Category Archives: Passover Recipes

Un-Stuffed Cabbage

photo 3 (4)photo 2 (2)photo 3 (4)photo 3 (5)photo 4 (3)photo 2I love stuffed cabbage and my Grandmother made the most amazing stuffed cabbage ever . I love stuffed cabbage but do not feel like dealing with the actual stuffing of the cabbage, it is way too labor intensive for me.  I have made several variations of this and found this one to my liking the best. You can play with the ingredients which is what I did . Original recipe is from Kosher by Design and it is perfect for Passover by just leaving out the rice and substituting matzoh meal in its place. Basically this is meatballs in a sweet and sour sauce with cabbage . I doubt very much that Joel would ever eat real “stuffed cabbage” but he liked this. The cabbage cooks down so much that you don’t even realize you’re eating cabbage. I also used 1/2 chicken ground meat and 1/2 beef ground meat , this is entirely up to you. I wouldn’t do all chicken because it might be a bit dry, you can definitely make this with turkey but use dark meat turkey or the balls will also be very dry. You can also make this ahead for the holidays which is always a very good thing and feel free to freeze it.  This is the original recipe , adjust amounts for how much you’re making. I made 2 lbs. of meat but made full sauce as I was testing it out. You’ll want to use a large pot for this recipe. Enjoy!

This will be on our Rosh Hashana menu this year with raisins and meat , sweet and sour, oh so perfect!

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Ingredients:

Meat

3 lbs. ground meat– I used chicken and beef (dark meat turkey is best here) white meat turkey tends to be very dry. Mixed with beef it’s fine but if using alone you’ll need to use dark meat ground turkey.

2 large eggs, lightly beaten. Use room temperature eggs they work best.*see my post about eggs–a little note on my blog.

3/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice, for Passover use matzoh meal and omit the rice

1/4 cup water

1 onion finely chopped

Kosher Salt to taste–app. 1/2 to 1 tablespoon

Pepper to taste–app. 10 grinds on a pepper mill, or app. 1/4 of a tablespoon

*garlic powder if you like

Sauce:

2 packages of shredded cabbage, probably about 1 head of cabbage finely shredded, no need to do it when you can buy it pre-shredded (not red cabbage)

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Kosher Salt to taste ( app. 1/2 tablespoon)

1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher Salt

1 1/2 cups tomato juice

4 8 ounce cans tomato sauce ( or 32 ounces)

1/2 cup brown sugar ( use whichever brown sugar you have in house , it won’t make a difference. Light or Dark, I actually used dark.

1 cup sugar

3 lemons squeezed , I got about 1/2 cup , they were smallish lemons

1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl combine the meat, eggs, water, rice and onions. Season with Salt and Pepper , and if you like garlic powder. Gently mix by hand, and I do mean gently, if you over do it the meat will be like concrete. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shredded cabbage and about 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomato juice, tomato sauce, brown sugar, sugar, lemon juice and the raisins. Stir till well combined and continue cooking sauce at simmer setting.

Gently form meatballs out of the meat mixture, I made a rather nice size meatball, not too large and not too small. Make whatever size you’d like. Just do not over-handle the meat because it will cause meat to toughen. Add to cabbage mixture, just drop into the hot sauce and do not stir, you can pile them on top of one another because they will cook down.

I left it to simmer for about 1 1/2 hours . I didn’t touch the meat balls for at least the first 1/2 hour, you’ll want them to cook through and form into nice balls before you stir, so just leave them to cook. After the first 1/2 hour or so you can gently stir and move the meatballs around. They don’t require a lot of stirring around .

This dish brought back memories of my childhood and was a most satisfying main dish.

Passover Popovers

Super easy and Super light and delicious. Give this one a try. These are delicious during Passover with some preserves in the morning as well as with your Seder Meal. Enjoy and Happy Passover Cooking from my kitchen to yours. I used a muffin tin and it worked out perfectly. Bake these light airy treats for your Seder to rave reviews. One per person is perfect , this recipe yielded 9 popovers. photo20130321-113701.jpg photo

Ingredients:

1 cup cake meal

4 eggs — always work with room temperature eggs unless otherwise stated for best results

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup peanut oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the cake meal, salt and sugar in a bowl.

Bring oil and water to a boil, add cake meal mixture and remove from stove.

Beat in one egg at a time and mix a lot. It will be thick.

Allow to stand for 15 minutes.

Drop into a well-greased muffin or popover tin using a tablespoon to 3/4 full. I spray with cooking spray . I used a Canola Oil baking spray, or lightly grease pan with canola oil.

Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes till medium golden brown. I placed pan in the center of the oven .

Warm before serving if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional Ashkenazi Charoset–Apple/Walnut

DSCN2703This is my easiest Charoset. It’s traditional in the sense that it’s an Ashkenazi (Eastern European) recipe. I add a little brown sugar instead of white sugar and it gives it just a bit more character. This makes about 4 cups, but you can easily double it. My family loves it, so I always make a double batch. Remember, while a reminder of the mortar used in making bricks for Pharaoh, charoset is really just a sweet condiment of apples and wine!

Ingredients:

3 medium Fuji apples (or any other kind you like), peeled, cored and finely diced (use processor to make your life simpler) I usually use whatever is in the house, but on Passover I go through so many apples, so buy what you like (I always like Granny Smith because they are nice and tart)

1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped (buy them pre-chopped)

1/2 cup sweet red wine such as Manischewitz Extra Heavy Malaga or just Concord Grape is fine

*20 pitted dates, chopped; or 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

*for a bit of extra added flavor you can add 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger (optional)

Directions:

After chopping apples, stir all ingredients in a large bowl. Keep in refrigerator ’til ready to serve. Serve at room temperature. You can also pulse everything together in processor, just be very careful not to over-process. I often do this to save time. You don’t want it too fine, so just go gently with the processor if you go that route. I do it in the processor, and I know exactly how I like it to come out, so go easy with the chopping.  If it’s a little dry or too thick, you can always add more wine. I find this always tastes better after it sits and allows the wine  to really soak and ripen for 24 hours. Before serving, check for consistency and add a little more wine, if necessary.

Spinach Souffle for Passover-So Very Easy-Vegetarian/Dairy Side

Here we are again with all the matzoh meal and no flour for Passover, not to mention the 6 eggs that seem to be in every recipe.  I figured I’d be helpful for all of those looking for ways to reinvent the wheel. This recipe contains cinchy, easy ingredients, and its usually a crowd pleaser. So many variations of the same thing. This one can be made ahead and frozen, which is great. You will just cook it 1/2 way through before freezing, then defrost and cook at 350 degrees for about another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes later. This is a dairy side dish, so obviously won’t work for everyone but hold on to it because it is a keeper when looking for a vegetarian dairy side dish.

Ingredients: (can be doubled)

2 pkgs. frozen spinach (2 boxes) ( it’s app. 20 oz. of spinach, a bag and a half or 2 boxes)

1  bar of cream cheese (feel free to go lite but not fat-free please) *original recipe calls for 1 lb. I’ve been using 1 bar which is 8 oz. and works fine. Obiously it will be that much creamier but not necessary with 2 bars.(1 lb) and that much more fattening! you can leave out to soften or use microwave to soften, not melt.

2 lbs. cottage cheese (also not fat-free please) part skim is just fine

1 cup matzoh meal

6 eggs, well-beaten

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a nice casserole or any baking dish you like to serve in (round souffle large ramekin is perfect) with Pam. Cook spinach thoroughly according to directions (you can microwave it) and drain well by squeezing out all the water–which is the most important tip. Melt the cream cheese in microwave (start out with about 20 seconds, which should do it; but if not, do a little more at a time until totally melted). Add all ingredients in bowl, salt and pepper to taste. Bake 1 hour until golden brown at 350 degrees. If you are making this ahead of time, as I said you can cook 1/2 way through and freeze. Then the day before you want to serve it, take it out of freezer, defrost, and cook the rest of the way through–another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes till golden brown, and bubbly.

Grandma Regina’s Farfel for Passover

DSCN2696DSCN2700I must preface this with the fact that anyone who’s ever had this farfel dish loves it. It is steeped in tradition, it was made absolutely the best by my Grandma Regina, and only seconded by my mother (G’ma Millie). It is a very tricky dish to make, and after many failed attempts, I figured out that doubling it doesn’t work, and you must let it dry out!!! It should probably sit out to dry for at least 2 hours. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true. Of course, G’ma Regina never wrote a single thing down, so you’ll be winging the spices and the oil, because I always do. It’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s so delish and we only  make it but once a year. When I was little I couldn’t wait to have it at my grandparents’ house. We looked forward to it every year at Seder. It’s no surprise that it’s Joel’s favorite. He remembers my grandmother’s and that’s a tough act to follow even after all these years.  It’s tradition in our house to always have it on Passover, and what better way to remember Grandma Regina. There is no better legacy to a great cook than a well cooked farfel.

This recipe is definitely passed down with love and lots of patience because this recipe takes time and love. It is well worth it though.

Happy Passover!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 canisters matzoh farfel–I used 14 ounce containers

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced (regular white mushrooms)

2 spanish onions, peeled and sliced thinly

Vegetable oil

Kosher salt (app. 1 tablespoon)

Freshly ground black pepper (app. 1/2 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon garlic powder (every year I guess this amount. If you’d like, you can also use fresh garlic, and then it would probably be approx. 2 minced cloves.)

Paprika (get some good paprika here and use a good dash for color)

6 eggs

Directions:

Beat eggs with spices (the paprika will add a red color). Coat the farfel with the egg mixture. Add oil to a large heavy skillet, about 1/4 inch deep, and heat over medium-high flame. Toss farfel in the hot oil, and coat well; farfel should brown a little bit. (Don’t burn.) Then add water to just cover the farfel, bring to a boil, then simmer until water dissolves. After the water is all gone I turn the flame off and just let it sit there and dry out. I cannot emphasize enough how important this step is. Go out and do something else, and come back to it.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, saute the mushrooms and onions with salt and pepper and a dash of paprika here as well.  The farfel is very bland and you’ll need the salt and pepper. Put this in a container ’til you’re ready to use it. You will eventually add it to dried out farfel. When farfel is completely dried out (at least 2 hours), add the mushroom and onion mixture to it. Taste for salt and pepper. Mix well and bake in a Pyrex dish at 375 degrees for about  1 – 1/2 hours. You want it to get crispy. If it’s too dry, add a little more oil to baking dish. Stir it often–you’ll have to open oven a few times and stir. Your house will smell great while making this. My family likes this on the crispy side, so I let it cook for a long time, but you’ll be able to tell when it’s done–it will be bubbly and crispy! Enjoy and good luck!

Marcy’s Matzoh Crunch ( like candy)

Many years ago I made this recipe and it was awesome. I’ve had it in various people’s homes, and it is so good. My gf Marcy ( who is a great cook) says she must always supply it for her kids, and she keeps in tins in refrigerator and sends them home with it ( even better) this is the stuff that I find deadly to keep around. It’s candy, and fun to make with your kids or grandkids. You can use white chocolate or toasted almonds /walnuts etc. or stick with recipe as it is. You would add the walnuts sprinkled on top as chocolate is setting. Thanks for sharing  the recipe Marcy.

Ingredients:

4 – 6 unsalted matzoh sheets

1 cup unsalted butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

3/4 cup chocolate chips or semi-sweet chips

*nuts if you’d like sprinkled on top (almonds/walnuts etc.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Line a cookie sheet with foil and cover bottom of pan with baking parchment on top of foil. ( this is important b/c mixture is very very sticky) Line bottom of pan evenly with matzoh sheets, cutting extra pieces of matzoh to fit on the cookie sheet as even as possible. Combine margarine/butter and brown sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour over matzoh. Place in oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes watching to make sure the mixture is not burning. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread melted chocolate over matzoh. While still warm, cut into squares or odd shapes and put in refrigerator until set. Chocolate will get hard. I think it’s better to go with the “odd shapes” as it may be hard to cut perfectly square. You can use white chocolate, and if you’d like sprinkle nuts on top as I mentioned above.

My Favorite Macaroons–Traditional Style for Passover

macaroons for passover

I am not sure why I only make these macaroons during Passover. They are definitely my favorites; they are very easy to make, look totally professional, and are the Passover cookie in my book. These can be made ahead of time and stored. I usually make a few days before the Seder because I dip them in melted chocolate (just the tops). You don’t have to dip, you can leave plain. I dip up to 1/2 the macaroon in the chocolate. They are sweet and crunchy on the outside, and moist and chewy on the inside. After Passover, if there are any left over, I freeze them. Cannot have them lying around. Of course you may make these any time of year…they are always welcome on the menu.

*When dipping, just turn macaroon upside down (with peaked part into the chocolate). I usually go just a bit more than the top (probably 1/2 the macaroon into the chocolate). Use as much or as little as you like.

*just a little note, silpat is awesome to use for this recipe instead of parchment paper. You must cool completely before trying to lift off the paper. Also before you dip into chocolate I like to cool down completely.

Ingredients:

3  large egg whites (When I bake, I always leave eggs out so that they are at room temp.)

1/2  cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package (14 oz.) sweetened, flaked coconut ( I like this Angel Flake Baker’s Brand, but they’re all fine)

*1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (You can really use any semi-sweet chocolate to melt. It’s just easy with the chips.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you can use non stick cooking spray, like Pam, but I just line with parchment, which works really well).

In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar and salt until frothy. With a fork, stir in coconut until moistened.

Using a level tablespoon (measuring ones are perfect), pack the mixture into the spoon, so all macaroons are equal size. Drop mixture onto prepared sheet (cookies will not spread). Bake until golden brown, about 25 – 30 minutes. Towards the end, check on them to be sure they don’t burn. I make a little peak with my fingers on the cookies before I bake them (this makes for easier dipping).

*To melt chocolate on stove top: I bring a small saucepan of water to a rolling boil, and on top of it put a small stainless (oven proof) bowl filled with the chocolate.( works like a double boiler if you don’t have one) When it completely melts, take off heat. Once macaroons are completely cool, you can dip the tops. Just make sure chocolate and macaroons are cooled off first. Just dip top of cookie in chocolate and place on a plate to cool. When I am all done, I refrigerate the macaroons to set the chocolate. You can leave in fridge until you are ready to serve and take out with enough time to bring to room temp. Before serving, I usually use a cool cookie sheet with parchment paper to cool off cookies once they’ve been dipped.

*should yield about 20 – 25 cookies. You can double if you’d like.

Peach Farfel for Passover – crowd favorite


This is most definitely a “must have” Passover recipe.  It has been a winning recipe ever since my friend Audrey gave it to me many years ago. This one is probably one of the most favorite Passover staples. Recipes are funny in that -they tend to spread out to a wide group of people and people start passing them down to their people and so forth and so on and before you know it no one remembers where the original recipe came from , they just remember that it was on their Passover table and they can’t imagine a Seder dinner without it.  Enjoy this one; it is sweet and makes for a delicious side dish with poultry or beef. This has always been a crowd pleaser. I know, the amount of eggs is obscene on this holiday! This one has 7 eggs in it!!!!!

Make this part of your Passover tradition, you’ll be happy you did.

Ingredients:

1 box matzoh farfel (I think it’s in a canister now)

2 15 oz. cans sliced peaches

7 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 sticks margarine, melted

2 tsp. vanilla

4 cups hot water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dry farfel in a bowl, then pour hot water over it. Let stand until absorbed.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, syrup from peaches, salt, sugar, margarine, and vanilla. Add farfel and combine well. In a well sprayed 9 x 12 baking dish, pour 1/2 the mixture, then arrange a layer of peaches on top. Add remaining mixture on top, then top with remaining peaches. Sprinkle with just a bit of cinnamon if you’d like. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve hot out of oven, or room temp. It is quite delicious at room temperature, if you don’t have the room in your oven, and it makes for a pretty awesome leftover.

Can be assembled, cooked 1/2 way through, then cooked the rest of the way through on the day of the holiday.

Potato – Zucchini Latkes for Chanukah

It’s Chanukah if you can believe it!  These tasty little pancakes are perfect for the holiday and really any day.   Most perfect of all is that you can cook them, freeze them and have them for whenever you want. They make a great appetizer or side dish. My experience with latkes is that they never really taste as good as when you first fry them, but that’s such an impossible task with people waiting to eat and having fifty million other things to do. Latkes are the ultimate comfort food. This is just a little twist on the traditional potato latke .  Usually about 2 – 2 1/2 inches in diameter is the right size, but it’s up to you. Not sure where this recipe hails from. The original from my Grandmother, but the zucchini was added later. My grandmother didn’t own a food processor and it’s a game changer, just makes it so much simpler to do.  I loved my Grandmother’s latkes and not quite sure what she did to make them so delicious but I try my best.

Happy Chanukah!

If you’re not into the zucchini thing just add 2 more potatoes and omit the zucchini.

Delicious served with applesauce , that’s how we do it here.

Ingredients:

6 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered (for food processor)

2 zucchini, cut into large chunks (for food processor)

1 spanish onion, peeled, and cut into quarters (for food processor)

4 eggs, beaten

1 – 2 teaspoons kosher salt ( more to taste) tasting is key here , potatoes can be very bland

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2/3 cup matzoh meal or bread crumbs ( if you’re making for Passover it’s perfect with matzoh meal)

Vegetable oil for frying

*applesauce for dipping ( optional) this is what we use

* sour cream ( optional) if you like

Directions:

Using the grater blade for the food processor, grate the onions, potatoes, and zucchini. A little trick to these latkes is to drain out as much of the liquid as possible, so I literally squeeze out every drop of liquid with my hands. I let each vegetable sit in a colander to drain as I grate the next one.

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, salt and pepper. Add it to the potato mixture and combine well. Next, add the matzoh meal or bread crumbs.  Taste for salt (start with 1 teaspoon and add more if needed, this is very important for flavor.

Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet or cast iron skillet, over a high flame. You want the oil very hot. I test the oil with a drop of water–when it sizzles, it is ready to fry. I put about 2 inches of oil in the pan, you may need to add more as you start frying. Form pancakes about 2 inches in diameter, place (very) carefully into the oil, and when the edges start to crisp up, turn them over and continue cooking until golden. If you like them flat and crispier, then flatten them out with a spatula while cooking and start with a little less.

*I like the oil to be clean as I fry so if it starts to run down I usually pour it out, wipe pan with paper towel and add fresh new oil. This is only in the event the oil starts to get very dark from the potatoes. It may not be necessary but sometimes it is. They will just fry up better.

Let the pancakes cool off, and serve plain or with sour cream or applesauce on the side. If you are freezing them, let cool completely first, then I usually use a Hefty Ziploc freezer bag. Mark them with the date, and take them out the night before you need them. They should stay for at least a month in freezer, and probably longer.

*to re-heat I like to use the oven at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for about 15 mins. depending on how thick they are. Spray the cookie sheet with Pam Spray and you may want to flip them over 1/2 way through. Make sure they are heated throughout. Serve with some of that homemade applesauce on my blog. Enjoy!

Chicken Marbella–perfect for Passover

This recipe is my “go to” chicken. I’ve made it almost every Passover since I found it. The original recipe is from the”Silver Palate” cookbook. It was many winters ago that I first had it at my friend Susan’s house.  It has been a staple on my holiday table ever since. Not to say that it is not a recipe for every other day of the year and week, because it’s perfect for anytime. There is also the Brisket recipe that I posted during Rosh Hashana which is on the website, as well as the Honey Roasted Chicken, and Meatballs which all work well for this holiday. I usually make the Chicken Marbella and the meatballs as another dish.

Enjoy!

*The key to this recipe is the overnight marination, which is essential to the moistness of the chicken.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup pitted prunes

1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives (no pimentos)( if you can’t find, just pick out pimentos)

1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice

6 bay leaves

1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed(chopped well)

1/4 cup dried oregano

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I start with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.)

4 chickens, cut into eighths (original recipe calls for chickens to be quartered but I find that you get more per person if you do it in eighths.) the chickens are about 2 1/2 lbs. apiece , so it’s about 10 lbs. of chicken . Sometimes I ask the butcher to cut the breasts in 1/2, if they are very large.

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)

Directions:

Combine the olive oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, capers and their juice, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper. ( You can combine in a large bowl, but I use a large Ziploc bag.) Add the chicken, then stir or mix around to coat well. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take a large shallow baking pan (you may need 2), arrange the chicken in a single layer and spoon the marinade over it evenly. Then sprinkle the chicken pieces with the brown sugar and pour the white wine around them.

Bake, basting frequently with the pan juices until the thigh pieces yield a clear yellow juice (don’t want it pink). It takes anywhere between 50 to 60 minutes to cook. (Test thigh with a fork.)

When you are ready to serve, transfer the chicken with a slotted spoon to serving platter. Moisten with some of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with the parsley. You can pass the remaining juices in a gravy boat.

*should serve 10 or more–If I am having a small gathering I cut this recipe in 1/2

* this chicken is delicious cold or at room temperature. If you make ahead and it is in fridge, just remove from fridge, reheat it in the juices, then allow to come to room temperature.