2015-12-23 / Columns

The rebbitzin’s recipes: The mitzvah of Melave Malka

COOKING
DEBI EPSTEIN

Upon the conclusion of the weekly Sabbath, after the Havdala ceremony, it is customary to “escort the Sabbath Queen” into the week, by observing the mitzvah of Melave Malka (which means “Escort the Queen”). The Melave Malka is an additional meal besides the three meals of the Sabbath.

Just as Friday afternoon candles are lit 18 minutes prior to sundown, in order to welcome the Sabbath; so too, candles are lit as we escort the Sabbath Queen into the new week. This mitzvah is observed by enjoying a dish set aside specifically in honor of the Melave Malka. It is preferable to serve bread at this meal and recite the blessing of HaMotzei. If one does not want to eat bread, he/she may partake of cake or fruit to fulfill the mitzvah.

Shavuah Tov! Have a good week!

PERFECT PIZZA
TWISTS
Dough:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup warm water
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. sugar
Filling:
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded

mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. oregano
Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, yeast and water. Mix together well. Set aside for 10 minutes, until bubbly. Add flour, salt and olive oil. Knead. Roll dough onto a flat surface with a rolling pin. Top with sauce, then sprinkle with cheese and oregano. Roll up dough into a large twist, or into several small twists.

Place pizza twist onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes for a large pizza twist, or approximately 8-10 minutes for a smaller version.

Serves 4-6.

PENNE PASTA
FLORENTINE
1 lb. Penne pasta
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, sliced
2 yellow bell peppers, seeded
and chopped
1 1/2 cups spinach, chopped
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup roasted garlic rice
vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place pine nuts onto a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Roast in oven for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.

In a medium-sized stockpot, boil pasta until al dente and drain.

Set aside to cool. In a large skillet, sauté garlic, onions and yellow peppers until softened. Add spinach and basil, and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes. Combine pasta together with vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add sun dried tomatoes, rice vinegar and olive oil. Mix well together. Top with roasted pine nuts and serve immediately.

Serves 6-8.

CHOCOLATE CREPES
1 cup flour
2 Tbs. cocoa
2 tsp. sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
seasonal berries

Mix together flour, cocoa and sugar. Add eggs and milk. Beat together with a wire whisk. Coat an 8-inch non-stick skillet with oil spray. Heat skillet, and spoon two Tbs. crepe batter into skillet. Coat pan with crepe batter by tilting pan to all sides. Heat crepe for 2-3 minutes, and flip over crepe with a non-stick spatula. Remove crepe from skillet. Stack crepes onto a platter, lining each crepe with parchment paper in between, and cool. Fill crepe with seasonal berries in center. Roll crepe lengthwise. Top with chocolate sauce.

CHOCOLATE SAUCE:
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate
2 Tbs. butter

1 tsp. milk

Place chocolate, butter and milk into a 3-qt. saucepan. Cook on a low setting, and remove from flame. Stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate sauce on top of crepe.

Serves 4-6.

PORTABELLA POTAGE
This recipe is perfect for
those on a diet.
1 lb. baby bella mushrooms,
sliced
2 onions, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and
minced
2 Yukon gold potatoes,
unpeeled and sliced
2 cups fat free milk
2 cups water
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

In a large stockpot, sauté baby bella mushrooms, onions, and garlic for five minutes on a medium setting. Simmer for 2-3 additional minutes, on a low setting. Add potatoes, soy sauce, salt and pepper, and mix together, well. Add two cups milk, cover pot and cook for a half hour on a low setting. Cool. Place an immersion blender into pot, puree, leaving potage creamy, with a slightly chunky texture. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 3-4.

deb.epst@gmail.com

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