This year Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown Friday. Because observant Jews do not cook on the Sabbath, I have put together a menu of recipes that can be prepared in advance and served Friday evening or Saturday.
Even better, two of the recipes combine apples and honey--the traditional foods served during the holiday to symbolize a sweet year.
Take the Apple Spinach Salad, for example. Not only does it contain the traditional combination, but the apple mixture can also be prepared the day before, refrigerated and tossed with the spinach just before serving.
When I was a teenager, my mother served roast chicken every Friday night, but this chicken recipe is very different. The breasts are poached with leeks, carrots and fennel, adding a rich flavor to the dish and making the chicken tender. The next day, the chicken can be cut up and used in a salad and the vegetables will make a delicious side dish.
The Apple-Honey Linzer Tart was inspired by Signora Grazia, a wonderful cook who lives in Poppi, a small village near Arezzo, Italy. She gave a cooking class as part of an Italian language school that I took last summer.
One of the dishes she prepared was a Linzer Tart. Don’t be hesitant about rolling out pastry. Signora Grazia’s recipe is easy; you just press the dough into the tart pan. In fact, I have replaced my favorite pastry recipe with hers. Instead of the blackberry preserves that she used, I am substituting homemade apple-honey marmalade.
Zeidler is author of “The Gourmet Jewish Cook” and “30-Minute Kosher Cook,” both published by William Morrow. Her Web site is http://member.aol.com/jzkitchen.