The long-awaited meal to break the fast after Yom Kippur is often spent with friends and family. After a day filled with prayer and abstinence, your break fast meal should be prepared and ready to heat and eat; this is not a time to spend hours in the kitchen.

It is traditional in Ashkenazic communities to break the fast with a dairy or pareve meal, while Sephardic communities often break the fast with a small dairy snack and then later partake of a full meat meal.  Both traditions include sweet food, such as honey or jams, reminiscent of the sweetness of life and the new Year. The break fast meal also often includes eggs, a symbol of life and rebirth.

The three dishes in this break fast menu combine these traditions, and can all be prepared in advance.

The Beet & Potato Frittata is easy to make, and since the flavors get better with a day or two, it's a perfect dish to have ready before the fast.

For the fish, why not deviate from a traditional poached salmon? Use your favorite kind of fish (such as cod, halibut, snapper, or bass) in the recipe for Fish with Lemon-Egg Sauce, a traditional Sephardic dish reminiscent of Greek cooking.

The Apple-Pear-Cranberry Kugel features the best of fall produce in a twist on a traditional sweet kugel.beet and potato frittata

Beet & Potato Frittata

 1 pound beets (include yellow beets, if available)
1 pound new potatoes (include purple potatoes, if available)
6 eggs, lightly beaten
A handful of chives and parsley, or any mixture of fresh herbs, minced
Dash of salt and pepper
Olive oil for the pan

Peel and slice the beets and potatoes on a mandoline. If you don't have a mandoline, slice as thinly as possible with a regular knife.

Add a splash of olive oil into a shallow, oven-proof pan and add the beets and potatoes. You can layer these in a pattern or just throw them in. Add a dash of salt and pepper.

Cook the beets and potatoes either in the oven at 375 degrees or over medium-low heat on the stove, covered, for about 30 minutes. If you use the stovetop, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When the vegetables are tender, stir in the eggs and most of the herbs (save a small amount for a garnish), and use a fork to make sure the eggs get to every part of the pan.

Place the pan in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through. Garnish with the rest of the minced herbs.

Serve hot or at room temperature. 

fishFish with Lemon-Egg Sauce                                           

Serves 4, but can easily be adjusted for more guests

1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced diagonally
2 celery stalks, sliced diagonally
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
4 fish steaks or fillets, or a whole side of fish for a crowd
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 eggs
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1 tablespoon sugar
chopped parsley for garnish

Place the onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaves in a wide, shallow pan.

Pour 3 cups of water, or enough to eventually cover the fish, into the pan. Add a dash of salt and pepper, and simmer on medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Place the fish in the pan and simmer on low heat for another 10-15 minutes.

Turn off the heat, and ladle off about 1 3/4 cups of the water into a smaller sauce pan, to create a stock. Make a paste with the cornstarch and a bit of cold water in a separate small bowl, and add it to the separated stock. Bring to a boil.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, and stir in the lemon and sugar. Add a few spoonfuls of the stock to the egg mixture to prevent the eggs from curdling, then pour the whole egg/lemon mixture into the hot stock while stirring. Stir until the sauce thickens a bit, but do not let it come to a boil.

Remove the fish from the pan. Remove the bay leaves and garnish with the carrots, celery, and parsley, and pour the sauce over it.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

apple pear cranberry kugelApple-Pear-Cranberry Kugel 

This kugel has a very light souffle-like texture. If you prefer a denser, more custard-like texture, do not separate the eggs in the final stages of preparation.

Serves 8–10

2 pounds tart apples
1/2 pound pears
6 oz cranberries (half a bag of frozen cranberries) 
3/4 cup currants or raisins (or both) – optional
1/2 cup white wine or water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and core the apples and pears, and cut them in half. Put them in a pan with the cranberries, and the raisins, if you are using them. Add the wine or water and cover.

Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the apples fall apart. Mash the fruit into large chunks with a fork and add both sugars.

Cook over medium-low heat for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. When the mixture has cooled a bit, add the egg yolks to the pan and stir well.

Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the fruit mixture.

Pour into an oiled or buttered baking dish and bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until the top browns.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Elisheva Margulies

Elisheva Margulies is a natural foods chef and holistic health counselor based in St. Louis, MO. She owns Eat with Eli and offers personal chef services, catering, cooking classes and nutrition counseling to the community. Eli is also involved with Hazon and works actively within her Jewish community to help people eat more health-supportive food and to kick the margarine addiction. Please visit www.eatwitheli.com.