Preparing for a Shabbos dinner for our family is always a fun task. I’m blessed to be a part of a large, close-knit family who all live within a 2km radius of each other. Our children have all grown up together. They all share in each other’s lives and socialise together. It’s truly something special! Coming up with a new, exciting menu for Shabbos is always a challenge and fortunately, I like to experiment. In fact, it’s the perfect time to test my recipes. I always take the season into account. So for a balmy, summer evening, I plan a light, fresh dinner. A hearty, warm meal always goes down well on a cold, winter’s night. Whatever the menu, it’s sure to be delicious! This week’s Shabbos meal is for 17 of us, and that’s a small dinner by Glass family standards. How lucky are we?
I’ve decided to start with a yummy soup. It’s important not to fill everyone up on starters, so finding a light, tasty soup to suit all palates is no mean feat. I’ve chosen a cream of roasted vegetable soup. Lightly roasted, and without cream, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser. For the main course, I’ve created my own version of a ‘red curry’ chicken. This one works fantastically for Shabbos as it is baked, not stir fried, which means it’ll keep well on a hot tray/warmer. It can also be made in advance and reheated. To accompany this tasty, chicken dish, I’ve created a lighter version of a rosti. This baked potato and carrot rosti can be made ahead and kept on a warmer. A great alternative side dish is also a simple steamed Jasmine rice (or even a cauliflower rice for those of you who are carbconscious). I’ve decided to end off this delightful meal with some spiced stewed plums. With just the right amount of tang and a hint of cinnamon coupled with a taste of star anise, this yummy winter fruit will make the perfect ending to our meal. And accompanying the fruit dish I am making my infamous peanut butter brownies. They are made with coconut oil, a much healthier option than margarine. So they are dairy free! I always like to end a meal with something sweet to ensure we all leave the table with a smile on our faces.
Roasted red curry chicken
- 60ml (4 tbs) red curry paste (recipe follows)
- 410g (1 tin) coconut milk
- 30ml (2 tbs) soya or fish sauce
- 30ml (2 tbs) treacle (soft) brown sugar
- 4 kaffir lime leaves or fresh lime leaves
- 1 stick lemon grass, bruised
- 12 chicken thighs with skin on and bone (or other chicken pieces)
- coarse salt and black pepper
- 30ml (2 tbs) fresh lime juice
- 30ml (2 tbs) fresh coriander (cilantro) for decoration
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Place the curry paste, coconut milk, soya or fish sauce, lime leaves and lemongrass in a mixing
- bowl and whisk to combine.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces and sprinkle the chicken with salt and some black pepper.
- Place skin side up in a lined roasting pan. Cover with foil and roast for 1 hour on the 2nd rack of the oven.
- Increase temperature to 200°C. Remove the foil and roast uncovered for further 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is crispy and browned.
- Skim off the excess oil, drizzle with lime juice and top with coriander (cilantro) for decoration.
I make the chicken the day before so that my Friday isn’t too much of a rush. I like to make the red curry paste from scratch so I can control the heat of the chillies, and most of all because I love using fresh ingredients without any preservatives. It’s actually quite a simple process. And if there is some leftover, then I can freeze it for the next time. I start off by pouring the sauce over the chicken pieces, roast them covered and then roast uncovered for a few minutes just for colour. They are soft, tender and taste really delicious. As soon as they’re cool, I refrigerate them for the next day.
Red curry Paste
- 3 red chillies (remove the seeds)
- 20ml (4 tsp) tomato paste
- 30ml(1 tbs) fresh lime juice
- 80ml (1⁄3 cup) olive oil
- 30ml (2 tbs) chopped Italian parsley or coriander
- 5ml (1 tsp) ginger
- 5ml (1 tsp) garlic
- 5ml(1 tsp) ground coriander
- 2 sticks lemongrass
Place all ingredients in a food processor or use a hand blender and blend until finely chopped. Makes enough for 1 recipe.
Spiced Stewed Plums
- 500ml / 2 cups castor sugar
- 500ml / 2 cups water
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 1 star anise
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 1.5kg plums
- Place the sugar, water, cinnamon, star anise and vanilla in a large heavy bottom pot.
- Heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the plums, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Cover with nonstick baking paper, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely in the syrup before serving.
- Keep refrigerated for 45 days.
Since I have to make the bakedpotatoandcarrot rosti on the day, I decide to make the plums ahead of time. (They taste really delicious when chilled.) Simply bring the sauce to a boil, add the plums and simmer. This delicious dessert can be made with other fruit such as pears, peaches, apricots or apples. Remember though, the harder the fruit, the longer it needs to simmer.
Peanut Butter Brownies
The brownies are quick and easy to make, so I like to get up early on Friday morning to makethem fresh. (I am not one for freezing). They literally take about 15 minutes to make.
- 3 jumbo eggs (66g)
- 125ml (1⁄2 cup) treacle brown sugar
- 80ml (1⁄3 cup) white sugar
- 375ml (3⁄4 cup) chunky peanut butter
- 125ml (1⁄2 cup) coconut oil, softened
- 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
- 375ml (3⁄4 cup) flour
- 5ml (1 tsp) baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Prepare a brownie pan (about 23 x 23 cm – 9 inch x 9 inch) with Spray
- and Cook.
- Cream the eggs and both sugars until light and fluffy in a mixmaster.
- Warm the peanut butter to soften it. Then add the peanut butter and softened coconut oil.
- Cream again until fluffy.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the mixture. Lightly beat until all
- folded in.
- Spread the mixture into the tin.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until just set. (Do not let it get too brown as the brownie will dry out)
- Remove from oven and cool. Spread with icing when cool.
- 80ml (1⁄3 cup) coconut oil, softened
- 375ml (11⁄2 cups) icing (powdered) sugar
- 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
- 80 ml (1⁄3 cup) chunky peanut butter
- 4560ml (34 tbs) boiling water or soya cream
Beat the coconut oil and icing sugar together. Add the vanilla essence. Whip until creamy. Then add the peanut butter and continue whipping until fluffy. Add water or soya cream as needed to make the icing fluffy. Set aside until ready to use.
Potato and Carrot Rosti
Now it’s time to make the rosti. Grate the potatoes and carrots coarsely in a food processor and then mix with the remaining ingredients. Watch them carefully so that the edges don’t burn. Simply set them aside when they’re ready. When the potatoes are crispy, they remain that way and don’t even require reheating.
- 3 large potatoes, peeled
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 10ml (2 tsp) Dijon mustard
- 45ml (3 tbs) olive oil
- coarse salt and black pepper
- fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley, chopped to serve
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Grate the carrots and potatoes on the coarse grater in a food processor or by hand. Squeeze out the excess water. Mix well.
- Toss them with some olive oil and salt and pepper, making sure that the mixture is well coated and seasoned. Then add the Dijon mustard and mix through.
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Spray with nonstick spray or rub with a little olive oil. Spread the mixture over the entire tray distributing it evenly.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes, then move the edges around to avoid burning.
- Continue baking for another 10-15 until golden and crispy. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.