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A Sumptuous Shavuot

A Sumptuous Shavuot

Chocolate cheesecake and loads more!

by

Shavuot is coming. It is a time of staying up all night learning to prepare to receive the Torah. And in keeping with all Jewish holidays, it is a time of eating foods uniquely suited to the day – in this case dairy. For many people, nothing says dairy like cheesecake. But I’d like to suggest some meal options as well. Don’t worry, I’ll still share a delicious, rich, I-can’t-believe-I-ate-those-calories cheesecake recipe with you.

Cheesy Garlic Bread
This is a once-a-year Shavuot indulgence.

  • 1 loaf crusty French bread
  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bread in half horizontally. Melt butter or margarine and garlic together in microwave or over low heat in a saucepan. With a pastry brush spread mixture over both sides of bread. Be generous. Use more butter and garlic if necessary. Slice bread and wrap in foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Purists can eat it at this point but if you like the cheesy version, carefully unwrap bread. Sprinkle both sides with cheese. Turn heat to 400 and bake for an additional 10 minutes, unwrapped. Or slide for a few minutes under the broiler, watching carefully to keep from burning.

Strawberry-Banana Spinach Salad

  • ½ cup oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 8 cups spinach, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 pints strawberries, sliced
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • ½ cup toasted slivered almonds

Using a hand immersion blender, purée the oil, onion, red wine vinegar and sugar. Stir in poppy seeds. Combine remaining ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss with dressing. Dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. The rest of the salad needs to be put together right before serving.

Tarragon Salmon
Here’s a quick way to feed a crowd. The salmon is also great made ahead and served chilled.

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup spicy brown mustard
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 3½-to-3¾-pound whole side of salmon with skin (about 1½ inches thick at thickest part)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 450°. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix first 7 ingredients in medium bowl. Season mustard sauce lightly with salt and pepper. Place salmon, skin side down on diagonal on prepared sheet. Spoon ½ cup mustard sauce atop salmon, then spread over, covering completely. Sprinkle salmon generously with salt and pepper. Roast just until salmon is opaque in center, about 15 minutes. Using parchment as aid, transfer salmon to platter. Cut crosswise into pieces and serve with remaining mustard sauce.

Chocolate-Filled Cheesecake
As promised…

Crust:

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

Chocolate Filling:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping:

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and press into bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.

In the microwaves or in a saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and add brown sugar, sugar and flour. Mix well. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add milk and vanilla and pour into prepared crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla and pour gently over chocolate layer. Bake for 1 hour until center is soft set. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. In the meantime, stir together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Spread over top of cake and return to oven for 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Loosen sides and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or freeze.

For more great kosher recipes go to: www.gourmetkoshercooking.com

Published: May 28, 2011


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Visitor Comments: 3

(2) Brura, June 2, 2011 2:37 AM

This sounds delicious and if I had a large gathering for Shavuot I would make it. Oh, I will have cheesecake that is pre-made and small... cheesecake for one (for several days), Yum.

(1) RICK, May 31, 2011 6:09 PM

WHAT EXACTLY ARE * GRAHAM CRACKERS*

annonymous, June 6, 2011 7:15 PM

graham crackers

just go to you local super market and ask anyone who works there what they are.

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