OU Presents Delicious Dairy Dishes for Shavuot By Jamie Geller

30 Apr 2013


By Jamie Geller

Jamie Geller 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 youtube.com/joyofkosher and on-air on JLTV. Join the world’s largest kosher food community on joyofkosher.com to discover 5,000 FREE kosher and Jewish recipes, inspiring menu ideas, how-to videos and more! Follow Jamie’s cooking adventures on Twitter @JoyofKosher and on facebook.com/joyofkosher.

I love Shavuot. It’s such a happy yom tov (festival)—full of Torah and flowers, learning and family. And it’s our chance to indulge in yummy milchig (dairy) meals that are as lavish and tantalizing as meat fests. These wonderful seasonal recipes will make your dairy meals a gourmet’s delight, and will even placate the meat-and-potatoes fans in your family.

Shavuot this year falls Tuesday evening, May 14-Thursday night, May 16.

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Sweet roasted and topped with goat cheese crumbles, this beautiful side is both soft and crunchy.

Prep Time : 5 min
Cook Time : 1 hour
Ready Time : 1 hour, 5 min
Servings: 8

8 medium beets, tops removed and cleaned
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
½ cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
¼ cup crumbled Natural & Kosher Goat Cheese
2 tablespoons honey

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets in foil and roast until they are tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Cool to room temperature. Peel and cut into bite size chunks.

2. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, vinegar, and mint and slowly add olive oil while whisking to combine.

3. Arrange beets on a serving platter and sprinkle with pistachios and goat cheese. Drizzle with honey and then drizzle with dressing.

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After a night of Torah learning, a fresh breakfast hits the spot. This is the time for à la minute fare. In the culinary arts (which always sounded to me like painting with ketchup), à la minute refers to a style of cooking where an item, or particularly its accompanying sauce, is prepared to order, rather than prepped in advance. You can make elements of this breakfast à la minute, and prep some ahead of time, so you are not at the stove while everyone else is enjoying the yom tov feast. If you like the idea of à la minute I have a whole menu of à la minute recipes on JoyofKosher.com, and here is a taste:


Slice and serve wedges out of this hearty pretty frittata—just divine with a dollop of sour cream and a touch of salsa.

Prep Time : 10 min
Cook Time : 30 min
Ready Time : 40 min
Servings: 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large red potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced (about 1-pound)
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
10 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Heat oil over medium heat in a 12-inch, nonstick, ovenproof skillet (cover plastic handles with aluminum). Add potatoes and cook 10 minutes or until just tender. Add onions, peppers, and garlic and cook five minutes more, or until onions are translucent.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese. Pour over potatoes and onion and transfer to preheated oven. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until set in the middle. Loosen edges with a spatula and slide out onto a plate. Cut into eight slices and serve with sour cream and salsa.

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Spinach and feta wrapped in buttered phyllo dough—need I say more?

Prep Time : 20 min
Cook Time : 30 min
Ready Time : 50 min
Servings: 16 triangles

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bag frozen spinach, defrosted and drained well (10-ounce bag) 1 cup crumbled feta
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 phyllo sheets, defrosted
1/2 cup unsalted butter


1. Heat oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic for five minutes or until translucent. Transfer to a large bowl and add spinach, feta, nutmeg, and cinnamon and stir to combine.

2. Take one phyllo sheet from stack and arrange on a work surface with the long side closest to you. Brush with melted butter. Top with another sheet and brush with more butter. Top with one more sheet and brush with butter. Cut stack crosswise into eight strips.

3. Preheat oven to 375°F.

4. Put a heaping teaspoon of filling near one corner of a strip on the end closest to you. Fold corner of phyllo over to enclose filling and form a triangle. Continue folding the strip, like a flag, maintaining the triangular shape. Put triangle, seam side down, on a lightly greased large baking sheet and brush the top with butter. Repeat with remaining strips and filling. Repeat with remaining three phyllo sheets to make 16 triangles total.

5. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

TIP: Cutting Lengthwise vs. Crosswise
Cutting an ingredient “lengthwise” means to slice it the long way, the length of the ingredient from “pole to pole.” Cutting an ingredient “crosswise” is the exact opposite and means slicing across the short way.

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This is a fabulous, refreshing change from the ho-hum fish dinner. And it’s quick too. After you let the fish marinate in a slightly sweet, spicy and citrusy mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic powder, salt and cayenne, you bake it for 15 minutes – and there you have it. Serve with lo-mein noodles spiked with sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice and lightly pickled cukes.

Prep Time : 10 mins, Chill time 30 mins min
Cook Time : 15 mins min
Ready Time : 25 min
Servings: 4 filets and 4 cups noodles

1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 (6 to 8-ounce) red snapper filets, skin on
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 (9-ounce) packages Gefen lo-mein noodles, cooked, drained and cooled
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds


1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper and whisk. Pour over fish filets in a shallow baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or for up to three hours in the refrigerator.

2. Meanwhile, combine cucumbers and rice wine vinegar and marinate for 20 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove fish from marinade and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish is flakey and firm.

4. While fish is baking, in a large bowl, combine cold noodles with sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice and sesame seeds and toss to coat. Drain cucumbers and add to noodles.

5. Divide noodle mixture between four plates and top each with a snapper filet. Serve warm snapper with cold or room temperature noodles.

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