Celebrations & More: Try a Sukkot bash with Thanksgiving flair

I would rather host 50 people at my house for Shabbat than travel overnight with my kids. So that means if I don’t want to miss the big family party, I’d better bring the party to me.

On Sukkot, if you have lots of company, surprise them by raiding ye olde Thanksgiving recipe box. Believe me, the recipes will taste completely different in your sukkah and they are a creative change from standard holiday fare.

Over the years, my husband and I have hosted countless kiddushes, major holiday get-togethers for family, Chanukah parties and other events — even a Shabbat for 50 when I had a 5-week-old infant.

No, I’m not superwoman and I don’t try to be! I delegate like crazy, and it works out fine.

That’s one of my secrets. Other tips on cooking for a big crowd (without going bonkers) include:

Menu choices

• Plan your menu with the precision of an astronaut going to the moon.

• The more people at your table, the simpler the menu should be.

• Stay on the beaten path.

How to make it happen

• Be careful when multiplying ingredient quantities for larger yields.

• Be realistic about your equipment and your space.

• Refrigerator space has a way of shrinking.

• Relax (yeah, right!)

• Two small platters are better than one big one.

Here are some Sukkot menu choices.


Southwestern Turkey Breast and Green Chile Stuffing

Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

For turkey:

1⁄2 tsp. chili powder

1⁄2 tsp. mustard powder

1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄2 tsp. dried oregano

1⁄2 tsp. ground coriander

1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 boneless skinless turkey breast (2 to 21⁄2 lbs.)

For stuffing:

1 Tbs. olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

1 bag frozen corn, defrosted (10 ounce)

2 cans chopped green chilies, drained (4.5-ounce)

1 Tbs. ground cumin

8 cups cubed bread (day old or dried out overnight)

11⁄2 cups chicken stock

1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine all spices for turkey rub and mix well. Place turkey breast on a greased baking sheet or roasting pan and rub all over with spice mix to coat well. Bake for about 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 170. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook 5 minutes or until softened. Add corn, green chilis and cumin and saute 3 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl and add bread cubes, stock, salt and pepper; mix to combine. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake with turkey breast for 1 hour.

Cider-Glazed Vegetables

Serves 8-10

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

The simple apple cider glaze on green beans works well with any fresh or frozen vegetable. photo/jta-henry kauftheil

This simple apple cider glaze works well with any fresh or frozen vegetable you have on hand for a quick side dish. The recipe uses green beans, but it’s also great on sliced carrots, parsnips or other winter root vegetables. Also try it with other types of vinegar or nuts.

2 lbs. green beans, washed and trimmed

4 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 tsp. honey

1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread green beans on a large sheet pan in a single layer. Toss with vinegar, olive oil, honey and salt. Roast 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but still crisp. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with sliced almonds.


Jamie Geller is the author of the “Quick & Kosher” cookbook series and cooking show online at youtube.com/joyofkosher and on JLTV. Find recipes, videos and menus at www.joyofkosher.com.