Saturday, September 19, 2009

If only the new year wasn't only once a year....

Oh man did we have a delicious dinner! If Rosh Hashanah means eating this well then I wish it was every day (except maybe with Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter too, I like the food on those holidays too, oh and my birthday-i do love cake!). Even though we started preparations for the meal on Wednesday (baking a challah and making honey ice cream) we still did not eat until 9:00pm on Friday night because the brisket took so long! But Augustus, Atia, and Apollo was it ever worth it!

Here is a lineup of the menu:
Brisket braised in porter with carrots and mushrooms
German style fried potatoes
Sauteed Kale
Apple Tart
Honey Ice cream

I made the challah on Wednesday and was planning to use my mom's recipe, but realized at the last minute that I didn't have enough yeast! So, I had to use a backup recipe from After I had braided one normal loaf Aaron told me that it should be a round loaf for Rosh Hashanah so I braided one into a circle only to find out that it wasn't supposed to be braided just a circle, but oh well, too little too late. The bread turned out okay, but slightly disappointing. I prefer my mom's recipe so I think I will stick with that one--since I make bread so often :).

The tart and ice cream I made on Thursday since the ice cream needs to harden over night and the tart just takes a while to bake. I've included the recipes for both of these below (since this blog is primarily devoted to baking and desserts) but let me just say that this ice cream was AMAZING! I think it may have been my favorite so far. It uses honey rather than sugar for sweetener, which makes it rich, but not too rich and super creamy. Its also really easy, if you have an ice cream maker I suggest you make it as soon as possible.

Everything else we saved for Friday, which in hindsight may not have been the smartest plan, but oh well! The brisket took several hours to finish with various steps of braising and browning and roasting, but the potatoes and kale were super quick and easy. All three recipes came from the October issue of Bon Appetit (follow the links above for recipes). This was my first time making a brisket other than my mom's recipe and it was slightly more involved than what I am used to (it required me to brown and braise and all other sorts of things), but in the end it was really good and moist. The kale was also a surprise since I had pretty low expectations, I mean, who thinks "kale, delicious!"? It was an incredibly easy recipe with only four or so ingredients and a good way to use kale. As far as the potatoes go, are potatoes ever bad? This was a delicious meal and we are lucky to have leftovers for the next few days. After this cooking marathon, I will probably be taking a break for a while. Luckily, we stockpiled frozen veggie burgers in our freezer when they were on sale a few weeks ago. Stay tuned for next weekend though, its Aaron's birthday so there is sure to be at least some cake on the horizon....

Honey Ice Creamadapted from 101Cookbooks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup honey
Combine the vanilla, cream, milk and honey in a large saucepan.  Stir to dissolve the honey and heat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally just until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let steep, covered, for 1 hour.
Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Freeze according to ice cream maker's instructions.

Apple Tart
from smittenkitchen

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, just softened, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 tablespoons chilled water
2 pounds apples (Golden Delicious or another tart, firm variety), peeled, cored (save peels and cores), and sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup sugar

For the crust: Combine flour, sugar and salt in large bowl. Add 2 T of butter blending with a mixer until only small lumps remains. Add the rest of the butter and mix until small lumps remain. Slowly add some of the water and stir, adding more water until the dough begins to hold together. Continue this process until you are able to roll the dough without dry or sticky patches. Flatten it into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Remove the cooled crust from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 14 inch circle and place this into a lightly greased 9 inch tart pan. At this point, heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For Filling: place peeled and sliced apples in a double ring inside the prepared crust. Fold any of the excess dough back onto itself and crimp the edges. Brush melted butter over the crust and the apples and sprinkle 2 Tablespoons sugar over the entire tart. Bake the tart on a flat baking sheet in the oven for about 45 minutes, rotating every 15 minutes. The crust will be a rich brown and the center filling will bubble.

For the glaze: Put the peels and cores in a large saucepan and add the sugar. Cover with water and simmer on medium heat for 25 minutes. Strain through a mesh strainer. Remove the tart from the oven and cool for fifteen minutes. Brush the glaze over the tart and serve.


  1. Your meal looks amazing! Wish I could have been there to taste it. Your challah is browned perfectly! I hope you had friends over or else you'll be eating that for a long time. We (your dad and I) started using honey in homemade ice cream when Doc and Trish told us about it.
    Happy New Year, Aaron!

  2. Don't forget about eating well on Passover seder, too (no bread, but hey a feast is a feast)!!! I, also, had a feast Friday night (I'm still kind of full from it), but yours looks scrump-diddly-licious. ...especially that tart...