Love and Religion

Interfaith Consultation for Jews and their Families

Thanksgiving Menu

Hot crab and crackers Eggs and caviar Mushrooms in phyllo tarts Turkey Andouille sausage stuffing and gravy Cranberry sauce (NYT recipe) Mashed potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes (Ina Garten’s recipe) Bourbon sweet potatoes or Audrey’s sweet potato and apple casserole Brussels sprouts with lardons Creamed onions Corn soufflé Marinated vegetables: asparagus, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, haricots verts, and cucumbers Pumpkin muffins Desserts Pecan pie Pear almond tart Apple pie Thanksgiving cut-out cookies Chocolate flat log Chocolate fudge cake Read More >

Nana’s Sugar Cookies

Tess Hazel Usher: Today Nana and I are going to make cookies. Nana made two different kinds of dough so we could have a taste test. First we got the dough out of the fridge. Next, I rolled out half a portion of dough. My favorite cookie cutters are the Jewish star, the menorah, the turkey, the dreidel, the apple, and the snowman. For Thanksgivukkah we included the dreidel and the turkey. I put sprinkles in the first batch of cookies. Nana bought lots of decorating icing so we used them to decorate all the rest of the cookies. We like the brown sugar recipe better. Cooking with Nana is fun because she lets me eat the cookies. She also lets me eat the raw dough. Please don’t tell my parents!!!! ½ cup butter 1 cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups flour ¼ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add flour, salt, and baking powder. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Dust the counter with flour, roll […] Read More >

Sesame Salmon

This recipe comes from my sister and is originally from Karen Lee, a wonderful cook in New York. 6 salmon fillets Marinade 3 tablespoons sesame seeds ½ cup dry sherry 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce (use tamari to make this gluten-free) 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 2 tablespoons minced ginger ¾ cup sliced scallions 1 tablespoon minced garlic Wash the salmon fillets and put them in a large roasting pan, skin side down. Combine all ingredients for marinade. Spread marinade over the fish in a large ovenproof dish. Let it marinade for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Broil 4 inches from the top of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 450 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes. You can make this a day ahead, refrigerate, and serve at room temperature. Serves 6 Read More >

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

My mother always made meatballs for Passover. For years I actually forgot about them. Then I thought, What wonderful comfort food to be included in my totally Ashkenazi Passover menu! This recipe is a compilation of ingredients from recipes in my old and tried recipe books from Montreal and my early days of marriage. They have names like The Naomi Cook Book, Kinnereth Cook Book and A Treasure for My Daughter and really only get used when I am cooking for Jewish holidays. Sauce 2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 onions, diced 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped, liquid reserved 1 14-ounce can tomato sauce 1 6-ounce can ginger ale 2 tablespoons brown sugar Juice of 1 lemon Meatballs 2 pounds hamburger meat 3 tablespoons matzo meal 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 onions, grated 1 teaspoon white sugar 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper Beginning by making the sauce: heat the oil in a large pot and add diced onions. Add salt and pepper and cook until golden. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. While the sauce is coming to a boil, mix together all the ingredients for […] Read More >

Oranges with Glazed Peel in Grand Marnier Syrup

6 large navel oranges About ½ cup water 2 tablespoons honey 1½ cups granulated sugar ¼ cup orange juice ¼ cup Grand Marnier Remove the thin orange part of the peel from three of the oranges and cut into very thin julienne strips. Set aside oranges. Place the peel in a small saucepan, barely cover with water, bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the peel. Place ½ cup water, honey, and sugar in another saucepan. Heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Continue to boil until the syrup registers 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat, add the blanched peel, and stir gently. Let the peel stand in the syrup for 30 minutes, then add the orange juice and Grand Marnier. Remove the remainder of the peel and pith from all of the oranges. Slice each orange into three or more slices and place in a shallow serving dish. Top with the glazed peel and spoon the syrup over the oranges. Chill well before serving, spooning the syrup over occasionally. 6 servings Read More >

Corn Pudding

A fail-safe recipe, this has become a Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah must-have in my family. We never have any leftovers of this dish. My husband loves to eat the scraps at the bottom of the dish before he washes it. ½ stick butter (4 tablespoons) ½ cup sugar 5 eggs ½ cup flour (can be gluten-free) 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 15¼-ounce cans corn niblets, drained 2 14¾-ounce cans creamed corn 1 4-ounce can roasted diced green chiles (optional) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-12-inch glass baking dish or ceramic casserole. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric beater. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the flour and the baking powder, and beat again just to completely combine ingredients. With a large spoon, stir in corn and, if using, green chiles. Pour evenly into the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour or until top is a crusty golden brown. This dish can be frozen after baking and cooling, then defrosted and warmed for 15 to 20 minutes loosely covered with foil. 8–10 servings Read More >

Mac and Cheese for Rosh Hashanah

This recipe is a mélange of at least four other recipes. I make this every Rosh Hashanah. At first I thought this would be great for all the children. Then, I realized that all the adults loved this dish as well. The quantity is large. You may want to halve it if you are serving a smaller crowd. 2 pounds penne pasta 2 large Newman’s tomato sauce (regular or Sockarooni) Homemade béchamel sauce or 2 containers store-bought refrigerated Alfredo sauce 1 pound grated cheddar cheese Buttered breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese for the top Butter, for greasing Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Salt and add the pasta, cooking according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a large ovenproof casserole. Put in some of the pasta. Then layer tomato sauce, Alfredo sauce, and cheese. Keep layering the ingredients (usually 3 times). Sprinkle breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 1 hour until gooey and golden on top. (If you are making this ahead, you can bake it less and then reheat it for 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t dry out.) 14–16 […] Read More >

Helen Weiss’ Horseradish

I always double this recipe for Passover.  2/3 cup horseradish, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (about ½ a long root) 2 1-pound cans whole beets, drained ½ cup red wine vinegar ¾ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon sugar Grate horseradish in food processor using steel blade. Shred beets in food processor with fine shredding disc. Mix together horseradish, beets, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Read More >

Gefilte Fish Mold

This recipe comes form my close friend Naomi. I make this every Rosh Hashanah and Passover. 2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus oil for greasing 8 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped 3 pounds (net) fish (no bones, head or skin),* ground by the fishmonger or in a food processor 4 eggs 2 cups cold water 6 tablespoons matzo meal 5 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons white pepper (black makes the fish dark) 2 tablespoons sugar 2 large carrots, grated Garnish: Large bunch of parsley, red horseradish Heat the oil in a large pan. Add onion and sauté until soft. Cool. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease a Bundt pan. Combine fish and onions in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, water, matzo meal, salt, pepper, and sugar. Beat 15 minutes using an electric mixer. Add carrots. Transfer to pan. Put the pan in another pan with high sides and fill until water comes 2 inches up the sides to make a bain-marie. (Tip: Put the Bundt pan inside the other pan, then put in the oven, and with the oven rack carefully pulled out, fill with water.) Cook for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the fish is […] Read More >

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies

The annual Passover abstention from flour need not be so abstemious, as Francois Payard demonstrates in this recipe for chewy, gooey chocolate walnut cookies. Egg whites add a meringue-y quality, but fudginess prevails in these jumbo-sized beauties, available at Payard’s Upper East Side patisserie and featured in his new book, Chocolate Epiphany. 2¾ cups walnut halves 3 cups confectioners’ sugar ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder ¼ teaspoon salt 4 large egg whites, room temperature 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the walnut halves on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 9 minutes, until they are golden and fragrant. Let cool slightly, then transfer the walnut halves to work surface and coarsely chop them. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and lower temperature to 320. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, using a mixer on low speed, combine the confectioners’ sugar with the cocoa powder and salt followed by the chopped walnuts. Once you change the speed to medium add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter […] Read More >