Holiday Recipes From the AJT
Holiday FlavorsCommunity

Holiday Recipes From the AJT

In preparation for the holiday, our staff and writers share our favorite recipes of the season. From soup to nuts – on dessert, that is. Enjoy!

Sweet and Savory Brisket & Ladinsky Latkes
By Kaylene Ladinsky

Servings: 10
4 to 5 pounds beef brisket, first-cut
Kosher salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups brown sugar
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, stripped needles from stem and chopped into small pieces
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
2 cups red wine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large carrots, sliced into 3-inch chunks
3 celery stalks, sliced into 3-inch chunks
4 large red onions, halved
1 handful fresh, flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (optional)
2 tablespoons wine or water (for gravy)

Sweet and Savory Brisket:

Preheat oven to 325 F.

On a cutting board, mash the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt together with the flat side of a knife into a paste. Add rosemary and continue to mash until incorporated.

Put the garlic-rosemary paste in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil; stir to combine.

Season both sides of brisket with a fair amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Take brown sugar and cover the brisket with it.

Place in a large roasting pan or Dutch oven over medium-high flame and coat the pan with olive oil. Put the brisket in the roasting pan and sear to form a brown crust on both sides. Lay the vegetables around the brisket and pour the rosemary paste over the entire entrée.

Add the wine; toss in the parsley and bay leaves.


Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for about 3 to 4 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Remove the brisket to a cutting board and let it cool for 15 minutes. Scoop the vegetables out of the roasting pan and onto a platter; cover to keep warm.

Pour out some of the excess fat and put the roasting pan with the pan juices on the stove over medium-high heat. Boil and stir for 5 minutes until the sauce is reduced by half. Add the flour (if using) with the 2 tablespoons of wine or water and blend for gravy.

Slice the brisket across the muscle lines at a slight diagonal.

Ladinsky Latkes:

4 medium russet potatoes, peeled
2 medium onions
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 egg whites, beaten
1/4 cup chopped chives
Vegetable oil, for frying

Grate the potatoes and onions. You can use a box grater or food processor.

Put the dry potatoes and onions in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Fold in egg whites and chives to bind the mixture.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with 1/4-inch of oil and heat to medium.

Drop 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture at a time into the hot oil; gently flatten with a spatula so it fries up thin and crispy.

Fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side to desired texture.

Place on paper towels to drain the oil and season with salt while the potato pancakes are still hot. Repeat until mixture is gone.

Serve with applesauce.

Kaylene Ladinsky is managing publisher and editor.

Grandma’s Potato Kugel
Submitted by Roni Robbins


I remember watching my grandmother, Sarah Farkas, grating potatoes by hand in Rego Park, N.Y. My mom, Shirley Kayne, used a metal grinder, complete with wooden food tamper to push the chopped potatoes and onions through. I helped her when I lived at home in Hauppauge, N.Y., and more recently, Asheville, N.C.

The recipe is a bisl (bit) of this and a bisl of that, to look and taste. So keep that in mind if you try to duplicate. It’s sort of how I cook today, especially the Jewish recipes, just to carry on a method of food preparation that has been passed L’dor V’dor.

6 potatoes
3 onions, grated
4 eggs
1/2 cup matzah meal (It’s not only for Passover)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons Mother’s margarine

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix ingredients, except the margarine, which should be melted in a baking dish to coat the pan. After the margarine melts, pour the rest of the mixture into the dish.

Bake for about an hour until brown on top and bottom. A little carb-heavy for my tastes today, but certainly brings back holiday memories of extended family seated around long tables in my grandparent’s New York City home to enjoy Jewish cooking at its best.

Roni Robbins is associate editor.

Baked Fish with Lemon Cream Sauce
Submitted by Michal Bonell

Reprinted from RecipeTin Eats food blog

My mother always baked fish for Rosh Hashanah. According to tradition, having fish on the table is an omen for blessings in the year to come. Cooking recipes that remind me of my mother keeps her as part of the holiday for us.

Four 6-ounce fish fillets (1/2-inch thick, skinless and boneless)
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots (or yellow onion if you prefer)
Fresh parsley and lemon slices

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place fish in a baking dish, ensuring there’s room between pieces.

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.

Place butter, cream, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper in a microwave dish. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, then heat for another 30 seconds until melted and smooth.

Sprinkle fish with shallots and pour sauce over the top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until fish is fully cooked. Garnish with parsley and lemon, if desired.

Michal Bonell is senior account manager.

Brenda’s Fruity Trifle
By Brenda Gelfand

Angel food or pound cake (store bought is fine)
4 bananas, sliced
1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced, or pound of fresh raspberries
Package Oreo cookies, crushed
8-ounce package Heath toffee bits
3 large cartons of lite or fat-free Cool Whip
Reserve a handful of cookies or berries for topping, if desired.

In a trifle bowl, layer angel food cake, bananas, fruit, cookies, toffee, and whipped topping.

Repeat, ending with whipped topping. Sprinkle a little crushed cookies, toffee bits or fruit on top for decoration.

Brenda Gelfand is senior account manager.

Challah to Share
By Lilli Jennison

4 packages yeast
3 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
13 cups flour plus about a cup for kneading
6 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil plus some for greasing the bowl

1 egg
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, and 6 cups of flour. Mix well with hands. Add eggs and oil. Mix in remaining 7 cups of flour. Mix until dough begins to pull away from sides of the bowl.

Turn onto floured surface to begin kneading. Only use enough flour to keep dough manageable. Knead for about 10 minutes or until dough springs back when pressed with fingertip.

Grease bowl with oil. Place dough in bowl then flip so top is greased as well. Cover with damp towel and place in a warm spot to rise for 2 hours. Punch down 5 times every 20 minutes.

Separate dough. Divide into 4 to 6 sections to make loaves. For Rosh Hashanah, shape into round loaves. Makes 4 to 6 challahs.

Place shaped loaves on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Brush tops with beaten egg and sprinkle with toppings.

Bake each loaf for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire racks.

Lilli Jennison is creative and media designer.

Bubbe’s Brisket
Submitted by Jodi Danis

3 to 4 pounds boneless brisket of beef
4 cups beef stock/broth
2 cups dry or sweet red wine (I use half dry red and half Manischewitz grape)
1 large onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup (add more as cooking, if desired)
Salt, to taste (I only add if using low-sodium broth)

Trim meat of excess fat. Brown meat well on both sides under broiler in oven, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Place remaining ingredients in large, heavy stockpot. Stir until well combined. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.

Add browned meat to the pot. You may have to cut into two large pieces to fit. Cover and cook on low until meat is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning over from time to time.

When meat is tender, remove from pot and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Taste cooking liquid and adjust seasoning as needed. If desired, cook liquid uncovered until slightly reduced, but do not thicken with flour. Gravy should be thin, but well flavored.

Serve sliced brisket with gravy immediately or keep warm in a covered pan in oven on low temperature until ready to serve.

It’s best if made a day before and reheated.

Make ahead suggestion: Layer the sliced meat and gravy, including onions, in a large rectangular foil pan. Add 1 to 2 cans each of drained (or fresh) sliced carrots and mushrooms, and cover with heavy-duty foil. Refrigerate overnight and heat oven to 375 F about one hour before serving. Remove foil halfway through reheating to ensure brisket heats through fully.
Jodi Danis is executive assistant.

Submitted by Marcia Caller Jaffe

My high holidays would not be complete without my sister Susan’s tzimmes recipe, which probably came out of the hometown newspaper 50 years ago. She also doctors it up with flanken meat and apricots or pears.

Servings: 8 to 10
2 pounds carrots, cleaned, sliced one-half-inch thick
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced into chunks
12 ounces dried pitted prunes
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups water

Heat oven to 350 F. In a 4-quart casserole, combine all ingredients. Cover and bake one hour. Uncover and continue baking another hour at 320 F, stirring occasionally, until potatoes and carrots are tender and water has evaporated.

Marcia Caller Jaffe is a contributer.

Jaben’s Kugel
By Jan Jaben-Eilon

This is good at any time of the year, but because it includes apples, I almost always make it for Rosh Hashanah.

One 12-ounce or 16-ounce package of wide noodles
4 apples, peeled and sliced small
2 medium sized onions, browned in oil
3 eggs, separated
Cinnamon, sugar and salt to taste
Raisins (optional)

Heat oven to 350 F. Cook noodles according to package directions. Stir in onions and some of the oil. Add egg yolks, slightly beaten, apples, salt, sugar and cinnamon (and raisins).

Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.

Bake for about 45 minutes. Can be frozen ahead of time.

Jan Jaben-Eilon is a contributer.

Flora’s Pumpkin Soup
By Flora Rosefsky

An easy recipe for Sukkot or Thanksgiving.

Recipe originally from daughter Ellen’s mother-in-law, Marion Cohen, of Port Washington, N.Y.

Servings: 10 cups
One 29-ounce can Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin Organic puree or two 15-ounce cans of Libby’s Pumpkin Organic, or other brands. (Not the same as pumpkin pie filling)
3 large cans chicken broth or 1 box of Empire Kosher organic chicken broth, 32 ounces. I used 48 ounces of chicken broth.
4 tablespoons margarine
2 white onions, finely diced. I used two small boxes.
2 large carrots, sliced
4 ribs celery, diced
3 to 4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Curry powder, to taste. I used 1 tablespoon.

Spray bottom of large pot with cooking spray. Melt margarine. Saute onion until golden brown, along with sliced carrots and diced celery. Make sure the vegetables don’t stick to bottom or turn too brown. Can add more margarine if needed.

Keep stove top temperature on low heat. Blend in flour. Add pumpkin puree. Raise heat. Gradually add chicken broth and seasoning. Bring to boil uncovered. Stir every so often so the mixture doesn’t stick.

Cover and simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes Pour the soup a little at a time into a blender, so it doesn’t splatter or spill over when you turn on the machine. Start the blender for a few seconds on a slow speed, and then puree, which is faster.

Add curry and stir into the pureed soup.

From the blender, pour into a container with a lid. Soup is good hot or cold and freezes well.

The soup can also be served in scooped out small pumpkins or mugs. I put a fresh sprig of dill on each serving. You can also use parsley if you prefer. Enjoy!

Flora Rosefsky is a contributer.

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