Yom Kippur Make-Ahead Tricks

The Jewish High Holidays resume this weekend (last weekend, it was Rosh Hashanah), with the observation of Yom Kippur, the Jewish "Day of Atonement." A major component of Yom Kippur is a fast that lasts 24 hours; this year, the fast begins at sunset on Sun., Oct. 1, ending Monday evening, with a ritual meal.

Considered a Sabbath day, no work is to be done on Yom Kippur, which can translate into several hours in temple on Monday as well as no cooking for Monday night's meal.

To avoid rushing home Monday evening after a day of services to prepare a late-night repast when you're likely to be extremely hungry, you may want to consider making some stuff in advance, no later than Sunday afternoon. Below, a handful of break-the-fast ideas that will keep well for at least 24 hours.

Cold stuff that keeps well

Baba ghanouj, using late-summer eggplant, hummus, the classic chickpea puree that takes less than 10 minutes to whip up in a food processor and a salad of couscous, with fresh chopped herbs, chickpeas, chopped scallions, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, plus toasted pine nuts if you like . . . Although decadent and perhaps a wee bit heavy for late-night nibbling, a smoked fish spread is a grand idea for a large group getting together after services (plus it's great for breakfast the next day). However, it is made with butter, if it's all-dairy meal, then it would fit right in.

Hot stuff that can be easily reheated

Soup: how about a puree of winter squash or sweet potato, sweetened with some honey, zipped up with a chipotle chile and fresh thyme or oregano? I was delighted by the results of the roasted red pepper soup that I experimented with earlier this week, a lovely creamy consistency without a smidge of dairy. In fact, as I was polishing off a bowl for lunch yesterday, I was thinking how I should get one last batch of red peppers at a farm market this weekend and make another pot to freeze for later this fall, when I'm craving those peppers.

A great soup partner would be a savory pie, made with chard or beet greens (leaving spinach out of the equation for now), feta and dill. I recently made two, in a springform pan, but you can use a pie plate or tart pan just as easily. This reheats nicely and is also great cold and at room temperature.

One of the things I don't have in my bag of tricks is a tried-and-true recipe for kugel, the classic noodle pudding for many Jewish holiday tables. Who's got kugel? I'd love to hear from you. And if you have a handy make-ahead dish that works for breaking the fast, send it over, in the comments area below.

By Kim ODonnel |  September 29, 2006; 12:20 PM ET Jewish Holidays
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This is from memory....I hope its right, but it's an art, not a science, so adjust as you might like.

My Pittsburgh Mom's Noodle Kugel

1 LB wide egg noodles
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 80z package cream cheese (full fat!)
1 cup sour cream (full fat again!)
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup white rasins if you don't hate them

Boil noodles according to directions.

Mix eggs and sugar well, set aside

mix cream cheese, vanilla, sour cream, and softened butter

Put all ingredients over hot noodles, fully mix - add rasins if you don't hate them

put in 9x13 pan, and bake (covered) at 350 for one hour

Posted by: kugel mama | September 29, 2006 1:48 PM

Helen Nash's 1984 cookbook "Kosher Cuisine," has a really good noodle kugel made with apples, nuts, noodles, eggs, sugar, and pareve margarine. It's good hot or cold. The recipe is on p.282 of the hardback edition. I'm not sure about copyright law, so I have not included the recipe.
Naomi Printz
Austin, TX

Posted by: Naomi Printz | September 29, 2006 5:32 PM

This is an adaptation of family recipes and makes a "sweet kugel" for the New Year.

Noodle Kugel

1 12-oz. package broad noodles
4 tbsp. pareve margarine
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar

brown sugar
walnut pieces

Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain well and return to pot. Add margarine and mix well to melt. Fold in sugar and sour cream. Beat eggs well and fold into mixture. Turn into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan and sprinkle with brown sugar and walnut pieces to taste. Bake at 375 for about 1/2 hour, until top is browned and the noodle kugel is firm when you cut into it. Watch carefully so you don't burn the topping.

Posted by: Linda Chalmer Zemel, Williamsville, NY | September 29, 2006 7:32 PM

Hummus takes only 10 minutes -- AFTER you've soaked, boiled (for an hour), and peeled the chickpeas.

The Pittsburgh kugel is very much like one that I make. I would merely like to note that the low-fat version is also wonderful (albeit not quite as wonderful as the full-fat recipe). Substitute fake eggs for the eggs, light cream cheese for full-fat, and light sour cream for the real stuff. Adding cottage cheese is a nice variation that makes the kugle a little less dense.

Posted by: Marshall Schwartz | September 29, 2006 8:06 PM

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