Archive for the ‘passover’ Category

Sexy and delicious. I can’t believe I’ve never tried making these!

Coconut macaroons (modified slightly, using matzo meal cake flour)

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

1 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup matzo meal cake flour, sifted

3 cups sweetened, shredded coconut

In a stainless steel bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt. When the mixture is warm to the touch, and nice and creamy, remove from heat and stir in vanilla, cafe flour, and coconut. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until firm.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place small mounds (heaping tablespoons) of batter on the parchment-lines baking sheets, spacing several inches apart. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then place on wire rack to cool. Makes 2 dozen macaroons.

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I made this dish, originally from Gourmet magazine, for Passover this year. Hello, gorgeous! And where have you been all my life? Scrumptious!

Lebanese matzo-stuffed chicken breasts (modified slightly by me)

1 large onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 cups packaged matzo farfel

1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 large eggs

1 3/4 cups chicken broth, divided

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon hot paprika

3/4 teaspoons groun cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

6 boneless chicken breast halves

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon potato starch

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F with racks in upper and lower thirds.

Cook onion and bell pepper in 3 tablespoons oil in 12″ heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, til softened and golden, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.

While onion mixture cooks, rinse matzo farfel in a colander under warm running water until softened, 30 seconds to a minutes. Drain, pressing gently to extract excess water.

Remove onion mixture from heat and stir in farfel, pistachios, raisins, parsley, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whick together eggs and 3/4 cup broth, then stir into farfel mixture.

Set aside 1 1/2 cups stuffing and transfer remainder to a generously oiled 1 1/2 quart shallow baking dish.

Bake stuffing in dish in lower third of oven until set and golden, about 30 minutes.

While stuffing bakes, stir together spices with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

Insert a paring knife horizontally into middle of thicker end of each chicken breast half, stopping about 1″ from opposite end, then open incision with your finger to create a 1″ wide pocket. Pack 3 tablespoons stuffing into each pocket. Pat chicken dry and add to spices, tossing to coat.

In large pan, add remaining 3 tablespoons oil and heat over medium-high heat. Sear chicken on each side for about 5 minutes (you may have to do this in batches). Transfer chicken to a roasting pan and roast in upper third of oven until just cooked through, 16 – 20 minutes.

In your searing pan, add the wine and deglaze by boiling, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Stir in 3/4 cup broth. Whisk together remaining 1/4 cup broth and potato starch and whisk into sauce, then cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Strain sauce, season with salt. Transfer chicken to platter and ladle on sauce. Makes 6 servings.

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I forgot to post this during Passover, but it’s a keeper for next year! I adapted this recipe from its original, created by Gina de Palma in her fabulous dessert cookbook, Dolce Italiano, which called for 2 cups of all-purpose flour; instead I used 1 cup of matzah cakemeal and 3/4 cup of potato starch. I also substituted margarine for the butter that the original called for. The results were fabulous – these tasty bites were gobbled up quickly. These sandies taste great with a cup of coffee or tea. Enjoy, even if it’s not Passover (just use 2 cups of flour instead)!

Passover pistachio sandies

1 cup matzah cakemeal

3/4 cup potato starch

1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios

1 cup margarine, softened

1 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

freshly grated zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 x 18 pan, line it with parchment, then lightly grease the paper, with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, starch, and salt. Set aside. Place 1/2 cup pistachios in your food processor and process for 30 seconds until coarsely ground. Stir the ground pistachios into the flour mixture.

Cream the margarine with 1 1/4 cups sugar in your electric mixer, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon zest.

Then, on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients, making a soft dough. Spread the dough evenly in the pan and smooth the surface. Coarsely chop the remaining pistachios in your food processor and sprinkle them over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the nuts.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until the dough is firm and turning golden brown at the edges. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before cutting the sandies into rectangular bars. Store the cookies in an airtight container. Makes 24 – 36 bars.

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Gefilte fish, those boiled fish balls that are traditionally served with horseradish at the Passover table, are not only a time-consuming and expensive proposition to make, recent studies have shown that the very fish we use for this dish may be coming from contaminated waters.

Not that all fish these days isn’t contaminated in some way, shape, or form, but I was moved this year to try an alternative gefilte fish, and a recipe that fit more into my lifestyle, time constraints, and pocketbook. Here is a version of gefilte fish with a “better” twist – it’s made from skinned and boned salmon fillets, and no more labor-intensiveness – just drop all the ingredients into the food processor, then place into your loaf pan, insert into oven, and away you go! These came out delicious, and were healthy, too. Enjoy!

Salmon gefilte fish terrine (adapted from Jane Brody’s gefilte fish loaf)

2 large carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise

2 pounds of skinned and boned salmon fillets

1 cup chopped onion

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

1/4 cup matzo meal

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoons salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3 eggs

Steam the carrot halves for 7 minutes or until they are partially softened. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In your food processor, coarsely grind the fish; transfer to a bowl. Add the onion to the food processor and mince; transfer to the bowl with the fish. Stir in the grated carrot, matzo meal, oil, sugar, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and eggs. Mix ingredients thoroughly.

Transfer 1/3 of the mixture to a nonstick 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Place 2 of the carrot halves lengthwise on the fish. Add another 1/3 of the fish mixture, and place the remaining 2 carrot halves on top of that. Top with the remaining fish mixture.

Place the pan in the hot oven, and bake for 1 hour. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool on a rack. When the loaf is cool, loosen the sides with a knife and carefully turn out onto a platter. Cover the loaf, and chill it until serving time.

Slice, and serve it with horseradish. Serves 8 – 10. (I made two loaves)

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This Passover I tried my hand at Marcy Goldman‘s chocolate-covered toffee matzo that is presently the rage on some of my favorite food blogs. This recipe is not only easy to make; it really takes Passover desserts up to the next level. The outstanding level. Make some today, but be warned – try and eat just one piece. Cannot.Be.Done. I have made this dairy-free, but the recipe can be made with either butter or margarine. Caloric-wise, this treat is not for the faint of heart, but hey, it’s Passover – aren’t you tired of all those boring snacks and desserts? Treat yourself to something really special!

Chocolate-covered toffee matzo crunch

4 to 6 sheets unsalted matzos

1 cup margarine, cut into chunks

1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

sprinkle of flaky sea salt

Line a rimmed baking sheet completely with foil, and cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the bottom of the sheet with matzo, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.

 In a 4 quart heavy saucepan, melt the margarine and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring until the margarine is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil.

Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and pour over matzo, spreading with a heatproof spatula.

Put the pan in the oven, reduce the heat to 350 degrees F., and bake for 15 minutes. It will begin to bubble in the oven, but make sure it’s not burning. If it is, remove the pan from the oven, reduce the heat to 325 degrees F., and then replace the pan.

Remove the pan from the oven after 15 minutes, and immediately cover with the chocolate chips. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

Then spread the chips into the toffee and cover everything. Use an offset spatula.

You can then sprinkle toasted chopped nuts over the top, or flaky sea salt, as I did. Let it all cool completely, then break into pieces and store in an airtight container. Keeps for about a week.

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Macaroons are a staple at every Passover seder – a chewy or crisp cookie made with no flour at all. The ones shown here are made from ground almonds, and only have 4 ingredients! Easy to make with a food processor, these macaroons bake up in a flash, and are crisp on the outside with a slight chewiness on the inside. Enjoy!

Almondy macaroons

1 cup almonds

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Place the almonds and sugar in your food processor, and process until smooth. Add the egg whites and pulse until blended. Add the vanilla and pulse an additional 3 or 4 times. This will be a sticky and thick batter.

Shape into 1″ balls and place on the pans covered with parchment paper. You may need to wet your hands periodically with water while shaping the balls, to prevent sticking. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove the pans from the oven and cool completely before storing. Keeps fresh, tightly covered, for a week. Makes 2 dozen.

Here’s what the macaroons look like before they are baked:

And after: 

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I’ve been quite busy in the kitchen lately, making some yummy dishes for our upcoming Passover seder this Saturday. I was searching for a good recipe for a compote, and I think I found it in Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet. It may be the citrus, I’m not sure, but this compote absolutely perfumed the house while it was cooking, and it tastes divine. Thank you, Jane. I modified this recipe just a pinch. Enjoy!

Fabulous fruit compote

1 pound dried apricots

1 pound pitted prunes

1 large seedless orange, unpeeled, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced crosswise

1 large lemon, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise, seeded

4 cups white grape juice

2 cups apple juice

5 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Red Delicious apples, peeled, cored, quartered, thinly sliced crosswise

In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the apples. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover the pan, and simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Immediately stir in the apples.

Cool the compote, cover, and chill it until 1 hour before serving time. Serve the compote at room temperature.

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