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 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.