Chicken soup is not one of those recipes I learned from my mom, dad or even grandmother. Rather, it’s a recipe I have tried multiple ways, researched and tweaked until I have been 100% happy with the results. Even my husband agrees it’s great, and he is usually my toughest audience.
We serve chicken soup all year round: when one of us is sick, for special Shabbat meals, or sometimes when we just want a simple dinner in a bowl. But, it is Passover time, so of course we are readying ourselves to make a large vat of soup and matzah balls for our Seder.
Everyone asks me – how do you get such fluffy matzah balls!?
Well, first, I have a set of tips for the fluffiest balls. But my other secret comes in a little white and blue box: I use the Manischewitz matzah ball mix! I follow the directions, don’t overmix too much and add 1-2 tsp of chicken fat, or schmaltz. Tried and true, and never fails me. And I am not even embarrassed to admit this fact.
If you’re looking for the perfect chicken soup recipe,look no farther. This always comes out flavorful, slightly sweet and deeply satisfying.
6 quarts of water
1 whole chicken + extra package of wings
2 large carrots, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
1 bunch of dill
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
1/2 Tbsp whole peppercorns
few sprigs of thyme
salt to taste
Place chicken and vegetables in a 16 or 20 quart pot and cover with 6 quarts of water.
Make a bouquet garni with the fresh dill, parsley, peppercorns and thyme. Add bouquet garni to pot.
Bring pot to boil and let simmer for 1 hour.
Remove chicken from pot, and remove breast and dark meat from bone. Put bones and other parts back into pot and let simmer another 1-2 hours on low-medium, covered.
Allow soup to cool, and place in fridge. Skim the fat off the top (I suggest saving the fat to put it in your matzah balls, or chopped liver)
Reheat to serve. Add chicken, matzah balls and desired vegetables.
These toffee squares are a part of my family’s yearly Passover repertoire. After eating them at a close friend’s seder for years, my mom finally asked for the recipe so we could enjoy them year-long. It turns out that the recipe originated in the kitchen of a woman who had deep roots in Akron (my hometown) and who loved to share her recipes with others.
They make a great addition to a dessert buffet, but my family makes them to keep on hand as a snack. Beware—they go quickly! We usually end up making more than one pan to last us the entire holiday.
1 cup butter or magarine, softened
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup matzo cake meal
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter, sugar and pinch of salt until light and fluffy. Beat in egg very well. Add matzo cake meal gradually, blending well. Dough should be stiff.
Lightly grease a 10x15 jelly roll pan. Evenly spread the dough in the pan, making sure to reach the sides and corners. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Spread with melted chocolate, the sprinkle with the chopped nuts, making sure to press the nuts gently into the chocolate so they stick. Allow to mostly cool, and then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.
This is a simple and delicious side dish anytime, that is perfect for the transition from heartier winter root vegetable dishes to light, garden-fresh spring dishes. It also adds wonderful color and meaning to the seder table, too, as an theme-extension of the whole beet that is halachically permissible as a replacement to the zeroa (shankbone) on vegetarian seder plates.
6-8 medium-sized beets, stems and leaves attached (red, purple, gold or a mixture)
2 oranges + zest
1 small onion
1 medium avocado, peeled and cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
sprig of fresh dill, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Trim beets at stems, but leave unpeeled. Set beet green aside.
Wash beets thoroughly. Lightly coat beets in olive oil. Wrap whole beets individually in foil and place foil-covered beets on a baking sheet. Place into oven. Roast beets about an hour to an hour and a half or until beets are tender throughout when pierced with a knife.
Once beets are in the oven, pull beet greens from stems and coarsely chop. Submerge chopped greens in boiling water about 2 minutes, just enough to brighten and make tender. Drain greens, and pat them in-between paper towel or a clean, dry cloth to remove excess water. Place greens in a large bowl. Set aside.
Chop onion into long, thin slivers. Place into bowl with beet greens. Set aside.
Zest about ¼ of one of the oranges. Set zest aside. Working over a small bowl, segment oranges, reserving juice in the bowl below. Add orange segments to large bowl of beet greens and onion. Set aside.
In small bowl with reserved orange juice, add minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dill, orange zest and salt and pepper to taste.
When beets are tender and have cooled at least enough to handle comfortably, unwrap foil from beets completely. Rub each beat gently with a paper towel to remove skins (they will come off very easily). Chop peeled beets into thin wedges. Place chopped beets into large bowl with greens, onion and orange segments. Pour olive oil and vinegar mixture into bowl with other ingredients and toss lightly. Toss in cubed avocado. Serve immediately or refrigerate if prepared in advance.
This dish can be finished with coarsely chopped roasted/salted hazelnuts if desired.
I’m gluten-free so quinoa is part of my everyday life, but I think most gluten eaters appreciate quinoa the most on Passover, when more mainstream grains like wheat, barley, and rice are off-limits. This quinoa salad is very versatile in that you can use pretty much whatever vegetables you like depending what is in season. Here I do a roasted veggie medley of sweet potatoes, onions, zucchini, and bell peppers, but asparagus, tomato and scallion would be just as delicious.
1 sweet potato, diced
1 red onion, chopped
2 zucchini, quartered and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease two baking sheets. Spread sweet potatoes and onions on one baking sheet and zucchini and bell peppers on another. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of olive oil over each baking sheet. Roast zucchini and peppers for 10 minutes, sweet potatoes and onions for 25 minutes. Remove to a large bowl.
In the meantime, place quinoa, water, and 1/4 tsp salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and rest for 10 minute before fluffing with a fork.
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Add quinoa to vegetables and drizzle dressing over top, mixing to combine.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
Chef Barry Koslow is Chef at DGS Delicatessen in Washington, DC.
2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 2--‐inch cubes
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup red wine
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick
½ cup dried apricots
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 Tbsp harissa
½ cup cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Season the lamb with salt and pepper liberally.
In a dutch oven or large oven-safe pot, heat the oil until it is smoking and sear the lamb over high heat. Remove lamb when evenly browned, add onion and garlic to the pan and lower heat.
Cook 5 minutes. Add red wine and reduce liquid by half. Add spices, apricots, stock, harissa, lamb, and sweet potatoes to pot. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for one and half hours at 275 degrees.
Add cilantro and serve.
The aisles are already full of matzah. Kosher for Passover noodles are all the rage, but still, I find myself walking right by them in search of something different.
I come home home and look around, think about planning my seder menu. And think about what i can do differently this year.
And then it happens…almost instantaneously. A soup for the perfect brunch, the perfect dinner or just a perfect starter to your Seder. And even if you’re not kosher for Passover, well, it’s still the perfect soup to warm you up, make you feel good, and fill up your belly.
Hi–I’m Meredith and I write the blog, the food yenta. I’m a mom to two wonderful children who recently rediscovered my love and passion for food. I rant about great recipes, cooking shows, and my love of gardening and farmers markets. I like taking complicated recipes and simplifying them for my modern family.
1 pound of carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups veg stock
2 cups water
1 cup half and half or non-dairy creamer
salt and pepper to taste.
1 jalapeño pepper
Roast jalapeno pepper by placing pepper under broiler or over a gas burner to till blackened.
Chop onions, carrots and garlic. Sauté in canola oil for 10 minutes or until onion is translucent and carrot starts to soften.
Add stock and water, bring to a boil and cook for 40 minutes or until carrots are soft and easy to mash.
With an immersion blender, blend soup till you have reached your desired consistency. Add half and half or non-dairy creamer, mix and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Garnish soup with roasted jalapenos.
I love meringues. I love to eat them and I love to make them. They are so simple, require so few ingredients and can be colored or decorated in so many ways. With that crunchy outside and chewy inside, meringues are always a crowd-pleaser. Meringues are a great Passover treat because they require only egg whites, salt, sugar, and a little bit of food coloring. They’re quick to make but take a while to bake so it’s best to whip up a batch before folding laundry or cleaning your refrigerator, but I promise they’ll be worth the wait.
Brittany Wayne grew up in Weston, CT and enjoyed baking with her parents from a young age. In high school, Brittany completed a year-long independent study on cake decorating, culminating in a three-tiered wedding cake. The teacher who graded the study gave Brittany a D because she didn’t believe Brittany made the cakes she brought in each month. Brittany did make the cakes. You can follow Brittany and her cake creations on Twitter, and Instagram.
4 egg whites at room temperature
¼ tsp. salt
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
At least three piping bags. (Two smaller, one larger)
Preheat oven to 200°F.
Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to whisk the egg whites and salt at a medium-high speed until peaks have formed.
Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time (wait 5-10 seconds between each addition of sugar) and beat on medium-high until stiff white peaks have formed.
Split meringue batter into bowls to add color (I used two colors, you can use as many as you want).
Add a small amount of food coloring to each bowl and fold until color is distributed but some white is still visible (I don’t like to mix all the way because it could deflate the meringue and I like the marbleized look).
Fill each small bag with one color of your choice. Cut a hole in the large piping bag and put the tip of your choice in the large piping bag (you don’t need a tip, you can just cut a hole in the large piping bag), followed by the two smaller bags with different colors. Make sure both of the smaller bags are evenly at the end of the bag so the colors distribute evenly.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pipe out meringue in a circular motion to create small meringue swirls (depending on your tip, they may have a star shape). Meringues should be 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
Bake for 90 minutes at 200°F, then turn off your oven and let the meringues cool in the oven. This will let the outsides harden a bit to get that crunchy texture while the insides won’t overcook.
The first time I heard of “Montreal-style Deli” was a few years ago when i was still working for Edgar M. Bronfman’s foundation. We were visiting the Hillels of Montreal and I was sent on a mission: go and procure some smoked brisket for Edgar from Schwartz’s deli. It’s his favorite. Of all my assignments during my time working there, this was, without doubt, my favorite. Brisket. Done. I still have the receipt hanging at my desk.
So when Mile End Deli opened in Brooklyn in 2010, I knew Edgar would love it. And I was right. I like to think I am usually right when it comes to food.
And last night, worlds (and Bronfmans, and celebrities and rabbis) all collided at the launch party for The Bronfman Haggadah, a new Haggadah written by Edgar with gorgeous artwork by his wife, the talented Jan Aronson. While Mile End served up Passover-inspired dishes, providing the perfect accompaniment to the evening’s festivities of modern and traditional.
Mile End’s website says that it is “a Jewish delicatessen in New York City committed to breathing new life into old-world traditions.” And I can’t think of a better way to describe the Haggadah Edgar has created. For some the Haggadah will feel very foreign: entirely in English, with some different songs and the purposeful act of welcoming Elijah earlier in the Seder. But for others, for whom the Judaism of their childhood never quite fit; for those who never experienced a Judaism which fit or not; or for those just looking for something different, this Haggadah may find a new place as part of your family’s tradition.
In his remarks last night, Noah Bernamoff of Mile End explained, “Everyone knows what Jewish deli food is. We like to ask ourselves the difficult questions about Jewish food.”
If nothing else, Passover is a time for storytelling, asking questions and food. And the dishes Mile End served last night definitely fulfilled its mission of breathing new life into old-world traditions. Duck pastrami served on a matzo brei cake with green apple haroset; pickled deviled eggs; and braised brisket with green figs on spiced matzo, just to name a few. They posted their full menu from the Haggadah launch on Instagram last evening, so please, take a peak! Above all, each bite tasted like something familiar, and also something brand-new. I will give one word of critique: I didn’t love the take-home macaroons, which most closely resembled and tasted like the variety you can buy in the Supermarket. But I’ll let it slide. Mile End isn’t known for their baked goods.
I remarked to Rae Bernamoff of Mile End that I couldn’t decide which mini dish was my favorite, but in the end I have say, the crispy gefilte fish cake stood out to me. I never ate gefilte fish growing up. My grandmother, while a wonderful (and hilarious) woman, is a terrible cook and exclusively served the gefilte fish out of a jar, which most closely resembles a ball of lint you might pull out of the dryer. It wasn’t until well into my teens that i had my first real bite of the Ashkenazi classic and fell in love. Slathered in spicy horseradish, it is now a favorite, and a staple at my seder.
But Mile End’s version was crispy, slightly sweet and tasted almost like a gourmet fish stick or mini cod cake. Served with chrein cream and pickled carrot…well. I ate two. And I ate three of the pickled deviled eggs. But I digress.
If you’re in New York, please check out one of Mile End’s two locations. And if you’re still looking for the perfect Haggadah for your family, have a look at The Bronfman Haggadah.
Wishing you and your family a Passover celebration infused with relevant traditions and delicious dishes, both new and old alike.
Growing up, Passover meant sweet and sour brisket. Slowly braised in the oven for hours until Bubbe declared it was tender enough to eat. Sounds simple enough, but that poor brisket was in and out of the oven and examined and re-examined until it was dry. So we tried chicken one year. Surely that would fare better. But the story was the same- Bubbe, my Mom and Aunts gathered around the oven trying to determine if the chicken was done. Opening and closing the door, all whilst poking and prodding the poor bird. “Is it done?” “It looks done.” “No I see pink!” They were petrified of giving the whole family salmonella. Sigh.
Passover recipes are actually some of my favorite to develop- the limit in ingredients forces me to get creative and put together recipes that I never would otherwise. I decided to make a roasted chicken as homage to that Pesach- it would work for a seder, or you could nosh on it for meals during the chametz free week. Honey and mustard is one of my favorite combos, but of course mustard is out. How about horseradish instead as a nod to the seder meal? The horseradish gives the chicken a subtle spiciness much like a Dijon would, and is balanced with the sweet honey- delicious!
1, 5-pound whole chicken, rinsed well and with innards removed
5 bulbs garlic
½ white onion
5 fresh rosemary springs
¼ cup kosher for Passover prepared horseradish
¼ cup kosher for Passover honey
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Rinse the chicken under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Then put the chicken breast side up on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.
Stuff chicken with the lemon garlic, onion and rosemary sprigs.
In a small bowl, whisk together horseradish, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread all over the chicken, making sure to get under the skin as well.
Truss the chicken, or tuck the wings under the body and tie together the legs.
Roast chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes, and then turn the oven up to 450 degrees F to brown the skin. Continue cooking about 20 more minutes until the internal temperature near the thighbone is 160 degrees F and the juices run clear (it should continue to cook once removed from the oven until the temperature is 165 degrees F).
Let chicken rest for 20 minutes covered with aluminum foil before carving. Garnish with parsley if desired.
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.