Apple Cider–Braised Duck Legs
According to Andrew Zimmern, the key to these tender braised duck legs is the balance between the sweet (apples and honey) and the acidic (salt and vinegar). "Taste for that balance before you serve the dish—sometimes a drizzle of your favorite Banyuls or aged sherry vinegar works wonders at the table, he says." Bonus: this dish tastes better the next day and also freezes well.
Jessamyn's Sephardic Challah
Jessamyn Waldman grew up in Canada eating challah, the Jewish Sabbath bread. Unlike the eggy challahs of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe, this version comes from the Sephardic Jews of the Mediterranean, who flavored their challahs with caraway and anise. Many challahs are braided, but this one is twisted into a round, turban-shaped loaf.
Gail Simmons's Horseradish Brisket
Rubbing prepared horseradish on the brisket and whisking it into the meaty sauce punches up the rich flavors here. Like most braised dishes, this brisket tastes better on the second or even third day.
Honey-Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables
The secret to this sweet, slightly tangy dish: the touch of sherry vinegar in the glaze.
Matzo Ball Soup with Dill-Horseradish Pistou
Instead of sprinkling his soup with the customary bits of chopped fresh dill, Adam Perry Lang makes a vibrant horseradish and dill pistou (typically a condiment of fresh basil, garlic and olive oil). A swirl of the flavorful pistou brightens up the soup enormously.
Honey-and-Lemon-Glazed Roast Chicken
Honey, traditionally eaten during Rosh Hashanah, sweetens this chicken dish. Piero Incisa della Rocchetta brushes chickens with a mixture of soy sauce and honey from the beehives in his Patagonia vineyards.
Potato Kugel with Fried Shallots
Kugel is a baked pudding, usually made with noodles or potatoes. This version, prepared with shredded potatoes and fried shallots, is crispy at the edges and deliciously creamy in the middle.
Honeyed Carrots with Currants and Saffron
A casserole of meat, vegetables and fruit, tzimmes is often flavored with honey and cinnamon and cooked very slowly. Here, sliced carrots are quickly simmered with fresh orange juice, honey, ginger and a pinch of saffron, then simmered with dried currants before serving.
Pearled Barley Salad with Apples, Pomegranate Seeds and Pine Nuts
Doughnuts in Cardamom Syrup
These doughnuts are a nod to Sephardic Jewish tradition.
Roasted Whole Red Snapper
For one whole cleaned and scaled 3-pound red snapper.
Jewish Turkey-Wonton Soup
This soup is made with David Ansel's version of kreplach, a Jewish dumpling usually filled with beef. Here, Ansel tweaks the traditional recipe by stuffing delicate wonton wrappers with lots of turkey and chopped vegetables, serving them in a simple turkey broth.
Buckwheat Salad with Mushrooms and Parsley Oil
Melissa Clark puts a healthy spin on her grandmother's kasha varnishkes—a Jewish dish with buckwheat (kasha) and pasta—by leaving out the pasta and adding mushrooms, fennel and parsley.
Honey-Roasted Apricots with Amaretti Cookies
Jessica Theroux drizzles apricots with honey before roasting (plums and peaches work well, too) and crumbles store-bought amaretti (Italian cookies made with egg whites and almond flour) for a crispy topping.
Sugar-and-Spice Skillet-Roasted Duck Breasts
Inspired by Behroush Sharifi's spices and by tagine blends from Morocco, New Orleans chef John Besh created a flavoring mix of cinnamon, star anise, black pepper and sugar to sprinkle on the duck breasts. The spices provide terrific aromas, while the sugar gives the meat a burnished crust in under 10 minutes of cooking.
"Designer soups," as Jordon Carroll calls chef-inspired pureed soups, often have lots of added butter and cream. She prefers old-fashioned ones like this mushroom-barley, which gets its flavor from good-quality beef stock.
Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
This bubbly, sweet-tart cocktail combines sparkling wine, dessert wine and deep-red pomegranate juice.
Holiday Beef Brisket with Onions
When Bruce Aidells was growing up, his family's Hanukkah-Christmas celebration always meant brisket, and this was one of their favorite ways to prepare it. Look for the leaner, flat-cut, or first-cut brisket with a layer of fat that's at least 1/8 inch thick. If you can't find a 6-pound piece, buy 2 smaller pieces. Like most braised dishes, this brisket is best made a day or two ahead.
Kasha Varnishkes with Mushroom Gravy
Kasha varnishkes are a classic Jewish dish from Russia and Eastern Europe made with bow-tie pasta and buckwheat groats. Buckwheat has a marvelous earthy flavor—and nine essential amino acids.
Fried Greek Pastry with Honey and Nuts
"The woman who made the diples [fried dough] was like my grandmother—she wore a bib apron 24 hours a day," Michael Psilakis says.
Persian Chicken Stew
Khoresht fesenjan is a Persian stew made with pomegranate juice and walnuts. Chef Matthew Dillon's rule No. 1 for making this dish: "Use a thoughtfully and responsibly raised whole chicken."
Grilled Quail with Spinach-Pomegranate Salad
Quail seems intimidating to cook, but it's actually quite easy and fast.