Our Autumnal New Year

Our Autumnal New Year

This fall is getting away from me, especially with the Jewish holidays falling (no pun intended!) so late this year. We celebrate both Jewish and Christian holidays in our family – as my daughters often say, we are equal-opportunity Holidayists.
Here are two classic recipes that we pull out at this time of year – some of our favorite food, and some of our favorite days. I always appreciate the joy of Rosh Hashanah, and the feeling of a fresh start after Yom Kippur. Hopefully both of these will become a staple in your breaking of the fast; I also highly recommend trying chive cream cheese with your smoked salmon, which has become a recent favorite in our house.
Shana Tova!

Beef Brisket Meal


Serves: makes 2 dozen

Prep time: 1/2 hour, plus two hours to chill dough and 20 minutes to bake


  • 4 ounces cream cheese (half of a package)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, but into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg plus one egg for eggwash
  • powdered sugar for rolling out dough
  • Turbinado raw cane sugar
  • filling of your choice: cinnamon, raisins, nuts, chocolate, peanut butter, speculoos, Nutella, fruit preserves


  1. In a food processor, combine flour and salt, adding cream cheese and butter.
  2.  Pulse several times and add the egg and vanilla.
  3.  Pulse again until dough begins to form large pieces.
  4. Turn out the dough on to a powdered sugar-covered surface and make two balls of dough.
  5.  Flatten dough into discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, though dough will keep for several days.
  6. After an hour, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Roll out dough on powdered sugar into a round; dough should be about ¼ inch thick.
  8.  Spread the filling in a thin layer over the dough; don’t overdo it or the filling will ooze out of the dough while it’s baking.
  9. Cut the dough into 12 equal-sized wedges, and beginning with the wider edge, roll the pieces of dough into little crescents, tucking the tip of the dough under when placing it on a Silpat-covered baking sheet.
  10. Brush eggwash on rugalah and sprinkle with Turbinado raw cane sugar.
  11.  Put rugalah into refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes before baking.
  12. Bake for about 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
  13.  Serve.


Serves: 6

Prep time: 5 hours


  • 1 four-pound brisket of beef
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 leeks, cut into thin slices
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ten-ounce can of tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups red wine
  • 2 stalks celery with leaves, chopped coarsely
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley, and parsley for garnish
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into three-inch chunks
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into three-inch segments


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper over brisket and rub with garlic.  
  3. Place chopped onions and leeks in bottom of casserole dish.
  4. In a heavy saucepan, sear brisket in canola oil until browned.
  5.   Place brisket, fat side up, on top of the onions and leeks in the casserole dish. 
  6. Cover with beef broth, tomatoes, red wine, celery, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary.
  7. Cover and bake for four hours, basting with pan juices.
  8. Add parsley, potatoes, and carrots, and bake uncovered for half an hour.
  9.  Brisket should be tender enough that you can easily stick a fork in it.
  10. To carve, place brisket fat side down and cut across the grain in the thinnest slices possible. 
  11. Pour the hot juices and cooked onions and leeks over the meat, garnish with parsley, and serve.IMG_2449

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