Each recipe gives a nod and a wink to different Purim customs, and you will impress your Purim guests with your creativity and knowledge of Purim trivia!
Every year, in preparation for Purim, I scour the Internet and my library of cookbooks for new and fun recipes. This year, I found at least 10,000 hamentashen recipes online. It seems it’s not in vogue to just make your simple jelly-filled cookie hamentashen anymore! They have to be filled with s’mores, hot dogs, Fig Newtons or even lentils. OK, so I really didn’t see any hamentashen recipes containing Fig Newtons or lentils, but I think it’s only a matter of time.
Given that last Purim I gave you recipes for savory hamentashen, and you can easily find one of the 1 million recipes online, I am NOT going to give you any hamentashen recipes this year.
However, I am going to give you fabulous and fun recipes for the much-overlooked Purim Seudah! Each recipe gives a nod and a wink to different Purim customs, and you will impress your Purim guests with your creativity and knowledge of Purim trivia! Purim Sameach and Boo, Haman!
Overnight Rum and Coke Brisket
My dear eldest son came up with the original Rum and Coke Brisket recipe. When I made it for my family and some guests, they all felt that we needed to lessen the rum and add some additional ingredients. So I did! I love making this recipe in advance, and I don’t have to monitor my timer — it stays in the oven overnight (up to 12 hours!). Also, this recipe is perfect for Purim, where we are supposed to drink until “We don’t know the difference between Mordechai and Haman.” Here’s a delicious way to get a little more alcohol in during your Purim Seudah.
Nonstick vegetable spray
3 large onions, halved and sliced
1 6-7 pound brisket
1 pound baby carrots
8 stalks celery, cut into 3-inch pieces
2 liters Coca-Cola
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 25-oz. jar Mikee Brisket sauce
½ cup dark rum
3 cups brown sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 225˚.
Spray a very large roasting pan with nonstick vegetable spray. Line the bottom of the pan with the onions. Place the brisket on top of the onions. Tuck the carrots and celery around the brisket.
In a large stockpot or bowl, combine the soda, garlic, brisket sauce, rum, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. Pour over the brisket. Cover the pan with foil, then wrap the entire pan in aluminum foil (kind of like wrapping a present). Place in the oven for 8 to 12 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. This roast will slice more easily if chilled in the refrigerator for several hours. Reheat at 350˚ for 30 minutes in pan juices.
Note: This brisket is great made in advance and frozen. Simply prepare the brisket as described above, slice, cover with pan juices, tightly recover and seal the pan. To reheat, bake for 1 hour at 350˚, or until hot.
Serves at least 12
Vegetable Confetti Rice
When Mordechai was led through Shushan by Haman (boo!) the Jewish people were so happy I’m sure they threw tons of confetti! Here is a simple, colorful, deliciously healthy way to have confetti at your Purim Seudah!
4 cups vegetable stock
2½ cups brown rice (I like Uncle Ben’s)
2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 large Spanish onion,
2 cloves garlic minced 1 large red pepper, seeded and diced
1 large yellow pepper, seeded and diced
1 large green pepper, seeded and diced
1 large orange pepper, seeded and diced
2 medium zucchini, diced
salt and pepper to taste
In a large 6- or 8-quart stockpot, combine the vegetable stock and rice. Over medium-high heat, bring the rice/stock to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, tightly covered, for 20 minutes (or according to your package directions) until all the stock is absorbed. Remove the rice from the heat and allow to rest, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Remove lid, then fluff with a fork. Set aside.
In a large wok or skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and minced garlic and sauté until the onion is clear and slightly caramelized. Add the peppers and zucchini to the skillet and cook until the vegetables are soft, around 3-4 minutes.
Add the vegetables to the prepared rice, then gently mix until the vegetables are completely mixed into the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold.
Meat Lasagna with Mock “Cheese” Sauce
On Purim, everything is “turned around” — v’nahafoch hu. Most people who keep kosher would never expect a meat and “cheese” lasagna, but on Purim, nothing is what it seems! Here’s a way to surprise your Seudah guests with a fabulously unexpected dish.
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 lbs. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced 1 large onion, chopped
2 6-oz. cans tomato paste
2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
1 lb. package lasagna noodles
2 tsps. salt
Nonstick vegetable spray
2 cups soy milk or almond milk
5 Tbsps. cornstarch
2 Tbsps. garlic powder
2 tsps. dried oregano
2 Tbsps. margarine
1 cup nondairy shredded mozzarella, optional
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the ground beef and sauté over medium-high heat until browned. Drain the beef, then add the garlic and onion. Cook until the onion and garlic are translucent. Add the tomato paste and sauce to ground meat. Reduce heat to low, cover with a tight fitting lid, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Fill a large stockpot with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles, being careful to separate the noodles. Return the noodles to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 7 minutes, until the noodles are just cooked. Remove the pot from the heat and immediately put it in the sink and run cold water to cool the noodles and stop them from cooking further. Leave the noodles in the cool water until ready to assemble the lasagna.
In a small pot, combine the soy milk, corn starch, garlic and oregano. Whisk to completely combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Add the margarine and stir until melted and completely blended. Note: If the sauce gets too thick, add more soy milk. Consistency should be drizzleable.
To assemble the lasagna:
Spray a 9×13-inch lasagna pan with nonstick spray. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan. Then layer noodles, meat and “cheese”. End with noodles topped with “cheese”. Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes, covered. Uncover, top with croutons and non-dairy cheese (if using) and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the lasagna is lightly browned.
I said that I wouldn’t publish any hamentashen recipes, but I really felt the need to at least wink at a recipe that represented Haman’s (BOO!) famous hat. If you really, really don’t feel like doing all the work to make 48 triangle pastries, just don’t cut the squares in half and you can serve 24 square Napoleons. But that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun!
1 box puff pastry with 2 sheets
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 3.4-oz. box French vanilla pudding mix
4 cups powdered sugar
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbsps. corn syrup
½ cup + 3 Tbsps. boiling water
For the pastry:
Remove puff pastry box from the freezer and allow to defrost at room temperature for 30 minutes (no more than 40).
Preheat oven to 400˚.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Set aside.
Place one puff pastry sheet on a very lightly floured surface, leaving the remaining puff pastry sheet in the package. Unfold the sheet. Cut the sheet into three long strips (you can use the crease lines). Cut each strip in half, then each half into half again. You should have 12 squares altogether. Cut each square diagonally in half, and place the triangle on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining squares.
Remove the second puff pastry sheet from the package and repeat the cutting process, placing the triangles from the second sheet on the second prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 17-20 minutes until the triangles are puffed and lightly browned.
For the cream:
Combine the cream and the pudding mix in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until thick and very stiff.
For the glaze:
Combine the powdered sugar, corn syrup, cocoa powder and water in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Cover the bowl tightly until ready to use.
To assemble the Napoleons:
Using a sharp knife, slice each pastry in half, leaving a top and bottom half of the baked pastry.
Spoon some cream onto each pastry bottom.
Using a spoon or offset spatula, cover the filled pastry with chocolate glaze. Gently place the pastry top on the cream. Repeat with remaining pastries.
May be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Makes 48 pastries