12-year old Olya learned the meaning and significance of Jewish traditional food on a Jewish Agency FSU Summer Camp. "When I came here, I thought that everything about being Jewish is just about the past," said Olya. "I never knew my grandfather because he passed away before I was born. I only knew that he didn’t eat certain foods, and that he celebrated the New Year in the fall, because he was Jewish.
"I understood that my grandfather acted the way he did not because he was strange but because he and I are not only individuals but a part of an old, interesting culture. I like the idea of special food and I’m going to explore all Jewish traditional dishes," added Olya.
Rachel and Judy of the Netivot-Sderot - Philadelphia Partnership also share fish recipes from their heritage for a prosperous new year.
They are both participants in a women's cooking group in their Partnership called: "Tavlinim Netivot".
Rachel Azoulay from Netivot prepares for Rosh Hashanah. Every day she purchases more required ingredients: one day she purchases the meat, the next day fruits and then when all her products are purchased she turns to her artwork in the kitchen and only just before the holiday does she stop.
The table is set for at least 20 people; she prepares a special table setting with a small dish of apple and honey next to each plate. Rachel serves the first courses and then joins her guests. Her husband, Daniel, blesses the family and guests for the New Year.
After the meal, Rachel keeps a tradition of giving her guests a small present for the New Year, like perfume or something personal. Rachel asks the little kids to hand out the presents. These presents, she says, represent "belonging to a home, to the holiday, so that the guests will feel at home and enjoy their holiday evening."
Rachel and Judy, bring to you their version of Rosh Hashanah tastes, smells, nostalgia and Jewish experience.
1 sea bream
4 salmon fillets or tilapia
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp salt
1 cup cooked chickpeas
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 red peppers, diced
3-4 dried hot peppers (optional)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 level tsp turmeric
½ cup + 1 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp salt
Prepare the fish: 1 ] Clean fish end remove head and tail. 2 ] Soak fish in warm water, lemon juice and salt for 15 mins. 3 ] Rinse the fish from salt and lemon and place in a colander.
Prepare the sauce: 4 ] Place chickpeas, garlic, peppers and half the cilantro in a flat, 10” (26 cm) diameter Pot. 5 ] Add fish, season with turmeric, add 1½ cups water and a tbsp of oil. 6 ] Cook over medium heat about 45 mins. with pot half covered, until water evaporates by half.
7 ] In a small dish, mix half cup oil with paprika and salt. Pour over fish. 8 ] Lower heat and cook another 30 mins. with pot partially covered, until sauce thickens. To prevent scorching, add a little water.
9 ] Remove from heat, sprinkle with remaining coriander and serve.
Judy Eisner, from Philadelphia, is a volunteer in the Partership. She says of her recipe: "My family and friends have been enjoying this evolving version ever since."
Salmon Gefilte Fish
(for 30 patties):
10 lb salmon
4 medium onions,
peeled and quartered
3 large eggs, beaten
1/4-1/3 cup of matzah meal
2½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
8 carrots, peeled and cut in
2 ribs of cleaned celery
Juice of two lemons
1/3 bunch dill
1 tbsp sugar
Prepare the fish: (ask the fishmonger to do this] 1 ] Remove head, bones and skin. Set aside bones and head. Fillet and cut fish into 1-1½” sections. 2 ] Using the on/off pulsing motion in a food processor, finely chop the fish. Transfer to a large bowl. 3 ] Finely chop two onions. 4 ] Mix in three beaten eggs and enough matzah meal to hold the mixture together. Add 1½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. white pepper.
5 ] Hands moistened in a bowl of iced water, shape fish mixture into oval dumplings, each about 2½” long by 1½” wide. 6 ] Arrange on clingwrap-lined baking sheets. Cover and chill while preparing stock.
Prepare the stock: 7 ] Place reserved salmon head, skin and bones in a large, 12 quart (12 liter) pot. Add about 5-6 quarts cold water. Bring to a boil and skim off the foam. 8 ] Add the chopped carrots, celery, remaining onions, lemon juice, dill, sugar, salt and remaining white pepper. 9 ] Reduce to medium heat, cover pot, and simmer stock 30-40 minutes. 10 ] Using a slotted spoon, remove all the solids from the fish stock, including the celery and dill, and discard everything but the carrots. 11 ] Bring the stock back to simmer over medium heat. Gently drop half of the fish dumplings into the stock. Cover pot and simmer until dumplings rise to the top, are tender and cooked through - about thirty minutes. 12 ] Using a slotted spoon, transfer dumplings to a 13x9x2” baking dish and arrange in a single layer.
13 ] Repeat cooking with remaining dumplings, transferring to another shallow dish. 14 ] Strain stock over the fish and add the carrots.
What are you cooking for the New Year?