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Tradition And The Busy Cook

September 09, 1998|JUDY ZEIDLER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Festive family meals are an important part of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and most cooks spend hours in the kitchen preparing their family's dinner. But if you're looking for something new, different and quick to serve, here's a three-course menu that takes less than an hour to prepare.

The traditional foods--apples dipped in honey and a round challah--symbolize a sweet and well-rounded new year. Fish, the focal point of this menu, symbolizes fertility and immortality. Tea is also served with honey to ensure success and happiness in the coming year.

Although this menu is for four, it is easily doubled for eight.

* Zeidler is the author of "Master Chefs Cook Kosher" (Chronicle Books) and the soon-to-be-published "30 Minute Kosher Cook."

Menu

Quick Caesar Salad

Rosh Hashanah Fish Stew

Honey-Glazed Apple Slices With Vanilla Ice Cream

Hot Tea with Honey

QUICK CAESAR SALAD

Assorted salad greens, such as romaine, radicchio, red leaf or iceberg

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 anchovies, chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

Pepper

Salt

Toss salad greens to combine in large bowl. Add Parmesan, anchovies, olive oil and pepper to taste, then toss to combine. Taste and add salt if needed.

4 servings. Each serving:

207 calories; 340 mg sodium; 8 mg cholesterol; 20 grams fat; 2 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 0.59 gram fiber.

ROSH HASHANAH FISH STEW (30 MINUTES OR LESS)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped fennel

5 small tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup cold water

1/4 cup minced parsley

1 tablespoon sugar or to taste

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds fish, such as cod, bass, halibut and red snapper fillets, cut into 1-inch dice

Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, celery and fennel, and saute until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, wine, water, parsley, sugar, fennel seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil and cook 10 to 15 minutes. Add fish, and cook, covered, until fish is cooked through but still firm, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately in heated shallow soup bowls.

4 servings. Each serving:

358 calories; 265 mg sodium; 67 mg cholesterol; 12 grams fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 36 grams protein; 2.07 grams fiber.

HONEY-GLAZED APPLE SLICES

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup orange marmalade

1/2 cup orange juice

3 large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1 pint vanilla ice cream

Cook sugar, honey, orange marmalade and juice in large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring until sugar and marmalade have dissolved, about 5 minutes. Bring syrup to boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer just until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes.

Add apples to syrup and toss to coat. Simmer, covered, until apples are soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to glass bowl. Serve warm over ice cream.

4 servings. Each serving:

349 calories; 59 mg sodium; 31 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 71 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.55 gram fiber.

Ingredients

SHOPPING LIST

1 round challah

Assorted salad greens

1 bunch parsley

Fennel

5 small tomatoes

2 pounds fish

3 large apples

STAPLES

1 (2-ounce) can anchovies

Celery

Parmesan cheese

Fennel seeds

Garlic

Honey (to dip challah and for honey glaze)

Vanilla ice cream

Orange marmalade

Olive oil

Onions

Orange juice

Pepper

Salt

Tomato paste

Red wine vinegar

Dry red wine

Count Down

30 minutes before: Chop garlic, onions, celery and fennel in food processor. Dice tomatoes.

25 minutes before: Begin sauteing chopped vegetables for stew.

20 minutes before: Add tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, wine, water, parsley, fennel seeds, salt and pepper to stew.

18 minutes before: Make honey glaze.

14 minutes before: Add apples to glaze and simmer.

7 minutes before: Make Caesar salad.

5 minutes before: Add fish to stew.

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Cook's Tips

Use a mandoline or food processor to dice the vegetables to save time. The food processor also makes it easy to slice the apples.

Prewashed salad greens are sold by the pound in the produce section of most markets, and are ready to be dressed and served.

If you use a wide pan for the fish as well as the apples, each will cook more quickly.

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