September 28, 2006
Atoning for the sin of rushing dinner to get to Kol Nidre
On Yom Kippur eve, I'm a big proponent of the preset menu, one you can follow year after year. Select a combination of recipes you can manage.
(Page 2 - Previous Page)1 large onion, diced
Salt to taste
4 whole chicken breasts, (bone in, skin on) cut in half (eight pieces in all)
8 fresh plum tomatoes, diced
28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes
Drizzle oil into a large pot. Sauté onion until translucent, for about a minute or two.
Remove and reserve.
Lightly salt chicken breasts. Divide chicken breasts into two batches. In the pot, sauté top and bottom of chicken breasts, adding more olive oil if chicken sticks to pot. Reserve first batch of chicken breasts while sautéing the second batch.
Returning onions and all eight chicken pieces to the pot, add fresh and canned tomatoes, including liquid from can. With a fork, crush canned tomatoes and break into clumps.
Simmer on a low flame for 40 minutes, until chicken breasts are cooked through. Serve immediately with Foolproof Rice.
Make-Ahead Method: Once chicken breasts are cooked through, bring to room temperature. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze. The day you're serving them, defrost completely. Transfer to a large pot. Heat until sauce bubbles and chicken is warm inside. Serve with Foolproof Rice (see below).
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups of any commercial rice, such as Carolina or Uncle Ben's. (Avoid minute rice or fast-cooking rice.)
4 cups of canned chicken broth
Salt to taste, optional
Drizzle oil into medium-sized saucepan, rotating pan so oil evenly coats the bottom. Place pan on medium flame. Add rice and stir. Continue stirring for two minutes, or until rice appears almost translucent. Each grain should be coated with oil.
Add chicken broth and, if desired, a small amount of salt. Cover pot and simmer on a low flame. Stir rice every five minutes to make sure it's not sticking to the pot and that the broth is simmering gently, not boiling. Continue until all water is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes.
Remove pan from heat. Let rice rest in a covered pot for two minutes. Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.
Makes six cups of rice; serves eight.
Roasted Autumn Root Vegetables
No-stick vegetable spray
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
20 round red or Yukon C potatoes, miniatures
2 beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
Kosher salt to taste
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil, or more, if needed
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a 10-by-15- inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Peel carrots and parsnips. Cut into 2-inch long sticks.
Place carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, miniature potatoes, beets and onion in baking dish. Season lightly with salt. Drizzle vinegar and four tablespoons olive oil on vegetables. Mix with a wooden or plastic spoon.
Roast vegetables for one hour, stirring and turning vegetables every 10 minutes so they roast evenly. If they start sticking to the pan, add more oil and stir.
Vegetables are ready when they are soft inside and brown on the outside. Serve immediately.
Make-Ahead Method: Up to three days in advance, prepare vegetables through step No. 4. Place vegetables in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes and adding more olive oil, if needed. Remove pan from oven and bring vegetables to room temperature. Refrigerate. On the afternoon of Yom Kippur eve, bring to room temperature. Before serving, place in a 450 degree oven and roast for 15 minutes, until vegetables are browned and warmed through. Stir every three minutes to avoid burning.
Baked Stuffed Apples
Nonstick vegetable spray
8 medium baking apples, such as Cortland, Gala, Braeburn or Fuji.
15 dried apricots
12 pitted dates
12 dried figs
4 teaspoons uncooked oatmeal (not quick or instant oats)
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13- inch baking pan with nonstick vegetable spray. With a knife, using a circular motion, core apples by cutting away the seeds and fibrous parts. Go slowly so you don't hurt yourself. Cut three-fourths of the way down the apple. Don't penetrate the skin at the bottom of the apple. Discard seeds and core.
Place apples in baking pan. Microwave for five minutes. Reserve.
Cut apricots, dates and figs into quarters. In a medium bowl, combine them with remaining ingredients and mix well. Spoon mixture into the center of apples, and press down to stuff with as much filling as possible.
Lightly coat a sheet of aluminum foil with nonstick spray. Loosely tent foil over apples. Bake for 30 minutes, or until apples soften.
Remove foil and bake for five minutes. Skins may pucker. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.
Make-Ahead Method: Prepare through step No. 5 up to three days ahead. Bring apples to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate. Three hours before dinner, return to room temperature. Before serving, microwave for three minutes. Warm in a 350 degree oven for five minutes.
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