I love to prepare a few recipes for Rosh Hashanah and store them in the freezer so that holiday preparation is more manageable and the holiday more meaningful. These recipes are not only a huge hit but they freeze well too. Wrap them tightly before freezing. Always defrost in the refrigerator so that foods do not get too moist and cover and rewarm them before serving. Another great freezing tip is to freeze items flat, like soups, sauces and roasts, in re-sealable freezer bags. This saves space in the freezer and is effective for quicker defrosting.

Brisket Braised with Pomegranate Onion Confit

Serves 8-10

  • Brisket Braised with Pomegranate Onion Confit3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (5 – 6 pound) brisket
  • 2 onions, chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk with leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Confit

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 onions, thinly sliced
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds

For the brisket: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or pot, brown brisket on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer brisket to platter and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Add onions and leeks to same pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat, until vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, and celery and continue cooking until onions are golden, 7-10 minutes.

Add 1 cup pomegranate juice and bring mixture to boil, Reduce liquid by about half, about 8 minutes. Add remaining 1-cup juice, broth, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves and simmer. Add salt and pepper.

Place brisket back in pot and spoon mixture on top of brisket. Cover pot, and place in oven, basting every half hour, until meat is tender, 2 ½ – 3 ½ hours.

For the confit: In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil. Add onions, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Cook, covered, over lowest heat, stirring occasionally so mixture does not burn,1 hour, or until onions are soft and pale gold. Add broth and wine. Raise heat and boil, uncovered, stirring, until all liquid is evaporated and onions turn golden. Taste and adjust the seasoning (you may need more salt), Remove from heat. Stir in pomegranate seeds just before serving.

Slice brisket across the grain. If desired, with an immersion blender, puree brisket cooking juices with vegetables to make a thicker gravy. Otherwise, place sliced brisket with juices on serving platter. Top with onion confit.

Simple Roasted Sweet Maple Dijon Chicken

Serves 8 servings

Simple Roasted Sweet Maple Dijon Chicken

  • 2 chickens, cut in 1/8’s
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme or rosemary (or fresh)
  • Garnish, fresh thyme or rosemary, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chickens in two low-sided roasting pans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small saucepan, whisk together maple syrup, orange juice, mustard, oil, and thyme or rosemary. Simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour evenly over chicken.

Roast chicken, basting occasionally, for about 50 minutes or until juices run clear, or an internal thermometer registers 170 degrees.

Serve with pan juices and garnish with additional fresh herbs, if desired.

Apple Cider Chicken Breasts with Apricot Sauce

Apple Cider Chicken Breasts with Apricot Sauce

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of apricots in juice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup shallots
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, soak dried apricots in apple cider until plump, 5 minutes. With an immersion blender, puree apricots with cider, and canned apricots in juices, until smooth. Set aside.

In a large skillet heat oil.Brown chicken breast on both sides, about 3 minutes each side. Transfer chicken to plate. Add shallots to pan and cook until lightly browned, 2 minutes. Add broth, orange juice, rosemary, chili powder and sugar. Return chicken to pan and simmer until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Remove chicken from pan. Add pureed apricot mixture and cook until sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.

Serve chicken with sauce.

Spinach Salad with Dates

Serves 4, can be doubled

Spinach Salad with Dates

I love this salad for Yom Tov. I add pomegranate seeds for Rosh Hashannah for extra color and crunch.

  • 2 dates, pitted, plus ¾ cup chopped dates
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups baby spinach
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds, optional
  • ½ cup French’s crispy fried onions

Blend whole dates, lime zest, lime juice, and cup oil in a blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Toss spinach, chopped dates, and pomegranate seeds with dressing. Top with fried onions.

Mesclun Salad with Apples and Champagne Vinaigrette

Serves 8

Dressing

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons champagne
  • ½ cup canola oil

Salad

  • 6 – 8 cups Mixture of mesclun and arugula lettuce
  • 2 apples, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced hearts of palm
  • ½ cup craisins or dried cranberries
  • Toasted candied nut, optional

In a container with a fitted lid, place all dressing ingredients. Cover and shake vigorously until fully blended. 

In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Serve immediately.

Cinnamon Bun Apple Pie

Serves 10

  • 1Cinnamon Bun Apple Pie (14 .5-ounce) box store-bought pie dough
  • 2 tablespoons margarine, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 5 assorted baking apples (about 2 pounds)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soymilk, plus more if needed

Place a baking sheet in oven and preheat to 400.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with 1 piece of dough; refrigerate until ready to assemble.

For cinnamon-roll crust: Lay remaining piece of dough on lightly floured surface and spread margarine evenly on top. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over margarine, and press gently to help mixture adhere. Roll pie dough into a tight log. Trim about 1 1/2 inches from both ends; cut remaining log crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Arrange pieces cut-side down in a snug circle on a piece of floured parchment paper. Dust with more flour. Gently roll it into a 10-inch round. Refrigerate until ready to assemble pie.

Peel and slice apples. Toss with lemon juice, vanilla and remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour apples into the dough-lined pie plate. Invert cinnamon-roll crust on top and peel off the parchment (it's OK if the individual rounds separate a bit in the process). Pinch crusts together; Brush with beaten egg.

Gourmet Kosher CookingSet pie on hot baking sheet in oven; bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 50 minutes. (Tent loosely with foil if top browns too quickly.) Transfer to a rack to cool slightly.

Whisk the confectioners' sugar and soymilk in small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the pie.