And since Shabbos/Shabbat is coming, here’s the long-ago promised Shabbos dinner menu
and recipes. For those of you that are
regular readers, you already know I’m not a foodie, so my recipes are somewhat
laissez-faire. That’s my one and only
My Shabbos menu is a merger of tradition and what we love –
that’s what I think Shabbos should be, in general. We maintain the “traditional” feel by sticking to a generally similar menu
structure, and then there are places I experiment and have fun. So here goes.
- Challah with spreads
- Gefilte fish with horseradish and salads (occasionally
salmon too if I’m feeling fancy or we’re having company)
- Chicken soup – usually with matza balls
- Main course is where I have fun. My default-mode is baked chicken of all varieties,
a grain such as couscous or rice, and usually the ever-traditional and favored
potato kugel. However, often we have
meatballs (my husband’s favorite) or chicken cutlets. The salads from the first course round out
- Dessert consists of pastries from the bakery – again, this
is my husband’s favorite no matter what we make at home! My daughters love to bake (where’d they get
that from?) so sometimes it’s homemade treats too, or sorbet, or sometimes my
guests bring dessert.
- I usually make the challah, but sometimes I get lazy and
buy it instead. Also, my family loves “water
challah” – eggless challah from the bakery.
- “Spreads”: my husband loves mayo on his challah, and many of
our guests have learned of this unfortunate trick. We also add chummus to the offerings. On a good week I’ve been known to make
jalapeno dip, olive dip, and… um, that’s all.
- Fish: People seem
flabbergasted that my gefilte fish is not Mrs. Adler’s in jelled broth. But I don’t quite make it from scratch
either, although when I lived in Israel I sure did that. I buy a frozen loaf, unwrap it, spray it with
a bit of olive oil cooking spray, sprinkle the top with lemon pepper, and bake
for like an hour. It’s so good, it
almost doesn’t last till dinner. Someone
keeps coming over to cut off slivers and before you know it, half is gone. Okay, so that someone is usually me.
- Soup: I never called it “matza ball soup” growing up. Firstly, I was raised calling matza balls “kneidlach”
(the Yiddish name) and sometimes we had them; sometimes we didn’t. The main attraction was the chicken soup,
loaded with veggies and completely heavenly (shout out to my amazing mother
here). However I’ve learned that your
average Jew calls it matza ball soup and the main attraction is by far the
actual matza ball. Everything else is “broth”
– a word I never used in my childhood.
less. You can halve this recipe
easily. Throw it all in a mixer or mix
by hand. Allow to rise. There’s a special mitzvah to separate a small
piece with a special blessing and prayer (beyond the scope of this post). Shape, braid, rise again, brush with egg
wash, sprinkle with sesame/poppy and bake for 45 min on 325. Hide from children till Shabbos. The challah, not yourself. Although
that sometimes works too.
- Potato kugel
dump everything in. Process just till
blended. Bake on 350 for forever. Okay, so more like 2 hours. Taste for a while until you’re sure it came
- Jalapeno dip
non-foodie. I buy the frozen garlic
cubes at Trader Joe’s that come from Israel.
Each cube = one clove.
the hardest part). Sautee in oil with
the garlic. Add tomato sauce and salt
and pepper and simmer for anywhere from 20 min to an hour. This keeps in the fridge for weeks, by the way (not that you’ll have any left over).
- Chicken Soup
easy removal – place in large pot
however many you want
- My favorite salad
sugar if not sweet enough or vinegar if too sweet.
like slivered almonds.
favorite Shabbos dishes? Do you go more
traditional or more with your personal favorites?