *

Orange, Tomato, Broccoli and Sweet Onion Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

  • 2 cups 3/4-inch pieces of broccoli florets (about 8 ozs.)
  • 3 large oranges
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil
  • 2 tbsps. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsps. red wine vinegar

Steam broccoli until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Place broccoli in a large bowl. Cut peel and white pith from oranges. Holding oranges over a small bowl to catch the juice, cut between the membranes to release the segments. Cut each orange segment crosswise into 3 pieces. Add orange pieces, tomatoes, onion, and fresh basil to the bowl with the broccoli.

Add the oil and vinegar to the bowl with the collected orange juice; whisk to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour vinaigrette over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 plates and serve.

* * *

Main Course

Herbed Fish Cakes with Green Horseradish Sauce

  • 1 3/4 to 2 lbs. skinless Nile perch fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup (generous) minced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 1/2 tbsps. (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided into 3 1/2 tbsps. and 1 tbsp.
  • 1 1/2 tsps. coarse kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • Green Horseradish Sauce (see recipe below)

Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Using one/off turns, finely chop half of fish in processor (do not puree to paste); transfer to bowl. Repeat with remaining fish. Mix in onion, parsley, cilantro, 3 1/2 tbsps. oil, salt and pepper. Using wet hands and generous 1/4 cupful for each, shape mixture into 3 X 2 X 1/2 inch oval cakes. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, saute cakes until opaque in center, adding more oil to skillet by tablespoonfuls as needed about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to platter. Serve warm or at room temperature with horseradish sauce.

Makes 18 servings.

SAUCE

  • 1 10-oz. package fresh chopped spinach, or beet leaves.
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 6 tbsps. grated white horseradish
  • 3 tbsps. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsps. dry white wine

Place spinach in processor. Add parsley; chop finely. Add next 4 ingredients and 3 tbsps. wine; blend. Add more wine by tablespoonfuls to thin to desired consistence. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

* * *

Baked Trout with Fresh Spices, Wine and Fried Leeks

  • 3 trout fresh or frozen
  • 4 fresh lemons
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chopped combination fresh sage, basil, parsley, chives, and thyme
  • 1 leek, cut into small rings
  • crushed pepper
  • salt

Remove head, tail and bones from the fish. Divide into 2 fillets. Mix juice of 2 lemons with spice mixture and add wine. Season with salt and pepper.

Dip fish into mixture. Place on oiled baking paper. Cover fish with mixture. Preheat oven to 200°C or 400°F. Cook fish 20 minutes. Fry leeks in deep oil. Place on paper towel to drain.

Serve fish garnished with fried leeks.

* * *

Salmon with Chili-Persimmon Salsa

  • 1 10-oz. persimmon, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsps. minced seeded Serrano chili
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • 2 6-oz. salmon fillets

Prepare oven (medium-high heat). Combine first 7 ingredients in small bowl; mix in 1 1/2 tbsps. oil. Season salsa with salt and pepper. Brush salmon with remaining 1/2 tbsp. oil. Bake until just opaque in center, about 15 minutes. Serve with salsa.

Makes 2 servings; can be doubled.

* * *

Side Dish

Duet of Roasted Potatoes

  • 8 tbsps. olive oil
  • 3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 4 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mixed herbs (such as thyme, marjoram and sage)
  • 3 tbsps. minced garlic

Position racks in bottom third and top third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Brush each of 2 heavy large rimmed baking sheets with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Place remaining 4 tbsps. olive oil in very large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and toss to coat well. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Divide potato mixture between prepared baking sheets.

Roast potatoes 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reverse position of sheets and continue to roast until potatoes are golden brown and tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer potatoes to bowl and serve.

Makes 10 servings.

* * *

Dessert
Strawberry Coulis

  • 1-lb. bag frozen or fresh unsweetened strawberries (thawed)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsps. semi-dry white wine
  • 6 tbsps. (about) sugar, divided into 4 plus 2
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice

Place berries, wine, and 4 tbsps. sugar in blender; puree. Pour into medium saucepan. Add cloves, bay leaves, and allspice. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 8 minutes.

Strain puree into medium bowl. Discard solids in strainer. Add 2 tbsps. sugar if desired.

Makes about 2 cups.

* * *

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 8 ozs. margarine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup nuts (optional)

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Combine margarine, sugars, vanilla, and eggs. Add flour mixture and stir well. Mix in chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by teaspoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375° F for 8-10 minutes.

Published: July 1, 2006


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Visitor Comments: 5

(5) Jael Braemer, July 23, 2006 12:00 AM

I like your recipes - quick and nice tasting!

As I follow your articles over a looooong time now I like to thank you now for all that new stuff on your shabbath table! Six years ago we just rotated 4 dishes through the month - now we sometims have to remeber some of the old stuff!As we have a lot of sunshine and heat now in central europe - do you have some light ideas wiht none or only little "kitchen heat" in it? We would love to hear new ideas for fleshless time as well ;-))Have a good shabbath-cook!Jael and her guests

(4) Anonymous, July 6, 2006 12:00 AM

If you don't have the right info - don't scare the public!

Dear Dr. Silver:

It is true that broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, letuce and other leafy vegetables posess a problem because of very small bugs and worms (in Hebrew: tolaim).

It is true that recently here in USA had been issued couple of public notices signed by groups of very respected Othodox rabbonim about taking this problem and making guidelines of hashgochas (kashrus supervisions) much stricter.

Never the less, there are companies producing frozen vegetables with very strict hashgochas like CRC, Star-K, etc. which are acceptable even with metioned above restrictions.

(3) Bella T, July 3, 2006 12:00 AM

Re: Consumers Must Be Aware

I would like to supply the following information for the benefit of the readers:
1. There is FROZEN BROCCOLI with widely respected hechshers on the market. Nirbator Rav, shlita, (and also Star - K) definitely certifies Eden brand broccoli (just checked my freezer :)). The Golden Flow brand is certified by CRC - Chisachdus HaRabbonim and to the best of my memory they have frozen broccoli products. Please check with your personal rav if you could use these products. (I do realize that these brands might be unavailable outside of major Jewish communities).

2. According to Rav Blumenkrantz, shlita, (the widely respected NY Rav and author of the yearly Pesach digest)"frozen strawberries seem not to have this [toloim] problem... Therefore strawberry preserves, jams or yogurts, if they were made from frozen strawberries whould be permissable to use"(Pesach Digest 5766, p 659). Please consult your Rav before trying to check frozen strawberries.
3. According to Rabbi Blumenkrantz, the proper soaking time for FRESH STRAWBERRIES is 5 min. Please consult your personal Rav.

(2) Rabbi Alan Ira Silver, M.D., July 2, 2006 12:00 AM

Consumers Must Be Aware

BROCCOLI FLORETS: It is an extremely pain-staking process to check broccoli florets.

FRESH CHOPPED SPINACH &/or BEET LEAVES: also present a major bug infesation problem. This problem exists equally in Israel as well as in the U.S.

FRESH STRAWBERRIES: MUST have their tops cut off and soaked in soapy water for i minute then washed well. Frozen strawberries also have to washed and equally checked.

All leafy spices: must be checked thoroughly and washed then checked again.

Wine vinegar: make sure it is kosher

Fresh trout: check that there are no worms.

ENJOY!!!!

(1) bettina, July 2, 2006 12:00 AM

Chef Herschel your meals are extremely refined and well spiced; like eating in a gourmet restaurant!! Next time I'm in Israel, I'd like to personally taste your creations. Yum!!

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