By Costa Magoulis

For Hometown News

Costa Magoulis is dean of the Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality and Culinary Management at Daytona State College. Contact him at (386) 506-3578 or magoulc@daytonastate.edu.

The feast before Yom Kippur

As a chef, I appreciate food cultures from around the world, especially the history, the preparation, but most of all eating and savoring different flavors.

Growing up in Florida I was introduced to Jewish cuisine by way of the many trips to Miami and the wonderful Jewish delis there. Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering now for the taste of beef brisket, potato pancakes, dill garlic pickles, and I mean GARLIC pickles.

Since Yom Kippur is coming up Oct. 8-9, my flavor buds perked up and I got ready to dine on some great Jewish food. Guess what? Not after sundown Tuesday. Virtually all Jewish holidays involve meals, but not on Yom Kippur, which requires 25 hours of fasting. It is the holiest day of the year in Judaism, The Day of Atonement. No food.

I called a Jewish friend of mind to ask about how Yom Kippur was a Jewish Holiday of fasting and not a festive meal holiday. I told him how I was looking forward to a traditional Jewish festive meal. To my delight I was quickly informed that Jewish law requires one to eat a large and festive meal on the afternoon before Yom Kippur.

So, I got out my some of my favorite Jewish recipes and started cooking. It was no contest; I would cook a kosher beef brisket. I went to Jerusalem Grill in Ormond Beach to get my brisket. I have also found it at Winn- Dixie stores as well; just look around. I get the whole brisket because I have a large family, but if you want a smaller piece, I suggest the flat cut. I think it has more flavor.

Oh, by the way, have you ever wondered what kosher means? Fundamentally all traditional Jewish cooking is kosher. While there are varying levels of observance, the dietary rules that determine whether food meets the standards of being fit for use according to Jewish law remain the same.

Kosher laws are observed year-round with additional considerations during Passover. Meats must come from an animal that has "cloven hooves and chews its cud." This means cattle, sheep, goats, deer and bison are kosher; pigs and rabbits are not. Chicken, ducks, turkey and some other poultry are acceptable under kosher law. In the grocery store these foods will be marked as kosher.

There are many rules for other food, but I won’t go into them here. When I cook, I like the tradition and history of foods passed down through generations, so just bear with me.

Now where was I? Oh yes, brisket. I know this is a popular or traditional dish for Rosh Hashanah, but to my Jewish friends I can’t help myself, I love brisket and here is how I cook it. Hope it is OK.

Brisket

Take a roasting pan and line it with whole stalks of celery, whole carrots, one sliced red onion, one medium sliced tomato, two bay leaves and three cups of chicken stock. Take 1 kosher brisket (if you are not Jewish, a regular brisket), salt it all over with kosher salt (because I like it; better to cook with), garlic power, ground black pepper and place on top of the vegetables.

Set regular standard oven to 200 degrees F, place pan in oven at 8 p.m. uncovered and roast overnight until 6 a.m. It will keep you up all night because it smells so good. Let it rest. You can cook it during the day at 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Enjoy!

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