The Shabbat Table: The modern Kosher kitchen, it’s so fein!

Panko crusted turkey cutlets with cranberry and pear chutney

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! I just returned from a short visit to my favourite city, New York, to attend KosherFeast and KosherFest. At the KosherFeast dinner, which took place at Le Marais, we had an incredible buffet of excellent dishes and more than 100 kosher foodies attended the dinner. Last year, I was the recipient of the first Gil Marks Memorial Award and I was so thrilled that this year’s recipient is cookbook author, Ronnie Fein. Well-deserved!

Below are some terrific ideas for your Shabbat table from Ronnie Fein’s latest cookbook The Modern Kosher Kitchen: More than 125 Inspired Recipes for a New Generation of Kosher Cooks (Fair Winds Press). With American Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday, November 24th, and with all the feasting involved, I know that many of my readers will appreciate recipes that are somewhat healthier and less caloric!


Ronnie writes: “ Today we know we have to eat smarter and healthier. Modern Kosher cooks will do what all those who have come before them have done: conform kashruth to how we wish to eat now, with healthier recipes and dishes that are exciting and use fresh herbs and spices, whole grains, and less meat. Dishes that take advantage of the bounty of produce and products available today. Dishes that Grandma never cooked, using ingredients she never knew existed.”

Ronnie continues: “Kosher cooking is changing along with these trends. Today, more and more of us are cooking with and eating new ingredients. Sriracha-infused mayonnaise. Crème fraiche. Lemon-grass, freekeh, ponzu sauce. It gets easier to do all the time, too, because every year thousands of new Kosher-certified products become available to meet the demands of sophisticated Kosher home cooks.“

If you’re looking for a scrumptious Cornbread Stuffing recipe to serve alongside your turkey, or if you have extra challah left over from Shabbat, check out Ronnie’s Chocolate Challah Bread Pudding, both at Also check out her recipe for GIANT Knish. Let the feasting begin!

Adapted from: The Modern Kosher Kitchen by Ronnie Fein

Ronnie writes: “Cooked oat groats make a terrific side dish in place of the more usual rice or potatoes. But more often than not I let the grains cool and use them for salad. They’re so mild and versatile that I make a different version each time. This one includes carrots to highlight the grain’s naturally sweet flavor, imported olives to add a tangy highlight, and lima beans to give it extra color.”

1 cup (185 g) oat groats
2 cups (475 ml) water
1 cup sliced carrots (1/2-inch, or 1.3 cm, thick)
1 cup (100 g) cauliflower cut up into bite-size pieces
4 Tbsp (60 ml) olive oil, divided
3/4 cup (125 g) frozen baby lima beans, thawed
1/3 cup (55 g) chopped red onion
1/2 cup (110 g) pitted black Nicoise olives, cut in half
3 Tbsp (45 ml) white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C), or gas mark 7. Place the oat groats in a saucepan, cover with the water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for about 25 minutes or until the groats are tender but still a bit chewy. Drain any water that has not been absorbed. Spoon the groats into a bowl.

Place the carrots and cauliflower on a baking sheet. Pour about 1/2 Tbsp (7.5 ml) of the olive oil over the vegetables, toss to coat them, and roast for 15 minutes. Add the lima beans and red onion, toss with the carrots and cauliflower, and roast for another 5 minutes.

Remove vegetables from the oven, let cool, and add to the cooked oat groats. Mix in the olives. Pour in the remaining olive oil and the white wine vinegar and toss to coat the ingredients. Sprinkle with thyme and season with salt and pepper. Toss the ingredients and let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings

Serving Suggestions and Variations: Use farro, spelt, or wheat berries instead of the oat groats; use peas or edamame in place of the lima beans.


Our family loves Thanksgiving, and sometimes we have a second holiday dinner in the spring. But when a whole huge turkey just doesn’t seem right and we are yearning for that turkey-cranberry sauce combo, these cutlets and chutney do beautifully.

For the Chutney:

12 oz (340 g) fresh cranberries
1 cup (150 g) brown sugar
2 firm pears, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
3/4 cup (100 g) raisins
1 cup (235 ml) apple cider
6 Tbsp (90 ml) apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp (12 g) finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp chopped chile pepper

For the Turkey Cutlets:

1/2 cuo (64 g) all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 Tbsp (15 ml) water
1 1/2 cup (75 g) Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds (680 g) turkey cutlets
Vegetable oil, for frying

Make the Chutney: Place all the chutney ingredients in a saucepan. Mix and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Let cool. Serve with the turkey cutlets. Makes about 3 cups (750 g).

Make the Turkey Cutlets: Place the flour in a dish. Beat the egg and water in a bowl. Mix the Panko with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a third dish. Coat the turkey cutlets with the flour; shake off the excess. Coat the cutlets with the beaten egg. Press the cutlets into the Panko mixture, coating the entire surface. Let the cutlets air-dry for about 15 minutes. Heat about 1/8 inch (3 mm) vegetable oil on a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot enough for a Panko crumb to sizzle, add the cutlets, a few at a time, and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until crispy and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Serve the cutlets with the chutney.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Did you know? Air-drying helps the coating stick better, so fried foods will become tantalizingly crispy, and you won’t wind up with an enormous amount of crumbs in the frying pan.


Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, so they don’t need piles of brown sugars or other sweeteners to make them taste good. This dish has just a bit of maple syrup and gets extra sweetness and flavor from roasted apples and juice. It’s one of my go-to dishes (a Thanksgiving must!) because I can make it ahead by a day or so.

3 pounds (1.4 kg) sweet potatoes
2 large apples, preferably baking apples
2 Tbsp (28 g) Earth Balance Buttery Spread or margarine
2 Tbsp (28 g) coconut oil
2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Approximately 1/2 cup (120 ml) orange or tangerine juice
Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Roast the sweet potatoes for 55 to 60 minutes or until tender. Part way through the roasting period, peel the apples, cut them into quarters, remove the core and seeds, and wrap the quarters in aluminum foil. Roast the apples in the same oven as the sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes or until tender.

When cool enough to handle, cut the sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Add the apples and any accumulated juices. Mash the sweet potatoes and apples together. Add the Buttery Spread, coconut oil, maple syrup, ginger, and cinnamon. Mash and mix thoroughly to blend the ingredients. Add some of the orange juice, using enough to mix the ingredients to the desired consistency, Season with salt. Place in a casserole dish to reheat (at 400°F [200°C, or gas mark 6]).

Yield: Makes 8 servings.

Did You Know? Sweet potatoes are sometimes marketed as yams. No matter what the store sign states, these are different varieties of sweet potatoes. Yams are not grown commercially in the United States.

Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is the author of twelve cookbooks and divides her time between work as a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, and cookbook editor. Norene lives in Toronto, Canada and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website or email her at [email protected].