by Guest Columnist Pam Reiss
There are no strict rules about what one should or shouldn’t serve for a Purim seudah, but as with most Jewish holidays, it is customary to serve foods with symbolic meaning. When it comes to Purim, there are many traditions and symbolic foods from which to choose. I don’t feel that every dish must have symbolic meaning, but I do like to sprinkle some of the traditional items throughout the meal. I think the most important thing to keep in mind while planning the meal is to make it festive, fun, and delicious!
Though my Pomegranate, Citrus & Avocado Salad doesn’t have much symbolic meaning, it’s bright, fresh and colorful – the perfect start to a festive meal. The main course, on the other hand, is full of symbolism. Moroccan Inspired Chicken in Phyllo Triangles incorporates nuts, a triangle shape, and hiding a filling inside a pastry shell. The nuts are for Esther who, in an attempt to keep kosher in the non-kosher palace most likely ate a vegetarian diet full of nuts and seeds. The triangle shape is in honor of Haman’s hat and stuffing a filling inside of pastry represents the surprises and hidden meanings wrapped up in the Purim story.
Because there is some work involved in the chicken dish, I like to keep the sides simple with an easy Lemon Herb Couscous and a delicious Vegetable Chickpea Stew – both of them a nod to Esther’s vegetarian diet. Finally, it’s not Purim without Hamantashen. This version, with almonds and an Amaretto laced apricot filling, is the perfect end to a festive meal.
About the Author
Pam Reiss lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and wears several hats: She is the co–owner of Desserts Plus, a kosher catering company and specialty food store and is the author of the popular Kosher Collection cookbook series: Soup: A Kosher Collection and Passover: A Kosher Collection. The second edition of Soup: A Kosher Collection was recently released with new recipes and photographs. Pam grew up in the family catering business and loves to travel, write, and to test and create new recipes. Pam's cooking philosophy is simple and straightforward. She has two rules: keep it simple and use the best ingredients. Visit Pam at her website PamelaReiss.com.
February 28, 2012