Yom Kippur is a holiday for fasting, not for eating, though we certainly celebrate when the day is done and we can finally sit down at the table.
Usually, we do it in the same way. Almost every Yom Kippur menu features some kind of smoked or pickled fish, something starchy and filling and a sweet bread. In some ways the menu for when we break this year’s fast Thursday evening is no different. But in others, it’s completely new.
Rather than buying lox or herring, for example, here’s how you can poach your own salmon in a vinegary broth, which gives you a gentle tartness that just points up the rich flavor of the fish. The fish and the two sauces that accompany it can be made a day ahead.
The cheese bread is much the same. It’s not really a bread, it’s more like a cross between a souffle and a savory cream puff. The first time I made this recipe, when it came out of the oven it had risen so high above the cake pan everyone applauded.
The basic recipe can be prepared one or two days in advance, covered with plastic wrap, refrigerated and baked just before serving. It is best eaten when warm, although it can be served the next day with a salad for lunch.
For dessert, serve a banana-nut shortcake with a streusel topping. This moist, delicious cake has become a favorite holiday dessert in our family.
It is so easy to make you don’t even need an electric mixer. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another, then combine the two. I like to use those little tinfoil bread pans for this. I grease them with butter or margarine and then dust them with finely ground walnuts instead of flour; this makes for a crisp crust.
You can also serve this bread topped with warm chocolate sauce or whipped cream and it becomes even better. After all, you haven’t eaten all day.