Our First Sukkah

My wonderful husband built our first Sukkah. We got the poles and part of the Sukkah covering for free. The rest of the covering was from some canvas cloth that we had never used. And, we collected reeds, bougainvillea and tree branches for the rooftop. It is so beautiful, it reminds me of a chuppah (wedding canopy). It really brought me to tears when I saw the finished product because I have wanted to have a Sukkah ever since I moved to Israel. I missed decorating the Sukkah that my great-grandfather built. We used to hang fruit from the walls. I have such wonderful memories of that. Now we have started our own tradition.

I will be blogging about a special Sukkah adventure and a special meal on Sunday. Instead of the usual Challah, I decided to make a bread I had never tried before, Corsican Basil Bread. We planted some very fragrant basil that I have been meaning to add to bread dough for quite a while. This bread is very easy to make and the result was fantastic, although I should have put in a little more basil to accentuate the taste.

The recipe calls for the basil to be put on top of the bread and I decided to mix it into the dough. The recipe also said to make a puree, but the mixture was more minced than pureed.

Corsican Basil Bread

Yield: 1 kilo loaf (2lbs)

500g (1lb) white bread flour

25g (1 tablespoon) yeast

1 cup + 2-1/2 tablespoons water, warmed to 26C (80F)

2-1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup basil

3-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Puree the basil and olive oil in a blender or a food processor.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast and water. Mix well, incorporating the salt at the end. Then mix in the basil puree.

Knead the dough for about 20 minutes. Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and form it into a round ball. Place the dough on a baking tray covered with a towel and let rise for approximately 1 hour at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 220C (440F). Just before baking, score the top of the bread with a sharp knife.

Reduce the temperature to 190C (380F) and throw a small amount of water onto the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the bread is nicely browned.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2008/10/15/our-first-sukkah/

Rosh Hashana 5768

Chag Sameach everyone! I hope you had a nice meal with your family. We went to my cousin’s house for the first night of Rosh Hashana and had a lovely time.

We invited some friends of ours for dinner last night. My husband made a Rosh Hashana favourite and I introduced several new surprises to our repertoire. Everything was delicious.

The cake calls for sour cream and one of my guests has a dairy allergy and can only tolerate butter in baked goods, so I substituted a non-dairy yogurt in its place. It worked fine.

And in case you are wondering about why I served a dairy cake, we keep kashrut according to the Italian tradition which is one hour between meat and dairy.

Our menu was:

Cocktails


Provence des Papes Savoury Biscuits


Rosemary Cashews
Cocktails

First Course
Apples with honey
Pomegranate seeds


Ducklava with Chestnut Honey

Main Course


Clay Pot Festival of Fruits Chicken
Couscous
Green beans


Round Challah with dried fruits and nuts
Golan Winery Sion Creek red wine

Dessert


Beekeeper’s Honey Cake
Mango-Nectarine sorbet

Provence des Papes Savoury Biscuits

Yield: 24 biscuits

Recipe from Restaurant: La Garbure (Châteauneuf du Pape) Chef: Jean Louis Giansilly

5 garlic cloves

3 sprigs of basil

5 tbsp olive oil

50g (3.5 tbsp) pine nuts

300g (1.3 cups) flour

10cl (.4 cup) warm water

10cl (.4 cup) olive oil

2 tsp salt

25g (1.7 tablespoons) baking powder

4 egg yolks

Ground pepper

Prepare a pesto by crushing the garlic cloves with the basil, olive oil, and pine nuts.

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, virgin olive oil, egg yolks, warm water, and some ground pepper. Add the pesto and blend well to obtain a smooth dough.

Roll into a long snake and slice the into 1/4 inch (6mm) wafers and bake at 180C (350F) for about 10 minutes (depending on size).

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2007/09/15/rosh-hashana-5768/

Clay Pot Festival of Fruits Chicken

Serving Size: 4 to 6

This recipe was created by my husband for the Jewish festival of Rosh Hashana. It is a fruity, but not an overly sweet dish.

1 chicken, cut into eighths

1 onion, thinly sliced

4-5 whole garlic cloves

2 cm fresh ginger, grated or chopped finely

1 quince, cored and cut into eighths

10-20 majhoul dates, pitted and cut into quarters

10 dried figs, stem removed and cut into eighths

10-20 dried sour apricots, cut into quarters

20 walnut halves

Couple of pinches of black pepper

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp cloves

1 tsp. ground allspice

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 cup dry red wine

1 cup water

½ c pomegranate molasses

½ tbsp balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

On a low heat, place the olive oil in the clay pot, just to cover the surface. Add the onions when the oil is hot, but not sizzling. When the onion is soft, add the garlic. When the onion is lightly brown, turn up the heat and add the chicken pieces, stirring constantly until browned, approximately 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on a low flame for approximately 1 ½ hours, stirring every 15 minutes and checking that there is enough remaining liquid for a nice sauce.

Server with nut-studded rice or couscous.

http://www.baronesstapuzina.com/2007/09/15/rosh-hashana-5768/

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