Shabbos for the novice & Michelin style menus

When I am telling friends on Fridays I have to go home to prepare for Shabbos or explain to business associates that I don’t sit in on conference calls, I get many to witness many facial expressions and answer many questions. Most people who don’t celebrate Shabbos thinks it too hard, outdated or maybe the best 25 hours of the week to getaway. I definitely prefer the latter explanation, as Shabbos is a time of family, friends, celebrations and definitely the use of a kitchen and dining room.

Learn Shabbos in Just Three Minutes A Day by Rabbi Daniel Braude is one of the easiest reads. Have a question about chickens, pickling or raw food, the answers are simple and direct. It has a great index. It is the perfect gift for an engaged couple or someone learning traditional Jewish law.

An Upscale Shabbos Menu

It’s funny, but the two most requested recipes are for gefilte fish and brisket, especially from my non-Jewish followers. Here is an updated, upscale version of each.

Gefilte Quenelles with Braised Leeks and Lemon Zest. Adapted From The Covenant Kitchen by Jeff and Jodie Morgan

2 pounds salmon fillets, skinned, cut into 1-to 2-inch cubes
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup chopped onion, plus 1 onion, sliced
2 eggs
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 carrots, cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced into ¼-inch-thick crescents
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 bottle (750 ml) or 3 cups dry white wine
6 cups water
1 bay leaf
6 to 12 leeks (white part only), well washed (Allow 1 leek per individual portion.)
2 tablespoons finely chopped lemon zest
Freshly ground pepper


Place the fish, half the chopped garlic, the ginger, chopped onion, eggs, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a food processor. In pulse mode, finely chop (but do not puree). Transfer the fish mixture to a large nonreactive bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. (If the fish is not cold enough, it will not hold its shape when you mold it into balls. You can speed up the cooling process by putting the fish in the freezer. But be careful not to let it freeze.)

While the fish is chilling, in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and remaining chopped garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and stir to coat with the oil. Add the fennel and stir until it is coated as well. Continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Stir in the thyme, coriander, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add the wine, water, and bay leaf. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let the broth cool slightly, about 15 min¬utes. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve the vegetables from the broth in a covered container and refrigerate. Divide the strained broth between 2 large pots or deep-sided skillets.

Roll the chilled fish mixture into 10 to 12 balls and arrange them on a flat surface covered with wax paper. (If necessary, wet your hands occasionally with cold water to prevent sticking.) Bring the broth in the pots to a boil over high heat. Use a large spoon to gently lay the quenelles into the broth, dividing them between the 2 pots so that they have room to cook without touching each other. Reduce the heat to medium and if the quenelles are not completely submerged, spoon a little broth over the tops. Cover and braise (which means simply to cook in any liquid — in this case the vegetable broth) for 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat, uncover the pots, and let the quenelles cool slightly in the broth for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the fish and the broth together to a large covered container and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.

A few hours prior to serving the fish, prepare the leeks. Fill a large deep-sided skillet or pan with about ½ inch water and bring to a boil. Lay the leeks in the pan, cover, and cook until they are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the leeks from the liquid and let cool for 10 or 15 minutes. Cover and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To serve, halve each leek lengthwise. On individual plates, lay 2 leek halves in an “A” or “teepee” shape, touching at the top but leaving a wide space at the bottom. Set 1 quenelle in between the leeks for a first course; 2 quenelles for a main course. Place a spoonful or two of the reserved broth vegetables around the sides of the fish. Garnish the quenelles with additional juice from the fish broth, the lemon zest, and pepper to taste.

Pair with a refreshing, chilled white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Roussane, Chenin Blanc, or Chardonnay. Fruity Riesling or Gewürztraminer would be good too.

Rolled Brisket with Spinach Stuffing, Adapted From The Bais Yaakov Cookbook

1 (5 poundish) brisket
1 cup duck sauce, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub it on all sides of the brisket. Place in high-sided dish or tray and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the onions until softened and just turning brown, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the spinach and cook until dry, about 10 more minutes.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Mix bread crumbs into spinach mixture until all combined and thick. Spread over roast.
7. Roll roast very tightly, beginning from the short end. Place seam side down in baking dish.
8. Pour duck sauce over meat.
9. Cover and bake for 3 hours.
10. Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing.

Individual Chocolate Expresso S’mores Tarts With Blackberry Granita from Cindy’s Corners

I serve this presentation on rectangular plates and the ganache in these mini expresso mugs, garnished with fresh mint.

You can use your own s’mores recipe or use mine version, adapted from several I tried before, with my twist.

½ cup of butter, room temperature or use Earth Balance to make it pareve
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp ground expresso beans
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 ½ cup chocolate chips melted
1 cups marshmallow fluff (not melted marshmallows)
1 bag mini marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, expresso beans, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour melted chocolate over dough. Place in the fridge until the melted chocolate becomes hard enough to be able spread the fluff on top of it in an even layer without them mixing together. Sprinkle with a few handfuls of mini marshmallows. Crumble the remaining dough in pebble-size pieces on top of the marshmallows.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the marshmallows look golden.
Garnish with chocolate covered expresso beans

Serve granita on side. Recipe next week.


Oct 28 Long Island Kosher Wine Expo
Nov 13-14 KAYCO and Kosherfest 2018 celebrate 30 years of distributing and promoting kosher foods; Meadowlands Expo Center, Secaucus, NJ

Cindy Grosz can be reached at

About the Author
Cindy Grosz is an accomplished activist for pro-Israel and Jewish interests. She writes about “Everything Jewish” and has appeared in multiple media outlets. She is a Contributor on The Jersey Joe Radio Show on WOR710AM, syndicated through iHeartRadio. Grosz is the author of Rubber Room Romance, Everything You Need to Know and Ask About the Education System. She can be reached at
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