Passover is a-coming, and that means it’s time to start choosing recipes, planning menus, and writing shopping lists. Next week on the Nosher we’re going to inundate you with amazing Pesach recipes from our favorite food bloggers. Everyone from Olga at Sassy Radish to Rivka at Not Derby Pie, plus our own Shannon Sarna, and lots and lots of others. But this week we’re getting a head start, featuring some amazing recipes to get your Passover juices flowing.
Brisket may be the quintessential Jewish food. Many families have the tradition of serving brisket at both Rosh Hashanah dinner, and at the Pesach seder, and it’s no wonder—this wonderfully tender meat gets better over time, so it’s easy to make it before the holiday starts, and know that it will be delectable for your guests when you reheat it one or two days later. If oven space is a problem, making a brisket a few days ahead can be a real life saver. And brisket is remarkable because it’s so incredibly easy to make. Our recipe calls for sweet wine, chili sauce and barbeque sauce, but you can get away with basically just seasoning it and cooking it if you need to.
The biggest challenge for your brisket making might be ensuring you have a big enough roasting pan for your meat. If you’re cooking for a crowd I recommend measuring your pan, and measuring your meat before you purchase it. And that reminds me, you need to head to your butcher pronto if you want to order the best cuts of meat for your holiday.
Now, without further ado, check out the amazing Holiday Brisket recipe on MyJewishLearning, or Cranberry Brisket and Passover Brisket from Kveller. For more Brisket ideas check out Baked Bree, big girls small kitchen, and Cooking with Grandma Irma.
This past week I discovered kale chips, and truly, I am an addict! I simply cannot get enough. They are super easy to make, delicious and I don’t have any guilt eating them by the bowlful. So, why not whip up some super simple kale chips as a starter to your shabbat dinner this week. PS – no reason you can’t make these for a fun snack or appetizer during Passover too!
Spring is definitely in the air, so why not make this Roast Chicken with Spring Vegetables for your main dish and help usher in the warmer weather. Oh yeah, and you could totally make THIS recipe for Passover.
I love adding zaatar to roast potatoes and other dishes, so I am loving this recipe for Zaatar Roasted Cauliflower from the Sassy Radish. You know when else you could make this recipe? You guessed it – totally Passover-friendly!
Enough veggies – how about a little more indulgent side dish with this Crispy Zucchini Potato Tart from More Quiche Please. And if you caught onto the theme, good for you…yes you can also make this tart recipe for Passover!
For your sweet ending, try these Hazelnut Cookies from The Kosher Foodies. I would serve these sweet treats with some soy vanilla ice cream and raspberries for a well-rounded dessert. Ok, you can’t make these for Passover, but I promise – we have lots of other tasty and easy Passover dessert recipes coming.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Cooking!
This week on the Nosher we’re highlighting some of our favorite Pesach recipes. Next week we’ll be bringing you many exciting new ones, but for now we’re get reacquainted with some of our old standards, and today is the day to talk about something that never fails to bring tears to my eyes—horseradish, also known as chrein.
In fourth grade I had a teacher who told us that in her family her mother would take a massive piece of horseradish and carve a picture into it—usually the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. Meanwhile, another large piece of horseradish would have been set aside to use as bitter herbs, and as a garnish for the traditional gefilte fish. You may not be interested in honing your horseradish sculpting skills, but you really should be making your own chrein. It’s easy, and about a thousand times better than the frightening fuchsia stuff that comes in jars. One suggestion for a fun seder—the macho dudes and ladies can have a chrein-eating competition. Get a fun prize for the winner, and have plenty of honey and matzah on hand to cool the burning throats…
Lots of things taste better covered in chocolate. They taste even better when covered in chocolate and caramel with a sprinkling of sea salt! Use good chocolate to make this even more indulgent, and keep a candy thermometer on hand so that the caramel is Passover perfect!
Emily Pearl Goodstein is a photographer, sweatpants enthusiast, online organizer, and rabble rouser Washington, DC. She leverages her status as a native Washingtonian (and expert Googler) to recommend products, restaurants, recipes, and shops (in addition to other things she finds mildly diverting) on her blog, Wild and Crazy Pearl. She spends too much money on iTunes and her favorite possession is the cobalt blue KitchenAid mixer she used part of her Bat Mitzvah money to buy (it is still going strong). She also enjoys drinking grapefruit juice, photographing babies and baby bellies, and taking naps.
4 to 6 sheets unsalted matzah
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges. Cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line the bottom of the sheet with matzah, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.
In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil. The temperature on the thermometer should reach 120F. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the salt and vanilla, and pour over matzah, spreading with a heatproof spatula.
Put the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. As it bakes, it will bubble up but make sure it's not burning every once in a while. If it is in spots, remove from oven.
Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips.
Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with an offset spatula.
If you wish, sprinkle with cashews, pecans, or some flaky sea salt.
Let cool completely, cut into pieces (I like to make large diamonds for a dramatic presentation) and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. It should keep well for about one week.
At first I was a bit skeptical. First of all, I already love to cook, and I didn’t love the idea of a cookbook that created shortcuts. But once I went perusing through, I discovered it was a real gem, and not only for the helpful hints for new parents (which there are plenty).
For example, I love her recipe for Baked Macaroni with Ricotta, Spinach and Mint, a flavor combination I would have loved to whip up, parent or not. Or the Honey Soy Roasted Salmon – another delicious sounding dish with a simple, quality recipe.
But perhaps the best features of the cookbook are her tips for turning an adult meal into baby food, for each recipe. She also has a section of “Quick Suppers,” and a section for easy, entertaining food items to have on hand when people drop-in unannounced (which she says, they will), including jarred olives, marcona almonds, crackers and breadsticks.
Disclaimer: While the author is Jewish, the cookbook is not kosher though nevertheless packed with kosher-friendly and vegetarian dishes.
In short, this is a winner and I highly recommend as a great gift for the new parent or short-on-time cook in your life.
For years I lived a dark Potato Kugel-less existence. For some reason my mom never made it when I was a kid, and it wasn’t until high school that I experienced the true starchy joy of potato kugel. It’s a great side dish for any Shabbat meal, particularly in the winter, but for some reason it tastes particularly good on Pesach. And like the best Pesach foods, potato kugel has a simple but very rich flavor. Should you eat it every day? Definitely not. Should you have it right next to brisket on your plate during the seder? Absolutely.
And now, the only Potato Kugel recipe you’ll ever need…
Food trucks have cropped up all over the country, having strong presences in Los Angeles, Austin, New York and DC and made even more popular by the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. But a kosher food truck is hard to find…
And what I wondered was, does Philly need a kosher food truck? As Joshua Katz, President of Max and David’s, explained recently, “it’s not just about serving lunch on the street – it’s also about serving kosher food at festivals, stadiums, special events, parties. etc. Having a food truck gives us so much flexibility to accommodate our current customers…and start reaching new customers that may not know what we have to offer.”
Their food truck menu isn’t up yet, but they say the truck will be serving upscale burgers, brisket, fries, and dairy-free gelato and shakes.
Max and David’s Food Truck is planning to launch in early Spring once they get their licensing – hopefully in time for a post-Passover burger and fries I suppose!? For menu updates and their daily location you can follow them on Twitter @MDFoodTruck, on their Tumblr blog or on Facebook.
With St. Patricks Day this weekend, I know I should be posting about green foods, or traditional Irish fare. But somehow I’m in an ‘orange’ sort of mood and was drawn to recipes surely rich in beta-carotene.
This Shaved Carrot and Pear Salad with Curry Dressing is both fresh and beautiful looking – and a totally different kind of salad to serve at your Shabbat meal.
And for another potential ‘orange’ side dish, check out these simple Coconut Roasted Sweet Potatoes. My favorite part of this recipe is the lime zest – a flavor compliment I would never have thought of on my own, but that really packs a punch.
And for an entree with a little orange flare, try this Roast Chicken with Tangerines – a sweet twist on a classic Friday night roast chicken.
Last but not least of course is dessert. I am seeing s’mores everywhere these days, so this recipe for Shabbat S’mores really caught my eye.
Shabbat Shalom and happy cooking!
Purim is over, and Passover is not only right around the corner, but truly almost upon us. This is the time of year when my anal retentive tendencies take over, and “planning-Shannon” (as my husband likes to call me) goes into full effect.
I know some people loathe Passover prep, and feel it’s completely overwhelming, but I actually enjoy the challenge! If you keep your menus simple, and take some steps ahead of time, Passover can be less of a chore than you might think.
Make your lists!
Are you hosting a seder and need to plan a menu? Visiting family and need to bring a dessert or side dish? Housing 4 of your son’s roommates from college? Make a list of items in the following categories to help you plan for the weeks leading up to the holiday.
- 1-3 months ahead: kitchen items such as extra pots and pans, gadgets, cutting boards and measuring cups. I love checking out TJ Maxx, Overstock or Crate and Barrel Outlet for great marked-down items.
- 2-3 weeks ahead: non-perishable and frozen items such as matzo meal, store-bought chicken broth, spices, shredded coconut, KP soda, gefilte fish rolls, potato starch and snacks.
- 1 week ahead: perishable items such as fruit, vegetables, fresh herbs, fish, eggs, milk and cheese.
Stock up on Staples
I tend to go through more cleaning supplies, more paper goods and just more stuff during the week of Passover when we are cooking and eating almost every meal in the house. Take a trip to Target or Amazing Savings to stock up on essential items you will need to make your Passover week more organized and bearable. I like to stokckpile paper goods, tupperware with lids, storage bags and cleaning supplies.
Visit the butcher EARLY
Ever notice how the weeks before Passover somehow meat prices surge? It’s the same as gas prices before the Christmas or Fourth of July holidays. If you have an extra freezer now is the time to stock up on extra chicken, beef, ground turkey and whatever other meat staples you will need to last the week before the butcher or supermarket is teeming with other Jews and higher prices.
Tackle little by little
Start cleaning out the pantry, freezer and fridge in the coming weeks so you don’t have to do it all at once. Start using up your bread products by making fresh bread crumbs, croutons or other chametz-heavy recipes – it will lighten your workload when its time to finish your Passover cleaning.
Grub Street is calling it a “Jewish Food Revival,” while I happily named it one of the top Jewish food trends of 2011. Bottom line: Jewish food is “in,” and of course I’m schepping nachas for the traditional foods of my people which are being reclaimed and reinvented to the delights of foodies in New York and beyond.
Earlier this year I was thrilled to visit Kutschers Tribeca to sample their updated Castkills fare at the Tribeca restaurant. I was pretty excited by almost everything I tasted but I was totally blown away by the simple genius of the rainbow cookie ice cream sundae I devoured for dessert.
This past week, New York Magazine highlighted another new, Jewish-inspired eatery, Jack’s Wife Freda, whose menu features updated classics such as Matzo Ball Soup, Green Shakshuka and Freda’s Fried Fish Balls.
And this weekend, a new eatery is launching – Gefilteria! Besides loving the name itself, the “pushcart start-up” will specialize in “sustainable Jewish foods like gefilte fish made with pike, whitefish, and salmon; kvass, a fermented drink; borscht; horseradish; sauerkraut; black-and-white cookies; and matzo.”
I can’t begin to predict what’s in-store for updated Jewish fare, but I am excited to see what my fellow food enthusiasts dream up next. Any great Jewish food cropping up near you? Let us know!