So here we are, again, Ready (?) to stand in front of HaShem begging for mercy.
אבינו מלךנו – our father, our king – we cry asking for a better year that the one passed.
Somehow, the liturgy of the High Holidays always brings me to inner tears. I don’t think I am able to cry out-loud anymore, certainly not in front of people. However, the sounds of Rosh ha Shana prayers, as beautiful as they are heart wrenching, make my knees go weak, and I have to sit down more often than it is customary during prayers.
The prayers are long, and at some point, everyone is thinking about the delicious food that is waiting for them at home, or at the hosts’ tables. People love to invite guests and to be guests during these days. The tables are full of laughter and d’var Torah, serious and humorous going hand in hand. The Jews have been sitting at these tables for thousands of years now through times of abundance and times of scarcity.
Today, I was making my father’s z’l favorite dessert – the traditional lekach of my grandmother. It is weird to be making it not for him, just for us – my mom and my elder daughter who are coming to celebrate the holiday with me. My younger one is wondering the world, and I am not even sure when exactly she will be joining the table next time.
I am trying to always make food fresh, especially for the holidays as one is allowed to cook during hag. Some things, however, I make in advance and freeze, as it is as tasty taken out and re-heated in the oven. I believe that anything rolled within the puff pastry dough works quite well. So, today, I decided to make salmon rolls (or for a fancier name – Salmon Wellington) utilizing three simanim – fish, leeks and honey. Wellington is, basically any product, usually fish or beef, wrapped in puff pastry. There is some very loose connection to Arthur Wellesly, the 1st Duke of Wellington, but no-one can really pinpoint that connection, it seems.
I do not make the pastry myself, sorry. Thankfully, it is readily available kosher pretty much anywhere.
Depending on the number of people you will need the number of pieces of salmon and puff pastry squares. Here is the recipe for three that I needed:
1 pieces of salmon fillet skin removed
About 2 tsp honey
One leek, carefully cleaned, trimmed and sliced thinly
1 tbsp coconut oil
About 1-2 tbsp coconut milk
Salt, pepper to taste
Juice of half a lemon or lime
1 egg for egg-wash and a bit of sesame seeds to top
I also had some leftover fried mushrooms with onions, so I used them for the filling, totally optional though.
In the big skillet heat the coconut oil and fry the leeks on high heat for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and coconut milk. Stir well. Drizzle half the honey and stir again. The mixture should be a bit creamy.
Preheat the oven to 410 F.
Roll out the dough using as little flour as possible just so it doesn’t stick to your board. You can shape the dough into rectangle as it was or make it slightly elongated.
Spread the filling mixture, and put salmon piece on top. Wrap salmon in the pastry and pinch the edges. Repeat with each piece.
Put salmon rolls into an oiled baking dish, brush with egg-wash, and cut a couple of slits in the dough to let the steam out. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes depending on the size of your salmon. The bigger it is, the longer it will need.
You can freeze it as I do, then reheat at 410-420 F for 10 minutes or so. It can be served nicely on a bed of arugula salad sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. that way, you can incorporate more simanim.
I am sure, you will find plenty of similar recipes in the blogosphere, good ideas travel, and mine is not original, just adjusted to my own taste. Improvise, and may your New Year bring you new culinary and other exciting adventures!
Shana Tova le-kulam!