Author Topic: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?  (Read 3147 times)

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lowspark

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2014, 03:57:42 PM »
Just now seeing this thread as I haven't been on EH since the 10th as I was preparing for.... Passover! (If I'm honest, it's because I wasn't at work which is the main place I get on EH. But the reason I wasn't at work was because I was preparing for Passover!  ;))

Anyway, yes! Passover is my favorite holiday. The main reason is that it forces me to get creative in the kitchen. It's fun to come up with dishes which don't use the forbidden grains and to make things I only make once a year.

Haroset: It's my father's mother's recipe, which she taught to my mother and my mother taught to me. It's made of dates and raisins, a bit of sugar and a bit of wine. And it's delicious. I never could quite get into the apple stuff because I grew up on the dates kind. When we were kids, my mother had to pry the dish out of our hands to get us to stop eating it. Now that my kids are grown up, I make enough for each of them (and my sister too) to take home a bowl from the seder.

Gefilte fish. Well, we're not Ashkenazi (we're Mizrahi) so I didn't eat that as a kid and can't really stomach it now. My mother used to serve smoked whitefish for the fish course. I serve gefilte fish for those who want it but also lox which is what I like.

We've gone through several different Haggadot over the years trying to find the ideal one and finally decided we should just write one ourselves. Older son and I are working on it, but you know, at the rate we're going, it's going to take about as long as it took to build the pyramids! Ha! In the meantime, I dug up the old Carmel Wine Hagaddah we used as kids. It's chock full of typos which are familiar and funny. (sclaves instead of slaves, upside-down letters, etc.)

We have a lot of discussion and joking around. My parents always encouraged that when we were kids, probably to keep us interested. We used to ask the same old questions when we were kids and my dad used to answer as if it were the first time we'd asked. We had great discussions and still do. Which of course, leads to long (but fun) seders.

No matter what time we start, inevitably we end up eating at around 9pm. We used to start at 7 but have pushed it up to start earlier and earlier in order to be able to eat earlier. This year, we started at 615. Guess what time we ate? 9.

If anyone is interested, I can post a few recipes. I got my recipe for brisket on another web forum and it's delicious. I can also post my haroset recipe if anyone wants to see it. And, my favorite meal during the week is an invention of my mother's. I call it matzah grilled cheese and it consists of layers of matzah, beaten egg and shredded cheese. It's wonderful!

Chag Sameah!

gellchom

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2014, 10:12:26 PM »
Yes, please, Lowspark!  It's fun to get recipes.  I especially want to try your matzah grilled cheese.  Sounds like a cross between matzah brei and a grilled cheese sandwich.

cicero

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2014, 02:37:51 AM »


Anyway, yes! Passover is my favorite holiday. The main reason is that it forces me to get creative in the kitchen. It's fun to come up with dishes which don't use the forbidden grains and to make things I only make once a year.

Chag Sameah!
it's funny - i was discussing this with my son this week. It *used to be* that we got all creative in the kitchen, because there was so little available - we had to figure out how to make cakes, cookies, "rolls", snacks, etc, in addition of coruse to the regular food. Nowadays you can buy brownies, energy bars, cake, cake mixes, roll mixes, ready-made salads and spreads, "fake" soy sauce, BBQ sauce, etc.  kind of loses the fun. I like the creative streak! I make brownies (just use my regular recipe and substitue Matza Meal), and this year i made energy bars as well. I don't make cakes - they never come out good.

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kaybee

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2014, 02:54:02 AM »
i made stuffed chicken breast and we all liked it so much that i will use the same recipe for during the year------had the butcher make a pocket in each chicken breast,sauteed mushrooms,carrots and onions and put a spoonful in each chicken breast.dipped in egg and matza meal and baked--came out  great

lowspark

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2014, 10:32:25 AM »
Oh yes! I always make sure to buy extra matza meal because I use it throughout the year. Anytime a recipe calls for bread crumbs, I use matza meal. One of my favorite uses for it is to make schnitzel. Just mix the matza meal with spices (lemon pepper works well but I vary what I use with each iteration), then dip boneless skinless breasts which have been pounded thin into the meal/spice, then a beaten egg, then back in the meal again and pan fry. Delicious.

For the matza grilled cheese, here is what I do (exactly as my mother did):

Beat a couple of eggs. Shred a bunch of cheese. What kind of cheese you use doesn't matter. I use a combo of whatever I have on hand. Cheddar, smoked gouda, meunster, etc. Melt butter in a large skillet. Take a square of matza and wet it. Just run it under the faucet quickly on both sides. Then dip it in the beaten egg and lay it in the skillet. Top with shredded cheese. Repeat till you have four matzos and three layers of cheese in between. Cook on low heat till the bottom is browned and the cheese on the lower layers is melted. Then flip. (That's the hardest part.) Cook till it's browned on the bottom and all the cheese is melted. Cut into quarters and serve. I usually serve it with a salad but it just so happens that watermelons are available now (!) and I bought one and it's very sweet so we're having this tonight for dinner with watermelon on the side.

Here's my mother's mother-in-law's recipe for Haroset:

HAROSET

1 lb dates
1 lb raisins
1 Tbsp sugar
½ cup kosher for Passover red wine
chopped walnuts
cinnamon

Soak dates and raisins in water for 15 minutes. Drain. Rinse. Put in pot, cover with water (barely covered). Heat to boiling. Simmer on medium 20 minutes. Drain. Purée in food processor. Add ½ cup water & sugar. Heat on low 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Add wine and nuts. Simmer another 15-20 minutes. Put in bowls and top with nuts and cinnamon. Refrigerate.

This is the recipe for Brisket I got off another site. I think I may eliminate the onions next year as I don't think the sauce needs it and most people don't seem interested in eating them. My notes in blue.

BRISKET
Posted by: MOM23cali on Mon, Apr 11, 05 at 7:41

1 3-5lb thin cut brisket
1 or 2 spanish onions
1 bottle heinz ketchup (note: original recipe doesn't specify bottle size. I use ~28 oz)
1 cup Heavy Malaga Kosher Wine
1 box granulated brown sugar

Coat the brisket in salt, pepper and garlic powder and brown in skillet with olive oil. (I don't bother browning it, doesn't seem to matter.)

Slice onions and lay MOST of them in glass baking pan
Combine the ketchup, wine and brown sugar -stirring well
Pour small amount over onions
Place brisket on top of onions and sprinkle remaining onions over top
Pour remaining sauce to cover entire brisket
Cover TIGHTLY with aluminum foil and bake at 325 degree oven for 5-6 hours
Uncover for last 30-40 minutes
Let cool about 15-20 mins. and slice
Serve sliced with sauce and onions on top!


lowspark

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2014, 10:39:31 AM »
Thought I'd post this. My younger son is vegetarian and I've adapted a recipe from the web to make Matza Lasagna for him as his main course for the Seder. It's delicious. I don't have exact measurements on the cheese but Ben likes a lot of cheese so I go heavy on it. He eats what he can and I send him home with the leftovers of this and his veg-matza ball soup.  ;D

Matzo lasagna:

Jar of marinara sauce
6 matzos, wetted
ricotta (one container)
mozzerella
parmesan
2 eggs, beaten
parsley
spinach – fresh sautéed with garlic or 2 pkgs frozen, thawed

   mix ricotta with mozz & parm
   add in egg & chopped parsley
   mix additional mozz & parm separately
   Coat bottom of 9x13 with marinara sauce
   Top with two matzos
   Top with ricotta mixture
   Top with spinach
   Repeat layers
   Top with mozz/parm mixture
   Bake at 350 for 55 min

songbird

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2014, 12:01:55 PM »
We had a "lunch and learn" at work on Thursday and I had to watch my coworkers chow down on pizza.    Sigh.

I liked my Sephardic charoset, but no one else seemed interested.  Won't do it again.

I will be making a matzoh brei this weekend.

gellchom

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2014, 05:26:54 PM »
Thank you, lowspark!  They all sound great.  I'm going to make the "sandwich" for supper tonight, along with some smoked trout pate and a green salad.

Here is a copy of my future son-in-law's grandmother's Persian charoset.  He took dictation from Bibi, who cannot read or write, in Farsi, then wrote it down in Hebrew, and he and Thing Two translated it to English.  As you see, it is quite a bit more complex than the usual Sephardi recipes.  But, wow, is it ever great.  I made a half recipe, and it made a big bowl so full I could hardly lift it.  But it keeps very well and we will surely keep eating it after Pesach like a thick jam.  It would be FANTASTIC as a hamentaschen or rugelach filling.  So yummy with cream cheese or goat cheese on matza.

I didn't use these exact proportions -- I varied the proportion of nuts based on what I had on hand.  I assume they meant a tablespoon by "spoon" and a teaspoon by "little spoon."  You really can't go wrong.

Bibi’s charoset
“For 20 people,” says Bibi.  Gellchom says, “For 20 people to do what?  Build a house?”  Half the recipe fills a very large mixing bowl (at least 10 cups).

2 kg dates
2 kg raisins
¼ kg walnuts
¼ kg pistachios
¼ kg peanuts
¼ kg almonds
¼ kg hazelnuts
1 kg apples
3 pieces banana (I used about a quarter of a banana for a half recipe and it is plenty)
1 “spoon” cinnamon
1 “spoon” ginger
1 “spoon” cardamom
½ “little spoon” cloves
Wine to taste and desired consistency ("square wine"  :))

Lightly toast or roast nuts.  Grind everything well (in batches) in food processor to a paste.  It helps to combine the dry, sticky, and wet ingredients in each small batch, then remix in a big batch or two with the wine (sounds like a big deal but it isn't).

lowspark

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2014, 11:25:04 PM »
I might have to try that recipe Gellchom, thanks for posting it. Thing is though, I'll have to try it when it's NOT Passover as I will suffer a considerable rebellion from the troops here if I don't make the "traditional" recipe.

Quote
Gellchom says, “For 20 people to do what?  Build a house?”

Funny you should say that. I always claim that our haroset actually could hold bricks together. Unlike the chunky apple recipe which I don't think could!  ;)

lowspark

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2014, 11:34:30 PM »


Anyway, yes! Passover is my favorite holiday. The main reason is that it forces me to get creative in the kitchen. It's fun to come up with dishes which don't use the forbidden grains and to make things I only make once a year.

Chag Sameah!
it's funny - i was discussing this with my son this week. It *used to be* that we got all creative in the kitchen, because there was so little available - we had to figure out how to make cakes, cookies, "rolls", snacks, etc, in addition of coruse to the regular food. Nowadays you can buy brownies, energy bars, cake, cake mixes, roll mixes, ready-made salads and spreads, "fake" soy sauce, BBQ sauce, etc.  kind of loses the fun. I like the creative streak! I make brownies (just use my regular recipe and substitue Matza Meal), and this year i made energy bars as well. I don't make cakes - they never come out good.

I meant to comment on this earlier. To me, part of what leads to the creativity is to specifically avoid making foods which are normally chametz*. Thing is, I pretty much never make cake anyway, so why go out of my way to make a K for P one at Passover? Yes, I do make brownies sometimes but I know that nothing I can make at Passover can really be as good as the ones using flour. So why bother? (I mean, why should I bother.)

Instead I take the challenge to come up with (or find) recipes for things that are naturally K for P. Like sorbet for dessert. Or those meringue cookies. And oh man, that caramel chocolate matza is heavenly. That's three desserts (not including haroset which I could eat any time!) and we hardly ever even eat dessert! And the same goes for non-dessert items. There are so many things one can make without using "fake" stuff or subbing matza meal for flour, and you know, in the end, it's only eight days! And after finishing leftovers from the seder, it's really only about four.

*with the exception of the matzo-spinach lasagna I make for my son, I admit. But I have to say, that lasagna is really good considering it's made with matza instead of noodles!

gellchom

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2014, 12:17:25 AM »
Lowspark, we are so much alike!  (We already knew that.)

We always had the Ashkenazi apple and walnut charoset, and even though of course we love this one, we MUST have the apple kind, too!

And I'm on exactly the same page about not trying to make cakes and pastas at Pesach.  Just like you, I rarely make them anyway, so why now, when it can't be as good?

It seems like there are always tons of leftovers,many that covers several meals.  But for the others, really so many of the things I'd make anyway are KP or easily adjusted.  Like fish, a salad, roasted vegetables, and quinoa or a baked potato.  (Conversely, we eat matzah, matzah balls, and matzah brei all year.)  And like you, I have just one Pesach-only dinner: a matzah-spinach-meat pie my children demand.

Tonight we had a yummy salad of arugula, red onion, and palm hearts, topped with some smoked trout.  I made a dressing of mayo, horseradish, lemon, and a bit of tarragon, celery seed, and dill.  I'd eat that any time.  Which accompanied ...

... Wait for it ...

Your matza grilled cheese!  We both loved it. I saved a little bit for breakfast tomorrow.  The recipe is now tucked into the Pesach book for perennial use.

lowspark

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2014, 11:58:21 AM »
LOL yeah, we already knew that.  ;D

I'm so glad you liked the grilled cheese. Totally my mother's invention and it just would not be Passover without it.
Would you mind posting the matzah-spinach-meat pie recipe? Probably too late for me to make it this year (only two nights left!) but for future reference.

We always go out for dinner to break and we usually go for Italian food -- garlic bread & pasta! LOL, not that I've felt deprived (I honestly don't make pasta very often anyway), but you know, it's sort of the perfect way to dive back into the world of chametz. Going to go to our favorite Italian place, Nick's. It's a bit of a drive but worth it!

How are all of you breaking?

gellchom

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2014, 01:32:09 PM »
Usually pizza for us, although what I really miss is Chinese food.

I thought of you when I enjoyed the leftover grilled cheese for breakfast.  I heated it in the toaster oven so it would be crunchy.  Still great!  That is a keeper for sure.  I might well eat it not just at Pesach.  And I also might try it with meat instead of cheese sometimes.  The eggifying of the matzo makes it more breadlike and almost like a panini.

Here you go.  The recipe comes from my brother's synagogue cookbook.  Most of the congregants are gay, or at least they were when it began, and the cookbook is called "Out of Our Kitchen Closets"!  (I think that is so clever.)  It's a good cookbook, and most of the recipes have a family story with them.

Matzo-spinach-meat pie

1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
3 T oil
2 T pine nuts
½ t  salt, or to taste
¼ t pepper, or to taste
¼ t allspice
1 ½ 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed very dry in a rag or tea towel
2 eggs, beaten
1 c cooked mashed potatoes (I use leftover from the seder; you can use instant.  You may want to use more.)
4 matzos
1 T oil
1 egg, beaten (usually I just save a little from the 2 eggs above, unless I'm going to need another beaten egg soon)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Sauté onion in oil until transparent; add garlic at some point.  Add beef and sauté until browned.  Add pine nuts, salt, pepper, and allspice.  Gently sauté a few more minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Add 2 eggs, the spinach, and the potatoes to the meat mixture and mix well.  Use a water sprayer (I just run it under the faucet) to moisten the matzo slightly on both sides.  They should be just soft enough to be formed into the pie pan, not mushy.  Put 2 on the bottom of a greased glass pie dish or square casserole dish (or double the recipe and use a 9x13" pan, as I usually do), then meat mixture, then remaining matzo.  Brush top matzo with oil and then beaten egg.  Bake 325 for about 45 minutes or until browned on top.

Enjoy!

cicero

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2014, 01:40:21 PM »
All your recipes sound yummy!



How are all of you breaking?
i live in israel so, while it's not impossible to find bread during the holiday, it's not readily available at the corner grocery store. immiedately after the holiday is over, the bakeries start making pita and you can see people lining up and waiting to buy them. i always wait a day or two cause i like the "special" breads and they never make them right away.



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lowspark

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Re: Passover ! what are you favorite dishes, traditions?
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2014, 02:02:16 PM »
Usually pizza for us, although what I really miss is Chinese food.

I thought of you when I enjoyed the leftover grilled cheese for breakfast.  I heated it in the toaster oven so it would be crunchy.  Still great!  That is a keeper for sure.  I might well eat it not just at Pesach.  And I also might try it with meat instead of cheese sometimes.  The eggifying of the matzo makes it more breadlike and almost like a panini.

Here you go.  The recipe comes from my brother's synagogue cookbook.  Most of the congregants are gay, or at least they were when it began, and the cookbook is called "Out of Our Kitchen Closets"!  (I think that is so clever.)  It's a good cookbook, and most of the recipes have a family story with them.

Matzo-spinach-meat pie

1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
3 T oil
2 T pine nuts
½ t  salt, or to taste
¼ t pepper, or to taste
¼ t allspice
1 ½ 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed very dry in a rag or tea towel
2 eggs, beaten
1 c cooked mashed potatoes (I use leftover from the seder; you can use instant.  You may want to use more.)
4 matzos
1 T oil
1 egg, beaten (usually I just save a little from the 2 eggs above, unless I'm going to need another beaten egg soon)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Sauté onion in oil until transparent; add garlic at some point.  Add beef and sauté until browned.  Add pine nuts, salt, pepper, and allspice.  Gently sauté a few more minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Add 2 eggs, the spinach, and the potatoes to the meat mixture and mix well.  Use a water sprayer (I just run it under the faucet) to moisten the matzo slightly on both sides.  They should be just soft enough to be formed into the pie pan, not mushy.  Put 2 on the bottom of a greased glass pie dish or square casserole dish (or double the recipe and use a 9x13" pan, as I usually do), then meat mixture, then remaining matzo.  Brush top matzo with oil and then beaten egg.  Bake 325 for about 45 minutes or until browned on top.

Enjoy!

Yes! My mother used to make one with meat as well! I never got the recipe from her, unfortunately. Mainly because the cheese one was my fave but I regret not getting it now. Coincidentally, it had pine nuts and onions (and probably garlic) in it, making it sound fairly similar to the recipe you posted. No spinach though and it was definitely cooked on the stovetop, not baked. What I really don't know was how it held together, especially when it got flipped. If you come up with something that works well, let me know.

Clever title for the cookbook.  :)