Try a Sukkot bash with a Thanksgiving flair

The simple apple cider glaze on green beans works well with any fresh or frozen vegetable. (Henry Kauftheil)

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The simple apple cider glaze on green beans works well with any fresh or frozen vegetable. (Henry Kauftheil)


(JTA) — I would rather host 50 people at my house for a Shabbat than travel overnight with my kids. So that means if I don’t want to miss the big family party, I’d better bring the party to me.

On Sukkot, if you have lots of company, surprise them by raiding ye olde Thanksgiving recipe box. Believe me, the recipes will taste completely different in your sukkah and they are a creative change from standard holiday fare.

Over the years, my husband and I have hosted countless kiddushes, major holiday get-togethers for family, Chanukah parties and other events — even a Shabbat for 50 when I had a 5-week-old newborn.

No, I’m not superwoman and I don’t try to be! I delegate like crazy, and it works out fine.

That’s one of my secrets. Here are more on cooking for a big crowd without going bonkers.

Menu Choices
* Plan your menu with the precision of an astronaut going to the moon.
* Delegate, delegate, delegate.
* This is why God created turkeys.
* The more people at your table, the simpler the menu should be.
* Stay ON the beaten path.

How to Make it Happen
* Watch out when multiplying ingredient quantities for larger yields.
* Be realistic about your equipment and your space.
* Refrigerator space has a way of shrinking too.
* Relax (yeah, right!)
* Two small platters are better than one big one.

Below are some Sukkot menu choices.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Ready time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 8

for Turkey:

1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 boneless skinless turkey breast (2 to 2 1/2 pounds)

for Stuffing:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bag frozen corn, defrosted (10-ounce)
2 cans chopped green chilies, drained (4.5-ounce)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
8 cups cubed bread (day old or dried out overnight)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine all spices for turkey rub and mix well. Place turkey breast on a greased baking sheet or roasting pan and rub all over with spice mix to coat well. Bake for about 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 170. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook 5 minutes or until softened. Add corn, green chilis and cumin and saute 3 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl and add bread cubes, stock, salt and pepper; mix to combine. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake with turkey breast for 1 hour.

Yield: 1 turkey breast and 8 cups stuffing

This simple apple cider glaze works well with any fresh or frozen vegetable you have on hand for a quick side dish. The recipe uses green beans, but it’s great on sliced carrots, parsnips or other winter root vegetables. Also try it with other types of vinegar or nuts.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Ready time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8-10

2 pounds green beans, washed and trimmed
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 400. Spread green beans on a large sheet pan in a single layer. Toss with vinegar, olive oil, honey and salt. Roast 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but still crisp. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

To save time, use a store-bought prepared graham cracker pie shell instead of making your own.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Ready time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Servings: 8

for Pie:
1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 cup pumpkin puree (15-ounce)
1 cup soy milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

for Caramel Whipped Cream:
4 tablespoons caramel sauce
2 cups pareve whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine crushed graham crackers and margarine and stir. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate in an even layer, across the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes and remove.

Increase oven temperature to 400. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, soy milk, eggs, sugar, maple syrup and spices; whisk. Gently pour into pie shell and bake 40 minutes or until set. Let cool completely or refrigerate overnight for best results.

Gently fold 4 tablespoons caramel into whipped cream. Spread over chilled pie just before serving and slicing.

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie

(Jamie Geller was “The Bride Who Knew Nothing” – until she found her niche as everybody’s favorite kosher cook next door. She is the author of the best-selling “Quick & Kosher” cookbook series, creator of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine and host of the popular Quick & Kosher cooking show online at and on-air on JLTV. Join Jamie and the world’s largest kosher food community on to discover 5,000 FREE kosher recipes, inspiring menu ideas, how-to videos, and more!)

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