The celebration of Passover is an ancient holiday rich in tradition and rituals. Family customs may vary but some of the more traditional dishes served on Seder – the family meal served on the first two days of Passover – are matzoh, maror, charoses, beitzah, karpas, and zeroah. This year why not kick it up a notch by adding these fun and tasty twists on the traditional dishes and you will wow your guests with your culinary creativity.
This perfectly seasoned, lemon-topped sea bass takes your Passover fish dish to the next level with the magic it performs on your palette.
- 1 lemon, very thinly sliced
- 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 thyme sprigs
- Four 6-ounce sea bass fillets, about 1 inch thick
- 12 small bay leaves
Preheat the broiler. Arrange the lemon slices in a small roasting pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Broil 8 inches from the heat until lightly browned. Finely chop 2 of the lemon slices, removing any pits. Transfer the minced lemon to a small bowl; stir in the mayonnaise and cayenne and season the aioli with salt and pepper. Scatter the thyme sprigs over the lemon slices in the pan. Make three 1/2-inch-deep slashes in the skin of each sea bass fillet and slip a bay leaf into each slit. Place the fish skin side up in the roasting pan and drizzle with the remaining oil; season with salt and pepper. Broil for 10 to 12 minutes, until the skin is browned and crisp and the fish is cooked through. Transfer the fish and lemons to plates; discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Pour any accumulated juices into the aioli, stir well and serve with the fish.
This stunning, fork-tender, melt-in-your-mouth lamb dish can be browned in a Dutch oven, then cooked slowly with white wine, tomatoes, garlic, onion, and rosemary.
- 3 bulbs of fennel, tops trimmed and quartered, ends still attached
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 6 lamb shanks
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 1 tbs. fresh rosemary, leaves chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
- 4 tomatoes, chopped, or three 15-ounce cans, drained and chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
In a roasting pan, toss the fennel, 2 tbs. of the oil, 1/2 tsp. of the salt, and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper. Set aside. Dry the lamb shanks on paper towels and season with the remaining salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Brown the lamb until golden, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (Do in 2 batches if necessary.) Remove the lamb and set aside. Heat oven to 400° F. Pour off the excess oil from the Dutch oven. Stir in the onion, garlic, and rosemary. Cook 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, broth, and lamb. Cover and bring to a boil. Place in oven. Cook the lamb until it is fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours, occasionally basting with the cooking liquid. After 1 hour, place the pan of fennel in the oven and roast until tender. Serve with the pan juices.
If you’re going to make make Matzo Ball soup why not make it just like the experts at Manhattan’s Carnegie Deli? This 75-year-old landmark serves 1,500 matzo balls a day! The folks over at Pop Sugar have adapted the famous recipe so that everyone can become a Matzo master.
- 1 pound chicken necks, backs, and wings
- 1/2 ounce chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon
- 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
- 1 small white onion, quartered
- 1/4 tsp. Maggi Seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. yellow food coloring (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For matzo balls:
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup liquid shortening or olive oil plus more for rolling matzo balls
- Scant 1 cup water
- 4 cups matzo meal
- 1/4 tsp. Maggi Seasoning
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
To make the consommé combine the first four ingredients with 6 cups water. Add Maggi seasoning, food coloring, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 1 hour.
To make the matzo balls mix the eggs, oil, water, matzo meal, Maggi, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until just incorporated. Oil hands, then, working as gently as possible, form round balls about the size of a billiard ball. Boil matzo balls in consommé until cooked through and soft, about 45 minutes.
Divide matzo balls evenly between four bowls, allotting 2 matzo balls and 2 cups consommé per serving. Serves 4.
This dairy-free, flourless beauty is a beautifully perfect Passover dessert.
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
- 2 cup(s) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tbs. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 1/2 cup(s) vanilla soy milk
- 1/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp. arrowroot or cornstarch
- 2 tbs. almond paste
- 1 cup(s) almond flour
- 1/2 cup(s) soy cream cheese, preferably Tofutti
- 5 tbs. apricot jam
- 4 cup(s) assorted berries
To make the crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch fluted tart pan with cooking spray. Combine remaining ingredients. Press into bottom and up sides of pan.
To make the filling scrape vanilla seeds into a small saucepan, and add pod. Stir in soy milk and 2 tablespoons sugar, and bring to a boil. Whisk yolks, arrowroot or cornstarch, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a bowl. Add hot soy milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking until combined. Return to pan, and whisk over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Discard vanilla pod. Beat milk mixture and almond paste with a mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes. Beat in almond flour and cream cheese. Spread into tart crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Cover edges with parchment, then foil. Bake until set, 15 to 25 minutes more. Let cool completely in pan on a rack. Unmold. Spread jam evenly over the tart. Arrange berries on top.
This tasty hors d’oeuvre can be made ahead of time and is a breeze with only 5 ingredients and a total prep time of 10 minutes.
- 1 tbs. dried oregano
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups Kalamata olives
Combine oregano, garlic, vinegar and oil. Toss with olives and serve.
There is no better way to celebrate after a satisfying meal of roasted lamb than a light granita. Made with pureed strawberries and raspberries and just a hint of sugar and lemon, this frozen dessert is the perfect way to cap off your meal.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 lemon (up to 2)
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled
- 1 1/2 cups raspberries
To make sugar syrup heat water and sugar in a 2-quart saucepan on high, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, from lemon(s), grate 2 teaspoons peel and squeeze 1/4 cup juice. In food processor with knife blade attached, blend strawberries and raspberries until pureed. With back of spoon, press puree through sieve into medium bowl; discard seeds. Stir sugar syrup and lemon juice and peel into berry puree. Pour into 9″ by 9″ metal baking pan. Cover and freeze mixture 2 hours or until frozen around edges. With fork, scrape ice at edges into center. Cover and freeze until completely frozen, at least 3 hours or overnight. To serve, let granita stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or until slightly softened. With fork, scrape across surface of granita to form ice shards and spoon into chilled wine goblets or dessert bowls. Serve immediately. Makes about 5 cups.
Kugel is a baked pudding and when partnered with shredded potatoes and fried shallots the result is a deliciously creamy middle with the perfect crispiness around the edges.
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 5 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and coarsely shredded
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsely grated
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1 tbs. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- 2 large egg yolks, beaten
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup boiling water
Preheat the oven to 450°. In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to a plate. Reserve the shallot oil. Working in batches, squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible from the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl as you go. Add the grated onion, potato starch, salt, black pepper and grated nutmeg and stir well. Stir in the whole eggs, egg yolks, olive oil and boiling water, then stir in the fried shallots.
Heat two 8-by-11 1/2-inch flameproof or enameled cast-iron baking dishes over high heat until they are very hot to the touch. Add 2 tablespoons of the shallot oil to each baking dish and heat until smoking. Carefully spread the potato mixture in the sizzling baking dishes. Transfer the potato kugels to the oven and bake them for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375° and bake the kugels for 40 minutes longer, until golden and crisp on the sides. Preheat the broiler. Broil the potato kugels as close to the heat as possible for about 2 minutes, until they are browned and crisp on top. Let the potato kugels stand for 20 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
Combining the perfect blend of seasonings with just a touch of spice, this chicken will be the hit of the celebration.
- 5 small red onions, peeled, each cut through the roots into 8 wedges
- 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbs. plus 2 teaspoons dried mint, crumbled
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbs. plus 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper flakes
- 2 lemons—zests removed in strips, 1 lemon cut lengthwise into wedges
- One 4-pound chicken
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a medium bowl, toss the onions, olive oil and the 2 teaspoons of mint. Season with salt and black pepper. In a small bowl, mash the butter with the garlic, scallions, Aleppo pepper, lemon zest and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of mint; season with salt. Rub the seasoned butter evenly under the skin of the chicken. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and set the chicken in a medium roasting pan. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and roast for 20 minutes. Add the onions to the pan, reduce the oven to 375° and roast for 20 minutes longer. Squeeze the lemon wedges over the chicken and add to the pan. Roast for 35 minutes longer, basting, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165°. Transfer the chicken to a surface. Let rest for 10 minutes. Return the pan with the onions and lemon to the oven; roast for 10 minutes. Remove the string and carve the chicken. Serve with the onions, lemon wedges and pan juices.
What is more refreshing then citrus fruit and candied ginger? Make sure to use the freshest citrus you can find to make sure the flavors of this delicious treat come out.
- 2 pink or red grapefruits
- 6 navel oranges
- 10 clementines
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbs. crystallized ginger, minced
- 3/4 cup salted roasted almonds, such as marcona, chopped
Finely grate 1 teaspoon each of grapefruit zest, orange zest and clementine zest into a large bowl and add the sugar. Using a sharp knife, peel the citrus, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over the bowl, cut the grapefruits and oranges in between the membranes and release the sections into the bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes over the fruit. Cut each clementine into eighths. Add to the bowl along with the sugar and ginger and stir. Sprinkle with the almonds just before serving.
With Brisket being central to so many Passover Seder dinners, no doubt every family will insist that their family recipe is the best. We insist that you try this version which incorporates the sweetness of apples and brown sugar and you may just find that it gives your family’s recipe a run for its money.
- 2½ pounds beef brisket
- 3 tbs. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 3 medium gala apples, cored and cut into wedges
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme or 2 teaspoon dried
- 2 cups apple juice
Preheat oven to 375° F. Season both sides of brisket with sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add brisket and brown 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add apples to the pan, and cook 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Stir in thyme and return brisket to the pan. Add apple juice, cover, and bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until tender. Remove brisket and apples from the Dutch oven and let rest. Carefully set the hot pan on the stove and bring liquid to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until reduced by half. Pour into a gravy boat or serving bowl. Slice brisket into ¼-inch thick slices and place on a serving platter. Place cooked apples around brisket and serve with sauce on the side.
This sticky, sweet concoction takes the matzo to the next level. Keep a close eye on the buttercrunch as they bake and a close eye on your kids when they come running toward it when it’s finished.
- 6 (6-inch) unsalted matzo crackers
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate minichips, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil; cover foil with parchment paper. Arrange matzo crackers in a single layer on pan, cutting them as necessary to fit; bake at 375° for 5 minutes or until crackers are lightly browned. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Combine butter and brown sugar in a small heavy saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring often. Cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly; pour mixture over matzo. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until the mixture bubbles. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate. Cool slightly; refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. Break into 36 pieces.
Quinoa is the “it” food of the year but because it isn’t a true grain some circles have welcomed it to the Passover table, others have not. If you choose to serve it, you will enjoy how it absorbs the vinaigrette and is complimented by the crispy ribbons of scallion and raw asparagus.
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (8 ounces) quinoa
- 2 1/2 cups water
- Kosher or fine salt
- 5 scallions, trimmed
- 1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 4 tbs. fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- 2 tsps. mild honey
- 6 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
Put eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then cover pan, and remove from heat. Let eggs stand, covered, 15 minutes, then drain, and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool completely. Remove shells and finely grate eggs with a Microplane or the fine holes of box grater into a small bowl. Set aside. Rinse quinoa well in a large fine-mesh sieve under cold running water. Set sieve over a bowl and let quinoa drain well for at least 5 minutes. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil with 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher or fine) in a 3-quart saucepan. Add quinoa and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, 16 to 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let quinoa stand, covered, 5 minutes. Spoon quinoa onto a large rimmed baking sheet, spreading it in a single layer, and let it cool to room temperature. Cut scallions into 2-inch pieces. Halve each piece lengthwise, then slice lengthwise into thin strips (julienne). Transfer to a large bowl. Using vegetable peeler, peel lengthwise strips from asparagus, beginning at bottom end, and add to scallion. Once you can’t peel any more slices from a stalk, break off the thick end (reserving it for another use, such as soup) and add the remaining thin strip to bowl with scallions. Whisk together lemon juice with honey and 3/4 teaspoon kosher (1/2 teaspoon fine) salt until smooth. Add oil in a steady stream, whisking until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired, then whisk in grated eggs. Transfer quinoa to another large bowl and toss with herbs and 1/2 cup vinaigrette, or to taste. Toss asparagus with 3 tablespoons vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon quinoa onto salad plates, and top with a tangle of asparagus and scallion. Serve remaining vinaigrette on the side, or save, chilled, for another salad.
Suprisingly airy and light yet amazingly moist, this cake with its added bonus of Amaretto liqueur is a perfect Passover treat.
- 1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) blanched slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup matzoh cake meal
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1/4 tsp. salt plus more for beating whites
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for pan
- 3 tbs. Amaretto liqueur
- 4 large egg whites at room temperature
- Fresh raspberries for serving
Heat oven to 325°F with rack in middle. Grease pan with some oil, then line bottom with a round of parchment. Toast almonds in a rimmed baking sheet until fragrantly toasty and a shade darker, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely. Combine toasted almonds, matzoh meal, potato starch, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until almonds are very finely ground. Whisk together egg yolks, olive oil, Amaretto, and half of almond mixture in a large bowl until combined (mixture will be slightly grainy from almonds). Beat whites with a pinch of salt in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Increase speed to medium high and add 1/2 cup sugar in a slow steady stream, beating, and continue to beat meringue until it holds stiff glossy peaks. Fold one third of meringue into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining meringue gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle remaining almond mixture evenly over the batter and fold in gently but thoroughly. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth the top. Sprinkle the top evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until cake is golden, the top has formed a crust, and a tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and run a sharp knife along edge of pan. Cool cake in pan 30 minutes. If using a springform pan, remove sides of springform. Then, whether you are using the springform or a round cake pan, invert cake onto the rack. Remove bottom (if using springform) and parchment. Set another cooling rack over bottom of cake, then reinvert cake onto second rack, and cool completely. Serve cake in wedges with berries on the side.
Want to add a little healthy side to your celebration that the kids will love too? These Sweet Potatoes are the perfect blend of tangy and sweet that the whole family will enjoy and they are only 212 calories!
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, (about 3 medium), peeled
- 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs. honey
- 1 tsp. butter
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Place on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with oil and toss well. Spread out in a single layer. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, combine vinegar and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until syrupy and reduced to 1/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. (Watch the syrup carefully during the last few minutes of reducing to prevent burning.) Swirl in butter. Drizzle the sauce over the sweet potatoes.
The perfect side kick for any main meat dish, this simply prepared cauliflower has a rich flavor that all of your guests will enjoy.
- 2 tbs. minced garlic
- 3 tbs. olive oil
- 1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a large casserole dish. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.
Looking for a great holiday appetizer, well look no more! This is a creatively sweet take on the boring old cheese ball and can be served with anything from graham crackers to chocolate wafers.
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tbs. brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in confectioners’ sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Shape chilled cream cheese mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Roll the cheese ball in finely chopped pecans before serving.
This simple, quick and tasty side can be prepared in less than 15 minutes! You can control how chunky or fine you want it based on how you chop the apples and walnuts.
- 1 1/2 tbs. honey
- 1/4 cup ground cinnamon, or to taste
- 5 cups apples – peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 cups grape juice
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
In a bowl, mix the honey, cinnamon, apples, grape juice, and walnuts together until thoroughly combined.
Prime Rib is a staple of the Passover table and prepared with garlic and thyme in a 500 degree oven, this is melt-in-your-mouth perfection.
- 1 (10 pound) prime rib roast
- 10 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 2 tbs. salt
- 2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast, and let the roast sit out until it is at room temperature, no longer than 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Bake the roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F, and continue roasting for an additional 60 to 75 minutes. The internal temperature of the roast should be at 135 degrees F for medium rare. Allow the roast to rest for 10 or 15 minutes before carving so the meat can retain its juices.
There is no better way than this to get the kiddos to eat gefilte fish, which is traditionally boiled. These sticks are crispy and baked, not fried and can be served with any side dipper.
- Gefilte Fish Loaf
- 1 cup Matzo Meal/ Panko
- 1 cup Cornflake Crumbs
- pinch salt
- pinch Garlic
- Olive oil (drizzle over fish)
- 1 egg (for egg wash)
- 1 cup Golds Horseradish
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
Preheat oven to 350. Place parchment paper on jelly roll pan. Unwrap frozen gefilte fish loaf. Slice lengthwise into 1/2″ thick slices. Slice now widthwise to form “french fry” shapes. Crack egg into bowl, whisk with fork- this is the egg wash for the gefilte fish “sticks”. Mix 1 tablespoon of Gold’s horseradish with egg for extra flavor boost! (optional). Mix matzoh meal and cornflake crumbs with spices. Place in medium size bowl. Dip gefilte into the egg and then bread. Lay on baking sheet. Repeat process until all sticks are breaded. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
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