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Passover Recipes

Vegan Matzah Balls

By: 
Lisa Dawn Angerame

The brilliance of this recipe is that you don't boil the matzah balls. You bake them! This way, they stay intact. The quinoa holds the mix together (and adds protein).

Ingredients: 
1 cup quinoa flakes
2 cups boiling water
One box (2 packets) matzah ball mix
1/4 cup light vegetable oil (like safflower)
Directions: 
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cover the quinoa flakes with the water. Let stand for 2 or 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in both packets of matzah meal mix along with the oil, and mix until well blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Just before baking, preheat the oven to 275º F.
  4. Roll the mixture into approximately 1-inch balls; don't pack them too firmly. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, carefully turning the matzo balls after 10 minutes, until firm to the touch; don't let them brown.
  5. If making ahead of time, let the matzah balls cool completely, then cover until needed. Warm them briefly in a medium oven and distribute them among the soup bowls, allowing 3 or 4 matzah balls per serving.

Lisa Dawn Angerame is living as a vegan for her family's health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. She blogs at LisasProjectVegan.com.

Vegan Matzah Brei

By: 
Lisa Dawn Angerame

What do you make the morning after the Passover seder? Matzah brei! I tried it with tofu two different ways, but it was just too much tofu. The quinoa flakes work great in matzah balls and just as great in this matzah brei. It tastes just like the matzah brei my Grandpa Abe made during Passover when we were little - lots of matzah, not so much brei!

Ingredients: 
1 1/2 sheets of matzo, crumbled (I use organic whole wheat matzo)
1/4 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup boiling water
Earth Balance natural buttery spread
Salt
Maple syrup
Directions: 
  1. Boil the water. In a bowl, mix the crumbled matzah and the quinoa flakes.
  2. Pour the hot water over the matzah and quinoa and let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes. It is ready when the water is absorbed.
  3. In a skillet, melt some Earth Balance and pour the matzah-quinoa mixture in.  Flatten it down and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  4. After a few minutes, scramble it to give all sides a chance to crisp up.
  5. Serve with a few pats of Earth Balance, a dash of salt, and maple syrup.

Lisa Dawn Angerame is living as a vegan for her family's health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. She blogs at LisasProjectVegan.com.

Vegan Seven-Vegetable Soup with Matzah Balls

By: 
Lisa Dawn Angerame

This soup is easy and fantastic - and seven is a lucky number in Judaism! This colorful soup is nutrient-rich and is great on its own or served topped with vegan matzah balls during Passover.

Ingredients: 
2 large onions
6 large carrots
3 celery stalks
1 sweet potato
1 russet potato
2 small turnips
1 leek
2 cups vegetable stock
4 cups water
Dill
Parsley
Salt
Directions: 
  1. Start to peel and chop the vegetables to about the same size.
  2. Meanwhile, in a deep pot, sauté the onions in olive oil. As you finish chopping, gradually add the other vegetables, salting each layer.
  3. Cover vegetables with stock and water. Add as much dill and parsley as you like.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let it cook for about an hour. When it is done, turn the stove off and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Using an immersion blender (you can use a regular blender, but I would not do this with piping hot soup), blend just enough soup to get a creamy consistency but with enough vegetables left intact for texture.


Lisa Dawn Angerame is living as a vegan for her family's health, the health and welfare of the animals, and that of the planet. She blogs at LisasProjectVegan.com.

Bubele, Modern-Style

By: 
Tina Wasserman

A Reform Judaism magazine reader once asked me to help re-create her grandmother’s recipe for bubele, a matzah meal fritter similar to chremslach. I researched it for months and then, thanks to a friend who gave me a South African Union of Jewish Women cookbook, I found a recipe! The following is my adaptation for the modern cook.

Ingredients: 
1 cup matzah meal
1⁄4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 cup seedless raisins
2 tablespoons finely ground almonds
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 apple, peeled and coarsely grated (Gala or Fuji)
1⁄4 cup Passover wine, preferably sweet to semi sweet
2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3⁄4 cup water or more as needed
.....................................................................
Vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons sugar with 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Directions: 
  1. Combine the first 6 dry ingredients in a 2-quart medium bowl.
  2. Place the lemon juice in a 1-quart bowl and grate the peeled apple into the bowl. If you’re grating with a food pro­cessor, immediately mix the apple with the lemon juice to prevent browning.
  3. Add the wine, honey, and eggs to the apple mixture. Combine well.
  4. Stir mixture into dry ingredients.
  5. Add water until the mixture is a thick batter, but thin enough to drop from a spoon.
  6. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a frying pan until it’s hot, but not smoking.
  7. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter at a time into the hot oil. Repeat with additional spoonfuls, being sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until golden brown on both sides, for no more than 1 minute per side.
  8. Remove the bubele with a slotted spatula or spoon. Drain on paper towels. If preparing as dessert, combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top while the bubele is still hot.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Don’t overcrowd the food in your frying pan. This is the best way to keep oil at an even frying temperature, which will insure a light, crispy end product.
  • Drain fried foods on a plate covered with crumpled paper towels. You’ll create a larger surface area for absorbing more oil and use fewer paper towels—saving trees at the same time!

Roast Chicken, South African-Style

By: 
Tina Wasserman

This adaptation of Katie Osrin’s roast chicken - a family favorite - includes potatoes, apples, and ginger. Many varieties of apples are cultivated in South Africa, and the use of ginger is directly related to the spice route that made its way around the Cape of Africa.

Ingredients: 
1 whole chicken (4–5 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1⁄2 Tablespoons grated, peeled, fresh gingerroot
1 apple (Fuji, Gala, or Jonagold)
1 medium onion
8 small red new potatoes, cut into quarters
2 Tablespoons rendered chicken fat or pareve margarine
1 Tablespoon honey (optional)
1⁄2 cup apple juice
1⁄2 cup chicken broth or water
Directions: 
  1. Using running tap water, rinse the chicken cavity well and drain. Place the chicken in a roasting pan large enough to leave 1–2 inches open around the sides.
  2. Combine the salt, ground ginger, and black pepper in a small glass dish.
  3. Sprinkle 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt-ginger-black pepper mixture throughout the inside of the chicken cavity and rub it into the cavity walls. Set aside.
  4. Core the (unpeeled) apple and cut into 16 pieces. Peel the onion and cut it into 16 pieces as well.
  5. Stuff the chicken cavity with as many apple and onion pieces as you can fit. Place any remaining pieces, along with the quartered potatoes, around the chicken in the pan.
  6. Thoroughly combine the chicken fat with the remaining dry spices, grated ginger, and honey (if using). Spread the mixture evenly all over the chicken skin, massaging the mixture well.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cover the chicken with a tent of foil, making sure that the shiny side of foil is facing you.
  8. Pour the apple juice and chicken broth around the bird in the pan’s base.
  9. Roast for 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours (if the bird is very large), then remove the foil tent. Baste with some of the juices at the bottom of the pan. Continue roasting the chicken until the leg can be moved easily, the breast meat is tender when pierced with a fork, and the skin is golden brown, approximately 15 to 30 minutes more depending on the size of the chicken.
  10. Let the chicken sit for 10 minutes to reabsorb some of its juices.
  11. Carve and serve with the roasted vegetables and accumulated gravy.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • Be sure to salt the cavity of a chicken. It not only flavors the meat, it also prevents bacteria from growing.
  • To prevent poultry from overcooking, cover with the shiny side of foil facing you. Whereas the shiny side reflects the heat, the dull side out will absorb it, too rapidly cooking the white meat, making it dry and pasty.
  • Glazing your roasted poultry with a touch of honey will insure a beautiful golden brown skin on the bird.

Tri-colored Gefilte Loaf, Spanish Style

By: 
Tina Wasserman

You can eliminate most of the tedious aspects of classic gefilte fish production by making loaves of gefilte fish mixture. The following recipe, which melds the flavors of a 500-year-old Spanish Jewish cuisine, was inspired by the time I recently spent in Spain with members of Barcelona’s Jewish community.

Ingredients: 
1 onion, cut into 4 pieces
1 garlic clove, cut in half
2 eggs
2 packages of 22 ounce frozen gefilte fish loaves, thawed
3⁄4 cup matzo meal
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
20 fine grindings of pepper
4 ounces of carrots (about 2 medium), sliced and cooked
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
10 ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed
1⁄4 cup pine nuts or whole almonds, toasted
1⁄4 cup dark or golden raisins
1 tomato, roasted and skin removed
1⁄2 large red bell pepper, roasted and skin removed
1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Pimenton de la Vera (smoked) or sweet paprika
Vegetable spray or oil
Directions: 
  1.  Grease two 9" x 5" loaf pans with vegetable spray or vegetable oil. Fit an 8" x 12" sheet of parchment in each pan widthwise so that approximately 3 inches of paper hang over the long sides of the pan. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Place the onion and the garlic in a processor workbowl, pulsing on and off until fairly pureed. (Alternatively, grate the onion and garlic into a bowl.)
  3. Add the next five ingredients, pulsing about 5-10 times or stirring until the mixture is well combined.
  4. Either divide the mixture evenly into three bowls or measure out approximately 1 1⁄2 cups of mixture when you make each of the following layers.
  5. For the carrot layer, mash by hand or puree the carrots in a small processor workbowl. Add the dill and ginger and 1⁄3 of the gefilte fish mixture. Spread the ingredients evenly into the two prepared pans. Rinse out the workbowl and blade.
  6. For the spinach mixture, squeeze the chopped spinach until it is fully drained of liquid. Add the spinach, pine nuts or almonds, and raisins to the rinsed workbowl, pulsing about 15 times until finely chopped, or chopping by hand with a large chef’s knife. Add half of the remaining fish mixture, pulsing or stirring to combine. Spread the ingredients evenly into the two pans and rinse out the workbowl and blade if using.
  7. For the tomato/pepper layer, place the tomato and pepper in the processor workbowl and pulse until pureed. Alternatively, chop the peeled tomato and pepper until a smooth paste is formed. Add this and the rest of the seasonings to the remaining fish mixture, stirring well to combine. Spread the ingredients evenly into the two pans.
  8. Cover each pan loosely with foil, its shiny side facing up. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for about another 20 minutes, or until the loaf feels firm.
  9. Cool the loaves at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before removing them from the pans. Wait until the loaves are fully cooled before covering them with plastic wrap (otherwise they will sweat and get sticky).
  10. Chill in the refrigerator until needed. Cut into slices or wedges and serve.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  •  For any recipe using a mixture of spinach and other ingredients, save yourself the work of deveining, chopping, and then cooking fresh spinach by substituting frozen chopped spinach. A 10-ounce package of frozen equals 1 pound of fresh spinach. However, make sure that you’ve squeezed the defrosted spinach in multiple handfuls until it is very dry.
  • For an added Spanish touch to your fish loaf, or any recipe for that matter, create a simple tomato salsa with freshly diced tomatoes plus a teaspoon or more of horseradish—and enjoy the kick.

Gefilte Fish and Horseradish Mold

By: 
Tina Wasserman

This could be the only time you will see flavored gelatin in one of my recipes! That said, an argument can be made for this easy, beautiful presentation. Making this recipe means you don't have to have those twenty glass plates with a leaf of lettuce, piece of carrot, and ball of gefilte fish, precariously balancing on top of each other in your refrigerator taking up room.  It also takes less time to serve, since it can be prepared on one platter that can be passed.

Ingredients: 
2 jars (24 ounce each) prepared gefilte fish balls
3-ounce box of lemon gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 cup jarred fish broth, heated in a microwave for 1 minute
6-ounce jar of red horseradish, drained of excess liquid
1 carrot, sliced and cooked for garnish (optional)
2 scallions or chives for garnish (optional)
Directions: 
  1. Place the gefilte fish (sans liquid) in a large, shallow casserole or rimmed serving dish.
  2. Put the lemon gelatin in a medium sized bowl. Add boiling water and stir for about 2 minutes, until it has dissolved. Add the fish broth and horseradish. Stir until well blended.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture around the gefilte fish pieces, reserving 1⁄4 cup if you are garnishing the gefilte fish.
  4. To garnish the fish with a decorative flower, slice the carrot into 1⁄8-inch circles and use a tiny flower-shaped cutter or a knife to shape each circle. If you wish to create a stem for your carrot flower, cut 1⁄8 inch wide x 2 inch long, slightly curved strips from the green part of a scallion or fresh chive. Set aside.
  5. Cook the carrots in boiling salted water for 10 minutes until tender. Drain.
  6. Lightly dip the bottoms of the carrot flowers in the reserved horseradish mixture and place atop the gefilte fish. Do the same with the scallion or chive strips so that they resemble leaves. Chill. Serve when firm.

 

Tina's Tidbits: 
  •  When using gelatin, avoid introducing very acidic foods, as they can impede the gelatin from firming. This is why recipes calling for pineapple never tell you to use fresh. The vinegar in the horseradish can have the same effect.
     

Tina Wasserman is the Jewish Cooking Expert for ReformJudaism.org and the author of Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora. Have a question about this or any of Tina's recipes? Ask the Chef.

Traditional Gefilte Fish

By: 
Tina Wasserman

When making traditional gefilte fish, if you don’t like the jelled broth, you can skip using the bones and skin; it is the collagen in the bones that jells the liquid when chilled. Follow the directions below using only the water, vegetables, and seasonings to make your poaching broth and you will avoid having to handle all the fish heads and bones!

To avoid lingering odors in your kitchen, make the fish “soup” a day or two before you plan to serve it. Refrigerate the broth until you are ready to make the fish balls.

Ingredients: 
4 pounds whole fish (a combination of carp, whitefish, pike, snapper, or sea trout) or 2 pounds assorted fish fillets if not making jellied broth
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch lengths on a diagonal
2 stalks of celery cut into 2-inch lengths
1 bay leaf
1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
Pinch of marjoram
1 sprig fresh parsley
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 quarts water
2 medium yellow onions
1 carrot
1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, very loosely packed
2 eggs
1⁄3 cup water
1⁄2 cup matzo meal
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic, ginger, dill, or whatever your Bubbe used to use
Directions: 
  1.  Fillet the fish or have the store do it for you.
  2. Thoroughly rinse out the fish head. Cover all of the bones and head in cold salted water at least 15 minutes. Drain and discard the water.
  3. Place the bones and head on the bottom of an 8- to 10-quart covered pot and cover with carrots, celery, and onion. Add the herbs and the 3 quarts of water to cover. Simmer for 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours until the vegetables are tender and the water has reduced by a third. Strain the liquid, reserve the carrots, and set aside. Discard the bones, etc.
  4. Grind the fish fillets twice in a grinder fitted with a fine blade or process in a food processor until the texture is the consistency of ground hamburger meat. Transfer the fish to a large bowl.
  5. Grind or pulse the onions, carrot, and parsley until the mixture has the consistency of ground nuts. Add to the fish.
  6. Mix in the eggs, water, matzo meal, salt, and pepper, stirring well with a fork until the consistency is light and fluffy.
  7. Cook 1 teaspoon of the fish mixture in salted water for 10 minutes, taste, and then adjust seasonings as necessary. Never taste fresh water fish raw.
  8. Shape about 1⁄3-1⁄2 cup of the fish mixture in your hands to form approximately 3 1⁄2-inch ovals. Gently place in a 10- to12-inch frying pan containing 1 inch of prepared fish stock. Poach the fish balls, covered, for 25 minutes over low heat or until the center of one fish ball appears white and opaque.
  9. Drain on a cloth towel. Cool in the previously made fish broth. Serve with horseradish.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  •  Whenever you’re grinding fish in a processor, never use more than one pound of fish at a time and always pulse the machine, turning it on and off rapidly. This way you won’t over grind the fish, which makes it tough.
  • Protein foods also get tough when exposed to high temperatures, so when cooking fish balls, keep the fish stock at a simmer.
  • To make jarred gefilte fish taste more like homemade, remove the liquid from the jar and reheat it with a fresh onion and cut-up carrot. When the liquid has cooled down, strain it into the jars with the gefilte fish. Add the carrot slices to the jar. This will make the broth, and subsequently the fish, taste more like homemade.

 

 

 

Tunisian Guizadas

By: 
Tina Wasserman

According to food author Claudia Roden, Guizadas are a specialty of the Livornese Jewish community in Tunisia. Italian Jews once traded goods with their brethren in Tunisia through Livorno, a major Italian commercial port. Many Jewish Livornese settled in Tunisia to finance the ransom of Jewish hostages taken by pirates who patrolled the rich trade routes.

No flour is used in this confection, so Tunisian Guizadas make an ideal Passover dessert.

Ingredients: 
1 1⁄4 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1⁄2 cup extra fine sugar or 1⁄3 cup wildflower honey
1 Tablespoon imported orange-blossom water
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1⁄8 teaspoon almond extract
Directions: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Chop the pistachios into very small pieces, either by pulsing a processor on and off 50 times or rocking a large chef’s knife back and forth over the nuts.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to thoroughly combine.
  4. Line mini muffin pans with paper liners. Drop 1 Tablespoon of nut mixture into each cup. You will have about 18–20 cups.
  5. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the Guizada tops are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the Guizadas from the oven and immediately turn the filled papers on their sides (to prevent gummy bottoms that have sweated from the steam). Cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes, then store in an airtight container. To enhance the flavors of orange blossom and almond in the cookie, serve at room temperature the next day. Cookies may be kept for a week or frozen until needed.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • When using a food processor to chop nuts, always pulse the machine. Otherwise the nuts circulate on the bottom of the bowl, creating nut butter.
  • Try to make recipes containing fruit or strong flavoring a day in advance of eating. The flavors will ripen and you’ll love the result!

Moroccan Meatball Tagine with Quinoa “Couscous”

By: 
Tina Wasserman

Couscous - a fine, semolina wheat pasta - is not kosher for Passover. A good substitute is quinoa, which is not a grain but a member of the “goose foot” family that includes beets and spinach. While quinoa is not indigenous to the old world, it nevertheless resembles the Moroccan national dish in size and shape.

Ingredients: 
1 1⁄2 pounds ground beef
1⁄2 medium onion, grated
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 egg
1⁄2 cup matzo meal
1⁄2 cup tomato sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
4 large onions, thinly sliced
1 quart water
1⁄2 cup dark raisins
12 soft pitted prunes
1⁄2 cup slivered almonds
2 pounds of pumpkin, Butternut or Hubbard squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Quinoa:
1 1⁄2 cups water or chicken broth
1 cup quinoa
Directions: 
  1. Place the meat in a 2-quart mixing bowl. Add the onion, parsley, egg, matzo meal, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven (a 4- to 6-quart pan with two small handles that can be used either on the stove or in the oven). Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the onions until they’re golden brown.
  3. Add the water to the onions and bring to a boil.
  4. Shape the meat into walnut-sized balls and drop into the simmering liquid. Cook the meatballs until firm. Do not stir until the meatballs are set.
  5. If the raisins and prunes are not soft and moist, combine them in a small glass dish and cover with water. Microwave on high for 2 minutes and let sit while the meatballs cook.
  6. When the meatballs are firm, transfer them with the onions to a 13" x 9" casserole.
  7. Add the fruits (drained) along with the almonds and pumpkin. Cover with foil, dull side out.
  8. Bake in a preheated 350˚F oven for 40 minutes. Sprinkle on the sugar and cinnamon and continue baking, uncovered, until the squash is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (about another 20 minutes). Serve with quinoa.

For the Quinoa:

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a bowl of cold water. Pour into a fine strainer and then run cold water through it again (to remove any bitter residue).
  2. Bring the water or broth to a boil and add the quinoa. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, until the quinoa is al dente and you can see the ring of germ (a thin, squiggly line around each grain). Drain thoroughly. Place in the middle of a large serving platter with the meat and vegetables around it, or serve from a bowl for all to take.
Tina's Tidbits: 
  • When substituting matzo meal for bread crumbs in a recipe, you can avoid a “too tough” result by using approximately 3⁄4 the amount of matzo meal (matzo meal tends to absorb a great deal more moisture than bread crumbs).

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