Simple, Elegant Break the Fast Meal

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Everyone looks forward to breaking the fast, except for maybe the chef, who likely has plenty of other things to do in the days ahead.

So, even though Yom Kippur is still a couple weeks away, here in advance are some quick and easy ways to break the fast in style.

Salmon Pinwheels

Makes six bite-sized canapes; adjust quantities as needed


These are pretty to look at, delicious to eat and oh-so-simple to make. Plain flour tortillas work well, but feel free to use whole wheat, multigrain, veggie, rye or spinach wraps to add color and variety.

The fact that these can be done a day ahead and wrapped in cellophane make these ideal for break fast meals. Just slice and serve.

  • 1 10-inch flour tortilla
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 slices smoked salmon or lox
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion, sliced, white and green parts

Spread the mascarpone cheese all over the tortilla.

Sprinkle scallion slices over the cheese.

Place the salmon in a single layer over the scallions.

Roll up the tortilla.

Slice the tortillas into pinwheels about ½-inch wide.

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Vichyssoise

Serves four

This classic French cold soup is perfect for a mid-September holiday. Do it the day before so it is well chilled and serve it in mugs, garnished prettily with the green portion of the leeks. Traditionally, it is made with chicken broth, but this version, which uses vegetable broth, is just as good.

This is one of the few recipes where I will peel the potatoes; the soup has to be white and creamy — and the skin interferes with that.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 leeks, white part only, sliced (save the green part to snip for garnish)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Generous sprinkling of pepper
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

In a large pot, melt the butter and sauté the leeks and onions until they are fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes, salt and pepper, and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil, then lower, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.

Cool slightly, and puree using an immersion blender or Cuisinart.

Chill completely. Before serving, add cream, stir and garnish the soup with snipped leek greens.

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Cucumber Sandwiches

Makes about 12 finger sandwiches

These light, elegant bites are a lovely addition to a break the fast buffet.

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • Pinch of salt and a sprinkle of pepper
  • 6 slices white or whole wheat bread

In a small bowl, blend the cream cheese, mayonnaise, dill, salt and pepper.

Spread both sides of the bread with this mixture, and place the cucumbers in a single layer on top.

Top with the remaining slice of bread and cut the sandwiches into triangular quarters.

Honey-Lime Fruit Salad

Serves six

My sister-in-law, who attended the Culinary Institute of America, sent me this recipe. It can be altered depending on what you have on hand and what is in season.

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 2 cups cantaloupe, diced
  • 2 cups watermelon, diced
  • 1 cup blueberries, rinsed
  • 4 clementines, peeled and broken into segments
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Place all the fruit in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, mix the lime juice, zest and honey. Drizzle it over the fruit and toss well.

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