2016-10-12 / Columns

The rebbitzin’s recipes: Unique dishes for a tasty Sukkot celebration


DEBI EPSTEIN DEBI EPSTEIN Chag Ha-Sukkot, The Festival of Tabernacles, is referred to as Yom Simchateinu—The Days of Joy. We leave our homes and dwell in our sukkot (booths) for eight days. “You shall dwell in sukkot seven days, every citizen in Israel shall dwell in sukkot, so that your descendants shall know that in sukkot I caused the Children of Israel to dwell when I brought them out of the land of Egypt (Vayikra 23:42-43) The sukkah represents the huts that we lived in during our 40-year travel in the desert, as well as the Ananey Kavod—The Guiding Clouds— provided for us by G-d in the desert.

Sukkot is one of the Shalosh Regalim, The Three Pilgrimage Festivals, along with Passover and Shavuot. Jews travelled throughout the land of Israel to the Beit Hamikdash—The Holy Temple in Jerusalem. During the time period of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, The Simchat Beit Hashoayvah (Water Libation Ceremony) was performed. The Talmud states that to witness this sight was incomparable to any other joy in the entire world! Dance and song filled the air in happiness, and in honor of the holiday.

On Sukkot, we recite a blessing each day on the four species, the lulav, etrog, hadasim and aravot, throughout the entire week. The blessing of Shehechiyanu is said on the first day, along with the blessing of “… Netilat Lulav.” We recite the blessing Leyshaiv Basukkah each time we partake of food in the sukkah. Also, each evening we welcome one of the seven Ushpizin—Biblical guests, into the sukkah. Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaacov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef and David. Each of the seven personalities reflects a unique dimension of G-d’s interaction with the world.

Additionally, Yom Tov (holiday) begins with candlelighting in the sukkah, Sunday, Oct. 16, 18 minutes prior to sundown. The eight-day festival concludes, as we begin to celebrate the holidays of Shmini Atzeret, (Yizkor is recited), followed by Simchat Torah, Oct. 25.

On Sukkot, we dress in our finest attire, as we enjoy meat, wine and delicacies. Family and friends share this weeklong joy in the sukkah, together. Therefore, I am presenting some unique recipes to enhance your upcoming holiday celebration.

My best wishes for a happy, healthy and sweet New Year 5777, filled with blessings, peace, and success, to the entire Am Yisrael.

Chag Sameach!

4 sweet potatoes
6 heads romaine lettuce,
1 red onion, peeled, thinly
Pecans, maple glazed (recipe
1/2 cup craisins
Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 TBS. pomegranate juice
3 TBS. soy sauce
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

Peel sweet potatoes, cut into cubes and place onto a roasting pan lined with parchment paper. Spray heavily with oil spray, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.

Maple glazed pecans: Place pecans onto a roasting pan lined with parchment paper, and coat with 6 TBS. maple syrup. Spray with cooking spray. Roast in oven for five minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for vinaigrette.

Place remaining ingredients for salad in a large bowl, and toss together immediately prior to serving.

Serves 6-8.

4 lb. veal cutlets, thinly sliced
1 cup flour
2 cups Baby Bella mushrooms
2 cups kosher dry wine
1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Dip each veal cutlet into flour. Pre-heat large skillet coated with five TBS. canola oil. Cook veal cutlet for four minutes on each side. Remove from skillet, and set aside. Repeat process, until all veal cutlets have been cooked. (Note: I usually have two skillets going simultaneously.)

Place wine in skillet with mushrooms, cook on medium setting for approximately 10 minutes. Place veal cutlets into a large roasting pan; pour wine and mushrooms on top of veal cutlets. Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from roasting pan, and place onto serving platter. Garnish with parsley.

Serves 8-10.

5 acorn squash
1 cup tricolor quinoa

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup dried cherries
Pre-heat oven to 375°F.

Place squash onto roasting pan lined with parchment paper. Roast for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool. When cooled, cut each squash in half. Remove seeds, and discard.

In a small pot, boil quinoa according to package instructions, adding one tsp. sea salt. Set aside to cool.

Fill each squash with quinoa. Top with pine nuts and cherries.

Serve warm.

Serves 10-12.

6 Roma apples, cored
2/3 cup oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil
4 tsp. pure vanilla
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup bourbon
Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

Core apples, and leave the remaining third of the apple. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, excluding the last two. Set aside. Place apples in a large decorative baking dish. Fill each apple with mixture. Sprinkle with additional mixture on top. Pour apple cider and bourbon on the bottom of the pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, and serve warm.

Serves six.


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