Instant Pot has a hold on Rosh Hashanah cooking

  • Honey Cake

    Honey Cake Photo by Bill Milne

 
 
Posted9/1/2021 6:00 AM

Rosh Hashanah is right around the corner, and people will be thinking up delicious menus to celebrate the start of the Jewish High Holy Days.

Rosh Hashanah 2021 begins the evening of Sept. 6 and ends the evening of Sept. 8.

 

Rosh Hashanah celebrates the Jewish New Year, the most common greeting is "Shanah Tovah" (pronounced shah-NAH toe-VAH) which means "good year."

Part of the many traditions of Rosh Hashanah is the food associated with the celebration, including shiny, yeasty challah, matzo ball soup, pomegranates, fish and apples dipped in honey.

Among the cookbooks that have come my way and the info that hit my inbox is the news that The Kosher Baker, Paula Shoyer, has written a new cookbook.

"The Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook" is filled with easy recipes for busy families and for celebrating those special occasions, too.

About the Honey Cake with Coffee and Honey Glaze (one of the recipes shared here today), Shoyer says, "It's not Rosh Hashanah without honey cake, and even I, The Kosher Baker, was surprised with how moist this cake was. Japanese and Chinese bakers have steamed cakes for centuries."

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She also shares her recipe for Spinach Pesto Brisket that was created out of a collaboration with a friend she met on her many book tours.

"I met Edna Schrank the first of four times I was invited to speak at Congregation Beth Sholom of Northbrook, Illinois, a truly vibrant community in the Chicago suburbs," Shoyer said. "She is a leader in her shul and the Women's League of Conservative Judaism, a devoted mother and grandmother, and an obsessive cook and baker. She is also one of my best recipe testers. We came up with this idea together."

I hope you enjoy these recipes for the holidays and beyond. And, hey, there is always Hanukkah to prepare for in the not-too-distant future.

Best of luck: Mike Scorzo of Geneva will soon open his Masterpiece Bread bakery at 1441 S. Randall Road in Geneva. It's been a longtime dream of his to create and sell artisan breads and other baked goods. A ribbon-cutting event is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 17, at the shop at 1441 S. Randall Road, Suite B in Geneva.

• Contact Food Editor Susan Stark at sstark@dailyherald.com or (847) 427-4586.

Honey Cake With Coffee And Honey Glaze

Hands-on time is 5 minutes, plus cooking time. Time to pressure is 7 minutes and you are cooking it for 40 minutes. The button on the Instant Pot to use is Pressure Cook. You'll use the natural release for 15 minutes.

Make ahead: This cake can be made 3 days in advance or frozen.

For the cake

spray oil to grease pan

1 cup water

½ cup prepared strong coffee or espresso

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

½ cup honey

1/3 cup oil

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

For the glaze

½ cup confectioners' sugar

2 teaspoons prepared hot espresso or coffee

½ teaspoon honey

Spray a 6- or 7-inch round pan with oil and set aside. Place the water into the inner pot of the Instant Pot and insert the steam rack.

In a medium bowl place the hot coffee, honey, oil, and brown sugar and whisk well. Add the eggs and mix in. Add the flour, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well.

Pour into the prepared pan. Take a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the pan and spray oil on one side. Cover the pan with the greased side facing the cake batter. Cover tightly. Create an aluminum foil sling. Place the pan on top of the foil.

Lift the sides of the foil to place the pan onto the rack. Secure the lid, ensuring that the steam release handle is in the Sealing position. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the cooking time for 40 minutes.

When the cooking time is complete, let sit for 15 minutes to naturally release the pressure. Turn the steam release handle to the Venting position to release any remaining pressure. Press Cancel. Use the sides of the sling to lift up the cake and remove to a cooling rack. Let cool for 10 minutes and then turn the cake out of the pan onto the cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. Place the confectioners' sugar into a bowl. Add the coffee and honey and whisk well. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken. Either spread the glaze on top or use a whisk to drizzle lines over the cake.

Serves 6 to 8

Reprinted with permission from "The Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook," copyright Paula Shoyer (Sterling Epicure 2021).

Spinach Pesto Brisket
Spinach Pesto Brisket - Photo by Bill Milne
Spinach Pesto Brisket

This recipe is best made the day before for neater slices. Time to pressure 9 minutes while cooking time is 70 minutes. Buttons you'll use are Saute and Pressure Cook. Natural release time is 5 minutes.

Make ahead: Brisket may be made two days in advance or frozen.

1 4- to 5-pound second-cut brisket, cut in half

3 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons almonds

24 large basil leaves, about 1 ounce

1 cup loosely packed spinach leaves

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons oil

2 large onions, halved and sliced

½ cup water

Kosher salt to taste

Press Sauté and make sure the device shows 30 minutes. When the display reads "Hot," add half of the meat to the inner pot and brown for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, until you see some crispy parts. Remove to a plate. Repeat for the other brisket half. Remove to the plate.

While the meat is browning, place the garlic and almonds into the bowl of the food processor and process until finely ground and they stick to the sides of the bowl. Scrape down the sides. Add the basil leaves and spinach and process until they are in very tiny pieces. Scrape down the bowl again and process for a few more seconds. Leave the machine on and pour the olive oil in slowly until it is all mixed in. Add the salt and pepper and pulse a few times.

When all of the meat has been browned and removed to a plate, add the oil and onions to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned. Add the water, let boil, and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot clean. Press Cancel.

Use a silicone spatula to spread 2 tablespoons of the pesto on top of each of the pieces of browned meat. If you have more than two pieces, divide the ¼ cup of pesto among them. Return the meat to the pot, pesto side-up, overlapping. Cover the remaining pesto with plastic and store in the fridge.

Secure the lid, ensuring that the steam release handle is in the Sealing position. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the cooking time for 70 minutes. When the cooking time is complete, let sit for 5 minutes to naturally release the pressure. Turn the steam release handle to the Venting position to release any remaining pressure. Press Cancel and remove the lid.

Remove the meat to a pan you can use to rewarm the brisket.

Press Sauté and when the mixture bubbles, add the reserved pesto, reserving 1½ tablespoons to add just before serving. Stir and cook for 4 minutes. Ladle some of the sauce on top of the meat so that at least half of the meat is submerged. Add some pepper on top and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Cover the meat and refrigerate until serving. Place the remaining sauce into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until reheating.

Remove the fat from the meat and the sauce. Slice against the grain into 1/3-inch slices, and if you are freezing the brisket, pour the remaining sauce and pesto on top and stir in. Cover tightly and freeze.

To serve the next day, cover the pan with foil and heat at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, or until warm. Remove the foil, and add the remaining pesto by spooning some on top of the meat and stir some into the sauce. Reheat the remaining sauce and serve alongside.

Serves 8

Reprinted with permission from "The Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook," copyright Paula Shoyer (Sterling Epicure 2021).

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