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Start the New Year with Sparkle

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While New Year’s is not a Jewish holiday, I am always happy to raise a glass and join friends and loved ones in a toast. The collective hope for good health, happiness, peace and prosperity is always welcome and I do not ever hesitate to join in. This past year, especially, has been a trying one for many people throughout the world and I, for one, am happy to see the secular year of 2010 pass.

I love celebratory gatherings and do not need my arm twisted to come up with reasons to make a festive meal. The double Whammy of Shabbat and New Year’s is certainly a reason for a fun and delicious meal and I am all in.

Sangria Sparkler

It is citrus season and the fresh and dazzling taste of mixed citrus fruits is like a bright sunny day in winter. Yet another reason to celebrate! I use Prosecco for this recipe-you can also use champagne. Choose a sparkling wine that is dry and not too sweet or the sparkler will be cloying.

Serves 6-8

1 750 ml. bottle of Prosecco or champagne

1 cup fresh squeezed tangerine juice

¼ cup sugar or more to taste

2 cups peeled and sliced citrus fruits (tangerines, blood oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit)

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

Ice

1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a decorative pitcher. L’Chaim!

Horseradish Crusted Standing Beef Roast

Serves 6-8

Something wonderful happens to horseradish when it is cooked. The pungent root vegetable so tearfully familiar during Pesach becomes sweet and savory once cooked and slathered all over gorgeous beef. The king of all meat cuts is a perfect celebratory gorgeous hunk of meat. It looks intimidating but is actually really easy and can be done ahead of time and kept warm.

1 4-rib roast (about 9 pounds), cut from the small end or first cut with the chine bone cut off (ask your butcher to tie the bones on to the roast)

2 onions, coarsely chopped

2 red peppers, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

3 plum tomatoes cut in half

4 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper

6 tablespoons kosher salt

1 cup prepared white horseradish

2 bulbs of garlic, roasted and the soft garlic squeezed out

1 750 ml bottle dry red wine (I prefer Cabernet Sauvignon)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

  1. Lay the rib roast, bone side down, in a large heavy duty roasting pan. Scatter the vegetables around the roast. These will be the base for wine sauce later.
  2. Season the roast with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Mix the horseradish and roasted garlic together.
  3. Generously smear the mixture over the rib roast. Place the prepared roast in the pre-heated oven and roast for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature of the oven to 325 and roast for an additional 60 minutes.
  4. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast and when the temperature registers 115 (for rare-medium rare) remove the roast. Loosely tent the meat with foil and allow torest for 20 minutes. This will allow the final temperature to be around 125-130. The internal temperature will continue to rise in a process called carry-over cooking.
  5. Remove the meat and place the roasting pan over a burner at medium heat. Add the wine and gently scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking until the wine has reduced by ½. Strain out the vegetables and serve with wine sauce with the roast.
  6. Remove the bones and slice the meat. Serve on a platter with wine sauce and sautéed mushrooms if desired.
  7. To hold the meat for Shabbat, once the meat has reached the desired temperature, turn off the oven and remove the meat as in step 4. After the meat has rested and any carry over cooking is finished, return the meat back to the warm oven, allowing the door to stand slightly open and the meat will stay warm for another 30 minutes or more.

Fingerling Potato and Caramelized onion Hash

I love this ooey-gooey potato concoction and serve it all through the winter months.

This easy do-ahead dish is the perfect foil to the bold flavor of the beef roast and can be made ahead of time and kept warm

Serves 6-8

3 pounds fingerling potatoes, sliced into to ¼ inch thick coins

Olive oil

2 medium red onions, thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large sprig fresh thyme

Several parsley stems

1 sprig of rosemary

½ cup chicken stock

½ cup dry white wine

Salt and freshly cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 350

  1. Toss the potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper and place them in a single layer in a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast the potatoes until they are cooked completely and lightly browned (about 12-15 minutes)
  2. Place a large sauté pan lightly coated with olive oil over medium high heat. Add the sliced red onions and sauté them until they are very dark brown but still holding their shape (about 5 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium; add the potatoes and remaining ingredients.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid is absorbed. Remove the herbs and adjust seasoning. Keep the potatoes warm in a low oven.  

Chocolate Pound Cake

This simple and easy pound cake does not suffer for being pareve. Be sure to use your best and freshest ingredients. I only use Valrhona cocoa powder. It is simply the best and can easily be found online.

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup best quality cocoa powder (I only use Valrhona)

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I only use Callebaut 71%), melted

3 eggs

½ cup brewed coffee

1 ½ cups packed brown sugar

½ cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Lightly grease a loaf pan with canola oil and then dust it with coca powder.

1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside

2. Mix the chocolate, eggs, coffee, brown sugar and vanilla together in a small mixing bowl.

3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix or the cake will be tough. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick can be inserted and will have moist crumbs on it.

4. Place the cake pan on a cooling rack and allow tocool for 1 hour. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and unmold onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar.

Laura Frankel is an Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and author of numerous kosher cookbooks including Jewish Cooking for All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes. To purchase her books, click here. For more articles by Laura, click here.
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