Combining symbolic ingredients at Rosh Hashanah is Denise Phillips’ speciality. They all feature in these recipes, fulfilling their function as good omens for the forthcoming year – which will hopefully be overflowing with sweetness, good fortune and blessings.

Pomegranate tabboulehPomegranate tabblouleh 3

 Preparation Time: 10 minutes    

Cooking Time: 15 minutes    

Serves: 6 people

Pomegranates are a very beautiful and majestic fruit; they even have a crown. This makes them both physically and symbolically appropriate to enjoy at Rosh Hashonah. From a medicinal view point, pomegranate juice has also been proven to decrease heart disease by lowering LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and lowering HDL (“good cholesterol”).

This tabbouleh recipe is a very useful side dish. Add some feta or goats cheese to make it a more substantial main course.

Ingredients
200g bulgur wheat
6 threads of saffron
½ red onion, peeled and very finely chopped
400ml vegetable or chicken stock
3 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
3 tablespoons roughly chopped coriander
30g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
100g whole almonds – roughly chopped
100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 pomegranate, seeds only
1 lemon, juice only
Salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste

Method
1. Place the saffron in 50ml hot water and leave for 10 minutes.
2. Cook the bulgur wheat, saffron and water,and red onion in t
stock according to the packet instructions.
3. Toast the almonds in a preheated oven of 200 C/400 F/ Gas
mark 6 for about 10 minutes or until golden.
4. When the bulghur wheat is slightly cooled, add the mint, co riander, nuts and apricots. Season to taste.
5. Just before serving sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and drizzle with a little lemon juice.

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Honey Beef TagineHoney beef tagine 3b

Preparation Time: 30 minutes  

 Cooking Time: 3 hours    

Serves: 6 people

Using honey is a great way of tenderizing meat as well as providing good flavour and natural sweetness. There are numerous types of honey available, the most popular include Sunflower honey, orange blossom, and lavender, Mexican, Greek and Australian.

This recipe is perfect for the forthcoming Yom Tovim when you have extra guests; can be prepared in advance and is straightforward to serve.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
750g cubed chuck steak/ shin of beef cubed
2 onions, halved and sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons clear honey
1 beef stock cube or 2 tablespoons beef stock powder
1 cinnamon stick
1 medium sweet potato peeled and cut into 2 cm chunks
2 large eating apples – peeled, cored and cut into 2 cm chunks
75g no-soak dried prunes, halved
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the garnish
1 large eating apple
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon clear honey
2 tablespoons fresh coriander – roughly chopped

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Season the meat with salt, pepper, cumin and coriander.
3. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the beef in three batches until lightly browned on allsides.
4.Transfer each batch to a large flameproof casserole.
5.Fry the onions and garlic for five minutes, or until softened and lightly coloured, stirring regularly.
6. Tip the onions into the casserole with the beef.
7. Add 350ml water, the tomatoes, chickpeas and prunes to the casserole and stir in the honey. Crumble the stock cube over the top, add the cinnamon stick and stir well.
8. Bring to a simmer on the hob, stirring a couple of times. Cover the dish with a lid, transfer to the oven and cook for 1½ hours.
9. Add the chopped sweet potatoes and apple chunks.
10. Return to the oven and cook for a further 45-60 minutes.
11. For the garnish, cut the apple into quarters, then lengthways into five. Season with ground black pepper. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the apple slices over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Remove from the heat, drizzle with the honey and toss lightly.
12. Scatter the fried apples over the tagine in the casserole and the roughly chopped coriander and serve.

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Spiky Vanilla Apple LoafSpiky Vanilla Apple loaf 3l

Preparation Time: 15 minutes    

Cooking Time:  1 ½ hours    

Makes: 1 loaf    

Serves: 6-8 people    
This is a firm family Rosh Hashonah favourite and quick to make. Enjoy as a dessert or for tea. Using store cupboard ingredients, it is an excellent recipe to have when you need a last minute quick fix sweet!

Ingredients
3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2 cm slices
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g caster sugar
185g margarine
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt

Method
1. In a large bowl, combine the apples, 1 tablespoon sugar and
cinnamon.
2. In the food processor, cream the margarine and 100g sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and beat until smooth.
4. Transfer to a greased and lined 2 kg loaf tin.
5. Push apple slices vertically into batter, placing them close to gether.
6. Bake at 150 C for about 1-1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean.
7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.