What dishes are perfect for the sukkah? Warm, homey, special Yom Tov delights that are both dressy enough for company but with a homemade feel. I make hearty split pea soup special for a holiday by adding flanken for richness. Slow-cooked drunken lamb is decadent and savory but super simple to make. Maple Mustard Chicken is a year-round recipe that is a favorite because the sauce seasons any grain or potato. Horseradish Mashed Potatoes are the perfect pairing for these saucy dishes. Everything Spiced Green Beans dress up your average sautéed green vegetable and finally for the showstopper ending, Mississippi Mud Pie. Rich, chocolate, gooey texture, need I say more? Good Yom Tov!

Split Pea Soup with Flanken and Barley

Serves 8

Photo by Don’t Pass the Nuts

  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 pounds beef flanken
  • 2 onions cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 pound green split peas
  • ½ pound barley
  • 5 cups beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt to taste

In a small soup bag or cheesecloth, combine peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme and gather and tie bag closed. Set aside.

In a large stockpot, add oil. Season flanken with a little salt. Brown flanken on both sides, about 12 minutes total. Remove meat from pot.

To same pot, reduce heat to medium, add onions, celery, carrots and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 – 7 minutes. Add tomato paste, and stir until vegetables are covered, about 1 - 2 minutes. Return flanken to pot. Add red wine and deglaze pan by scraping up brown bits on bottom of pot. Add spice packet in cheesecloth, split peas, barley and beef broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours. Season with salt, dill and parsley.

Super Easy Slow Cooked Drunken Lamb with Dried Fruit and Pomegranate Seeds

Serves 8

Photo by recipetineats

  • 1 (4 – 6 lb) boneless lamb, either breast, shoulder or leg
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle white wine
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 2 tablespoons silan or honey
  • 2 heads of garlic, broken apart but not peeled
  • 15 large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 15 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 cups dried fruit
  • Garnish: Pomegranate Seeds and parsley

Serve with rice, quinoa, or potatoes

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Rub the lamb all over with olive oil and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat a very large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until its hot. Add the lamb and sear on all sides for about 12 minutes, until browned all over. Remove the lamb to a plate.

Add the wine, brandy, silan or honey and 2 cups of water to the pan and cook for a minute or two, scraping up all the brown bits in the bottom. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and the dried fruit and the lamb on top. Place the lid on the pot and bake in the oven for 4 hours, basting occasionally. (If you don’t have a lid, you can cover it tightly with 2 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil.)

Remove the lamb and fruit to a plate, cover it tightly with foil and allow it to rest. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce. Strain out the herbs and bay leaf. The lamb will be too tender to slice perfectly; serve it warm with the sauce and fruit on top of rice, potatoes, quinoa or anything that will soak up the juices. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and parsley.

Maple Mustard Chicken

Serves 6

Photo by Ihearteating

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 8 pieces chicken (I use skin on, boneless breasts and thighs or skinless cutlets)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • Garnish: Chopped parsley or chives

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and saute 2 minutes, until softened. Add rosemary, thyme, and vinegar and cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat and cool. When cool, whisk in maple syrup, mustards, salt and pepper.

Place chicken in a zip-top back. Pour marinade over chicken and coat all pieces. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet with sides over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade (reserve marinade) and place in hot pan, skin side down. Brown chicken for 3-4 minutes, and turn over. Add reserved marinade and white wine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook an additional 8 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken warm with sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives.

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Serves 8

  • 3 lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • ¼ cup extra virgin-olive oil
  • ⅔ cup white horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons fresh minced dill
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover and bring pot to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil, covered until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.

In a separate saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add horseradish and saute stirring for about 3 minutes to soften. Add dill, broth and soy milk, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 8 minutes.

Drain potatoes into a colander, then return them to the original pot. Add the horseradish mixture and mash thoroughly until somewhat smooth with some chunks. Add salt and serve warm.

Everything Spiced Green Beans

Serves 8

Photo by primavera kitchen

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced dried onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced dried garlic
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, caraway seeds, optional
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add green beans and cook for about 4 minutes. Add fresh garlic, dried onion, dried garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes mixing while cooking, and until green beans are cooked through but still crisp tender. Add sesame seeds, and poppy seeds, and cook until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mississippi Mud Pie

Serves 12-16 servings

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted margarine
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pareve milk or soy milk plus 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces mini marshmallows

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted margarine
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup pareve milk or soy milk plus 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 (16 ounce) box confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch cake pan or oven-to-table baking dish.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a medium mixing bowl.

Melt margarine in a small saucepan, then add the cocoa and water and bring to a boil. Add the boiling cocoa mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the pareve milk and white vinegar, eggs, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes with moist crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes.

Sprinkle the marshmallows over the cooled cake.

For the Frosting:

Melt margarine in a medium saucepan, then add the cocoa powder and pareve milk and white vinegar, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt and stir until very smooth. Pour the hot icing over the marshmallows on the hot cake and sprinkle with the nuts. Let cool to lukewarm before serving. Cake is best served warm or at room temperature.