Starchy Goodness

This week I started making foods that don’t freeze well, but do keep well in refrigeration. Thankfully, it all went swimmingly.

First came the hush puppies:

Hush Puppies

I also had a little puff pastry left over (I had to cut the sheets down to the right size for the hot dogs), and some mashed potatoes, so I made a few potato puffs for our resident vegetarian:

Potato Puffs

Then the noodle kugel:

Noodle Kugel

Then the Yerushalmi kugel (and for once the sugar caramelized and mixed in with the noodles without giant lumps):

Yerushalmi Kugel

After that were the roasted red potatoes:

Roasted Red Potatoes

Barley noodles (yes, these were supposed to have mushrooms in them, but I forgot to get them, and since not everyone likes mushrooms I was willing to leave them out):

Barley Noodles

Rice with caramelized onions and cumin (my mother’s recipe):

Onion Rice

Rice with raisins, almonds, curry powder, and other spices (my own recipe, which I think I’ve improved on this year… but we’ll see what the reaction is):

Curried Rice with Raisins and Almonds

And a couple of salad dressings. One for the avocado/orange/pomegranate salad:

Orange Dressing

And one for the Terra Chip salad:

Terra Chip Dressing

On Sunday the big push begins, and I will have four days to finish making almost everything.  Here’s the schedule so far:

Sunday: Chicken, dressing, and vegetable prep for chicken salad; zucchini in tomato sauce; Moroccan carrot salad; potato kugels; acorn squash and cranberries; asparagus; spaghetti (although the meat sauce is already done); sauce for salmon cakes; dressing for Caesar salad.

Monday: Strawberry-watermelon gazpacho;  steak, vegetables, and dressing for Asian steak salad; salmon cakes; cauliflower; dressing for deli salad and strawberry/spinach salad; prepare fruits & vegetables for strawberry/spinach salad; clean and debug greens for Asian steak salad, strawberry/spinach salad, and deli salad.

Tuesday: Apple-cranberry crisp; green beans and mushrooms; pasta with sundried tomatoes; tuna-potato scallop; broccoli with shallots and walnuts; cook rice, chicken, and meat for and assemble sushi rolls; clean and debug greens for Terra chip salad and avocado/orange/pomegranate salad.

Wednesday: Make three kinds of stuffing for the turducken (potato-, bread-, and oatmeal-based); assemble turducken; hearts of palm salad and dressing; baked sweet potatoes; Grandma’s lukshen kugel; prepare ingredients for deli salad; Israeli salad.

While I may not update this blog on a daily basis over the next week, I hope to still post some kind of progress update; and I will certainly post pictures afterwards!

Wish me luck!

Menu #6: Shabbat Lunch

Appetizer Chicken and steak sushi
Salad 1 Avocado, orange, and pomegranate salad
Salad 2 Israeli salad
Entree 1 Chulent
Entree 2 Deli roll surprise
Entree 3 Kishka-stuffed chicken
Side 1 Sweet potato pie
Side 2 Noodle kugel
Side 3 Mushroom barley dish
Side 4 Broccoli with shallots and walnuts

Chulent is, for those who are not familiar, a beef stew, with beans, potatoes, barley, onions, and various spices, slow-cooked for about 24 hours. It’s prepared on the day before the Sabbath (one is permitted to cook on the holiday for the Sabbath) and is extremely yummy. The surprise in the deli roll is pepper steak — we stick it in the middle and the dish is a big favorite. And yes, there’s the Israeli salad again. But what really makes this meal stand out in my mind is the appetizer.

Last year’s appetizer at this meal was gefilte fish. Granted, it was the nice kind of gefilte fish — the loaf kind, cooked in a tomato-basil sauce. But a couple of months ago my husband and I went to a really nice steak and sushi place in Lakewood, NJ, where I had a duck sushi appetizer, which to date is still one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. And it sparked an idea of trying to do something similar. Raw fish won’t work for a number of members of my family, but there’s no rule that says I have to serve fish, right? So in keeping with my husband’s carnivorous reputation, we’re going with two kinds of sushi — chicken and steak. (No duck, though… I’m not that ambitious — yet.) I’m thinking of making the chicken one with avocado, but I’m not sure what else yet. The steak will likely be pepper steak with roasted peppers. I’ll be cooking the ingredients in advance, but assembling everything right before the meal (with the sushi kit I have yet to order… mental note: DO THAT). So this, along with the Turducken, are the two major innovations for this year’s Sukkahpaloozah… and that concludes the menu planning portion of this blog.

As of next week, I’ll be cooking and freezing for three weeks, then taking a week off to cook for and celebrate Rosh HaShanah, and then comes the big push — one and a half weeks of cooking and packing my refrigerator full of everything that can’t be frozen. I will be posting as many pictures of the finished components as I can manage, but there will be some things that won’t make the blog, unless I remember to take pictures of the leftovers, since a significant number of dishes will be made or at least finally assembled over the holiday, when I will not be using my camera (salads, for instance, as well as the chulent for this meal and the previous nights vegetable soup come to mind immediately). I hope you’ll all stick around… the fun (and utter madness) hasn’t even begun!