• A  A  A  

Hearty Beef Stew Recipe for Hanukkah

We all can agree – there’s nothing that brings you back to life during the cold winter months like a good stew. If you’re in the mood for a wholesome beef stew recipe, perhaps even one you can serve your family during Hanukkah, the chefs at Lester Senior Living have just the right one for you. This kosher recipe is best made the day before if possible. Reheating the stew right before company comes over for Hanukkah dinner, calls for even better flavor! 

Serves: 8-10.
Cook Time: Approx. 2 hours


  • 3 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 yellow onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cups kosher beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 4 carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut in eighths
  • Fresh parsley to garnish (optional)


  1. On medium-high heat, pour vegetable oil into a large heavy pot (preferably one that has a tight fitting lid).
  2. When the oil is heated and begins to smoke slightly, add the pieces of chuck roast in and brown very well. The beef can be added in batches if necessary. Then, season with salt and pepper as the beef browns.
  3. Once all of the chuck roast is browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Next, add the chopped onions to the same pot and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened and translucent.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes stirring often.
  6. Next, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. At this stage, the flour will start to thicken the wine as it comes to a simmer.
  8. Simmer the wine sauce for 5 minutes, and then add beef broth, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, along with the browned beef.
  9. Bring back to a gentle simmer, cover and cook on low for about 1 hour. (Making sure it does not boil).
  10. After an hour, add potatoes, carrots and celery. Let it simmer and cover the pot for another 30 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender. After about 30 minutes, taste the stew and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  11. Turn off heat and let the stew sit for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with the fresh parsley if desired and enjoy!

Trying New Recipes at Lester Senior Living in NJ

Our beloved chefs at Lester are always eager to try out new dishes that also accommodate the dietary restrictions of our senior living residents. Whether it’s a hearty beef stew or something more simple, there’s nothing they love more than perfecting new recipes and serving the residents in assisted living and independent living

For more information about food and customized meal plan options for seniors in Morris County, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org

Kosher Beef Brisket Recipe: Perfect for the Holidays

This kosher beef brisket is made for special occasions like Hanukkah (which by the way, is just around the corner). If you’re looking for a new dish to serve family during those eight crazy nights, look no further! The hardworking chefs at JCHC’s Lester Senior Living have perfected this delicious beef brisket recipe perfect for the upcoming holiday season. The key to this recipe is cooking the brisket low and slow to break it down, resulting in a more tender piece of meat – yum. 

Serves: 8

Cook Time: Slow for at least 5-7 hours (perfect to start the night before).


  • 3-4 lbs brisket, first or second cut with nice marbling
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1-2 large brown onions, peeled and sliced
  • Approx. 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Approx. 1 lb celery, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large can of tomatoes – whole, diced, or crushed 
  • 6 peeled whole garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/3 cups beef or chicken broth, divided
  • Kosher salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and rub all sides of the brisket with salt and pepper. 
  2. Turn your stove top on medium heat and heat a large skillet. Make sure there are 2 tbsp of olive oil in the skillet. When the olive oil is hot, brown the brisket on both sides. 
  3. While the brisket is on the skillet, pour canned tomatoes, garlic cloves, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper and broth into a blender. Blend until the garlic is finely chopped and all ingredients are combined. 
  4. Remove brisket from the skillet and add onions and a couple more tbsps of olive oil if needed. Saute the sliced onions over medium heat until they’re soft and translucent. 
  5. Next, add the carrots and celery to the skillet and saute for another 5 minutes. 
  6. Transfer the vegetables onto a plate and add ½ cup of broth into the skillet and let it heat up. While it’s heating, use a spatula to gently scrape any browned bits and other juices sticking to the skillet. Once done, turn off the heat. 
  7. Grab a large roasting pan and pour about half of the tomato mixture from the blender into the pan. 
  8. Place the brisket in the pan on top of the tomato mixture.
  9. Next, add the sauteed vegetables over top of the brisket, along with the heated broth and browned up bits. 
  10.  Finally, pour the remaining tomato mixture over top. 
  11. Once assembled, cover the roasting pan with a layer of parchment paper, then a layer of foil.  
  12.  Let the brisket roast in the oven for 5-7 hours – the longer the better! Brisket is ready when it can be shredded easily with a fork. 

This recipe easily serves 6 – 8 people, and is a great leftover for at least a week!

Come Try the Food at Lester Senior Living

For more information about Jewish senior living in Morris County, NJ, please contact us today: (973) 929-2725. You could also visit our website to learn more about what it’s like to live in a senior community that is part of the Jewish Community Housing Corporation: https://jchcorp.org/   

Baked Atlantic Cod Recipe: 10 Easy Steps

No Rosh Hashanah is complete without a hearty meal that’s shared with the ones you love. This savory fish dish is perfect to eat before digging into sweet honey cake symbolic to Rosh Hashanah. If you’re looking for a new recipe for the Jewish New Year that is less traditional, this baked Atlantic cod recipe with barley risotto, escarole and beans is a perfect weeknight meal to serve your family and close friends  


  • 4-6 ounces Cod filet seasoned with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and freshly chopped dill
  • 1 cup barley
  • ½ cup diced fine onion 
  • ½ cup diced fine celery
  • ½ cup diced fine carrot
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped fine garlic
  • 1 shallot chopped fine
  • ½ escarole – head washed well, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup white beans (cooked)
  • 2 quarts chicken stock as needed
  • 1tsp fresh thyme finely chopped
  • Fresh chives sliced thinly
  • Chive oil (optional)


  1. Clean fish or buy the fish pre filleted.
  2. In a medium saucepan, sauté onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, and shallots in a little olive oil for three minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Add barley and continue sautéing for two more minutes.
  4. Add chicken stock two cups at time and stir continually until stock is absorbed by the barley.
  5. Continue this process as needed until barley is cooked tender.
  6. Add escarole and carefully fold in cooked white beans.
  7. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.
  8. Season fish with salt, pepper and dill and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
  9. Place 3-4 ounces of risotto on a serving plate, place cod on top and garnish with fresh sliced chives and a little chive oil.
  10. Enjoy the meal with the ones you love!

Culinary Excellence at Lester Senior Living NJ

At the Lester Senior Living Community, we understand how good nutrition plays a big part in maintaining active lifestyles for our senior residents. We equally understand that the way our food tastes is just as important! That’s why our culinary trained chefs in Morris County take extra pride in curating delicious food that also caters to every dietary preference, from kosher, vegetarian, low-carb options and more. 

For more information about senior meal plans in Morris County, NJ, please contact Lester Senior Living today: (973) 929-2725. You could also visit our website to learn more about what it’s like to live in a senior community apart of the Jewish Community Housing Corporation: https://jchcorp.org/

Simple Recipe for Savory Potato Kugel

Who doesn’t like kugel? Especially a savory kugel with baked potatoes. For those who might not know, kugel can be compared to a baked “pudding” that is usually prepared with noodles or potatoes. This potato kugel recipe from our chefs at the Jewish Community Housing Corporation is so good, that we just can’t keep it to ourselves! If you decide to try it out, leave a comment and let us know how it turns out!   

Potato Kugel Ingredients: 

  • Potatoes (approx. 5 lbs peeled and shredded)
  • Yellow onion (1)
  • Shallots (4)
  • Potato starch (? cup)
  • Vegetable oil (1 cup)
  • Large eggs (5)
  • Egg yolks (2)
  • Olive oil (½ cup)
  • Kosher salt (1 tbsp)
  • Black pepper (½ tsp)
  • Nutmeg (pinch)
  • Boiling water (1 cup)
  • Optional: chives to garnish

Potato Kugel Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is heating, pour vegetable oil in a mid sized pan and heat until the oil is shimmering. 
  2. Add your shallots to the pan and cook over high heat until they are golden brown and crisp. Then, transfer the shallots to a plate using a slotted spoon. Save the shallot oil for later.
  3. After peeling and shredding the potatoes, squeeze out as much liquid as possible and transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Then, add the chopped yellow onion, potato starch, salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir well. 
  4. Next, stir in the whole eggs, egg yolks, olive oil and boiling water, followed by the sauteed shallots from earlier. 
  5. Pour your potato kugel mixture into two 8 by 11 cast-iron baking dishes. Important note: Before pouring the mixture in, heat the two baking dishes and add 2 tablespoons of the shallot oil you saved earlier. 
  6. Let the kugels bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake the kugels for 40 minutes longer. The kugel should appear golden brown and crisp on the sides. 
  7. Preheat the boiler and broil the kugels as close to the heat as possible, until they are golden brown and crisp on top. 
  8. Let the potato kugels cool for 20 minutes before slicing into squares, adding chopped chives on top and enjoying! 

Seniors dine in style in Morris County, NJ  

The culinary trained chefs at Lester Senior Living in NJ love to try out new recipes for our assisted living and independent living residents. Our residents have the option to eat in the dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner if they’d like. Not to mention, the majority of our chef’s recipes can be modified to adhere to dietary restrictions and kosher needs. For more information about senior dining options in Morris County, NJ, please give us a call today. You could also visit our website to learn more about what independent living looks like at Lester Senior Living: https://jchcorp.org/independent-living-new-jersey/

Shakshuka Recipe: Eggs with a Twist!

If you’re sick of hard boiled or scrambled eggs, try shakshuka! This popular Israeli egg dish is healthy, easy to make, and incredibly delicious. Not to mention, it can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For breakfast or lunch, you can eat shakshuka with bread, pita or matzah. And for dinner, you can eat shakshuka with a fresh mixed green salad. Before you start to drool, here is the JCHC’s recipe for shakshuka that serves 4-6 people. 

Shakshuka Ingredients: 

  • Eggs (4-6) 
  • Diced tomatoes (3-4 cups)
  • Tomato paste (2 tbsp)
  • Onion (½)
  • Bell pepper (1)
  • Olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • Garlic clove or garlic powder (1-2 tsp)
  • Chili powder (1 tsp)
  • Cumin (1 tsp)
  • Paprika (1 tsp)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL ADD-ONS: Chopped parsley, pinch of cayenne pepper and/or jalapenos for extra spice! 

Shakshuka Instructions: 

  1. Pour your olive oil into a deep pan or large skillet with medium heat. 
  2. Once olive oil is warmed in the pan, add chopped onion and saute until the onions are translucent (approx. 3-4 mins). 
  3. Add garlic and diced bell peppers and continue to saute for approx. 5 minutes. 
  4. Next, add diced tomatoes and tomato paste to the pan and stir well until all the ingredients are evenly blended together.
  5. Stir in the rest of the spices and simmer for approx. 5-7 minutes.  Pro Tip: Taste your shakshuka sauce at this step to make sure it is spiced to your liking. You could always add more chili powder for heat or more cayenne pepper for an extra kick! 
  6. Now, it’s time for the eggs. Crack them carefully over the sauce mixture, making sure the yolks stay intact. The eggs will cook “over easy” while on top of the shakshuka sauce. 
  7. Put a lid on the pan and allow the eggs to cook. Keep checking the skillet for two reasons: 1. So the eggs don’t overcook and 1. So the  sauce doesn’t reduce too much, which could lead to burning. Note: this usually takes 10 minutes, but it could take less time if you prefer eggs that are more runny. 
  8. Optional step: add chopped parsley and jalapenos to the top. 
  9. Serve shakshuka with bread or matzah to dip and enjoy!  

Dining Deliciously at Lester Senior Living, NJ  

The culinary trained chefs at Lester Senior Living are always happy to try out new recipes for our assisted living and independent living residents. Whether it’s a crowd favorite like bagels or an Israeli dish like shakshuka, there’s nothing they love more than sharpening their cooking skills. For more information about dining options for seniors in Morris County, NJ, please contact us today: (973) 929-2725.

You could also visit our website to learn more about what life is really like at Lester Senior Living: https://jchcorp.org/lester-senior-living-morris-county/