Break The Fast Beautifully
Yom Kippur falls on the same day every year, the 10th day of Tishrei — exactly 10 days from Rosh Hashanah — and ends a period known as the Days of Awe, the time set aside to atone for the sins of the past year.
Part of the atonement process includes a 25-hour fast. While certainly not the only fast day in Judaism, even many who are not particularly observant will fast on this day. With few exceptions, from just before sunset on Yom Kippur eve until just after sunset on Yom Kippur, all nourishment — including any liquids — is forbidden.
A lovely tradition at Yom Kippur’s conclusion includes eating (or rubbing over the lips) something sweet, such as honey or jam, to remind us of life’s sweet moments.
For the majority, it’s customary to serve light, brunch-like foods at the break-the-fast meal. For most, this includes bagels, lox and a dairy kugel. Planning is the key word to providing a worry-free meal to all those breaking the fast.
Lox, tuna salad, egg salad and smoked fish can be arranged on plates and platters and chilled until serving time. Other dishes, such as kugel, are best at room temperature. Hot dishes may require a little more creativity. Often there’s time during the service when some people take a break from the services to go home and relax before the conclusion of the services. At this time, the room temperature foods can be removed from the refrigerator and hot foods popped into a pre-warmed oven.
CREAMY DREAMY KUGEL
- 1 pound broad egg noodles
- 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups (1 pint) sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1½ cups small-curd cottage cheese
- 1 cup golden raisins, optional
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1½ cups crumbled Corn Flakes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish or disposable aluminum pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until soft. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Add the butter and toss until incorporated. Use a large spoon spatula to stir in the sugar and eggs. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the topping over. Bake for 1 hour or more (this is a big kugel so it may take up to 1½ hours), until the kugel is set. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting (chilling overnight helps in cutting as well). Cut the kugel into squares and serve (to reheat, warm at 250°F for about an hour). Makes 20-24 servings.
ROAST SALMON VEGETABLE SALAD WITH AVOCADO AND EGG
- 2 cups cubed fresh beets
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2½ pounds boneless and skinless salmon fillet, cut into 2-inch squares
- 2 heads chopped Romaine lettuce
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, left whole
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels, raw
- 12 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
- 1-2 fresh avocados, cut into thin wedges
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into thin rings
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss beets with olive oil and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Cook for 12-15 minutes until tender. Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet.
Arrange salmon on a parchment- or foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook the salmon in the same oven for 10 minutes (do not overcook). Allow the salmon to cool on the baking sheet.
Combine all remaining ingredients and toss well. Arrange on a serving platter. Tuck the salmon pieces among the greens. Tuck the avocado wedges and eggs among the greens. Drizzle with dressing and serve. Makes 8 or more servings.
PROVENÇAL TUNA SALAD
A special tuna salad with continental flavors for adult tastes.
- 3 cans (6 ounces each) white tuna in water, drained
- 1 cup diced, seeded plum tomatoes
- ½ cup fresh chopped parsley
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup minced red or Bermuda onion, optional
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. drained capers
- 1 Tbsp. pickle relish (sweet or not)
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Place tuna in a medium bowl and mash well with a fork. Add remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes 8 servings.
CHALLAH, EGG, TOMATO AND FRESH MOZZARELLA CASSEROLE
Make this the day before and bake it before serving.
- 1 pound challah loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes (with crust) (if you prefer your casserole softer, use ¾-pound of the challah)
- 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
- 12 large eggs, whisked well
- 5 cups whole milk
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella (or Buffalo Mozzarella), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. fresh ground black
Spray an attractive 9- by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake, uncovered, until golden and firm to the touch, 45-60-minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 12 or more servings.
CINNAMON, CHERRY AND RAISIN BAKED FRENCH TOAST
- 1 pound (16 ounces) sliced cinnamon-raisin bread
- ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 4 cups whole milk
- ½ cup sweetened dried
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Fresh berries
Cut the slices of bread in half, diagonally.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush an attractive 9- by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with the melted butter. Arrange the bread in two rows, overlapping the triangles as needed to fit the pan. Sprinkle the cherries on top.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the sugar, milk and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture over the bread, pressing on the dry edges of the slices to absorb the liquid. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°. Bake, uncovered, until golden and firm to the touch, 45-60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle generously with confectioners’ sugar and serve with berries, if desired, and real maple syrup. Makes 12 or more servings.
FRESH TOMATO TARTE
- 1 9- by 12-inch sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 3-5 ripe tomatoes (depending on the size of the tomatoes)
- 4 ounces shaved or fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil leaves
- 8 ounces cottage cheese,
- ¼ cup fresh chopped scallions, white and green parts
- 1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Balsamic glaze (available at good supermarkets), optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
Place the sheet of puff pastry on the parchment. Use a fork to perforate the bottom pastry sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges have risen and the crust is just golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and let cool completely.
Make the filling: Combine all the filling ingredients and spread over the pastry (leave the puffed edges uncovered).
Slice the tomatoes in rounds and arrange them on top of the cheese layer, overlapping the rounds.
Season with a little salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of the tomatoes.
Bake again for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the leaves over the tomatoes, and drizzle with olive oil and drizzle with glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into rectangles. Makes 8-12 servings.
All recipes ©Annabel Cohen 2018