Ever tried hosting your own Shabbat dinner and felt a touch… overwhelmed? Bethany from The Glamorous Housewife is here to help with her new series on Kveller.
Hi there! My name is Bethany Herwegh and I am The Glamorous Housewife. I am thrilled to be starting a new series here on Kveller regarding all things Shabbat dinner. I started making Shabbat meals about nine years ago and I now host about 35-40 meals per year. So though I am not a chef, I do know a few things about cooking and hostessing a dinner party, and I would like to share that knowledge with you.
Once a month I will be laying out an easy and tasty dinner meal based on seasonal products that are geared for the unskilled at-home cook. I know how intimidating it can be to have people over for dinner, especially if you are not experienced around the kitchen, but I think I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I would like to teach you so you too can enjoy all that Shabbat dinner has to offer.
I am starting with a simple winter meal with big bold flavors but not much effort. The main dish is maple dijon chicken with fresh rosemary and is supported by roasted brussels sprouts with a garlic dipping sauce, mashed potatoes, a roasted squash salad, and for dessert, a raspberry and chocolate trifle.
The first thing you are going to want to do is read through every single recipe and make sure you understand them. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. I am always happy to help. Then you can print out this grocery list and get shopping! If you can only dedicate time to cooking for a short amount each day, I suggest grocery shopping on Tuesday or Wednesday. Then you can begin to prepare the food on Wednesday and Thursday, then finish up on Friday.
1. Buy your groceries
2. Make the dressing for the salad. If you don’t want to reduce the apple cider, don’t bother. It won’t be quite the same, but should still taste delish.
3. Make the garlic dipping sauce for the Brussels sprouts.
4. If time, make the sauce for the chicken.
1. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half and cube the squash. To save time, you can buy the squash already cubed at certain grocery stores like Trader Joes.
2. Roast the sprouts and the squash on two separate trays, but in the same oven. Be sure to check on them every 10-15 minutes.
4. If time, set the table.
1. Pull the roasted veggies out of the fridge and bring to room temperature. You can also pop them in the oven before the sun goes down with the chicken and potatoes.
2. Make sure your table is set. Here is a basic setting diagram.
3. Peel and mash the potatoes. Keep warm in a crock pot, or in a low-heated oven. Temperature should be around 125-150 degrees. Lightly cover each dish with tinfoil to help it stay moist. Remember, the longer it sits in an oven, the dryer it will become.
4. Cover chicken with sauce and bake. Keep warm in oven or serve at room temperature.
5. Make the salad, but don’t dress it until all of your guests have arrived and you are about to serve. If you dress the salad too early, it will wilt and get soggy.
6. Don’t forget the challah!
If this seems too daunting for you, simply buy a roasted chicken or two and omit the dijon chicken. I do this all the time and my guests never seem to mind. You can also purchase a dessert from your favorite bakery leaving just the salad, sprouts, and potatoes to cook.
As for setting the table, if you don’t have any decent dishes, then just use paper plates. You can find some really elegant ones at PartyCity or Target. Just be sure to buy them ahead of time. You don’t want to be running to the market as the sun is setting on Friday because you forgot the dishes!
Whatever you do, remember that you are supposed to be enjoying this new experience, and you are just starting out. Nobody expects you to be perfect. I have found my guests are thrilled to get together and drink some wine, shmooze, and enjoy our time together. I hope this has inspired you into cooking your own Shabbat dinner. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Good Shabbos!