Here in America we like to put our own culinary stamp on everything, and by “culinary stamp” of course we mean taking otherwise healthy things and frying them in as much oil as possible, then dousing them in something sweet. With Passover just around the corner, it’s matzoh’s turn in the fried spotlight. While we disappointingly haven’t seen anyone deep-fry matzoh yet (what are you waiting for, Iowa State Fair?) we do love this take on traditional matzoh brei, courtesy of Carrington Farms, which goes easy on the eggy extras, and heavy on the fried bread. Er…unleavened bread that is.
I won’t embarrass the class by asking who has kept kosher for the eight days of Passover. All I will say to you is that you have one more meal before breaking the holiday, so you might as well go for the half-eaten box or matzah. You know you’ll just feed it to the dog anyway. (Or is my dog the only one that enjoys matzah?) This recipe will also help rid you of leftovers from your seder meal. You know you bought too much parsley.
Anyway, if you have access to a broiler during lunch, try this quick take on an opened-face cheese sandwich.
Swiss Cheese Matzah with Leeks and ParsleyRead More›
Sick of the leftover brisket and matzah ball soup? Miss your gourmet fare during this very old-world holiday? Well, we’ll try to cure your mid-Passover blues.
Get rid of those tired fake-coconut flavored macaroons from your childhood and check out Madagascar vanilla bean, lemon zest or mini chocolate chip versions (pictured above) from Platine Cookies.
Since flour is a no-no, try a flourless chocolate cake, which turns out half brownie and half chocolate cake and not at all like those Manischewitz cake mixes (also from Platine).
And if you’re feeling extra domestic during the weekend, make your own sweet.
Chocolate Beet Coconut Cake with Chocolate Icing
For Passover, which starts sundown on Monday, observant Jews are not to eat leavened bread, legumes, corn, rice and most other grains. It’s tough. But it’s made all the more difficult when my favorite foods as a child were laced with high fructose corn syrup.
I couldn’t chew regular gum, couldn’t bathe my pancakes in syrup (we used Aunt Jemima, but I think real maple syrup would be okay?) couldn’t squirt ketchup on my fries, couldn’t drink Coke, couldn’t indulge in coffee ice cream and the list goes on. I never understood what corn syrup was or why it was in EVERYTHING. But I fucking hated it because it made Passover that much worse. I could live without bread, but without real gum?! Ugh – have you ever tried Bazooka “Jew”? It’s awful.
Anyway, it’s that time of year again when Jews commemorate the parting of the Red Sea. (And maybe this year we’ll read about it in gender neutral terms!) Here are some ideas to keep you bread and corn-syrup free for the holiday.
Get rid of that leftover bread
With only two more meals left for Passover 2010, there’s the urge to never eat matzoh again, yet still use it all before its time is up. Matzoh as a cracker isn’t terrible, as I slathered on smoked whitefish salad and pushed raw onion and raw broccoli into the creamy mixture, simply topped with freshly ground black pepper. Matzoh is also tolerable as a base for melted cheese and salsa, as my sister discovered.
But I think matzoh is best when you can barely taste it at all. So, for you, the lonely observant Jews, for when every one else has longed reincorporated pizza and pasta into their diets, you have fought through the carb cravings and lasted until this eighth and final day. Here is a way to hide your matzoh.
Matzoh and Swiss Omelet
A few weeks ago at the farmers’ market I bought these long, slender greens that basically looked like grass. At the ends there was some barely leafy parts, but it mostly just looked like grass. And I totally can’t remember the name.
Nonetheless, I sliced it to about the size of my pinkie nail (currently painted in Essie’s Mint Candy Apple) and quickly softened it in a pan with butter. I then added in broken up matzoh bits, letting the matzoh also soften.
In a bowl I beat two eggs and threw in raw garlic. I poured the egg mixture over the greens and matzoh and tried to swipe around the sides to let the uncooked eggs start to cook. I seasoned the eggs with salt and pepper and then flipped the egg mixture over once the bottom started to firm up. I lowered the heat then tore up two slices of swiss and placed a lid over the pan. After about 2 minutes, the cheese still hadn’t melted and the eggs were starting to brown on the bottom.
I decided to flip it again, letting the cheese directly hit the pan. I was nervous that the cheese would burn, or stick. or the whole thing would get messed up. But I guess the cheese and butter had enough fat that the cheese slid around in the pan and was able to melt, but then also easily move to the plate.
Enjoy, especially not tasting the matzoh, which really only gives the open faced omelet some body and texture, but not that gross matzoh stale taste.
And now you can start thinking (if you haven’t already) how you’re going to break Passover.
The Jewish calendar is lunar and therefore Passover can land anywhere between the end of March to the end of April. My birthday is at the end of March, my mom’s birthday is at the beginning of April and my sister’s birthday is at the end of April so it’s a always a hold your breath moment to find out who’s birthday will take place during this dreaded no-bread, no-cake, no-ice cream, no-soft pretzel eight day stretch.
This year it’s so early that this spring themed holiday can’t feature the season’s produce. We usually serve asparagus, but this year we still had to rely on winter’s hold overs. I’m a bit tired of winter squash, as is the rest of the Northeast, I’m sure.
With Passover, though, I wanted to think of something slightly new. Maybe not in flavor, but in form.Read More›
Once again, I am home for Passover. When I was younger I never understood why so many foods were off limits. Sure, bread is bad. No toast, bagels, challah. I get it. But gum? Peanut butter? Mustard? I knew that corn syrup was off limits, whatever the hell corn syrup was. No one, however, could really tell me why some of the other foods were off limits.
I guess it’s kinda like religion in general. It can’t all be explained.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t look for special holiday recipes. Or get excited to cook dishes for the first time. I’d never contributed to the sedar plate before. But with only 20 minutes til the sedar, I jumped on the chance to make this traditional dish my own.
Apple Two Way Charoset
I diced two apples, let my cinnamon obsessed sister sprinkle some of the sweet brown powder over top, then stirred it around with fresh lemon juice and just a pinch of salt.
Boring. And wrong.Read More›