The excitement of back-to-school and the upcoming holidays pumps our adrenaline into high gear. Fresh starts have us looking forward to a promising year. Make your new year’s resolution to plan and organize ahead of time. Eliminate last-minute stress, and instead use that energy to focus on the excitement and joy of the holidays spent with family and friends.
This tablescape has been formed in collaboration with the following companies/businesses:
Set Your Table: Flatware, chinaware, and glasses
Flair.Event.Rentals: Vases and additional glasses
Autumn creation: Flowers
Allset Party Rentals: Chairs
Epstein’s Meat: Prime Rib
Click on highlighted words for direct links to businesses.
This tablescape I have created is stunning yet simple, while maintaining traditional vibes.
The combination of colors is classy and well-off.
This tablescape was created to inspire the wonderful hostess in you.
This menu is full of tradition with a modern-chic twist.
Rosh Hashanah Menu
Asian inspired red snapper
Celeriac and leek soup
Miso Crusted Prime Rib in Au Jus
Potato and parsnip mash
Pan seared carrots
Rustic apple tarts with whisky cinnamon ice cream
Asian Inspired Whole Red Snapper
When deciding on a type of fish, I decided to go with red snapper, because its slightly red skin brings lots of personality to a festive table.
Cooking a whole fish comes across as well more daunting than it really is. Try it; surprise yourself and see how easy it is.
1 whole red snapper*, gutted (cavity cleaned), fins and scaled removed
Freshly cracked pepper
3 lemon slices
Cilantro, flat leaf parsley, or green onions, for garnish
1 large leek, divided
¼ cup lemongrass, trimmed, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon ginger, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1/2 cup semi dry white wine
Soy Ginger Sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Place a large piece of extra wide foil over a rimmed baking sheet; it should overhang on both sides, Set aside.
Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry with absorbent paper towels. Transfer fish to foil lined sheet pan. Season the fish with salt and freshly cracked pepper on all
sides, and inside the cavity as well. Using a sharp paring knife, make 3 deep diagonal incisions across the body of the fish. Set aside.
Rinse and trim the leek. Discard the tough dark green parts; use only the light green and white parts of the leek. Cut leek in half, rinse under cold running water to get rid of all dirt and sand. Slice leek into medium size slices, and set aside.
Using a mortar and pestle, break down the aromatics- lemongrass, garlic, and ginger- until mixture represents a rough paste.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat. Add aromatic paste to pan and allow mixture to infuse oil, about 2 minutes. Add sliced leek and sauté until leeks have slightly wilted and develop color, about 4-5 minutes.
Fill the cavity of the fish with leek filling. Stuff the incisions with lemon slices. pour white wine over, and inside the cavity of the fish. Cut a second large piece of extra wide, heavy-duty foil and place over the fish. Scrunch top and bottom pieces of foil together, “en papillote” style, to create a parcel. Cooking the fish this way allows the fish to steam, developing delicate, clean flavors.
Bake fish in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
The leek filling gives the fish vibrant flavors. As it cooks, the flavors transfer to the fish, and the filling loses its original vibrant color and flavor. To bring it back to life, make an additional leek filling and replace the wilted one so everyone can enjoy the filling, too.
In a small bowl or container, mix all sauce ingredients together, and shake well. Allow sauce to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
When the fish is baked through, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Open the parcel. Carefully slide the fish on to a serving platter. Garnish with cilantro, parsley or scallions. Serve soy ginger sauce alongside the fish.
> If whole Red Snapper is not available where you are, feel free to swap for whole Bronzino.
TIP: Prep the fish raw a day in advance, and refrigerate overnight. Bake fish fresh the day of serving.
Celeriac and Leek Soup
Velvety, hearty, with a sophisticated flair about it, this soup has everyone falling in love with the combination of flavors. I love to garnish it with simply so it maintains its beautiful sequence of flavors.
Yields 16 servings
2 leeks, trimmed, cleaned and roughly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped into 1” cubes
A handful of lemon zest strips
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2-4 cups water, as necessary
A handful of flat-leaf parsley stalks
2 bay leaves
¼ cup freshly grated horseradish
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
Juice of a lemon, optional
In an 8-quart stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat. Add leek and garlic and sauté for 5-6 minutes, until leek develops some color and has wilted considerably. Add 2 tablespoons of water and celeriac to the pot and sweat vegetables for 3-5 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Add a splash more water if the vegetables stick to the pan.
Add lemon zest, stock, and remaining cups of water. Tie the reserved parsley stalks and bay leaf together with a piece of string and add to the soup. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook with the lid on for an hour.
Five minutes before the soup is ﬁnished, remove the herbs and lemon zest. Stir in the grated horseradish and mustard. Simmer for the remaining 5 minutes. Allow soup to cool slightly (to avoid burning yourself). Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to a puree. Adjust the consistency of the soup with water based on the texture of your preference. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon juice just before serving. Garnish with oil, freshly cracked pepper and smoked sea salt.
TIP: Make and freeze soup in advance. Add the lemon juice and garnish just before serving.
The secret to creating a fabulous entrée is to choose one component to really stand out in flavor and personality, and have the rest complement that one dish. In this case, the Miso Crusted Prime Rib in au Jus is the prize. All other entrée components serve to complement that dish.
Miso Crusted Prime Rib in Au Jus
A perfectly cooked prime rib roast finished with a miso crust for a buttery-mouth feel, and a handful of dried mushrooms for a rich depth of flavor.
For the rib:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white miso paste*
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons thyme, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons black pepper, coarsely ground
1 -4-pound Prime Rib roast with bone and cap on
1-ounce dried porcini/chanterelle mushrooms, chopped into small bits
For the Au Jus:
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce *fish free)
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Prime Rib
In a small bowl, mix the mustard, miso, oil, thyme, garlic and pepper; set aside. Pat the meat dry using paper towels; discard paper towels immediately. Using a pastry brush, coat the meat on all sides. Set aside extra rub for additional basting. Cover meat tightly using plastic wrap. Allow meat to marinate in the fridge at least three hours, if possible overnight. The longer the meat marinates, the more flavor the meat absorbs.
Remove the meat from the fridge a half hour before baking to give the meat time to come to room temperature. Press the dried mushrooms onto roast.
Place the beef in an oven safe roasting dish or a sheet pan with a wired rack inserted. Place the meat bones side down, with the fat cap on the top. Insert a meat thermometer into the middle of the thickest part. Roast in a preheated 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 275°F and continue roasting until the temperature reaches the desired doneness (140°F for medium rare, about 2 hours). Click here to find thermometer guide.
TIP: Leave leeway for “carry over cooking.” Pull the meat out 5 degrees earlier than desired results.
Remove the roast from the oven and set aside to rest, covered, for 20 minutes, to give the juices time to redistribute before slicing.
For the Au Jus
While the meat is resting, drain all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the pan, place the pan over medium heat, add the red wine, deglaze the pan, add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for 5 minutes before seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
* White miso is milder in taste and less salty because it’s fermented for a shorter period of time. Choose a low sodium miso paste.
Potato Parsnip Mash
The mild, but delicately sweet flavor paired with creamy Yukon potatoes comes together as a light whipped mash. It complements flavorful cuts of meat, and has everyone relishing in the flavors.
Yields 10 servings
1 lb. parsnip (about 4 medium), peeled
1 lb. russet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled
3 lb. Yukon potatoes (about 9 medium), peeled
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper
Cut peeled potatoes and parsnip into 1-inch pieces and set aside. Fill a large pot with water and add a large pinch of kosher salt. Add diced potatoes and parsnip. Bring water to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the vegetables are fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small pot, gently heat the soy milk and oil over low heat. When the vegetables are done, drain them well. Allow potatoes and parsnip to steam off any excess liquid. While the potatoes and parsnips are still warm, press them through a food mill or potato masher. Add the warm milk a little at a time and beat with a wooden spoon or whisk until the potatoes are fluffy. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish each portion with freshly cracked pepper.
Pan Seared Carrots
This recipe is quick, easy and super flavorful. Let’s be honest, tradition would hate me if I left it behind!
30 baby carrots, mini, whole
¼ cup mild olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
3 or 4 smashed garlic cloves
A few sprigs rosemary or thyme, optional
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add a large pinch of salt. Peel the carrots and trim them down. Leave about an inch of the green top. When the water has come to a rolling boil add carrots; cook about 5 minutes until cooked about 75% through. Test for doneness by using a paring knife. Carrots should give a bit when tested. Transfer to a towel-lined sheet pan and pat dry.
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat in a stainless-steel or cast-iron skillet. Add 1 clove garlic and/or a few sprigs of herbs and infuse the oil until the clove turns slightly golden and herbs release their smell. Remove garlic and/or herbs and discard. Add carrots about 10 at a time, and allow them to sear, developing color and flavor, about 3 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Transfer seared carrots to a serving dish and continue with remaining carrots.
TIP: To prep carrots ahead of time, par boil them according to cooking instructions. Right before serving, pan sear them. If par boiling in advance, be sure to take carrots out from refrigerator 20 minutes in advance to bring to room temperature.
Dessert’s purpose is to clean your palate, and leave a lasting impression of the meal as a whole.
Rustic Apple Tarts with Whisky Cinnamon Ice Cream
Rustic apple tarts are quick and easy assembled, with a strong fall calling. And for ice cream, it makes all things taste better.
Rustic Apple Tarts
Puff pastry sheets
3 large Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted margarine
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Put a baking tray in the oven to heat up. Roll out pastry dough and cut 5x 3.5” squares. Transfer pastry squares to a paper lined sheet pan, leaving room between them to grow. Mark a 1.5 cm border around the edge of the pastry squares with the tip of a sharp knife and prick inside the border lightly with the tines of a fork. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate while preparing apples.
Peel, halve and core apples. Slice to a medium thickness. Toss in the lemon juice, zest and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Arrange the apples on the pastry squares in an overlapping half-moon pattern of your choice; they don't have to be too perfect it gives them a rustic edge. Brush the apples and pastry edge with melted margarine. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoons sugar over the apples. apples. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, keeping an eye on any oven hot spots so that your pastry cooks evenly around the edges. Rest for a few minutes before serving.
Whiskey Cinnamon Ice Cream
16 oz container whip topping
1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Using the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the whip topping to a soft peak. Add the instant vanilla pudding and salt and beat together until thick and well combined. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cinnamon and whiskey, and lightly mix until well incorporated. Do not overbeat or the air will deflate. Pour into a freezer-ready container. Cover and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
Top each tart with a scoop of whisky cinnamon ice cream.
The woman behind-the-scenes, Shifra. My fast, efficient, editor, you keep me on my toes. This blog wouldn't happen without you, especially this time! THANK YOU, your work is appreciated.