Holidays are meaningful for a variety of reasons, but more often than not, because they include a gathering of family. This will come as no surprise, but in my family, that gathering always features two elements: a mouthwatering feast and a dance party. Without exception, if there is music playing in the general vicinity, there will be dancing. Regardless of the amount of space we have, someone always finds room to bust a move. And depending on how much alcohol was served at dinner, the elders have been known to cut a rug, as well.
On the rare occasion when I need a little liquid courage to hit the makeshift dance floor, one of my favorite cocktails is the classic Cuban mojito. Made famous by Ernest Hemingway, this literary favorite blends the distinctly clean, fresh scent of lime and the aromatic essence of sugar-bruised mint leaves with world-class rum only found on the motherland and the nose-tickling fizz of seltzer. Topped off with a splash of bitters, it’s clear why the mojito is favored by Cubans and Americans, alike.
Since we’ll soon be gathering as a family for Passover, and rum will certainly be off-limits due to the dietary restrictions that accompany the holiday, I thought I’d transform this citrus-y cocktail into a tasty bite suitable for any seder table. By seasoning naturally bitter quinoa, a longtime Passover favorite across the board, with the most memorable elements of a mojito, hopefully, all it will take is one bite to get the more shy family members to hit the dance floor.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 Tbsp minced fresh mint leaves
2 limes, zested
In a medium pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the salt, pepper, and quinoa, and toast for 1 minute.
Pour in the chicken broth, and bring the mixture to a boil.
Cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated.
Fluff the quinoa, and stir in the almonds, mint leaves, and lime zest.
Maror is an important part of the pre-meal seder, but there’s no reason you can’t make it a part of your Pesach feast. Some people like a little dot of maror to go with their gefilte fish, but I’m a gefilte fish hater, so I wanted to think of some other way to integrate some strong chrein into my meal. Enter: horseradish salmon. This recipe is incredibly quick and easy, and leads to an amazingly moist and sweet dish, with just a jab of chrein getting you on the finish. Do not be dissuaded by the amount of horseradish called for–it mostly cooks away leaving an amazing spicy aroma layered on a honeyed, flaky piece of fish.
2 lbs salmon1/4 cup horseradish
1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl combine horseradish (use the white kind unless you want magenta salmon), honey, lemon juice, and salt. It should form a somewhat thick mixture, and it will smell incredibly strongly of the horseradish, but don't worry―most of the kick of the horseradish will cook off in the oven. Place salmon in a greased casserole dish or on a baking sheet. Pour the horseradish mixture over the fish, making sure that it gets all around the fish, and spooning some back on top of the fillet. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Chef David Kolotkin is executive chef of The Prime Grill in New York City. His mother’s delicious home cooked meals and the bonding moments with his father in the kitchen are among his fondest childhood memories. Those years gave him the balance and deep respect for food. Chef David attended The Culinary Institute of America, graduating with the “Most Likely to Succeed” award. He began working for notable restaurants including 21 Club, Butterfield 81, Patroon, and Windows of the World.
2 12oz bone in veal chops (ask your butcher for center cuts, or from the loin end)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup finely ground almonds
For the brine:
2 quarts water
½ cup kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh thyme
30 black peppercorns
1 star anise
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the brine ingredients in a large pot and bring to simmer on medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Cool the brine by placing in an ice bath.
When the brine is cool, submerge the veal chops in the brine and refrigerate for 5 hours.
Remove the veal chops, pat dry with paper towel. On only 1 side (presentation side), brush with the egg wash, then dredge in the ground almonds. Over medium heat, brown the veal in a large skillet with enough oil to coat the pan, almond side first. When lightly brown, turn over and brown the other side.
Place in a 350 degree oven for approximately 15-20 minutes for medium or to your taste.
Aviva Kanoff is an artiste extraordinaire. She paints, teaches a mixed media art class, and dabbles in photography. Her creative approach to life led her to artistic experimentation with food, and after years of creating her own recipes and working as a personal chef, she wrote The No-Potato Passover, an expression of her intuitive understanding of flavors, aromas, and colors.
For the chicken:
1 lb chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts, sliced into long, 1″ thick strips
1/2 cup matzo cake meal
1 1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
6 Tablespoon canola oil
For the dipping sauce:
5 ripe plums, diced
3 Tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
For the chicken:
Beat eggs in a bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine cake meal and shredded coconut. Dip chicken in egg mixture and then cover in coconut crumbs.
Fry chicken in oil, 3 minutes on each side (depending on thickness of chicken) until golden brown. Serve with plum dipping sauce.
For the plum sauce:
In a small sauce pan combine plums, lime juice and sugar. Bring to a boil.
Once the mixture has come to a boil continue to cook for 10- 15 minutes until plums become soft. Allow to cool and add cardamon and cinnamon.
Serve plum sauce at room temperature.
My philosophy on cooking for Passover is to avoid the fake stuff and go au natural. The more straight proteins, fruits and vegetables you can incorporate, the less Passover-y the food will taste!
This is a great dish to prepare when you are already chopping apples for your charoset. Chop some extras, squeeze a lime over them so they won’t brown while you’re doing everything else, and you can come back and add the rest of the ingredients later. The apple salsa is great over just about anything: fish, steak, chicken, over some spinach as part of a salad; you cannot go wrong!
Jen blogs at Mah zeh taim! How Delish!
Makes enough for 2 lbs thin cut chicken breast
1 ½ cups apple juice
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 Granny Smith Apples, finely diced
½ cup onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
Juice of 2 small limes
¼ cup apple juice
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup chopped cilantro (substitute basil or parsley if you don’t love cilantro)
For the chicken:
Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag. Add chicken breast, seal and mix. Refrigerate for 2-6 hours.
Heat a grill pan or frying pan. Spray with olive oil. Cook the chicken for 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Serve with apple salsa.
For the apple salsa:
Combine all of the ingredients and refrigerate for half an hour so the flavors meld.
It’s finally here! All week we’ve been showering you with our favorite Passover recipe from our favorite chefs and bloggers. And now we’ve compiled all those recipes to give you menus for both seders. The planning is done! From Charoset to gefilte fish to chocolate truffle pie, we’ve got you covered. And stay tuned, because we have even more recipes coming up next week. Those recipes can be slotted into your seder if any of these aren’t your style, or you can use them to plan what to make during the week of Passover, when the seders are over and you’re just looking to make something tastier and more exciting than matzah with cream cheese.
Enjoy! And Happy Passover!
Sephardi-style Charoset, from Jay Rosen
Tuscan Chopped Liver, from the Nosher’s own Shannon Sarna
Fennel Celery Salad from The Sassy Radish
Pomegranate Candied Walnut Charoset, from Shannon Sarna
Salat Tapuz, from Rachel Korycan
Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, from Shannon Sarna
This is another recipe from our favorite vegan, Mayim Bialik. Mayim claims she’s not usually an eggplant girl, but that this dish tastes incredible.
1 large onion
3 Tablespoons oil
1 medium eggplant, peeled and then cut into cubes
1/4 cup diced green pepper
11 oz tomato-mushroom sauce (or any jarred Kosher for Passover sauce you want)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups matzah farfel (don't cringe, just wait!)
Saute onions in oil until tender. Combine onions, eggplant, green pepper, tomato-mushroom sauce, and seasoning. Cook, covered, for 15 min or until eggplant is tender. Stir in tomatoes. Alternately layer vegetable mixture and farfel, beginning and ending with the vegetable mixture in a 2 quart baking dish (I use the 9 x 13 size).
Bake at 350 uncovered for 25 min.
Paula Shoyer is the author of The Kosher Baker: 160 dairy-free desserts from traditional to trendy (Brandeis 2010). Paula is a pastry chef who owns and operates the Paula’s Parisian Pastries Cooking School out of Chevy Chase, Maryland. She teaches scheduled and custom-designed classes in French pastry and Jewish cooking in the Washington, D.C. area, and all around the country. Appearances include Food Network’s Sweet Genius, WGN’s Lunchbreak, WUSA9 Washington, San Diego Living, NBC Washington News 4 at 4 and Martha Stewart Morning Living on XM Sirius. Paula believes that everyone deserves a delicious dessert no matter what special diet they are on. She develops dessert recipes that are dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan. Paula’s website is www.paulaspastry.com where you can find both sweet and savory recipes and blogs at www.kosherbaker.blogspot.com where she shares stories of her travels and events and new recipes.
4 ounces shelled whole almonds
4 ounces shelled whole hazelnuts
3 Tablespoons parve margarine
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
5 large eggs plus 3 yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
¼ cup lime zest (about 3 regular limes)
½ cup fresh lime juice (the three zested limes plus 1-2 more limes)
1/2 cup (1 stick) parve margarine
1 drop green food coloring (optional)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 large egg whites
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. To make the crust, cover a jelly roll pan with parchment. Place the almonds in one layer on one side and the hazelnuts in one layer on the other side. Toast for 20 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through, but keeping the two nuts separate. Let cool for 10 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 350ºF.
Place the three tablespoons of margarine into a covered medium microwave-safe bowl and heat for 45 seconds, or until melted. Add the brown sugar. Place the almonds into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and grind until nuts are in very small pieces, but not powdered. Place into the bowl with the margarine and sugar. Lift up handfuls of the hazelnuts and rub between your hands to remove as much of the skin as possible. Place the nuts into the processor bowl and process into very small pieces. Add to the bowl. Use your fingers to mix until combined. Place this mixture into an 8- or 9-inch pie pan and press to cover the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides. To make a nice rim, use your thumb to press into the sides of the pan, while a finger on your other hand presses down on the top of the rim. Continue all around the pan until you have a little crust rim. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.
To make the lime filling, place the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a medium saucepan with simmering water (or use a double-boiler). Stir to combine. Add the lime zest and juice and stir into the egg and sugar mixture. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until a thick mixture is formed. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the margarine in tablespoons until the cream is smooth. Add the green food coloring, if using, and stir.
Pour the cream into the prepared crust. Place the pie pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until the outside edges of the cream are set. Let cool and then place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
To make the meringue, in a small heavy saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook the sugar until it reaches 230ºF (use a candy thermometer to check the temperature). While the sugar is cooking, in a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff. When the sugar is ready, turn the mixer speed to low and then slowly pour the cooked sugar into the bowl, down the side of the bowl, not directly onto the wire whisk. When all of the sugar has been poured in, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 1 minute until the meringue is thick and shiny.
You can add the meringue to the pie in several ways. You can use a spoon to dump clumps of meringue on top and spread, or use a pastry bag to pipe out designs of meringue. If desired, use a blowtorch to lightly brown the meringue or place it in a 450ºF oven for a few minutes, watching the entire time, until the top browns. Store in the refrigerator until serving and for up to five days.
All year long I troll for recipes that can also be used during Passover, and this cookie recipe was just one of those finds. The recipe is flourless but also good enough to eat whether its Passover or not – and best of all, SUPER simple to whip together.
Here is the original recipe which actually calls for peanut butter instead of almond butter.
1 cup almond butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together first four ingredients until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.
Bake for 11 minutes, and then let cool for 5 minutes while cookies remain on the baking sheet. Transfer to baking rack to cool completely.
You may know Mayim Bialik best from her awesome and quirky work as Blossom on the show of the same name. Or you may know her as Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory. But here at the Nosher we know her as a blogger and writer extraordinaire over at Kveller.com. Mayim has previously written about making fruit faces for her boys when they are sick, and she has given us three of her favorite (vegan!) Passover recipes. These mini-kugels are a fantastic idea–making them in a muffin tin means it’s so easy to know exactly how many portions you have, and leftover from the seder are easy to grab and take for a lunch or snack during the week of Passover.
5 medium potatoes, grated
1 large onion, grated
3 Tablespoons olive oil, separated
1 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon potato starch
Grate the potatoes, and then drain the liquid from them. Saute the grated onion in 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil until soft but not brown. Add paprika. Mix onions into the potatoes and add potato starch and 1 more Tablespoon olive oil.
Push into greased muffin tins, filling each muffin space all the way to the top, and spritz with a little more oil. Bake at 400F for 40 minutes.