Rosh Hashanah recipes don't have to be difficult to follow. In fact, the easier they are to make, the more you can enjoy making them!
All of the recipes featured here can be made simply and presented as rustic creations, but they also look great when plated on a doily, served on fine china, or accented with pomegranate pips or crystallized honey. Whichever way you present them, these Rosh Hashanah recipes are sure to become a staple in your family cookbook!
Set your table with candles, wine or grape juice, challah, and apples with honey. Each of these items is customarily preceded by a traditional blessing and prayer of thanks.
High Holy Day challahs are traditionally round to set them apart from the rest of the year when we eat braided challah. The circle also represents the continuity and cyclical nature of life as we return to this point each year.
Pomegranates, dates, and other sweet autumn fruits are often served with or before the meal as well.
Not sure how to open a pomegranate? Click here to learn how.
Chicken Soup: Everyone and their grandmother have several Rosh Hashanah recipes for chicken soup, but once you get a recipe, you need to fine tune it to your family's taste. Some people like to puree their vegetables in the soup to give it a thicker consistency, while others keep vegetables whole, and still others remove the vegetables, leaving only the broth. Some serve it with kreplach (Jewish won tons), others with matzo balls, still others with rice or egg noodles. Chances are, your family already has a strong preference, but try something new and see what they think this year!
By Michael J. Bennett (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken (from the New York Times): Whoever invented roast chicken clearly totally owned the first holiday dinner. For one thing, you can prep the chicken and vegetables together in a single pan. For another, you can set it hours in advance, then forget it until an hour before your guests arrive. Many people roast the entire chicken, then cut it after it's been cooked, but to save on time and mess, you can easily buy the chicken parts you need or cut a whole chicken with kitchen shears before you cook. This recipe calls for a honey citrus marinade.
Expert Tip for any roast chicken recipe: While your chicken is marinating, cut sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips, and celery into chunks and place them on a lightly oiled roasting pan that has been covered with foil. Give the vegetables a very light coating of oil and salt, then place your marinated chicken pieces over the vegetables. Add dates and raisins for an extra holiday flavor. Pour extra marinade over the top to coat the vegetables as well, then tent it with foil for the first 3/4 of your cooking time, removing the foil for the last 1/4 to allow it to crisp. The result will be a delightfully seasoned roast chicken with vegetable dinner.
Apples are inexpensive this time of year, which makes it a no-brainer to incorporate as much of this sweet, traditional fruit into your holiday cooking. Making homemade apple sauce is so easy, you barely need a recipe.
Homemade Apple Sauce: Peel, core, and slice up about a dozen apples and place them in a pot. Add about a half a cup of apple juice -- enough to cover the bottom couple of inches of the pot. Add about 1/2 cup of honey, maple syrup, or sugar to sweeten as well as two cinnamon sticks, and cook over high heat, constantly stirring for about 10 minutes or until the apples start to break down and turn to mush. When they are soft, remove the cinnamon sticks and use a hand blender or food processor and blend until you have the desired consistency.
Tzimmes: Tzimmes (pronounced TSih-miss) is a traditional Jewish stew made of sweet root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and yams, mixed with orange juice, apples, prunes, honey, and brown sugar. Many people cook it on the stovetop, but roasting it in the oven eliminates having to stir it constantly, and it gives the vegetables a nice sweet crusty coating. (If your family likes their tzimmes mushy, cover it with foil in the oven, lower the heat and bake it for a little longer.) It's a bit fussy because there is a lot of chopping involved, but it's a sweet way to get your family to eat their veggies!
Sweet noodle kugel: Noodle pudding can be sweet or savory, but the High Holy Days are all about the sweetness. Sweet noodle kugels are usually made with cream cheese, sour cream, and other dairy products, but when making kugel to accompany a holiday dinner where meat is the main course, even non-kosher families opt for a pareve (dairy-free) pudding. The recipe linked to here uses bowtie noodles, however thick egg noodles are more traditional and work much better with this and other kugel recipes.
You're probably too full after all of this delicious food to even think about dessert, but hey, it's a holiday! Try a simple apple cinnamon challah monkey bread from The Joy of Kosher, a non-dairy spiced honey chocolate cake, from Diana's Desserts, baked apples or poached pears, or dark chocolate dipped fruit to complete your holiday meal.
And once dinner is done, you have a week and a half to get hungry again before your erev Yom Kippur meal!
Best wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy New Year!