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Symbolic Bites For A Sweet New Year

Rosh Hashanah is the best time to whip up those special dishes that you’ve been saving all year long. However, soulful food does not necessarily need to take hours to prepare, nor does it need to be pricey. Bring in the new year with some new spunky flavors and make cooking for a crowd more enjoyable than ever. Chag sameach, chefs!

Braised Stuffed Artichoke

Medias Shoki, or stuffed artichoke, is a traditional Syrian beef filled artichoke dish gently braised in a tangy lemon sauce. This dish is a holiday classic on my family table, and it’ll surely impress your guests too. Best served alongside basmati rice.

Yield: 6-8 servings

1 lb. ground beef

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg

1/2 tsp. salt

2 packs frozen artichoke hearts (makes about 20 stuffed artichokes)

1 tbs. oil

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups water


1. Combine the meat with flour, egg and salt then stuff the artichokes with the meat mixture. The best way to do this is to form golf ball size meatballs and press them into the artichoke hearts.  In case there is extra meat or artichokes, form meatballs and slice the artichokes and cook it together with the rest.

2. Brown the artichokes in the oil meat side down for 5 minutes then add in the garlic and allow to sauté for another minute. Do not stir, the meat may stick to the pan.

3. Once the garlic is lightly browned, add in the water, vinegar, salt and lemon, then flip the artichokes over meat side up.

4. Cover and lower the heat to medium low. Allow to simmer for 30-35 minutes until the artichokes are tender.

Apple Slaw with Honey-Poppy Seed Dressing

This salad puts the apple and honey in Rosh Hashanah! It’s fresh, crisp, and tastes better the longer it sits. The best part? It is so versatile that it can be made for meat dairy or pareve meals. I like to add leftovers to honey BBQ pulled beef sliders.

Yield: 8-10 servings


1 medium green cabbage, quartered and sliced

1 Fuji apple, sliced julienne

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 carrots, grated

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

For the dressing:

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup mayonnaise (I use @followyourheart)

1 tbs. poppy seeds

1 tbs. honey

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper


1. In a mixing bowl, combine the dressing ingredients until smooth. Set aside until serving time, this can be made up to a week ahead of time.

2. Combine the veggies in a large salad bowl and toss with the dressing until well coated. Adjust the salt levels if needed. For best results, the salad should be dressed at least 15 minutes before serving.

Chefs tip:

Easy ways to prepare your simanim ahead of time:

There is always so much going on before the meals that I often forget to prepare the sliced apples and pomegranate seeds for the simanim. Here’s how to get things out of the way, way ahead of time.

1.     Toss the apple slices in fresh or bottled lemon juice, and then seal them in an airtight zip-top bag or container. Use pineapple juice as a more kid friendly acidic option; they’ll love that. This will slow down the oxidation process and keep the apples fresh for up to 4 days.

2.     Peel the pomegranate in a large bowl of cold water. This will allow the white piths to float and will keep the seeds clean. Afterwards, drain well and store in a paper towel lined container. With very little moisture, the pomegranate seeds should remain completely fresh up to 3 days.

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