Many people have an antiquated view of traditional, Ashkenazi cuisine, or in the United States, simply "Jewish Food". The term evokes visions of gefilte fish, chopped liver, brisket laden in a heavy sauce and of course kugel. But in preserving the old, you can also lighten up your meal with some new favorites to present your guests with a revised view of Jewish Food.
For Rosh Hashana, it's traditional to eat certain foods (simanim) that are thought to represent good fortune in the New Year. Included are fish, dates, pomegranate, fenugreek and of course apples and honey for a sweet new year! This year I was inspired to create a fish appetizer (it could be a main course too) with the assorted simanim. I obtained fresh fenugreek leaves at a local Indian food store, where it is called methi.The result was a really fresh tasting appetizer that kicked gefilte fish back to Eastern Europe. The interplay between the tartness of the pomegranate, bitterness of fenugreek and sweetness of honey balanced really well, without any of the flavors overpowering the beauty of the fish. If you prefer an even sweeter taste (missing that gefilte fish already are we?), you can finely dice about 1/4 cup of pitted dates and add them to the mixture.
For some more fresh flavors this holiday season and beyond, check out the contemporary kosher cookbook, The Silver Platter by Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz. The authors bring contemporary tastes within the bounds of kosher cooking to deliver updated and enlivened recipes for your special occasion or everyday. It's beautifully photographed and the recipes are clear. I recommend the Red Cabbage and Kale Salad as a great accompaniment to this dish (cabbage is a siman too!)
I used salmon fillets, but you really can use any thick or thin white fish as well. You should reduce cooking time to 20 minutes if you use a thin fish like Tilapia.