Festive recipes for a happy New Year

Using the same traditional recipes each year can become boring so spice things up with Moroccan-style fish patties or a different kind of salad.

September 3, 2013 14:42
Root vegetable salad with pomegranate and nuts

Root vegetable salad with pomegranate and nuts. (photo credit: Ilan Guttman)

The month of holidays which begins Wednesday night is really one continuous meal.

But after consuming a few traditional meals, you may be ready for something different. How about Moroccan-style fish patties to replace the gefilte fish or a different kind of salad?

Root vegetable salad with pomegranate and nuts

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This is a large salad to be placed in the center of the table.

✔ 2 carrots
✔ 4 small radishes
✔ 2 kohlrabies
✔ 1 parsley root
✔ 1 small red onion
✔ 1 fennel bulb
✔ Bunch arugula
✔ 1 pomegranate
✔ Handful walnuts
✔ 3 Tbsp sugar
✔ 2 Tbsp. water

For the dressing:
✔ ¼ cup apple concentrate
✔ 2 Tbsp. olive oil
✔ Juice of ½ lemon
✔ 2 sprigs thyme leaves only
✔ Pinch salt and pepper

Peel and julienne (cut into thin strips) the root vegetables, slice the onion very thinly and place in a large salad bowl. Add arugula leaves and pomegranate seeds, leaving 2 Tbsp. seeds for garnish.

Heat a dry skillet, add sugar and water, mix and add the walnuts. Mix well and remove from heat.

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl or a jar. Add the cooled nuts to the salad bowl, drizzle the dressing, toss, garnish with remaining pomegranate seeds and serve.

Note: The walnuts may be replaced by Chinese pecans.

Moroccan fish patties
Makes 6

Moroccan fish patties  (Yasmin & Arie)

✔ 1 kg. fish fillet, with no skin or bones
✔ 1 large onion, chopped
✔ 3 cloves garlic, minced
✔ 2 slices stale bread, soaked in water and squeezed
✔ 2 Tbsp. olive oil
✔ 1 tsp. salt
✔ ½ bunch parsley, leaves only
✔ ½ bunch cilantro, leaves only
✔ ¼ tsp. white pepper
✔ Pinch cumin
✔ ½ Tbsp. sweet paprika

For the sauce
✔ 1 cup pitted green olives
✔ 5 tomatoes, red and slightly soft, halved
✔ 7 cloves garlic, sliced
✔ ¼ cup canola oil
✔ Dried chili cut lengthwise
✔ Salt ✔ 1 ½ Tbsp. paprika
✔ 2 Tbsp. tomato puree
✔ 1 chili, sliced seeds removed
✔ Cumin
✔ Cilantro
✔ 2 cups water

Note: If you don’t like cilantro, replace with parsley. If you prefer it less hot, omit the chili.

In a food processor, grind together fish, bread, onion, garlic, oil and herbs.

Transfer to a bowl and season with salt, paprika, cumin and white pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

To prepare sauce: Heat oil in a deep skillet.

Add garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sauté for a few minutes. Add paprika and tomato puree, continue mixing and add 1 cup water and the chilies and olives.

Mix and season to taste. Add the second cup of water and the cumin and mix well.

Remove the fish mixture from the refrigerator and form patties. Drop the patties one at a time into the simmering sauce. When all the patties are in the pot, bring to a boil and then lower the heat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Add chopped cilantro and season to taste.

Remember, olives add saltiness, so go easy on the salt. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Lamb with silan and thyme

Lamb with silan and thyme  (Yasmin & Arie)

✔ 2 kg. lamb shoulder
✔ Kosher salt
✔ Freshly ground black pepper
✔ Thyme
✔ 10 garlic cloves
✔ 2 Tbsp. silan (or honey) Heat oven to 170°.

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Cut small slits in the meat and insert the garlic cloves. Coat the meat with silan and sprinkle thyme leaves on all sides.

Place in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Roast for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove the foil on and continue roasting for 45 minutes until the meat is browned.

Beef fillet in pistachio crust and fig sauce

Makes 4

Beef fillet in pistachio crust and fig sauce  (Yasmin & Arie))

This festive dish is served with red wine sauce and figs.

✔ 4 medallions of fillet of beef, 120 gr. each
✔ Kosher salt
✔ Ground fresh pepper
✔ ¼ cup olive oil
✔ 100 gr. shelled pistachios, chopped
✔ Pinch mustard seeds (optional)
✔ Pinch thyme

Fig sauce
✔ 4 dried figs
✔ 2 cups red wine
✔ 3 Tbsp. sugar
✔ 2 sticks cinnamon
✔ ½ Tbsp. cornstarch

To prepare the sauce: Pour wine into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and add figs, sugar and cinnamon. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix cornstarch with 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl and mix until smooth.

Bring the sauce back to a boil and add the cornstarch while whisking. Continue whisking until the sauce is boiling and turn off the heat.

In a soup plate, mix together the pistachios, thyme and mustard seeds. Heat a steak pan with a little olive oil. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Dip each fillet into the pistachio mixture on all sides. Sear the meat for 3 minutes on each side.

To serve, pour 1-2 Tbsp. of the sauce on each plate, place 1 steak and 1 fig and serve.

Recipes courtesy of chef Sahar Raphael of Bitan Wines, Kadita and Cramim restaurants.

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