A menu for Rosh Hashanah

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(Keri White)

By Keri White

Rosh Hashanah this year will be different. But the holiday will still arrive, and people will celebrate in person within their bubbles and via Zoom or other virtual methods. Regardless of how we approach it, a meal will undoubtedly be served, so I offer a menu that feeds a smaller-than-normal group, can be easily upsized if necessary and lends itself to leftovers.


Marry Me Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

So named because it has the potential to elicit a proposal from any prospective partner, this chicken is simple and simply delicious. It was shared with me by a chef in New England years ago, and I came across the recipe while searching for chicken dishes to make for Rosh Hashanah this year.

1 whole roasting chicken (4-6 pounds)
½ cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3 whole lemons cut in quarters
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cloves garlic
Fresh herbs, for roasting and garnish (4 sprigs rosemary, 4 sprigs sage, 8 sprigs thyme and 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley)

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

“Freshen” the chicken: Remove the giblets from the chicken; wash it inside and out with cold water, then let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander for two minutes.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place it breast side down in a roasting pan fitted with a rack, and pour the lemon juice all over the chicken, both inside and out.

Sprinkle the chicken all over with salt and pepper inside and out, rubbing the seasonings into the chicken.

Place the garlic, half the fresh herbs and two of the chopped lemons inside the chicken cavity. (Reserve the remaining herbs and lemon for garnish).

Put the chicken in the oven, lower the temperature to 350 degrees and roast the chicken, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remove the roasting pan from the oven, turn the chicken breast side up, and roast for 60-75 minutes, depending on size of the bird. The internal temperature at the thickest part of thigh or breast should read 180 degrees when done.

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes under foil before carving.

And here’s the secret: Pour the juices from the roasting pan on top of the sliced chicken — this is the “marry me” trick. Garnish it with the remaining fresh lemon and fresh herbs, and serve to shock and awe.

Garlicky kale

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ teaspoon chili flakes
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound kale, washed and chopped (thick stems removed)
½-¾ cup chicken or vegetable stock, or water

Heat the oil in a large skillet; add the garlic, chili flakes and salt, stirring until fragrant.

Add the kale and ½ cup stock. Turn the kale with tongs until it is coated with the oil and broth. It will begin to turn bright green and wilt. Continue turning it over to cook. If more liquid is needed, add a little more stock or water.

Cook for about 10 minutes until the kale is wilted but retains a bit of crispness.

Pecan pie

Serves 2

For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup Crisco
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup honey
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans, plus ⅓ cup pecan halves to place on top of pie

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Make the crust: In a large bowl, cut the butter/margarine and Crisco into the flour with a pastry cutter or two butter knives. When it forms a coarse meal, stir in the iced water a tablespoon at a time, stirring until dough forms.

Knead the dough briefly to completely blend it, roll into a ball and then flatten it into a disc. Wrap it and refrigerate for 15 minutes (or more).

Roll the dough on a floured board or pastry cloth with a floured rolling pin into a circle a few inches larger than a 9-inch pie plate. The dough should not be more than ¼-inch thick.

Fit the bottom crust into a pie pan and make the filling.

Mix all the filling ingredients except for ⅓ cup of pecan halves in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into a pie shell, top with the pecan halves and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake another 30-40 minutes until the filling is becoming firm.

Cool the pie completely before slicing to prevent the filling from running.

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