Purim is here and while the guest list may not look like it did in previous years, the joy and fun of the holiday is so important to capture.

Now, more than ever, we can all use a little joy and cheer. With that in mind, we are serving up some of our new favorite dishes, and making it extra fun with each person choosing a dish they like best. It’s been a big year of home cooking, so new faves are a gift and a treat!

Miso Soy Glazed Chicken

Photo by Renee Lebe

Serves 4

Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chicken, cut in ⅛’s or chicken pieces

Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • ½ cup sliced scallions, for garnish

Make the marinade: In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, hoisin sauce, salt, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Arrange chicken in a single layer in a roasting pan. Loosen the skin, and coat chicken with marinade, gently lathering the chicken under and over the skin with the mixture. Marinate for at least one hour and up to overnight (in the refrigerator).

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Bring chicken to room temperature. Place chicken in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk honey, soy sauce, and miso paste. Baste chicken with glaze and continue to cook for 15 more minutes, basting every 5 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cook for 5 more minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

London Broil with Herbs

Photo by Greg DuPree

Serves 6

Classic and good all year round. Super simple and inexpensive.

  • 1 (3 pound) London broil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, NON-FISH variety
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 cups mixed fresh herbs, rosemary, thyme, parsley and more for serving

Place meat in a gallon-size ziplock plastic bag or baking dish. Combine vinegar, oil, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, brown sugar, garlic, pepper and fresh herbs in a bowl, and whisk until salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour marinade over meat, distributing marinade evenly. Marinate meat in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Remove the London broil from the refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Remove from the bag, and transfer to a baking dish. Discard marinade.

Preheat the oven to a high broil with a rack positioned 3 to 4 inches from the heat source. Place the baking dish with London broil in a preheated oven, and broil for 5 - 8 minutes. Carefully remove broiler pan from oven; flip steak using tongs, and return to the oven. Continue broiling until desired temperature is reached, 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare (135°F to 145°F). Remove meat from the broiler pan, and place it on a bed of herbs on a platter. Tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Slice and arrange steak slices on a bed of herbs on a platter. Serve immediately with pan juices.

Pastrami and Melted Cabbage

Serves 8

The melted cabbage trend was started with the cookbook Sababa and every national magazine has printed their version to jump into this excellent trend. We love it! Even those that proclaim they don’t eat cabbage! The cabbage slowly cooks and gets fork tender and exceptionally rich in flavor. The added pastrami makes it extra special for a festive meal.

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white parts, sliced
  • ⅛ - ¼ lb chunk pastrami, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ bags shredded green cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 8 whole cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

In a large, oven safe skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add leek and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add pastrami and cook until lightly browned. Stir in garlic and cook until softened, about 30 minutes. Add cabbage and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.

Add whole garlic pieces, white wine, broth, thyme, salt and pepper and stir together. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place in the oven and cook for 1 ½ - 2 hours, or until cabbage is super soft, and caramelized (it will be browned). Serve warm.

Haman Hat Shaped Beef Empanadas

Photo by Chay Berger

Serves 8

These stuffed pockets of deliciousness are perfect for Purim. They are loaded with spiced meat and wrapped in delicious pastry dough. Feel free to cheat and buy pastry or pizza dough, or go for it and make it all from scratch. The herby dipping sauce adds a savory finish as well as great color.

Do Ahead: Filling can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled. Unbaked empanadas can be made 3 months ahead; freeze on sheet tray, then transfer to freezer bags and keep frozen. Feel free to make these in a triangle shape too!

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 small red peppers, seeded, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup pitted green olives, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 sheets store bought pie dough, pizza dough or Quick Homemade Pie Dough (recipe below)
  • Herbed Dipping Sauce, optional, recipe below

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over high heat. Add beef and cook, breaking it up so that it is crumbly, until browned but not completely cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible.

Reduce heat to medium, then add onion, red peppers, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil, stirring, until softened but not browned, 6–8 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, oregano, smoked paprika, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock and reserved beef with any accumulated juices to the pot. Stir in honey, kosher salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 15–20 minutes. Stir in raisins and olives. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and chill for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Bring dough to room temperature. Roll dough out on the work surface to about ¼” thick. With a round cookie cutter or the top of a glass, cut out circles, about 3 inches in diameter. Place 2-3 teaspoons (depending on how well it fits) filling in the center of each round. Brush water around the outer edge of each round. Fold three sides in to make a triangle and seal, slightly overlapping the dough or crimping it together. For traditional empanada shape, fold round in half over filling and pinch edges to seal. Use a fork to crimp edges. Transfer empanadas to prepared baking sheet, spacing 1" apart. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Bake empanadas, rotating tray halfway through, until golden brown and slightly darker around the edges, 25–35 minutes.

Quick Homemade Pie Dough

Makes 1 full pie crust, top and bottom

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup cold, cubed unsalted margarine or shortening, or a combination

Blend flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add cold margarine and pulse until mixture forms pea-size pieces. Drizzle ⅔ cup ice cold water over crumbs and pulse just until moistened.

Turn dough onto a work surface and gather into a ball, turning to combine any dry crumbs.

Divide dough in half, form each into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 30 minutes. Dough can be frozen up to 3 months.

Herbed Dipping Sauce

Makes 1 ½ cups

  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed
  • 2 cups cilantro
  • 12 large mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt

In a food processor, pulse jalapeno, cilantro, and mint until blended well. Add 2 tablespoons water, oil, lemon juice, honey, and salt. Blend until smooth, adding more water if needed.

Skillet Brookies

Serves 8

Rustic, scoopable, fun, and totally decadent, this dessert will make a fantastic ending to any meal. Kids and adults will enjoy finding their favorite part; the crunchy, crispy crust, or the rich, gooey, chocolatey center. Serve this warm, even right out of the oven with ice cream dolloped in the center.

  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 7 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, plus additional for greasing skillet
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 chunks of store-bought frozen cookie dough, slightly defrosted
  • Vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Whisk flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Heat a medium saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate, butter, and oil and cook until melted and smooth, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then add eggs, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla. Stir until smooth and incorporated. Add flour and stir until just combined.

Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet with a little melted butter. Pour batter into skillet and spread evenly. Gently press cookie dough pieces into brownie batter, leaving space between cookies.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sides are set and lightly toasted but the center seems moist. A tester should have moist crumbs but not wet batter. Cool slightly so the cast iron can be handled. Scoop and serve with ice cream dolloped into the center.

Click here for more great Purim recipes.