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Day of Atonement

October 01, 1987|JUDY ZEIDLER | Zeidler is a free-lance writer who teaches Jewish and other ethnic cookery. and

Yom Kippur is observed this Saturday. On this Day of Atonement, Jews customarily fast from sundown the night before to sundown of the day observed. The entire day is spent in prayer, so it is both practical and necessary to plan a dinner to break the fast that can be brought to the table quickly.

The hearty vegetable soup may be served hot or cold. Braided loaves of hallah are subtly scented with fresh herbs. The chicken breasts may be prepared a day in advance and are served cold on a bright bed of a Ginger-Tomato Coulis (so delicious you'll want to serve it often with other foods). The plate is garnished with a medley of cauliflower and broccoli florets arranged in a circle. Dry white wine goes nicely with this menu.

For dessert, a light and refreshing mango sherbet is ready to serve. Accompanying it is a Glazed Honey Cake along with Star Silhouette Cookies. The star shape is symbolic of the tradition that a fast does not end "until the stars come out." Tea served with lemon and honey will help restore the energy lost during the daylong fast.

YOM KIPPUR BREAK-THE-FAST BUFFET FOR 8

\o7 Braided Herb Loaves

Leek - Parsnip Soup

Cold Poached Chicken Breasts With Ginger-Tomato Coulis and Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets

Glazed Honey Cake

Star Silhouette Cookies

Mango Sherbet with lime slices

Tea with lemon and honey

Suggested beverage: dry white wine

BRAIDED HERB LOAVES

1 package dry yeast

1 1/2 cups water (110 to 115 degrees)

Dash sugar

1/4 cup melted unsalted margarine

3 eggs

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons minced parsley

2 tablespoons snipped dill

2 tablespoons minced basil

2 tablespoons minced green onions

Dash saffron

5 to 6 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Oil

Cornmeal

1 tablespoon celery seeds

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water with sugar.

In large mixing bowl, combine margarine, 2 eggs, salt, parsley, dill, basil, green onions and saffron. Mix well. Add remaining 1 cup water and yeast mixture. Blend well. Add flour with pepper, 1 cup at a time, blending after each addition, until dough is thick enough to work by hand.

Spoon dough onto floured board and knead 4 to 5 minutes, adding flour to make smooth and elastic dough.

Place in oiled bowl and oil top of dough. Cover with towel and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and shape into 1 large or 3 small loaves. Place in 1 lightly oiled 9x5-inch loaf pan or 3 lightly oiled 7x3-inch loaf pans that have been generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover with towel and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Brush loaves with remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with celery seeds. Bake at 375 degrees 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Loosen sides of loaves with metal spatula. Transfer loaves to racks and cool. Makes 1 (9x5-inch) loaf or 3 (7x3-inch) loaves.

LEEK-PARSNIP SOUP

1/4 cup margarine

4 leeks, white part only

8 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced

1 potato, peeled and thinly sliced

3 cups chicken broth, about

Salt, pepper

Chopped cilantro or parsley

Finely diced sweet red pepper

Heat margarine in large saucepan and saute leeks until tender. Add parsnips and potato. Saute until tender, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. Add broth and simmer until vegetables are tender.

In 1 or 2 batches, puree in food processor or blender. Return puree to pot. Add additional chicken broth if puree is too thick. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot or cold. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and sweet red pepper. Makes 8 servings.

COLD POACHED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH GINGER-TOMATO COULIS

1 large onion, diced

4 stalks celery, thickly sliced

4 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced

1 small parsnip, peeled and thickly sliced

4 sprigs parsley

1 bay leaf

12 whole peppercorns

8 cups chicken stock or broth

Salt, pepper

4 whole chicken breasts, skinned and boned

Ginger-Tomato Coulis

Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets

8 sprigs watercress

In large saucepan, combine onion, celery, carrots, parsnip, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns and stock. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add chicken breasts and poach 15 minutes or until tender. Transfer poached chicken breasts to shallow bowl. Cover with chicken broth until ready to use.

Spoon Ginger-Tomato Coulis on plates. Slice each cold chicken breast on angle into thin slices. With metal spatula, transfer sliced chicken breast to center of plate on top of Ginger-Tomato Coulis. Arrange ring of chilled Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets around coulis. Garnish each plate with 1 sprig watercress. Makes 8 servings.

Ginger-Tomato Coulis

3 large tomatoes, peeled and seeded

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon minced chives

Salt, pepper

In food processor or blender, pulse tomatoes, ginger, garlic and vinegar. Add olive oil in thin stream. Mix in chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 2 cups.

Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets

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