My kitchen is overflowing with gadgets and appliances. We have a seltzer maker, 2 crock pots, a hot water heater, a coffee maker, a toaster, a coffee grinder, a food processor, two hand mixers, and a few I’m embarrassed to even admit we own. Also, I’m dying for an ice cream maker. But on Passover, all of these helpful devices get packed away. There are no more shortcuts. Instead, it’s back to the basics.
I’m all about the basics, but there are some amenities that I require if I’m going to be cooking for a week. Over the years I’ve narrowed it down to just two very simple appliances to get me through Passover.
1. The manual food processor. These things might be a gift from God. They’re not electric, so you can use them on Shabbat and holidays. They’re quick and efficient, and they force you to work your forearms. Best of all, they do the work of a fancypants Cuisinart for an eighth of the price, so you can afford to get one that is only used one week a year. These are especially good for making haroset.
2. The immersion blender. Everyone is different, of course, but I love soups, and I love smoothies, and to make a soup with an even consistency, you need one of these babies. They’re also very helpful if you want to skip the matzah brei for breakfast and go with something a bit lighter and healthier. You can get all kinds of fancy models, but it’s easy to find an immersion blender for under twenty dollars.
There are other things you should have for Passover– a few decent knives, a big roasting pan, a griddle or frying pan, but if you don’t want to break the bank, and you do want to produce excellent and impressive food for the holiday, these are my suggestions.
Here are some recipes that are easy to make once you’ve purchased your two appliances. A few of them call for small amounts of flour, for which you can easily substitute matzah meal:
Quiche with hashed brown crust
Zucchini Feta pancakes
Sweet Potato Ginger Soup
Zucchini Onion Soup
Spinach and Potato Soup
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.