Tag Archives: passover

Zucchini Noodles Two Ways

Yield:
4 servings

I am a total carb-oholic. I love cake, freshly baked bread and I would rather eat a bowl of pasta with butter more than anything in the world. I proudly roll my eyes at any food trends advocated by the paleo, gluten-free and carb-free lovers.

And despite my skepticism for gluten-free trends, it is my obsession with pasta that led me to invest in a spiralizer and try out the zucchini noodle craze. I must admit: zucchini noodles are tasty and satisfying. And with both these zucchini noodle recipes below, I never once felt deprived that my carbs had been stolen away.

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Like regular pasta, zucchini noodles lend themselves to multiple flavors and interpretations. And they can be an easy go-to, even on a weeknight. Last Monday my dad, my daughter and I strolled to our local farmers market to see what was fresh from the farm. I picked up zucchini, corn, tomatoes and fresh ricotta. We went home, threw them all together. And a new dish was born.

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My zucchini noodle bolognese was actually a dish I made during Passover. We loved it so much my husband and I both ate two enormous servings. The only thing missing? A large hunk of garlic bread.

Zucchini Noodles with Corn, Tomatoes and Fresh Ricotta, Makes 3-4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium zucchini

olive oil

salt and pepper

2 ears of fresh corn

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 Tbsp butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove corn kernals from cob and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 10 minutes.

Spiralize zucchini into noodles.

In a large saute pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute zucchini noodles in 3-4 batches for around 4-6 minutes each, or until noodles are soft but still have a bite. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a colander to drain off any excess water that the zucchini released.

Add butter to another large pan over medium heat and melt. Add corn, cherry tomatoes, cream and salt and pepper. Cook until cream has reduced slightly. Add zucchini noodles and toss to coat.

Serve with fresh ricotta and fresh basil if desired.

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Zucchini Noodle Bolognese

Posted on July 31, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Dip

No matter how much I plan or prep, I find myself in a pre-dinner panic almost every time we host.  I’m opening and closing the fridge, wondering if I’ll actually have enough food. No one has ever gone hungry at my table and there’s always plenty of variety so surprise allergies or unannounced vegetarians are never a concern.

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That said, I’ve built an arsenal of “quick extras” that I can add to almost any menu. Anything from roasted chickpeas, grilled polenta or this eggplant dip which reassure me there will be enough food.

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This roasted eggplant and garlic dip is quick, and when you serve it in the skin of the eggplant, it looks beautiful and impressive on the table. All of the ingredients are things that I typically have in the fridge, so when I get a last minute “can we bring two friends to dinner?” phone call, I never have to say no.

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Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Dip

Posted on April 30, 2014

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Quinoa Sweet Potato Patties with Arugula Salad

I don’t mind admitting that Passover completely stresses me out. Inevitably I will start to cook something and realize I don’t have the correct kitchen tool or that I forgot to get one ingredient and running out to the store is just not an option.

But what really makes me stressed are lunches! I am happy with all the meat at the seders, but in general I need a lighter lunch and try to avoid eating matzah.

sweet-potato-quinoa-b1I typically love salads for lunch but need something to go with it – the veggies alone do not always cut it. So I came up with a more substantial salad that is delicious cold or warm and fulfills my desire for fresh vegetables and my need for something starchy.

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This recipe is great to make ahead of time to serve as lunch on chag or the perfect tupperware lunch during chol hamoed. Looking to add additional protein? Serve with some grilled salmon.

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Quinoa Sweet Potato Pattie with Arugula Salad

Posted on April 17, 2014

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Nosher Seder Menus 2014

We know menu planning can be tough, especially at Passover, so each year we like to help make the Passover prep a bit easier by providing some of our favorite dishes.

Check out our three sample seder menus below. Make the whole menu, or pick and choose based on your taste and dietary needs! We know it will be delicious no matter what.

Chag kasher v’sameach and a very happy Passover to all our readers.

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Traditional Seder

Haroset

Marinated cucumber salad

Matzo balls and chicken soup

Passover rolls

Brisket

White wine-braised chicken thighs with tomatoes and potatoes

Mini potato kugels

Flourless chocolate cake

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Vegetarian-ish Seder

Moroccan haroset

Homemade gravlax

Vegetarian chopped liver

Cream of carrot soup with roasted jalapenos

Eggplant casserole

Salat tapuz

Crispy asparagus with minced egg

Sweet potato pie with macaroon crust

 

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Unusual flavors seder

Candied walnut and pomegranate haroset

Cuban matzo ball soup

Tuscan chopped liver

Fennel celery salad

Short ribs with orange and honey

Coconut crusted chicken with plum sauce

Mashed sweet potatoes with shallots

Almond butter & jam mousse trifles

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Posted on April 10, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Almond Butter & Jam Mousse Trifles

Prep:
24 hours

Yield:
6 mini trifles

During Passover each year, I really like to keep things simple. My husband and I make mostly the same dishes for our seder, stock the fridge with all our favorite produce and dairy products and try to keep things basic, fresh and delicious. But of course, I also rack my brain trying to come up with fun new ideas that are scrumptious but not too difficult to execute.

Last year I made Rachel Khoo’s cheese and potato nests with brie (no bacon) and this year I am going to make some zucchini noodles with a hearty Bolognese sauce (made with my new spiralizer – have you ordered one yet!?)

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And I also dreamed up a light but delectable new dessert recipe. Of course it isn’t really peanut butter & jelly, since I know most American Ashkenazi Jews don’t eat kitnyot. But it has the same richness as peanut butter and tastes like a bread-less PB&J sandwich. Adults and kids will love it, and it’s a nice break from all the flourless chocolate cake and macaroons.

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If you don’t have mini cups, you can use individual plastic cups to make the trifles or also use a large trifle dish for family-style serving. After all, Passover is definitely a holiday all about family. So grab a spoon and dig in!

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Almond Butter & Jam Mousse Trifles

Posted on April 10, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Cuban Chicken Soup: Jewban Penicillin

I think it’s safe to say that every Jewish grandmother who has proclaimed, “You should eat more!” has a mean recipe for chicken soup in her arsenal. For generations, colds and flus have gone to battle with bowls and bowls of Jewish penicillin made by these bubbes, and my abuela was no exception.

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I come from a family of strong women, so it is fitting that our recipe for chicken soup isn’t the clear-broth version with a lonely floating carrot slice. Ours is a stick-to-your-bones and prepare-for-war kind of soup, chock-full of nutrient-rich vegetables and flavors that awaken the senses. My favorite part of this soup is how the kabocha squash disintegrates into the broth, giving it a wholesome creamy texture without the heaviness of added butter or milk. Plus, the crunch of the bok choy and zucchini packs a solid punch of vitamin c, and makes it easy for me to eat my greens. Couple all of this with my mother-in-law’s recipe for the fluffiest, most light-as-air matzoh balls, and you’ve got yourself the better part of a seder.  Cuban-Matzoh-Ball-Soup-stamp

This recipe may be a mish mosh of the traditions of my husband’s family and mine, but it is certainly one I would be proud to share at any Passover table or year-round.

Cuban Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls

Posted on April 9, 2014

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Passover-Friendly Strawberry Almond Mini Muffins

Passover and I haven’t always been friends. There was a time when I thought about Passover approaching and my mind would be overrun by what I can’t eat. As a girl who has always loved carbs (I love you, pasta), the thought of saying “good-bye” to my beloved noodles and bread, even for eight days, caused me to have a little anxiety attack.

strawberry-2-stampBut as the food world has become increasingly creative to help accommodate the never-ending list of folks with food allergies, Passover has become less about what I can’t have and more about what I can have by flexing my creative foodie muscles.

strawberry-5-stampThe recipe below is a great example of this. I’ve made a version of these before for one of my clients who prefers gluten-free food options. I wanted to give my old recipe a new Spring season twist so I added the roasted strawberries, which are coming out in droves here in Miami. The result is a not-too-sweet but supremely delicious (and healthy) breakfast/snack treat. I hope you enjoy!

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Posted on April 8, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Passover Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Yield:
approximately 15 stuffed cabbage

There’s nothing like Passover to remind us where we come from. In many Jewish homes, Passover traditions are carried down from father to son, establishing the family’s customs and setting the standards for their Passover pantry.

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Growing up, my family’s standards were quite stringent. We did not eat any processed ingredients, and we only used produce that could be peeled. My mother prepared simple syrup in place of sugar, and we seasoned our dishes minimally with kosher salt, no spices allowed. Thankfully, I married into a family whose customs were slightly more lenient. My in-laws allow a variety of fruits and vegetables, including cabbage, as well as some minimally processed foods, like tomato sauce.

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When I spent Passover with my in-laws last year, I decided to pay homage to my roots by adapting my grandmother’s stuffed cabbage recipe for the holiday. While my grandmother would never have made this recipe for Passover, to me, it signifies the union of my husband’s familial customs with my Eastern European heritage. And that is precisely how we celebrate Passover.

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Passover Stuffed Cabbage

Posted on April 7, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Grand Kosher Wine Tasting 2014

I introduced my parents to the Jewish Week’s Grand Kosher Wine Tasting at City Winery a few years ago and it has become an annual tradition – what better way to celebrate my mom’s birthday each year! We both really enjoy the chance to find new wines for drinking, pairing and sharing, particularly in time for Passover.

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I started with Recanti Special Reserve, White, 2011. I tend to be skeptical of wines named for their color rather than grape, but my doubt dissipated with this bottle. I was informed it is a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 25% Viognier and 25% Sauvignon Blanc, all from Recanati’s Manara vineyard. It is a well considered and successful blend. The wine was fermented and aged in French oak for eight months (followed by several more months of bottle aging). It was clearly an above average white. The wine had a great nose and some serious body with a touch of acidity which made me want to pair it with a light, but flavorful arugula salad. backsberg kosher merlot

One of the many advantages of wine-tasting: it can take you away on a “vacation.” This was the year that I traveled to a little winery in South Africa called Backsberg. Their 2011 Merlot has body and is the kind of woody and spicy that goes well with roasted mushrooms and brisket. The 2011 Chardonnay was crisp, light, flavorful with a touch of spice and it’s not oaky, which I appreciate. Serve it with a turkey or roast chicken, I’d baste it using the wine along the way.

I also enjoyed their Brut, but I’ll talk sparkling wines in a moment. This winery won’t be exotic for long. They seem to still be getting its legs here US market, but they’re looking to expand their reach so I recommend being in touch with them, and they’ll gladly be a presence wherever you are.

When we reached the bottle of Tabor Adama Merlot, 2010 my mother said “Oh, that’s what I bought for our first night seder hostess!” with so much excitement, that I went into pairing mode immediately. It’s rich flavors make me want to roast some root vegetables.

1337605633Champagne_Laurent_Perrier_Brut_NVAdmittedly, we jumped the gun and moved on pretty quickly to the bubbly wines. Not surprising, our favorite was a true French champagne that’s beyond the price point for most of my celebrations. The Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne was such a delight. I wouldn’t distract from it’s flavor with anything other than strawberries and chocolate. For a more affordable sparkling wine I recommend the Notte Italiana Prosecco which is a bit more my speed in terms of price. The Teperberg Brut was another great bottle I enjoyed and recommend highly for any upcoming celebrations.

What was missing? O’dwyers Creek Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 wasn’t on site this year (it was in the top ten last year), but having just tasted it again, I can tell you there were certainly a few spots it could have filled. This New Zealand wine with light, lychee flavors are bright and enticing and, quite honestly, I like to be drinking it all spring long.

Wishing you much luck and a hearty cheers as you select wines for your Passover celebrations. Salud!

Posted on April 7, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield:
2 dozen cookies

I love it when people taste my pareve desserts and say, “Wow—this is pareve!?”

It’s the same rule with Passover dishes and desserts. Which is why I am on a never-ending search for the perfect Passover desserts that are good enough to eat all year and just happen to also be Passover-friendly.almond-butter-chocolate-chip-stampIn one of my searches I came across this recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies which I realized could easily be made Passover-friendly just by swapping out the peanut butter for almond butter. I adjusted a few ingredients and the result is a super tasty, chewy cookie that is good enough to enjoy all year. Your guests are sure to ask incredulously, “Are you sure these are kosher for Passover?” Truly the ultimate compliment.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted on April 2, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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