Putzel Kitchen

Cooking for the High Holidays

The high holidays are about family to me.  At this time of year I reflect on many traditions that have been passed down from generations within my family.

I also think about and greatly miss my dad who taught me how to celebrate these holidays and life.


I hope you enjoy my Beef Brisket, Chicken Soup and Matzoh Balls, and Challah (you will want to braid it in a round shape for the holiday).

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy, healthy & sweet New Year!  L’Shana Tovah!

Beef Brisket

This beef brisket recipe has become the traditional holiday meal in my house. Everyone loves the leftovers on a challah bun just as much as they like it hot out of the oven. You want to always make this ahead of time, because it needs to roast “low and slow.” A.K.A. The meat needs to cook at a low temperature for a long time. Most important note: KEEP IT MOIST.
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
4 hours
Additional Time
12 hours
Total Time
16 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Yield: 10 servings
  • 4 - 5 pound beef brisket
  • ground seasoning (equal parts: salt, pepper, cumin, fennel, anise, caraway)
  • 1 - 28 oz can chopped san marzano tomatoes
  • 1 C beer or coke
  • 1 C beef broth
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bottle fat boy BBQ sauce

Instructions

Step 1

Season brisket, fat side up.


Step 2

Cover brisket with sliced carrots, celery, onions, fennel & garlic.


Step 3

Pour canned tomatoes on top.


Step 4

Mix beer/coke, broth & brown sugar together. Pour over brisket.


Step 5

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees F.


Step 6

Reduce heat to 300 degrees F and cook another 3+ hours. For a tender brisket, the internal temperature should reach 180 - 200 degrees.


Step 7

Remove from oven and let brisket cool to room temperature. Then cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.


Step 8

Remove from refrigerator to slice. First slice off fat and then slice brisket against the grain into thin pieces.


Step 9

Place back in pan with sauce.


Step 10

Reheat uncovered at 300 degrees F after pouring more BBQ sauce over brisket. When reheating the meat you want the internal temperature to be 165 degrees.

Notes

Short Cut: You can’t rush a brisket or you’ll end up with dry, tough meat. Follow this recipe and I promise that you will have a home run!

Alternative Method: If you want to splurge, try using a veal cut for an extremely tender brisket.

Chicken Soup

Homemade Chicken Soup is the definition of Jewish comfort food. A Bubbie, Nana, Grammy or Grandma uses chicken soup to cure the common cold, a broken heart or the winter blues. I always cook this traditional recipe for the Jewish Holidays. Although it is time consuming, it does not require sophisticated culinary skills to prepare a savory soup that will surely remind you of your grandmother.
Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
5 hours 30 minutes
Total Time
6 hours

Ingredients

Yield: 12 - 15 servings
  • 1, 4 - 5 lb. roasting chicken, cut up
  • 1 lb. chicken feet (find it in your freezer section)
  • 1 lb. chicken wings
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 1 turnip, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery Ribs, diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Step 1

Rinse chicken under cool water until water is clear.

Step 2

Season generously with kosher salt & pepper and place in pot with chopped vegetables, herbs & bay leaves.

Step 3

Cover with cold water.

Step 4

Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. 

Step 5

Simmer uncovered for an hour, constantly skimming fat/scum off of top. Remove chicken breast, cool chop and reserve for later.

Step 6

Continue to simmer soup for 3 - 4 hours.

Step 7

Cool and strain.

Step 8

Add reserved chicken and fresh chopped carrots, celery, and dill to the strained broth. Reheat, check seasonings and ladle soup over warm matzoh balls

Notes

Source: My mom, of course!

Short Cut: Pick it up at your favorite delicatessen.

Think Out of the Ice Box: Use a soup mix and add your own chopped vegetables when serving.

Homemade Matzoh Balls

Fluffy homemade matzoh balls make the chicken soup complete. Need I say more?
Prep Time
45 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

Yield: 10 matzoh balls
  • 1/2 C matzoh meal
  • 2 T chicken schmaltz (rendered fat)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 T seltzer water, or as needed
  • 2 T fresh dill, chopped
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Step 1

Combine egg yolks and chicken shmaltz. Then add the matzoh meal, chopped dill and salt & pepper

Step 2

Add seltzer water to egg yolk mixture (a few tablespoons as needed) to make mixture moist.

Step 3

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.

Step 4

Fold in egg whites to mixture.

Step 5

Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. Meanwhile bring soup to a boil.

Step 6

Make golf ball size balls out of mixture, and place in boiling soup. Boil 35 minutes, then turn down heat to a simmer and serve.


Challah

Challah bread is delicious fresh out of the oven, toasted with butter, and a few days old for French Toast. No matter how you slice it, this bread recipe takes the cake (I mean challah)!
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Additional Time
3 hours
Total Time
3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

Yield: 2 loaves
  • 2 tsp sugar + 1/3 C sugar
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup grape-seed or other neutral oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Step 1

Measure 2/3 cup warm water (around 110 degrees F - if it's too hot then the heat will kill the yeast). Dissolve 2 tsp sugar and add 2 tsp dry yeast. Let it sit about 5 minutes for yeast to bloom (it will look foamy on top).

Step 2

Combine flour, 1/3 cup sugar + 1 tsp salt. 

Step 3

In a separate bowl, combine 2 eggs, canola oil, vanilla extract and 3/4 cup warm water. Add yeast mixture.

Step 4

Combine wet and dry ingredients in a mixer on low for about 30 seconds or mix by hand.

Step 5

Knead dough on a floured surface for about 5 - 6 minutes.

Step 6

Turn on warming drawer's proof setting. If you are using a conventional oven, then turn on oven to 180 degrees F. Once the oven reaches this temperature, turn off oven. 

Step 7

Place dough in a well oiled glass or metal bowl and cover with a clean towel. Place in oven to proof (let the dough rise). Within 1 - 2 hours it should double in size.

Step 8

Remove bowl from oven and punch down dough. Braid dough and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Step 9

Mix 1 egg + 1 Tablespoon water to make egg wash, and brush it on top of loaf. Bake bread at 350 degrees F (or 325 convection setting) for 25 - 35 minutes. Top of loaf will be golden brown and should sound hollow when lightly tapped. You can also test the center with a toothpick.


Notes

Short Cut: Make the dough ahead of time and freeze it.

Think Out of the Ice Box: Mix in raisins or chocolate chips or top with sesame or poppy seeds.

4 comments on “Cooking for the High Holidays”

  1. Dear Nicole,
    I love your blog and plan on trying your recipes. I, also, love seeing the family pics. I, too, miss your dad so very much.
    I wish you and your family a sweet, healthy, happy New Year!
    xox
    June

  2. I love the dog with kippah! Happy New Year!!

  3. Love this blog and the pictures. Brisket sounds so good I may eat meat this year.

  4. Thank you for sharing. Happy New Year Nicole!

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