Pascale's Kitchen: Preparing for the break-fast

Orange cake (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Orange cake
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
The festive meal preceding the Yom Kippur fast plays a very important role, the main one being to help us fast in the easiest way possible.
I’ve been fasting since I was a child, and over the years I’ve learned which foods are preferable for this special meal. For example, to make our feeling of satiety last as long as possible, the meal should be rich in protein, carbohydrates and starchy vegetables. A raw vegetable salad is a nice addition, too, and of course, a little something sweet at the end adds a nice feeling.
Don’t make the food too spicy, salty or sour. In addition, fried food can make you extra thirsty a few hours into the fast.
Don’t drink sweetened drinks during the pre-fast meal because they will make you feel full, and thirsty later. I recommend making a stew where you cook your protein and vegetables all in one pot.
Over the years, I’ve also developed a number of tricks to help get me through the fast more easily. One is that for the 48 hours preceding a fast, I make sure to drink large amounts of water – at least two or three liters a day. If you are a coffee drinker, I also recommend cutting down on your caffeine intake for a few days before the fast in order to reduce the severity of headaches from caffeine withdrawal. During the fast itself, I make sure to have a few fresh lemons on hand to smell whenever I’m feeling hungry or weak.
My late mother used to take a quince she’d covered with cloves (see tip on next page). You can also use a lemon with cloves, which is an amazing combination.
For the break-fast meal served after the fast, I recommend serving light foods. I start with cold lemonade or hot tea along with some nice jelly, cake or cookies. Afterwards, I serve light soups, such as chicken broth with noodles or dumplings, then a course with chicken and cooked or raw vegetables.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you an easy and meaningful fast.
Translated by Hannah Hochner
Pomegranate jelly
Makes 1 liter
■ 1½ kg. pomegranate seeds
■ 3 cups sugar
■ 1 cup water
■ 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
■ ½ lemon, thinly sliced
■ ½ tsp vanilla extract
■ ¾ cup chopped almonds
■ 1 cup sesame seeds
Rinse and dry pomegranate seeds. In a deep, wide pot, cook sugar and water over medium flame and bring to a boil. Add pomegranate seeds, juice and lemon slices. Stir. Cook 5-7 minutes.
Add chopped almonds and sesame seeds and stir continuously for 1 hour until jelly thickens. It will still be pretty watery, though, and will only become thicker once it cools.
Let cool to room temperature and then transfer to a few small jars. Make sure jars are sealed well and store in a cool place until use. Once a jar is opened, it should be stored in the fridge.
Chicken and potatoes
Makes 6-8 servings
■ 6-8 chicken drumsticks
■ 1 tsp. turmeric
■ 4 Tbsp. olive oil
■ 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
■ 1 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce
■ 1 Tbsp. honey or silan
■ 1 tsp. harissa, optional
■ 2 Tbsp. dried parsley or 10 sprigs fresh and finely chopped
■ 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
■ 1 large onion, chopped into small pieces
■ ¼ to ½ cup water
■ Salt and pepper, to taste
■ 5 large potatoes, cut into medium-size cubes
Take the chicken legs out of the fridge, wash them well and pat them dry with a paper towel. Set them in a deep pot. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for an hour.
Transfer the chicken and potatoes to an oven-proof dish. Cover with baking paper and then close with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated oven (180˚) for 90 minutes. Uncover the chicken, lower the temperature to 150˚ and cook for another 20-30 minutes. Serve hot with a side dish of rice, couscous, ptitim or pasta.
Orange cake
This orange cake is quick to make, fluffy and absolutely delicious. I start making it for my family as soon as the citrus season begins. I don’t adorn it with anything – not even powdered sugar – since it is spectacular exactly how it comes out of the oven.
■ 4 eggs
■ 1½ cups sugar
■ 1½ cups flour, sifted
■ ½ cup finely ground almonds
■ ½ cup oil
■ ½ cup orange juice
■ 1½ Tbsp. orange peel, grated
■ 1 Tbsp. cognac
■ ½ tsp. vanilla
■ ½ tsp. rum or orange liqueur
■ 1 package baking powder
For decorating:
½ cup lemon rind in syrup or ½ cup powdered sugar
Whip eggs with an electric mixer. Once they have stiff peaks, gradually add sugar while continuing to mix. Mix another 8 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add one-third of flour and almonds at a time, mixing in between. Add the oil, orange juice and orange peel. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour into greased and floured pan.
Bake in a preheated oven (180°) for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and cake is springy. If desired, decorate with strips of orange peel and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Quince covered with cloves
■ 50 gr. ground cloves (can be ground at home or purchased in a spice shop)
■ 2-3 quinces, rinsed and slightly moist
■ A piece of cloth (an old T-shirt will do)
■ Newspaper
■ Plastic bag
Lay out the cloth on your work surface and sprinkle the powdered cloves on top of it. Place the quince on top and tie up the cloth around the quince tightly. Put the covered quince inside a plastic bag and cover with a blanket.