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Jun 9, 2005 10:32 AM

Ideas for Shavuot meals....beyond blintzes and lasagna?

  • p

Hi hounds!
We will be making blintzes with the kids for one day, but lasagna just seems too heavy with the arrival of muggy hot weather.
Does anyone have some ideas for lighter dairy main dishes?? Or side salads?
Thanks, p.j.

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  1. Did you try the kosher board?

    3 Replies
    1. re: JoAnn

      I would, except that Chowhound Central chases recipe requests off that board, which is supposed to be limited to restaurant discussions.

      Dairy dishes are traditional for Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah, including the 10 commandments, on Mt. Sinah. Why dairy? Springtime, lots of fresh grasses, baby goats and cows meant lots of milk and cheese.

      Thanks for making the suggestion. take care, p.j.

      1. re: p.j.

        I hate to be a pain, but that is not really the reason for dairy. If anyone wants to know the reason, email me, ask your Rabbi, or check out the link below (5th paragraph).


        1. re: texasmensch

          There are lots of explanations for dairy on Shavuot. I was aiming to give a short sociological explanation, rather than a detailed list.
          I appreciate your contribution and reference to the Aish site. The Shavuot recipes look interesting.
          This is from Faye Levy in the Jerusalem Post this week:"Why celebrate Shavuot, the holiday honoring the receiving of the Torah, with dairy foods?
          Rabbis often explain that the custom commemorates the Israelites' decision to abstain from meat before the important event, for reasons of purity. Yet there were practical considerations too. One was the abundance of milk in spring. Another, according to Marlena Spieler, author of Jewish Food for Festivals and Special Occasions (Anness, 2002), was that "the Israelites were away so long receiving the Ten Commandments that their milk... had begun to turn to cheese." At that time, there were more goats than cows in the Land of Israel, and much of the cheese was undoubtedly goat cheese. This tasty cheese is a wonderful food to include in the Shavuot feast."

          chag sameach, p.j.

    2. How about quiche?

      1. How about quiche?

        Here are a couple of recipes:

        Asparagus Onion Quiche

        Servings: 8

        1 frozen pie crust unbaked 10-inch
        1 tablespoon dijon style mustard
        20 fresh asparagus small, cleaned and trimmed
        1 1/2 cups onion coarsely chopped
        2 tablespoons butter or margarine
        1/2 teaspoon basil dried basil leaves, crushed
        1/2 teaspoon oregano
        1 teaspoon salt
        1/4 teaspoon black pepper
        6 ounces swiss cheese shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
        2 cups half and half
        4 eggs
        1 tablespoon cornstarch

        Chill pie shell for 1 hour. Spread mustard in bottom of pie shell and bake in a preheated 400° oven for 10 minutes.

        Cut 3 inches of tip from eight of the asparagus spears; set all spears aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook eight asparagus tips in boiling water for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, coarsely chop remaining asparagus; set aside.

        In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions in butter or margarine for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add chopped asparagus and saute for 10 minutes. Stir in basil, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Spread in bottom of pie shell. Sprinkle with cheese.

        In a medium bowl, whisk half-and-half, eggs, cornstarch, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper until well blended. Pour into pie shell. Bake for 20 minutes. Arrange asparagus tips in spoke fashion on top of quiche.

        Bake 20 minutes longer or until puffed, golden brown and set in the center. Cool at least 10 minutes
        before cutting into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

        Note: You can use fresh or dried tarragon in place of the basil and oregano if you prefer this herb with asparagus.


        Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Quiche

        Servings: 6

        1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
        1 teaspoon onion salt
        1/2 cup vegetable oil
        2 tablespoons milk
        1 package smoked salmon (kippered or hot-smoked, not lox), flaked (3-1/2 to 4-1/2 ounces)
        8 ounces fresh asparagus spears (about 25), blanched*
        1 cup shredded havarti or monterey jack cheese (4 ounces)
        3 eggs
        1 cup half & half
        2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill, OR
        1 teaspoon dried dill weed
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        1/8 teaspoon pepper

        Heat oven to 425°. Mix flour, sugar and onion salt in medium bowl. Beat oil and milk in measuring cup with fork until creamy. Pour oil mixture over flour mixture; stir until dough forms.

        Pat dough on bottom and side of ungreased pie plate, 9x1 1/4 inches, or quiche dish, 9X1 1/2 inches. Sprinkle salmon over crust. Cut off bottom one-third of each asparagus spear; reserve top spear portions. Chop asparagus ends; sprinkle over salmon. Sprinkle cheese evenly over asparagus.

        Beat eggs, half & half, dill weed, salt and pepper in medium bowl with wire whisk. Slowly pour egg mixture over quiche ingredients. Arrange reserved asparagus in spoke fashion on top of quiche.

        Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Bake 40 to 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edge of crust with strips of aluminum foil after 10 to 15 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.


        *To blanch fresh asparagus spears, place in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes or until bright green; immediately rinse with cold water.

        Note: You can use whipping cream in place of some or all of the half & half to make a very rich quiche. I prefer half & half.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Nancy Berry

          Nancy (and twinmommy):
          Thanks for the quiche idea. My brain obviously hasn't moved in a summer direction yet!

          Nancy, both of your recipes sound delicious. Fresh asparagus is still in decent supply here. No, I won't use whipping cream---we try to cut the butterfat as much as possible.
          In fact, I wonder if the Land O'Lakes fat-free 1/2 & 1/2 would work in the recipe? I have been using it for over a year in my coffee and omelets, etc. Hmmm. Has anyone tried this substitution?
          Thanks, p.j.

          1. re: p.j.

            I just checked out the Land O'Lakes website, which has a terrific ingredients substitution section (o.k. to substitute milk for 1/2 & 1/2 for baking, but not recommended for custards and puddings due to less fat affecting texture and flavor). I then called the 800 number. I was told that LOL recommends NOT using the fat-free 1/2 & 1/2 for baking because it might separate.
            thanks, p.j.
            p.s. I have all the herbs you mentioned. Can't wait to try them in the quiche. I think the tarragon will be tasty. I also have some lemon thyme that I will try.

        2. Oy weh! (that's pronounce 'vay') Such a tsimmes you're making already. THAT'S IT...TSIMMES! Will the little dahlinks eat carrots? Or you could make gazpacho. So vhat if it ain't Yiddish, it's good for you!

          1. My Mom used to make a good pasta dish (of course, then it was called noodles)that started with boiling fettucini noodles with several cut lemons, and then she simply tossed with farmers cheese and fresh minced parsley.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JoAnn

              Thanks! An interesting variation on "noodles (bowties or short egg noodles) and cottage cheese," a comfort food from my childhood that I have never succeded in geting my kids to like.

              My kids do like fettucini...
              Thanks, p.j.