Mar 222009
 

For holiday meals I don’t have to think too much about side dishes. We all love vegetables. Sometimes, though, I want to serve something a little different, something more festive.  One of my readers and commenters, Abbi, suggested drizzling sweet potatoes with Silan – date honey, before roasting. I liked the idea right away, and served the dish on Shabbat as a tester for Yom Tov.

If date honey is hard to find where you live, or too expensive an indulgence, maple syrup will do very well, or a few tablespoons of honey diluted with a little soup or plain water.

Here are two washed, sliced sweet potatoes, drizzled with Silan and olive oil, and besprinkled with salt, black pepper, cumin, and paprika.  Let them sit in the spices for 15 minutes or so. That’s it, that’s the whole prep.

I made a nest for them out of tin foil, and put it in to roast next to some shnitzles I was doing in the oven. The scant juices (below) I poured out and mixed with pan juices from a roast chicken. The resulting gravy alone was worth the slight effort.

This served four. The Little One loved sweet potatoes made this way.

For the curious, here is what Wikipedia has to say about the date palm and its fruit. And honey-syrup.htm” target=”_blank”>here is a link from Iran about date honey – the site doesn’t mention Israel as a producer of dates, of course.

There’s nothing like a quick and easy side dish when you’re harried and up to your ears in holiday cooking. Thanks for the great idea, Abbi!

Sep 192008
 

Late summer’s fresh figs are at their peak. We eat them halved and drizzled with sweet cream for a luxurious breakfast – baked like apples, with a little honey spooned over them – poached in a light white wine syrup. Or just rinsed and eaten as they are. It’s not a cheap fruit, and spoils quickly, too.  I try to estimate how much my family will eat, and buy only that much. But this week I did overbuy. They were small purple figs, with a curiously tough skin, although their hearts were red and sweet. What to do with them figs? I decided to roast them together with the Shabbat chicken.

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