Monday, September 28, 2009

Simple and Delicious Erev Yom Kippur Meal

This year I made a traditional roast chicken dinner before Rosh Hashana, so I decided to go Sephardic for the eve of Yom Kippur, and ended by making a simple, but really homey and delicious meal, consisting of

--Orange Salad with Olives, from Claudia Rhoden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
--Spicy Lamb with Couscous and Preserved Lemon, from Gordon Hamersley's Bisto Cooking at Home
--Thin Apple Tart over Chopped Thyme (really!) on (frozen) Puff Pastry, with Walnuts and Honey that we brought back from Auvergne.

Rhoden is the Marcella Hazan of the Middle East, and Hamersley's book is just infallible. I developed the tart myself; the secret is to sprinkle chopped thyme under the apples (I got that excellent idea from Susan Herrmann Loomis's On Rue Tatin) and to cut the apples into thin (1/8-inch) slices with a mandoline.

The secret to the lamb shanks (and any other lamb shanks and most stews) is to prepare them the day before and to remove the fat and reheat in the oven before serving. This makes life simpler and the taste is improved by the night in the fridge.

Bobby Jay

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