Friday, January 20, 2012

An Aleks & Sharon Shabbat, Yee Ha!

Mather Street, OAKLAND.
             Shabbat, January 20th, 2012

Wonder of Wonders, after how many years in the Outback (14? bets are still open,) Aleks returned (temporarily) from Australia .. and with a lovely bride.  
Welcome, Sharon!

Mather expanded in his warmth like matza balls in chicken soup.  And for one evening, at least, we all felt that the world was on course.  

Lucky Us:


Aleks & Sharon

Alanya & Mike +Selim & Naveed

Rumei & Cyrus +Sandriz



•Roasted, stuffed Chicken Sephardic Aleppo Style

(Manoushe for Rumeli)




Coffee cake,  

Fenton's Swiss Milk Chocolate, 

TJ's Lemon-Ginger Ice Cream

We started with the blessings early, because the boys' pizzas were ready.  

 Aleks demanded Kipot.

                                                                                      Selim joined in

Blessings began:
 Noni lit the candles, 
          Sharon and Mikej reached for (what on earth are you reaching for?)

We covered our eyes to bless the emergent new, and let the old week slip away.

The Dutiful daughters covered their faces to await the Sabbath Queen;  the guys just watched.

Naveed blessed everything: candles, wine and challah. 

          Dreese ran off with his cup of wine..

Between The Blessings and The Chicken came The Jokes.

Why wasn’t the duck’s bill 12 inches long?
A: Because then it would be a foot.

Knock Knock
Us: who’s there
Naveed: Queen
Us: Queen who?
Naveed: When are you gonna queen your room?

           So there was this Jewish lady who felt she needed to make a trip to Tibet to ask something of one of the spiritual leaders there.  When the urge got so strong that she couldn’t stop herself, she managed to go:  by plane to Delhi, by Train to Tibet, by foot up to the mountain top abode of the sage.  When she arrived, she was finally able to ask her question: 
          “So, Doovid, tell me, when are you going to cut out all this nonsense and come home?”

And finally we ATE:
Aleppo Roast Chicken, Sephardic Style
from Aromas of Aleppo, The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews.

This was pretty damn good, but could have been moister. 
The few changes I would make are noted.
(I made 2 chickens, but one large one would have been enough,  You’ll understand when you see the stuffing.)
Recipe here is for 1 lg chicken.

•1 lg chicken overnight (or 2 hrs out of the frig) in a plastic bag
in a marinade of
•4 lg cloves of garlic
•1 heaping tsp cardamom
•1 heaping tsp paprika
•1 heaping tsp nutmeg
•1 Tb Kosher salt
•1/3c veg, oil

[new addition] When you take the chickens out of the bag, •pour some oil or chicken broth into the bag to make some basting sauce.

Make stuffing (I did this the night before, too)

•1 cup short grain rice (any rice is ok)
parboil in ½ c water til water is absorbed.  about 5 minutes

• 1½ cups toasted nuts: ca ½ c each
            • pistachios
            • blanched  sliced almonds
            • pine nuts
 Freshly toasted, then mixed together, nuts.
Yes, this stuffing is heavy on the nuts.

•1 heaping tsp allspice
• ¾ tsp cinnamon

• 1 lb ground beef or lamb (I used half pound of each.  Don't get lean meat.)

Mix the above with your hands and set aside until ready (in refrigerator if ready = tomorrow.)

When ready to cook,  Preheat oven to 400.
Stuff chicken loosely with meat.

Place remaining meat in a pile next to the chicken in the pan.. loosen the meat with a fork.

• pour ½ c instant chicken broth over the meat-stuffing.  Cover stuffing loosely with tin foil

Bake for 10 min on high.  Lower temp to 350 and cook for 45 minutes, basting with flavored oil or broth.  

Remove tin foil and loosen meat again with a fork.  Add some broth to it if it looks dry.  Re-cover, loosely. 

Continue baking and basting for another half hour or until chicken is done.  
(to find out if it's done, ask Cyrus to put a meat thermometer in it.  (or just cut into the thigh.)

Ours was 175 degrees.  Cyrus said 165 degrees would have been fine.) 

Have Cyrus (or someone who knows how) Carve.  

Place carved chicken over or with stuffings (from inside & outside the roast.)

In no particular amounts, chop
• Persian Cucumbers
• Scallions
• Fresh Mint
• Fresh Basil
• Fresh Cilantro
• Fresh Parsley
and combine with some
• Butter lettuce
• Arugula
• Spinach leaves

The herbs should dominate.

• Toasted Pita bread pieces.

Sprinkle with lots of • Sumac.
Toss with your hands.
Add dressing of • lemon juice and • olive oil
Toss again.    Mikej report: Leftovers are fine the next day for breakfast.

At Dessert we celebrated Cyrus's 35th. 
Dreese gave Dad the Thumbs UP!


Selim balances..
Dreese contemplates

Rumeli smiles at Dreese

Aleks.. with Sharon and Carel smiles( the next day)(above) and smiles here, on the Mather St. Living Room Couch.

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