Too many people are stuck in a rut when it comes to gefilte fish. Take it out of the jar, add a dollop of horseradish and carrot. But this recipe from frequent MJL contributor and cook extraordinaire Avigail Hurvitz-Prinz shakes up the classic, offering something that will surprise and delight everyone at your seder.
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 large can of crushed tomatoes (800 grams)
1/2 cup dates (diced)
½ cup raisins
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons cumin
a pinch red pepper flakes
a pinch sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 quart water
gefilte fish, either frozen roll or jarred
Saute onions in oil over medium high heat until translucent.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the carrots. After the carrots have softened a bit, add the spices, the can of tomatoes, the dried fruit and the water. Raise the temperature and bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer.
For Frozen Gefilte Fish
Add frozen fish loaf according to the instructions on their package which will likely be something like the following.
Return to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cook for 90 minutes covered. Refrigerate. Remove paper, slice and serve at room temperature.
For Jarred Gefilte Fish
After simmering the tomato stock for about an hour follow this recipe.
(This is cheating for those of us who don’t have easy access to frozen gefilte fish.)
Open the jar and place the gefiltes in the tomato sauce for about a minute. Serve at room temperature.
This recipe comes to us from Rivka at NotDerbyPie. Rivka is a native Washingtonian, back in her home town after stints in Manhattan and Jerusalem. Food is “merely” a hobby for her — she’s a consultant during the day — but she writes and photographs food beautifully, and she’s the author of some of our favorite and most popular recipes. Here she gives us a recipe for carrot kugel, adapted from everyone’s favorite sisterhood cookbook, “Second Helpings, Please.” Theirs is a year-round recipe (who doesn’t love a little carrot kugel after a long day at work?) but Rivka only makes it on Passover, and has adapted it to be both Passover friendly and slightly more delicious.
1 cup matzah cake meal
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 1/4 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup melted butter or canola oil
Preheat oven to 325F and set a rack in the center of the oven.
Butter and flour an 8" square baking pan.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, oil, lemon juice, and carrots.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until the two are combined and no lumps of flour remain. Transfer batter into the prepared baking pan, and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 45 minutes; when done, kugel should spring back when touched.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Mayim calls this recipe “ridiculously rich and decadent” and promises you won’t be able to tell that it’s kosher for Passover and vegan. And if you don’t trust Mayim, who do you trust?
1/4 cup almond meal - or just finely grind almonds in a processor to 1/4 cup worth!
1/4 cup matzo cake meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb plus 1 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (do NOT exceed 61% cacao which I know you all want to!?)
6 Tablespoon plus 1 Tablespoon unsalted pareve margarine
3 large eggs where 1 egg = 2 tbsp water + 1 tbsp oil + 2 tsp baking powder (best cheap egg replacer for pesach ever!)
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon finely grated orange peel
Sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Preheat oven to 350F. Coat 9" glass pie dish with margarine. Whisk almond meal, matzo cake meal and salt together in a bowl.
Combine 1 lb chocolate and 6 Tablespoon margarine in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-30 sec intervals until smooth, stirring often. Set aside to cool.
Beat "eggs" with sugar and vanilla about 2 min. Beat in orange peel, then chocolate mixture. At low speed, beat in dry ingredients. Transfer to pie dish, place on rimmed baking sheet because it will drip a bit!
Place sheet with pie in oven and bake until cracked on top and tester comes out with most crumbs attached, 45-50 min. Cool to room temp; center will fall, this is NORMAL! Don't freak out.
Combine 1 ounce chopped chocolate and 1 Tablespoon margarine in microwave safe bowl in 15 second increments until glaze is smooth, stirring often. Drizzle over pie! Sprinkle with almonds. CAN BE MADE 1 DAY AHEAD, CHILL UNTIL COLD, TENT WITH FOIL AND CHILL!
I highly recommend with eat this with strawberries tossed with a little sugar (2 Tablespoons per 1 1/4 lbs hulled strawberries works nice). Add 1 teaspoons of orange zest if you're feeling frisky. And you will be after tasting this!!!
Sometimes you need a break from all the heavy meat and kugels that are typical during Passover. This salad is a refreshing treat and can either be served as part of your Seder menu or during the week alongside a piece of grilled chicken or fish. Enjoy!
Rachel Korycan lives in Washington, D.C. and is a Development Coordinator at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
1 package of arugula or lettuce of your choice
4 blood or navel oranges, chilled, peeled, excess pith removed, and sliced crosswise
1 small thinly sliced red onions
2 peeled, pitted and sliced avocados
For the dressing:
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-3 Tablespoons honey or sugar
1 Tablespoon orange blossom water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped fresh spearmint
1/4 cup olive oil
To make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the juices, zest, salt, cinnamon, honey, orange blossom water and spearmint. Slowly whisk in the oil.
To make the salad: Arrange the greens on chilled individual serving plates or on a chilled platter. Divide the orange slices, red onions and avocados among the serving plates, or arrange in overlapping sections on the platter. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.
Our family has served two kinds of charoset for the past decade — while nothing can take the place of my aunt’s Eastern European charoset, with apples and walnuts cut in the same wooden bowl with a mezzeluna and put in the same green-tinted glass jar with cinnamon and Manischewitz to marinade overnight — the Sefardi/Mizrahi charoset has made a place for itself.
Charoset, regardless of ethnicity, is made of layers of flavor and constant taste-testing. Not such a bad plan during your potentially hectic holiday prep.
1 cup dried figs
1 cup raisins
1 cup pitted medjool dates
1 cup almonds
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
2-3 Tablespoons pomegranate juice
Put the figs, raisins, dates and almonds into a food processor. Let it pulse until you have a thick and sticky paste.
Using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the food process and transfer contents to a large bowl.
In a small bowl mix the pomegranate juice and spices together and pour over fruit-nut mixture. Begin mixing everything together with your hands. If the mixture is too dry, add more pomegranate juice.
Pinch of a piece of the mixture and roll into a ball, the size of 1-1.5 bites. Keep a bowl of tepid water on hand, as your hands will get covered.
There are many different varieties of Charoset – from Bubbe’s traditional apple and Manishewitz to various Sephardi styles with dates and other dried fruit. I know each family has their own recipe, but I think its nice to change things up every now and then during the holidays.
The first time I made Seder for my family, I tried this recipe and adapted it over time to the recipe below. If you don’t want to make your own candied walnuts, go ahead and buy them! Fairway, Trader Joes and other major supermarkets will carry candied walnuts or pecans which you can certainly substitute.
4 gala apples, peeled and diced
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup Manischewitz
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest (optional)
1 cup walnut halves
4 cups vegetable oil
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl.
In a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil to 350°F. Fry walnuts until golden brown, about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn. Using a slotted spoon, transfer walnuts from skillet to bowl containing sugar mixture. Toss walnuts in sugar, then spread on baking sheet. Cool 15 minutes, then chop roughly.
Combine nuts, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, apples, pomegranate seeds, zest, wine and pomegranate juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Though I am a big supporter of a kosher-for-Passover ice cream maker, I realize that it’s a completely unnecessary expense. So, in the absence of an ice cream maker, you might be left with a dearth of good dessert ideas.
Enter the granita. Originally created in Italy, the granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and flavoring. It requires absolutely no special equipment, and the beautiful thing about this granita is that it can be served as a dessert (perhaps with some fresh berries on the side) or as an intermezzo (or, as I prefer, an intermatzoh) to cleanse the palette between courses at the Seder. It’s your choice…and whatever you decide, you won’t be disappointed.
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Juice from 2 lemons (approximately 4 Tablespoons)
Zest from 1 lemon
3 cups strawberries, hulled
1 Tablespoons potato vodka (optional)
Normally simple syrup is made with 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, in other words, a 1:1 ratio. However, this recipe cuts down on the sugar.
Prepare the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking often to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 4 minutes, while continuing to whisk until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool, then transfer to a bowl or container, cover, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
While the mixture is cooling, place the strawberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and vodka into a blender and mix until smooth.
Pour the cool simple syrup into the strawberry/lemon puree and blend until mixed.
Pour into an 8x8 square glass pan and freeze. After approximately 2 hours, check the granita. Once it has started to freeze run a fork through the entire pan and begin breaking up the ice to make little icicles. Return the dish to the freezer, then check the mixture every 30 minutes afterward, stirring each time and breaking up any large chunks into small pieces with a fork, until you have fine crystals of homemade granita!
If by mistake, you forget about the granita and it freezes solid, run a very sharp knife through frozen mixture from one side of the pan to the other to loosen the ice crystals. Then scrape a fork back and forth to create fine crystals. Scoop into a cup and enjoy!
While this makes a quart of granita, it doesn’t actually serve as many people as a quart of ice cream. Expect to serve four people with this, especially because they’ll definitely come back for seconds!
Serve with fresh strawberries and a lemon wedge to enhance the presentation. Enjoy!
The lamb shank (Zeroa) is a crucial component of the seder plate, a reminder of the Korban Pesah (Paschal Lamb) sacrificed when the Israelites left Egypt, and for generations to follow, as long as the Temple was standing. Families gathered the first night of Passover to feast on the sacrifice of roasted lamb. Most Jews place a shank bone on the seder plate, to fulfill the memory of the sacrifice, which itself is forbidden in the absence of a Temple. Many take care to omit all roasted fare from their meal, in the spirit of the prohibition against the Paschal lamb in the Diaspora.
Syrian Jews have a fascinating custom that seems to defy Passover conventions. We start off our Seder meal (Shulhan Arukh) with lamb! In keeping with the interdiction, the lamb must be boiled, and not roasted, as the primary method of cooking, and may not be noted as being eaten in remembrance of the Paschal Lamb (Yalkut Yosef Volume 5: pp. 406- 7).
The traditional recipe, passed down to me by my grandmother, calls for boiling the lamb, then continuing to brown it in the oven. The tender meat is then stripped from the bone, which is reserved for the seder Plate. The delicate lamb morsels, gently warmed and served with lemon and allspice, disappear before the soup makes it to the table! In this recipe, pickled lemons add a kick that cuts through the richness of the lamb, and the addition of quinoa elevates it from an appetizer to a main dish (you can substitute rice for the quinoa if your custom is to eat rice on Passover). If your guests are not quite ready for lamb at the Seder table, this makes a delectable one dish meal for another Passover night!
2 small lamb shanks, or 1 large lamb shank
several garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 cups quinoa
6 cups boiling water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4-5 lemons for pickling plus the juice of 1-2 lemons
Kosher salt for sprinkling (approx. 2-3 Tablespoons)
Canola oil (about 1/3 of a cup, depending on the size of the jar)
Paprika to taste
16oz glass jar with tight-fitting lid
Begin by pickling the lemons a few days before you want to serve the meat. Normally, the pickling process takes several weeks, and once properly preserved, the lemons can be kept in the refrigerator for about a year. To speed things up, cut your lemons into wedges, sprinkle them with Kosher salt, and freeze them for 3-4 hours. When they are frozen, you are ready to pickle.
Start with a very clean glass jar, with a 16oz capacity (equivalent to 2 cups). If your hands have any cuts, you might want to wear gloves. Begin layering the lemons into the jar, packing the lemons tightly together, and sprinkling some salt and paprika between the layers as you go. Press down firmly on the lemons, then pour enough fresh lemon juice to cover. Fill the remianing space in the jar with oil, and cover tightly. Leave the jaw on your counter for 3-4 days, shaking or turning the jar over every day or two. Once pickled, store in the refrigerator. Rinse off pickled lemons as you use them.
To make the shanks, place the shanks in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about twenty minutes. Occastionally skim the foam and impurities that form at the surface. Once cooked, gently remove shanks from the pot and rinse with cold water. Pat dry, and place in a deep metal pan.
Drizzle the shanks with the olive oil, and season with chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika to taste and rub the oil and spices into the surface of the shanks. Pour about 1 inch of water to cover the bottom of the pan, to prevent the lamb shanks from sticking. Place in the oven at 350F. Cook for about 45 minutes, until nicely browned and tender.
once cooled, de-bone the meat from the shanks. Reserve the shank bone for the seder plate, if using. Tear or cut the meat into bite-sized chunks. The lamb may be frozen at this point, if not using right away.
To make the quinoa, coat the bottom of a large oven-proof casserole with the olive oil. Add the quinoa, water, salt and spices, and stir well. Add the lamb pieces, cover, and bake at 350F for about 1 hour or until quinoa is tender. Serve hot, garnished with the pickled lemons.
1 lb of parsnips
1 large onion, diced
6 button mushrooms, diced
5 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
Bring large pot of water to boil, and cook the parsnips until soft and tender. Drain and set aside.
In a skillet, saute the onions and mushrooms in canola oil until brown.
In a mixing bowl, mash the parsnips and add butter or margarine, mushroom and onions.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Welcome to the Nosher’s Communal Seder. Pull up a chair, and we hope you came hungry, because we’ve got a full seder’s worth of recipes for you, from bitter herbs that will make your eyes tear up all the way to chocolate mousse two ways, we’re here for you. We promise not to make you say the Four Questions, but we do ask that you try everything—and we promise it’s all delicious. We tapped our favorite food bloggers and writers, and they are all ready to present you with some of their favorite Passover recipes. Starting on Monday we’ll be posting a few recipes per day, and by April 2nd (also known as t-minus four days til Seder #1) you’ll have two whole seder menus ready for you, right here. We’ll also give you some great recipes for the rest of the week of Passover, and point you towards some wines we love.
For now, sit back, relax, and get salivating. We’re kicking things off with a main course that will knock your guests right over (even if they haven’t been taking the four cups of wine really seriously).
P.S. You can see all the recipes we’ve published so far by clicking here.