Full of the joys of Purim

As well as making an effort with costumes, take some time to think about dressing up your favorite dish.

Salmon mousse 390 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Salmon mousse 390
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Purim is around the corner and this is the month of joy. It's time to think of an uplifting menu.
Salmon mousse
1 envelope unflavored kosher gelatin¼ cup cold water½ cup boiling water½ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise1 tablespoon lemon juice1 tablespoon finely grated onionDash of Tabasco¾ teaspoon sweet paprika1 teaspoon salt2 tablespoons finely chopped dill2 cups finely flaked poached fresh salmon or canned salmon, skin and bones removed1 cup parve whipping cream
Soften the gelatin in the cold water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the boiling water and whisk the mixture slowly until gelatin dissolves. Cool to room temperature.
Whisk in the mayonnaise, lemon juice, grated onion, Tabasco, paprika, salt and dill. Stir to blend completely and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.
Fold in the finely flaked salmon. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it is thickened to peaks and fluffy. Fold gently into the salmon mixture.
Transfer the mixture to a 6-to-8-cup bowl or decorative mold. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
Serve on toasts, black bread or crackers. Or serve as a first course, garnished with watercress.
Italian lamb stew
4 pounds stewing lamb (from shoulder, neck, and leg), cubed3 tablespoons olive oil1 ½ teaspoons salt1 ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper2 cloves garlic, minced½ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves¼ teaspoon powdered sage3 bay leaves1 cup dry white wine2 cups ripe peeled tomatoes, or canned peeled tomatoes
Lamb stew
Lamb stew
Place lamb in a large saucepan with oil, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, and sage.
Over high heat, quickly brown for 2 minutes. Add bay leaves and wine and cook 5 minutes longer. Decrease heat, add tomatoes and simmer, covered for approximately 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
If it becomes necessary, add small amounts of water to complete cooking, but bear in mind that lamb should cook at all times in a thick and savory sauce.
Rum-glazed tzimmes
3 pounds sweet potatoes, pierced 3 to 4 times with a fork3 golden delicious apples, peeled and cut into eighths¼ cup fresh lemon juice6 tablespoons margarine1 cup peach halves ½ cup honey2 tablespoons dark rum½ teaspoon cinnamon½ teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake sweet potatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender. Let them cool then peel and cut diagonally into 1/4 –inch slices.
Peel apples and cut them lengthwise into eights. Toss apples with lemon juice.Layer the apples with the sweet potato slices in greased 14-inch gratin dish. Spread peach halves over top.
In stainless steel or enamel saucepan, cook the remaining ingredients over medium heat, stirring often until sugar is dissolved. Spoon mixture over the potatoes and apples and bake covered in middle of oven, basting occasionally- about 30 minutes.
Bake uncovered for 40 additional minutes, basting occasionally.
Optional: After baking, broil tzimmes until edges brown.
Chocolate fantasy cake
This is a real showstopper, suitable for this kind of special occasion
For crust½ cup graham cracker crumbs½ cup finely chopped walnuts½ cup finely chopped almonds½ cup sugar½ cup unsalted margarine, melted
For chocolate layer2 cups parve whipped cream16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped coarse2 tablespoons light corn syrup½ cup (1 stick) margarine, cut into pieces
For buttercream layer1 ½ cups sugar½ cup water6 large egg yolks1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) margarine, softened½ cup coffee liqueur4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, melted and cooledChocolate curls for garnish
Make crust:Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 10-inch springform pan. In a bowl stir together crust ingredients until combined well and press onto bottom of pan. Bake crust in middle of oven 15 minutes or until pale golden. Cool
Make chocolate layer:In a saucepan heat cream, chocolate, and corn syrup over moderate high heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture just comes to a boil. Remove pan from heat and stir in margarine one piece at a time, until smooth. Pour mixture over crust in pan and chill until firm about 3 hours.
Make buttercream layer:In a saucepan cook sugar and water over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted. Simmer syrup, undisturbed until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat yolks until smooth. Add hot syrup in a stream, beating on high speed until thickened and cooled.
Reduce speed to medium and beat in margarine, a little at a time. Beat in liqueur and chocolate until combined well. Spread buttercream over chocolate layer and chill until firm, about 3 hours. Run a knife around pan and carefully remove sides. Garnish with chocolate curls.