November 18, 2018

A Symbolic Menu for A Rosh Hashanah Meal [RECIPE]

So this is where it all comes together — all the thought, all the planning, the testing. And the tasting, the tasting, the tasting. (That’s the best part).

A simanim-inspired menu brings added challenges, but it also adds a level of meaning to your Rosh Hashanah meal. Simanim — literally it means signs or indicators — are meant to point the way to improved circumstances. 

For the past few years, I have used the menu as a Rosh Hashanah conversation starter with my kids during our cooking and prep time together. My guests, my kids, my guests’ kids — everybody loves identifying which simanim are on the table openly or “hidden” as an ingredient. Our discussion takes on a special yontif energy that only comes with Rosh Hashanah.

In the coming year, may all of your meals be cooked to perfection — nothing burns, nothing is soggy or falls apart. May it be a year of culinary delights and taste-bud adventures! And may you and your loved ones eat in good health, happiness, sweetness and peace.


Gefilte Fish Cakes With
Horseradish Sauce

1 loaf (22 ounces) frozen

       gefilte fish or 1 jar 

      (24 ounces), drained

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1 small red onion, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1  1/2 cups light mayonnaise

4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground 

black pepper

1 egg

1 cup coarsely crushed matzah

Canola oil for frying

Juice of 1 lemon

4 tablespoons prepared horseradish 


In a large bowl, combine gefilte fish (defrost if using frozen fish), bell pepper, onion, celery, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, dill, salt, pepper, egg and matzah; stir well to combine. Using slightly wet hands, scoop 1/4 cup of mixture and form into patties, repeating until all mixture has been used. Place on a sheet pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes before frying.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Fry patties in batches for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. (Can be kept warm in the oven at 250 degrees).

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 cup mayonnaise, lemon juice and horseradish; stir. 

For each person, serve 2 patties and garnish with a tablespoon of horseradish sauce.

Makes about 16 patties.


Brisket in Wine Sauce


1 (2  1/2-pound) beef brisket, thick-cut

1 tablespoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

3 medium onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

1  1/2 cups ketchup

1  1/2 cups dry red wine

1  1/2 cups water 


Preheat oven to 325 F. Rinse brisket. Place in roasting pan. Rub paprika, basil, salt and pepper into meat. Scatter onions and garlic over meat.

In a medium bowl, mix ketchup, wine and water. Pour over brisket. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil, tenting so that the foil does not touch the meat. Bake, covered, for 3 hours, or until a digital instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the brisket reads 190 F for well done.

Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before slicing diagonally, against the grain. Serve warm; pass pan juices in a gravy boat.

Makes 8 servings.


Honey Chicken


1 chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds,

cut into 8 pieces

3/4 cup honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse chicken, pat dry, and place in prepared pan. In a small bowl, mix together honey, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic powder and pepper and pour over chicken. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour until slightly browned.

Makes 8 servings.


Spicy Sauteed Leeks and Spinach


4 tablespoons olive oil

6 leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into 1/4-inch rounds, then halved

10 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

1/2 cup white wine

1 bag (20 ounces) baby spinach


Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add leaks, cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes. Add wine and spinach and increase heat to medium. Cover and cook 4 minutes more, tossing occasionally, until spinach is wilted.

Makes 10 servings.


Carrot Apple Mini Cupcakes With 

Nondairy Cream Cheese Icing



1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons margarine

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup grated carrot

3/4 cup grated apple 



1 package (8 ounces) nondairy cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar


Preheat oven to 375. 

For cupcakes: Line a mini cupcake baking pan with 10 cupcake liners or lightly grease with baking spray.

In a small bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine margarine and sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add carrot and apple and mix until moistened. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. 

Divide batter evenly to make 10 mini cupcakes. 

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes and then remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For icing: Whisk together nondairy cream cheese, honey and confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Frost the top of each completely cooled cupcake with a heaping tablespoon.

Makes 10 mini cupcakes.

Jamie Geller was “The Bride Who Knew Nothing” — until she found her niche as everybody’s favorite kosher cook next door. She is the author of the best-selling “Quick & Kosher” cookbook series, creator of the Joy of Kosher With Jamie Geller magazine and host of the popular Quick & Kosher cooking show online at and on-air on JLTV. Join Geller and the world’s largest kosher food community on to discover 5,000 free kosher recipes, inspiring menu ideas, how-to videos and more.