Steve Bressler is an icon in Jerusalem. Always the gracious host (at least before Covid-19) Steve's Shabbas table is legendary. Guests from around the world would enjoy a sumptuous meal with their gracious, gregarious host, sitting around a beautifully set table, sharing words of Torah. It's a delectable and spiritual experience. Just one warning: do not stack the plates.

Steve has written a cookbook, Shabbos Begins on Sunday, which is in its third printing. (Order information is below.) Here is a selection of his favorite recipes to enhance your Shabbos table.

Mushroom Barley Soup (parve/meat)

  • 1 ½ cups pearl barley
  • 1 small container or can of mushroom - sliced
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • (optional) 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons vegetable soup powder
  • 4-5 quarts water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Allow the pearl barley to soak overnight

Wash and set it aside.

Heat oil in a large pot

Add and saute onions and carrots (and celery)

Add sliced mushrooms, saute for another 2 minutes.

Add barley, water, vegetable soup powder, salt and pepper.

Boil and simmer for 1 ½ hours

Taste adjust flavors

Meat variation: Add flanken or meat bones or any type of raw chicken to the pot before boiling. Flanken may take longer than 1/1/2 hours to cook.

Cranberry Delight

  • 2 packages cherry (preferred) or other red jello
  • 2 cups boiling fruit juices
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges drained
  • 1 large can pineapple tidbits/chunks drained
  • 1 large can peaches diced and drained
  • 1 banana (optional)
  • Coconut (optional)

In a medium/large colander, open and drain the mandarin oranges, add pineapple and diced peaches and drain for several hours (Save 2 cups of juice for jello).

Boil juice and add jello 1 package at a time. Dissolve well. Then add the can of whole cranberry sauce and allow to dissolve completely on a low fire.

Remove from the fire, add fruits and mix well.

Place in a large plastic container and cool for at least one day. (It will not mold.)

Place in a bowl and serve (It can last for up to two weeks.)

Chicken Wings ala Anita

  • Package(s) of chicken wings
  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

Clean the wings and place them on a greased pan.

Sprinkle Lawry’s Seasoned Salt on the wings.

Bake in oven 180/350 until crispy. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature

Chicken Loaves

  • 1 kilo ground chicken (white)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup Jason’s flavored bread crumbs
  • ⅔ cups Italian salad dressing
  • 1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise

Mix ingredients well and place in 2-9 x5 foil loaf pans.

For top: Kellogg's cornflake crumbs or Kellogg’s cornflakes food processed to form crumbs.

Sprinkle completely on the top of both loaves.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 180/350. Then cool.

Serve either hot, warm or at room temperature.

Carrot Kugel/Cake

  • 12 ounces cooked processed carrots or 3 jars of baby carrots
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Pour ½ of the batter into a sprayed and floured small Bundt pan.

Then pour the other ½ of the batter into another sprayed and floured small Bundt pan.

Bake for 40 minutes 180/350 until the tester comes out dry.

Cool for 20 minutes on a cooling rack; turn over; cool for 20 minutes more on the rack.

Remove from the pan and serve at room temperature.

I serve it as a side dish with the main course but it can also be served as a cake for dessert.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

  • 1 kilo ground meat
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Approximate: ½ cup water
  • garlic powder
  • 1 (24 oz) jar any type of pasta sauce
  • 1 jar of water (after using the pasta sauce)
  • 1 small 15 oz can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of water (after using tomato sauce)
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ white vinegar
  • ½ cup dry red wine (optional)

Mix ground meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, ½ cup water and garlic in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a 4-5 quart pot, place the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the 1 large onion diced. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Add pasta and tomato sauce and all of the water. Add salt, brown sugar, vinegar, and (optional) dry red wine. Cook to a boil.

Take teaspoon of the meat, shape into ball and drop into boiling sauce. Continue this process until all meat is used. Cover pot and simmer for 1 ½ hours.

Prior to serving, adjust spices to taste. If using immediately, cook ½ hour more.

Freezes well.

To order your copy of "Shabbos Begins on Sunday" (70 NIS), email Steve at stephenbressler@yahoo.com . In Israel, call him at 058 425 8899