(This article was previously posted in the Mid-Atlantic Jewish Newspaper Syndication 2015)
Growing up, our Shabbat and Yom Tov meals varied depending upon the whims of my mother (KIH) and grandmother (z”l), but our pre-Yom Kippur meal was always the same without fail. We would start with a beautiful round raisin challah with honey (“You should be inscribed in the book of life for a sweet New Year!), followed by a wedge of sliced melon (“It’s SO juicy it will help you with your fast”).
The rest of the meal, with the exception of the roast, had basically been made in a huge stock pot. My mother (and later my father (z”l) too) would take a ginormous stock pot, fill it ¾ of the way with water then add cut up chickens, whole celery stalks, peeled carrots and potatoes. The result would be a clear, golden chicken soup and “delicious” boiled chicken (“You don’t want to add too much seasoning because it will make it harder to fast” a.k.a. ”please pass the ketchup….”). Once a year, for the pre-fast meal, my mother and grandmother would make Kreplach from scratch using my grandmother’s recipe from the “old country”. Not wanting to waste effort, they used a piece of the chuck roast they were serving during the meal to make those flavorful, delicious kreplach. We would enjoy them in bowls of rich chicken soup, with large pieces of carrots, celery and potatoes that we fished out of the pot. It was important that the soup be clear - no one wanted to have a “cloudy New Year”.
We would finish the meal with honey cake and leftover sweet, sticky homemade taiglach from Rosh Hashanah.
Now that the pre-fast meal is at my house, I try to continue the tradition and legacy that were handed down to me from my grandmother, mother and father. I hope that by continuing to make the recipes in our home we can pass our heritage to our children, and G-d willing someday they will pass it on to theirs.
May you be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a Happy and Healthy new Year. G’mar Tov!
Bubbie & Zaide’s Chuck Roast Kreplach (makes 32)
Once my father (z”l) retired as a senior VP of a major technology corporation, he found that he could expend his creative energy through cooking. He took over making many of our traditional family recipes, all the while lending his engineering expertise to the process. As a result each recipe became a lesson in design and methodology, nearly always with “six-sigma” results. One of our family’s favorite memories of my father is of him leaning over the pastry board with a ruler meticulously measuring the kreplach dough to ensure that each kreple was exactly the same size. It wasn’t that my father was compulsive, it just was how an engineer cooked! All of his efforts paid off; the kreplach were always delicious and we always tasted the love that he put into making them.
For the Kreplach filling:
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onions diced - around 1 ½ cups
½ - ¾ pound chuck meat - roasted then cooled
¼ teaspoon dried ground ginger
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and saute until the onions are caramelized and slightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Using a meat grinder or food processor (I use my grandmother’s old fashioned grinder!), grind the meat with the onions. Add the ginger and mix to combine.
For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons ice water plus more if necessary
Place the flour, eggs and water into a food processor bowl. Pulse the dough while gradually adding the ice water. Adding additional ice water as needed, continue pulsing until a cohesive, smooth dough ball is formed.
Remove the dough and divide it into 2. On a lightly floured surface, pat one piece of dough into a rough square. Roll the dough into a 12x12 inch square. Using a ruler (like my Dad z”l always did!) cut the dough into 16 3-inch squares. After filling and sealing repeat with second piece of dough.
To make the Kreplach:
¼ cup liquid egg or 1 large egg beaten
Cover a large baking sheet with foil, then spray with non-stick vegetable spray.
Take a 3-inch square of dough. Brush a light coating of egg around the edge of the square. Place approximately a teaspoon of meat filling into the center of the square. Fold the square over to make a triangle, covering the meat. Gently pinch the sides of the kreple to seal. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining squares.
At this point in the recipe you can freeze the kreplach on the baking sheet. Once the kreplach are frozen, you can remove them from the baking sheet and store them in a zipper freezer bag.
For the Boiling Water:
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon canola oil
Fill a large 6-8 quart stock pot ⅔ full of water. Add the salt and canola oil, and bring to a boil. Carefully add some of the kreplach to the water, being cautious to not crowd them. Simmer on medium heat for 12-14 minutes until the kreplach are cooked through, stirring occasionally. Serve in hot, golden, chicken soup (or your personal favorite).
Mini Chuck Roast Knishes (makes 24)
Being super busy around the Holidays, I often will try a “twofer”, i.e doubling a filling that can be used for two recipes. By doubling the Kreplach filling, you can make your Sukkot meat Knishes with little effort. No one will know that you saved the time, and you will still get your usual rave reviews.
These can also be made in advance and frozen on a baking sheet before baking. Store them in a single layer in a well sealed aluminum pan. To bake, simply place them on a prepared baking sheet and follow the below instructions baking for 25-30 minutes instead of 20-25 minutes.
1 recipe Chuck Steak Kreplach Meat Filling
1 10x15 inch puff pastry sheet defrosted
1 large egg, beaten
dried minced onions, poppy seeds, sesame seeds dried minced garlic, Everything spice
Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spray with non-stick vegetable spray. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375℉.
Roll the dough into a large rectangle. Cut into 24 even squares. Place a teaspoon of meat filling in the center of the dough, then fold the ends around the meat pinching to seal. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.
Brush the knishes with egg, then top with your favorite topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serve with your favorite mustard or dipping sauce.
Bubbies old fashioned grinder, "mit de meat & de onions"
Sometimes the old things ARE the best!
Cut the dough in 2
Check the eggs then put them in the flour...
(check out my cool nail polish too!)
Measuring the dough with my kid's
Springfield Land 'O Lincoln ruler....
Just like Dad z"l did!
Exactly 3 inches! Dad z"l would be proud!
Brush the edges with egg...
A spoonful of meat...
Sukkot knishes with dipping sauces.
Kosher Everyday is dedicated to the memory of my father
Dr. Theodore Saltzberg - Tuvia Ben Nachum Z”L
May his memory be for a blessing - Yihi zichro baruch.
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These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!