Jewish life is filled with food – with briskets and kugels and babkas and rugelach. But it’s not just about satisfying our bodies; when we eat we are focused on our spiritual growth as well. And so food is not just but a symbol of our hopes and dreams, our goals and aspirations – both individually and as a nation.
This is especially true at Rosh HaShanna time when we eat a series of emblematic foods through which we attempt to invoke the Almighty’s blessing. Probably the most famous of all of these is honey. We dip an apple in honey and pray for a sweet new year. We want it so desperately – for ourselves and for our people.
And so we go overboard. Our desire for a sweet year is so great that it’s not enough to just dip apples in honey. We make bread with honey, chicken with honey, vegetables with honey and desserts with honey. Didn’t your mother always tell you that Jews are overachievers?
Here are just a few honey-laden recipes from our site. For more Yom Tov recipes, with or without honey, please visit www.gourmetkoshercooking.com.Apple Challah:
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted margarine
3 ½ cups unbleached bread flour, plus more for surface
¾ cup warm water
2/3 cup honey
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one ¼-ounce envelope)
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 ½ tart green apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 1 ¾ cups)
More margarine for pan and bowl.
1.Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray; melt 4 tablespoons margarine in a saucepan over medium-low heat; let cool. Combine 2 tablespoons melted margarine, the flour, water, 1/3 cup honey, the eggs and yolks, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.
2. Transfer dough to prepared bowl, and brush with 1 tablespoon melted margarine. Cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 ½ hours.
3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat into an 8 ½-by-14-inch rectangle. Top with apples; knead to incorporate. Return to bowl. Brush with remaining tablespoon melted margarine; cover. Let rise again in a warm place until dough almost doubles in volume, about 1 hour more.
4. Preheat oven to 375°, with rack in lowest position. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Roll dough into a rope (about 24 inches) on a floured surface. Coil into a circle, and transfer to pan. Let rise again until dough almost doubles in volume, about 45 minutes more.
5. Heat remaining 4 tablespoons margarine and 1/3 cup honey in a saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Brush dough with half the honey-butter. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 35 minutes.
6. Brush challah with the remaining honey-butter. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Turn out loaf from pan, and let cool.Cinnamon Honey Chicken:
1-½ cups dry sherry
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup honey
⅓ cup lime juice
Zest of one lime
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 ( 3 pounds ) chickens, cut into eighths
To prepare the marinade, mix together sherry, cinnamon, honey, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, salt and pepper.
Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer in a shallow, non-aluminum,
ovenproof pan. Pour marinade over the chicken, turning pieces to coat
well. Refrigerate overnight or longer if desired, turning pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drain marinade and reserve. Bake chicken uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes,
depending on size of pieces, basting with marinade and turning once or
twice. If you like crispy skin, bake a little less and then broil until
done.Apples, Cranberries and Almonds Salad:
4 Granny Smith apples, cut into cubes
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup toasted chopped almonds
½ cup pomegranate seeds (optional but good)
1 head romaine, chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon nondairy creamer
Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss with salad. Serve.Easy Honey Tarts:
1 cup honey
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
12 store-bought tart shells (defrosted if frozen)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tart shells on a baking sheet. Beat
together eggs, honey, sugar and vanilla. Stir in pecans. Pour into
tart shells and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until filling is set.
For more great recipes, go to www.gourmetkoshercooking.com
Click here for more Jpost High Holidays features