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Pascale’s Kitchen: Yom Kippur fast, before & after

Once again, Yom Kippur has arrived, and it’s time to prepare the two special meals, one before and one just after this holy day. Both of these meals are important. The first prepares us for the fast and the second help us end it as smoothly as possible.Some people prepare a wonderful, festive meal as they do for all the Jewish holidays, whereas others just eat a regular meal as they would any other night. In order to make it easier for us go without eating and drinking for some 25 hours, it’s important to invest time and effort well ahead of time. The first thing we must do two days before the fast is to start drinking lots of water, at least two or three liters a day. If you normally get a headache when abstaining from caffeine, it’s best not to drink coffee the day before the fast. Learn more about Pascale’s Kitchen here>>I’ve been fasting since I was a little girl, and I’ve had lots of experience experimenting with foods that make the fast easier. Every year I try something new from a different cuisine. This year I chose to prepare a cake I remember from my childhood that is light and fluffy, and therefore perfect for eating right at the end of the fast alongside a hot cup of tea or a cold glass of lemonade.  Next, I’ve added a recipe for raisin-almond cookies that are popular in Tunisian cuisine. The cookies are made with chocolate inside, just like my children love, and which can be served with quince or grape jelly. For the meal, I recommend serving a whole chicken that is boiled in water and stuffed with all sorts of good things. The water turns into a tasty chicken stock that can be served as a first course before the chicken. You can also put the chicken in the oven for a few minutes before serving so that the outside becomes nice and crispy. Gmar Hatima Tova, may you be inscribed in the Book of Life!

ALMOND TORTE
Use a Wonder Pot with a 24-26 cm. diameter.5 eggs
3 egg yolks
½ cup water
3 cups (350 gr.) flour
2 cups (350 gr.) sugar
30 gr. chopped almonds
1 packet baking sodaBeat the eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl. (You can use an electric mixer if you prefer.) Slowly add the sugar and water while mixing. Slowly fold the flour in and then add the almonds and baking soda. Mix. Grease your pan and pour the mixture in. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to medium heat for 40 minutes. Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 1 hour.
Status: Pareve.ALMOND AND RAISIN COOKIES
Makes 6-8 cookies with 15-20 cm. diameter.1 cup oil
6 eggs
1½ cups sugar
½ cup light raisins
¾ cup chopped almonds
½ cup sesame seeds
Zest from 3 oranges
3 packets vanilla sugar
3 packets of baking soda
1 Tbsp. anise seeds
1 cup orange juice
1 kg flour, siftedFilling:
1 cup chocolate hazelnut spreadTopping:
½ cup sesame seedsIn a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients, except for the flour. Gradually add the flour while kneading the mixture until mixed well (dough should be a little sticky).Oil your hands and then take a bit of dough and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Add a teaspoon full of the chocolate filling in the center of the dough circle. Wrap the dough around the chocolate and roll into a ball, then flatten a little. Continue to make chocolate balls with the rest of the dough.Place all the balls with space between each one on a pan that is covered with baking paper. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180°C for 40-45 minutes or until the cookies have turned golden brown.Level of difficulty: Medium.
Time: 1 hour.
Status: Pareve.

STUFFED CHICKENThis Tunisian dish is traditionally served at the end of the Yom Kippur fast. First, the broth in which the chicken was cooked can be served as a first course, and the chicken served after.Makes 8-10 servings.8 eggs
100 gr. beef shoulder meat
1 potato
1 medium chicken (about 1.5 kg.)
2 stalks of parsley
1 slice of bread that has been soaked in water
½ tsp. black pepper
2-3 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. cinnamon or 2 cinnamon sticks
15-16 cups water
Needle and thread for sewing chickenRinse 2 eggs well and cook them for 30-40 minutes in a small pot with the meat and potato. Clean the chicken well and sew the neck closed with a needle and thread.Shred the meat or chop it finely and put it in a separate bowl. Chop up the hardboiled eggs and boiled potato and add to the beef. Chop the parsley and add to the bowl. Squeeze out the water from the slice of bread and add to the bowl. Mix everything well. Add the black pepper, salt, lemon juice and ½ teaspoon turmeric. Mix and then add the raw eggs. Mix well. Take hold of the chicken and stuff the mixture inside it. Then sew up the opening. Fill a large pot with the water and heat over a high flame. Add the rest of the turmeric, the salt and the cinnamon and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, carefully place the chicken inside and lower the flame. Keep the pot covered and continue cooking for another 1.5-2 hours. Serve the broth first at the end of the fast, then the stuffed chicken later. Alternatively, you can place the chicken on a pan and broil it in the oven for a few minutes to make the skin crispy.Level of difficulty: Difficult.
Time: 2.5-3 hours.
Status: Meat.Translated by Hannah Hochner.

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