For the Jewish High Holidays, kosher caterer David Dahan suggests a menu that mostly can be served at room temperature. Only the Moroccan Chicken Tagine requires reheating, but it can be made up to two days before the holiday. "And the best thing is -- it really gets better after two days in the refrigerator," he adds.

David Dahan's Moroccan

Chicken Tagine

6 servings

Traditionally, this dish is served over angel hair or vermicelli pasta that has been cooked in seasoned chicken stock. But it also can be served over saffron rice, couscous or with roasted baby potatoes. Kosher caterer David Dahan's family eats this as a Sabbath meal or to break the fast on Yom Kippur.

2 dried ancho chili peppers

About 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) olive oil

4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Flour for dredging the chicken

1/4 cup white wine or cognac

Two 6- to 7-ounce jars artichoke bottoms, either in water or in seasoned oil, drained and thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored and julienned

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cored and julienned

1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish

8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2 lemon, scrubbed, halved, seeded and cut into matchstick-size strips (peel and segments) or 1 preserved lemon, julienned

1 cup green Greek or Italian olives, pitted

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water or hot chicken broth (may substitute 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric dissolved in liquid)

1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Place the chili peppers in a bowl, add enough warm water to cover and set aside to rehydrate for 20 minutes. Drain, seed and thinly slice the peppers.

In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat 4 to 5 tablespoons of oil.

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste. Dust them lightly with flour, shaking to remove any excess. Add some of the chicken to the skillet, being careful not to crowd the pieces, and fry, turning once, until both sides are golden but the chicken is not cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a large casserole dish or arrange in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Drizzle chicken pieces with 3 to 4 tablespoons of additional oil and the juices from the skillet.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the wine or cognac, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the artichokes, sliced chili peppers, bell peppers, parsley, garlic, lemon, olives, saffron mixture, salt and pepper to taste and water. Bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the chicken pieces. Cover the casserole tightly -- first with foil, then with a tight-fitting lid or several more layers of foil. Bake for 11/2 hours. Baste the chicken with the pan juices after about 45 minutes. If the pan seems dry, add a little more water.

Remove the chicken from the oven, uncover and set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving. To reheat, cover with foil and heat in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Per serving: 486 calories, 44 gm protein, 13 gm carbohydrates, 27 gm fat, 126 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 627 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber

French Lentil Salad

4 to 6 servings

The tiny French blackish-gray Puy lentils are perfect for this salad. But if you can't find them, the larger greenish-brown ones can be substituted. (You will need to shorten the cooking time a little.)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 slice beef bacon, chopped (optional)

1 stalk celery, diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup minced onion

1 cup French black lentils (Puy lentils)


1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1 shallot, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the bacon, if desired, the celery, carrots, garlic and onion and stir to coat with oil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Add lentils and enough water to cover lentils by about 1 inch. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium and gently simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender but not mushy. (Taste after 20 minutes; do not overcook.) Drain the lentils. In a large bowl, combine the warm lentils with the bell peppers, shallot, salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the vinegar or lemon juice into a small bowl. Whisking constantly, add the oil in a steady stream until emulsified. Pour the vinaigrette over the warm lentils and gently mix to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve at room temperature.

Per serving (based on 6): 279 calories, 10 gm protein, 25 gm carbohydrates, 16 gm fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 gm saturated fat, 96 mg sodium, 11 gm dietary fiber

Chilled Salmon With

Herb Mayonnaise

6 servings

This lovely dish -- pale pink salmon dressed with a light green sauce on crisp greens -- can be served warm or at room temperature. The easy sauce uses prepared mayonnaise and lots of fresh herbs. Dahan loves basil as the predominant herb in the sauce, but you can use more of whichever one you like best.

For the salmon:

1 cup olive oil, plus additional for cooking

3 tablespoons minced fresh basil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)

For the herb mayonnaise:

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 chopped fresh chervil or dill

1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon

1/2 shallot, roughly chopped

Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup prepared or light mayonnaise

Lettuce leaves or baby spinach, for garnish

Sliced radishes, for garnish

Minced chives, for garnish

For the salmon: In a baking dish large enough to hold all the salmon fillets, combine 1 cup oil, basil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the salmon and turn to coat evenly with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Sear the salmon fillets for 1 minute per each side. Transfer to large ovenproof dish. When all the fillets have been seared, place dish in oven and bake for about 10 minutes (if you like your salmon with the center still translucent, cook slightly less than 10 minutes). If serving chilled, let cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

For the herb mayonnaise: In a food processor or blender, blend the herbs, shallot, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper to taste for 1 minute. Add the mayo and blend well. Taste and adjust seasoning. If sauce is too thick, add a little more oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To serve, arrange lettuce greens or baby spinach and sliced radishes on large platter. Place salmon on greens, drizzle with herb sauce and garnish with fresh minced chives. Serve with more sauce on the side.

Per serving: 426 calories, 30 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrates, 29 gm fat, 93 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 350 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber

French Lentil Salad.