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New twists on old favorites for Seder menu

New twists on old favorites for Seder menu

Posted on 22 March 2018 by admin


By Jamie Geller

My Passover menu always features a beautiful brisket (something hand-picked from my new book Brisket 101), perfectly presentable potato kugel cups (with almost 1 MILLION likes, views, shares and comments) and a fresh spring salad.
Braised Brisket
As seen on the Today Show — I wrote the book on brisket. Brisket 101 features 40 of the best brisket, side, slaw and leftover recipes around. Also learn my 3 Golden Rules For Perfect Brisket, All About Aromatics, How-To Build Your Braising Liquid and Deglaze, Marinating 101, How-To Make Your Own Spice Rub plus a Special Section on Slow Cooking. You’ll be empowered to invent your own recipes once you learn my easy (to make and easy to remember) techniques. The sky’s the limit when it comes to riffing on this holiday and comfort food classic that spans generations, cultures and seasons. Become a brisket master! BUY NOW!
Makes 10 servings
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup tomato paste
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (7-pound) whole brisket (or second cut)
3 whole heads garlic, cut in half to expose the cloves
3 cups beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
Bouquet garnish: several thyme sprigs, parsley stems, bay leaves tied to celery rib
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees or preheat slow cooker to low.
2. Heat a large sauté pan or Dutch oven, lightly coated with oil, over medium-high heat. Brown onions until dark and very soft. Stir tomato paste in and continue cooking for a few minutes to sear tomato paste. Transfer onions to slow cooker, or if using a Dutch oven, push onions to the side.
3. Season brisket with salt and pepper and brown on both sides in the same pan. You may need to cut brisket in half to fit into a slow cooker.
4. Nestle brisket into pan with onions. Add garlic, broth, wine, and bouquet garnish.
5. Cover and braise for 3½ to 4 hours in a 300-degree oven or for 8 hours in a slow cooker, until a fork, inserted, comes out with no resistance.
6. Cool brisket at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving or cool completely before slicing and storing with pan juices in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
7. To serve fresh, slice brisket against the grain. Squeeze garlic out of heads and add to pan juices. Serve with pan juices and onions.
8. To serve another day, remove sliced brisket from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before reheating in a 300-degree oven, covered, for 1 hour.
Personal Potato Cups
With almost 1 million views, comments, shares and likes, this is easily one of the No. 1 recipes on JamieGeller.com. Let my family favorite become yours this Passover. (Secret Tip: For a half the fat, half the carbs, half the calories, hubby-approved version of this very same recipe, check out my How-To Healthier Potato Kugel recipes and video on JamieGeller.com.)
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 large Idaho potatoes
1 large onion, quartered
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Liberally oil six (4- to 6-ounce) glass dessert dishes or custard cups with 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil each. Place custard cups on a baking pan.
2. Fill a large bowl with cold water and, as you peel potatoes, place them in cold water to prevent browning.
3. Place the pan of cups in 425-degree oven to heat up the oil.
4. Beat eggs in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper, mix well, and set aside.
5. Pour ¾ cup of oil in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat.
6. Cut potatoes lengthwise into halves or quarters so they fit into food processor feed tube. Process potatoes and onions using the blade that creates thin, shoestring-like strips.
7. Transfer potatoes and onions to a large bowl, add egg mixture and heated oil from stovetop, mix very well. Remove any large pieces of potatoes or onions that weren’t processed properly.
8. Remove heated cups from the oven and spoon potato mixture evenly into hot, oiled cups.
9. Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour or until the tops look crunchy and sides look golden and browned. Let cool until the glass cups are safe to handle and loosen edges with a knife, unmold and serve on a platter.
TIPS: To make this as a potato kugel pie, bake at 425 degrees in an 8-inch square or 8- or 9-inch round glass baking dish for 1 hour.
Spring Ribbon Salad
Presentation, presentation, presentation — always remember, we eat with our eyes first. It doesn’t take much to create this beautiful spring salad. If you own a vegetable peeler you’re in business.
Makes 6 servings
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large cucumber
3 large carrots
1 pint multicolored grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups watercress, cut into 2-inch pieces
Suggested garnishes: pomegranate arils
1. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, oil, shallots, mayonnaise, honey, salt and pepper and whisk well until dressing comes together. Set aside.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel cucumber and carrots into long ribbons. Transfer to a large bowl and add tomatoes and watercress. Add dressing and toss lightly to coat well. Serve immediately or refrigerate undressed for up to 1 hour.
7 Layer Matzo Cake
Makes 8 servings
1½ pounds bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 cup sweet red wine or grape juice
7 sheets matzo
Garnish: fresh berries
1. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Keep chocolate warm by keeping melted chocolate in a bowl over a bowl of warm water.
2. Place wine in a pan large enough to accommodate a sheet of matzo without breaking it.
3. Soak one piece of matzo for about 30 seconds. Transfer to lined baking sheet and spread a thin layer of chocolate, being sure to cover the edges. Moisten another piece of matzo and this time stack it on top of the matzo with chocolate. Spread more chocolate on the matzo. Repeat until all matzos are moistened and covered in chocolate. Pour remaining chocolate over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides. Spread it with a spatula.
4. Refrigerate to allow chocolate to set up.
5. Transfer to serving platter and garnish with fresh berries.

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Passover recipes for the children to prepare

Passover recipes for the children to prepare

Posted on 22 March 2018 by admin


By Tina Wasserman

Here are some easy recipes for Passover that children love to make:
A practical dilemma during Passover is taking one’s lunch to work or school without finding a brown bag filled with egg salad adhering to matzo pieces in the bottom. Here’s my answer: bagels! Made like the classic pate choux dough for cream puffs, these rolls turn out crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Children love to stick an oiled finger in the center and create the hole.
Passover Bagels
2 cups matzo meal
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1. Combine the matzo meal, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Bring the oil and water to a boil and add to the matzoh meal mixture all at once. Stir well to combine.
2. Using a wooden spoon or stiff spatula, beat in eggs thoroughly one at a time until each is incorporated into the dough. Let stand for 15 minutes.
3. With oiled hands, scoop up about 2 heaping tablespoons of dough, shape into rolls and place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. Grease your forefinger. Insert your finger into the middle of the roll and twirl the roll around on the baking sheet until a hole is formed in the center.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes.
YIELD: 12 bagels
Married to a man who works every day to reverse food allergies in children, I have learned how stigmatizing and isolating food allergies can be, especially to a child. I have strived to create a recipe that combines the fruits and flavors from much of the diaspora and crunch that we find in a classic nut-filled recipe but without the fear.
Fruit-filled Nut-free Haroset
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
4 large dried Calimyrna figs (about 1/3 cup)
6 pitted medjool dates
1 Honeycrisp or other sweet apple
1 medium-large ripe avocado
1/3 cup dark raisins
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sweet wine or grape juice
1. Combine all of the spices in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Tear the figs and dates into pieces and place in a processor work bowl.
3. Core the apple, but don’t peel, and cut it into 16 pieces. Add these to the figs and dates.
4. Cut avocado in half, remove pit, and scoop out pulp into processor work bowl with the fruit.
5. Add the raisins and sunflower seeds and pulse the mixture until it is coarse. Scrape down sides of work bowl and pulse again until a coarse/smooth mixture is formed.
6. Add 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture and the 2 tablespoons of wine or juice to the mixture and process until a fairly smooth consistency.
7. More liquid may be added if mixture appears too dry.
8. Allow mixture to sit for a few hours to totally absorb the spices. More spice mixture may be added in small amounts if you desire. Mixture can be made days in advance and kept refrigerated.
Yield: 2 cups
If there is a run on matzo farfel in your supermarket, my recipe is probably the reason. This recipe should be a staple in your Passover repertoire. Delicious with milk for breakfast, a healthy snack for school or work and a great treat anytime if you make the delicious chocolate candy recipe below. They are much less expensive than store-bought candies and kids love to make them.
Passover Granola
3 cups matzo farfel
2/3 cup slivered almonds (substitute sunflower seeds or more farfel for nut-free)
½ cup sweetened or unsweetened coconut
2/3 cup pecans, broken into large pieces
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or parve margarine
1/3 cup wildflower or clover honey
1½ cups chopped dried mixed fruit of your choice including raisins, or 7-ounce bag of dried fruit pieces
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine the farfel, almonds, coconut, pecans, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a 3-quart mixing bowl.
3. Melt the butter and honey in a small glass bowl in a microwave for 1 minute until butter is melted and honey is more fluid.
4. Stir the butter mixture into the farfel mixture until all farfel is lightly coated with the butter.
5. Spread mixture over a large jellyroll pan with 1-inch sides and bake for 15 minutes. Half way through baking stir to brown evenly.
6. Remove from oven. Cool slightly and then toss with the dried fruit.
7. When totally cooled, store in a zip lock bag or airtight storage container for all eight days of Passover. If it lasts that long.
Chocolate Granola Treats
1. Melt 8 ounces of Passover chocolate chips and mix them with 1½ or 2 cups prepared granola. Stir to coat well.
2. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper and allow the mounds to firm up before you devour them.

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Modify your favorite cuisine for Passover

Posted on 22 March 2018 by admin

By Annabel Cohen

Bring on Passover. It’s next weekend and we are busy not just thinking about the menu, but bubbling up “shissels” of soup and forming ground whitefish and onions into the gefilte fish that starts our meal.
However, some people are already bored by the prospect of serving flavorless brisket, steamed vegetables or another nut cake or flourless concoction they hope will taste, heaven forbid, non-Pesadik.
I, on the other, like the challenge of creating delicious, savory and sweet dishes to accompany my favorite Passover brisket and chicken. But there’s something to be said about traditional foods our families crave and expect for the Passover festive meal.
So along with the tried-and-true, we yearn for complex textures and modern flavors we’ve come to love, whenever possible. There’s no reason most any food cannot be adapted, if needed, to comply with Passover customs.
We’re pretty lucky that we have so many choices. If you’re Sephardic, as I am, your choices are even greater — we eat rice and beans with our Passover meals. In the old days, while some matzo-based dishes were created especially for the holiday, most people prepared the same foods they ate every Shabbat, with just a few Pesadik modifications.
Here we offer some old and some new ideas for Passover, and some inspiration to get you thinking about the possibilities to how you can adapt your favorite cuisine for the holiday. After all, there are eight days of eating, and gefilte fish and potato kugel on a daily basis can get boring very fast.
Chicken with Tomatoes,
Olives and Capers
6 small boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 cup matzo meal
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped red or Bermuda onion
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
5 cups diced plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons drained capers
½ cup pitted olives, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup fresh chopped parsley

Remove visible fat from chicken breasts and flatten them lightly with a meat mallet to uniform thickness. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in the matzo meal. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and sauté over medium-high heat, turning the pieces often until lightly browned, about 5 minutes (you may need to do this in batches). Add the remaining ingredients except parsley to the skillet (if your skillet is not large enough, place the sautéed breasts in a larger pot and add the remaining ingredients). Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered. Add half the parsley and cook for 5 minutes more or until the sauce has thickened. Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over, alone, or over hot Pesach noodles. Makes 6 servings.
Roast Chicken Pieces with
Ginger Orange Maple Glaze
2 3½-pound chickens, cut into 6 or 8 pieces, breast backbones removed, excess fat trimmed (alternatively, you may purchase individual parts such as breasts, thighs, and drumsticks — figure one breast or thigh or two drumsticks per person)
¼ cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Glaze:
½ cup minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
2 cups orange juice
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
Grated zest of 1 orange or lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Rub chicken pieces with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Arrange the chicken, skin side down, in a large disposable aluminum pan or in one or two large roasting pans (it’s OK to crowd the chicken).
Roast the chicken for 15 minutes (if you have two ovens, put one pan in each oven if using more than one pan; if you have one oven, place pans — if using more than one — on separate shelves and switch positions during the second cooking). Use tongs (not a fork) to turn the chicken over and cook for 15 minutes more. NOTE: You may prepare the chicken up to this point a day ahead and finish cooking the day you plan to serve it.
While the chicken is cooking, make the glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients except salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes.
Remove chicken from the pan and strain pan juices. Add 1 cup of strained juices to the pan and cook for 10 minutes more. Discard remaining juices or keep for another use. Place the chicken back in the pan, skin side up, and drizzle the glaze over. Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes more. Makes 12 servings.
Spaghetti Squash Kugel
5-6 pound spaghetti squash
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
6 large eggs
½ cup potato starch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish or tube pan (Bundt) with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Use a sharp knife to split the squash in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds and strings (If you’d like to cut the squash into 4 pieces, that’s OK, too). Place the halves, cut-side down, in a microwave-safe dish large enough to hold them (you may need to cook the squash in batches if your microwave oven is small). Add ½ cup water to the dish, cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave on high for seven to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven to check doneness. Using a fork, pull at the squash flesh. It should separate easily into strands if it’s done. If not, return to microwave, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes more and check again. When tender, allow to cool.
Combine sugar, oil, eggs, starch, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and whisk well.
Scrape squash onto a cutting board or bowl. Measure about 8-9 cups of squash and add it to the bowl. I find it’s easiest to toss all this together with your hands to mix (or use a spoon).
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake for 45 minutes (the tube pan will take longer, so bake for 1 hour). If the kugel is set, remove from the oven, otherwise cook until the mixture is set and golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving (allow the Bundt to cool a bit longer). Can be made a day ahead and reheated at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 15-18 servings.
Scalloped Potatoes
¼ cup (½ stick) butter or margarine
¼ cup matzo cake meal
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth or nondairy “milk”
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
8 cups russet potatoes, unpeeled and sliced
Spray a 9×13-inch or equivalent ceramic or glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or brush with melted butter or margarine (should be attractive because you will serve the potatoes in the baking dish).
Make the sauce: Melt the margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cake meal and stir for one minute. Add the liquid (broth or milk) and bring to a low boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium and whisk until the liquid thickens to a pancake batter consistency. Add the parsley and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste (the mixture should be a bit salty to balance the blandness of the potatoes).
Layer the potatoes in the prepared dish, standing the slices up in the baking dish to allow the sauce to penetrate the potatoes. Ladle the sauce over potatoes (use all the sauce).
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake one hour more.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8-12 servings.
ABC Salad (Annabel’s Broccoli Crunch Salad)

Dressing:
¾ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup vinegar, red wine or cider preferred
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Salad:
6 cups finely chopped broccoli florets and stems (about 2 medium broccoli crowns)
½ cup finely diced celery
½ cup finely diced carrot
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
¹/₃ cup finely diced red onion
1 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins
¼ cup toasted sunflower seed kernels
Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk well.
Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour the dressing over, and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, stirring once or twice. Makes 8-12 side dish servings.
Roasted Dilled Root
Vegetables with Garlic
Sometimes I’ll add 8 ounces of Brussels sprouts (though not a root vegetable), halved, to this dish for color and texture.
2 cups peeled, diagonally sliced carrots (thin ovals or rounds)
2 cups peeled, diagonally sliced parsnips (thin ovals or rounds)
8 ounces fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise in halves
1 medium onion, trimmed, peeled and halved, each half cut into quarters
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
10 garlic cloves, peeled
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh chopped dill
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
Put all the vegetables (except the dill) in a large bowl. Season well with salt, black pepper and about 3 tablespoons olive oil, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly.
Arrange the vegetables on the prepared baking sheet and cook until they are beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Test for doneness. They should be tender but not mushy (they will continue to cook as they cool). Toss with the fresh dill and serve warm or at room temperature (drizzle with balsamic vinegar, if desired). Makes 8 servings.

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Exotic Passover recipes

Exotic Passover recipes

Posted on 22 March 2018 by admin


By Tina Wasserman

Persian Kuku is like a frittata that, when cut into little squares and served at room temperature, makes a perfect nosh during the Seder after you dip the Karpas in salt water and before you get to the meal. Hint: It keeps young and old participants from wanting to race through the Haggadah. There might even be time for Rabbi Tarfon.
Persian Cauliflower
and Raisin Kuku

20-ounce bag frozen cauliflower (½ head of large cauliflower)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
2 medium onions, cut in half and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped or put through garlic press
5 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper, about 15 turns of a pepper mill
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons dark raisins

1. If cauliflower is fresh, then chop into small pieces; if frozen, then defrost and drain in a strainer.
2. Heat a large skillet on high for 15 seconds. Add 3 tablespoons oil and heat for 10 seconds more. Lower heat to medium. Add cauliflower, onions and salt to pan, stir to combine, cover pan, and then cook for 3 minutes.
3. Uncover pan and sauté until cauliflower is soft and onions are light golden brown. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Do not burn garlic.
3. Transfer cauliflower/onion mixture to a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher until cauliflower becomes a coarse puree. Set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11×7 baking dish or 10-inch Pyrex pie plate with the additional 2 tablespoons oil.
5. Using a fork, combine the eggs, pepper, turmeric, cumin and raisins in a 1-quart bowl. Add to the cauliflower and mix to thoroughly combine.
6. Pour egg mixture into oiled dish and bake on the center shelf of the oven for 30 minutes or until top is golden and eggs are cooked in the center. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
NOTE: Cut the cooled kuku into 1-inch squares and place on a plate with toothpicks for bite-sized snacks or appetizers.
Serves 4-6 for a meal or 12+ as an appetizer.

This is my signature Passover dessert. Debby Stahl’s German mother-in-law gave the two of us this recipe over 35 years ago. Many students have told me that their families love this so much, they make it year-round.
Spanish Jews were the first to use ground nuts in place of some or all of the flour to make their tortes, especially for Pesach when flour was prohibited.
Passover Linzer Torte

½ cup cake meal
½ cup potato starch
1 cup unsalted parve kosher for Passover margarine or butter
½ cup sugar
1 cup unpeeled finely ground hazelnuts, almonds or a combination
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, separated
½ cup kosher for Passover strawberry jam
1. Combine the cake meal and the potato starch in a processor work bowl. Using the cutting blade, add the margarine and pulse on and off until the mixture is well combined.
2. Add the sugar, hazelnuts or nut mixture, cinnamon and egg yolks and mix until smooth and well blended.
3. Take 2/3 of the dough and press over the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Leave a 1-inch-wide rim of dough around the top.
4. Spread with ½ cup or more of strawberry jam.
5. Gently squeeze egg-sized balls of remaining dough between your fingertips over the top of the jam to simulate weaving ropes for the lattice top. This dough cannot easily be handled, but don’t worry; the ropes don’t have to be perfect because they become smooth during baking.
6. Fasten the dough rope to the rim of dough and smooth it out with your fingertip, pressing lightly.
7. Beat egg whites slightly and brush over the top of the lattice. As you brush, the ropes will get smoother and more uniform.
8. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet that has very low sides and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
9. Partly cool before removing the rim of the pan. Do not attempt to remove the base of the pan. Serve the cake from the base.

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