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Eggs: What would Passover be without them?

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Eggs: What would Passover be without them?

Posted on 29 March 2010 by admin

By Linda Moreleggs

NEW YORK (JTA) — I start Passover food shopping by buying six dozen eggs, but it’s never enough. Inevitably I return to the store at least twice, purchasing two or three more cartons of eggs each time.

Matzah garners most of the attention in Passover fare because of the unleavened bread’s prominent role in the Exodus story. Eggs, however, are the unsung heroes, working behind the scenes, enhancing nearly every recipe consumed during the holiday’s eight days.

Without fanfare, eggs perform the binding and heavy lifting usually accomplished by flour. With great prowess, eggs hold together the ingredients that go into Passover kugels, matzah brie and matzah farfel casseroles.

When egg whites are whipped to a frenzy with electric beaters, they increase in volume six to eight times, lending structure and leavening to many baked goods. Egg whites singlehandedly add loft to cakes and other pastries, encouraging them to rise without a boost from the usual sources — flour and baking soda.

Eggs play a pivotal role during seders. Spherical and white, they symbolize the rebirth that occurs in the spring. Every seder plate reserves a place to display a roasted egg to remind us of the burnt offerings, the daily roasted sacrifices in the Temple. These sacrifices can no longer be offered because the Temple was destroyed centuries ago.

In addition, the roasted egg on the seder plate is a symbol of the new life the Jewish people acquired in attaining their freedom from Egyptian bondage.

During seder ceremonies all over the world, Jews consume an egg course. Ashkenazim partake of eggs that have been hard-boiled and chilled. During the seder they dip the eggs in heavily salted water, a symbol of the tears shed by our ancestors during slavery.

As a child, I looked forward each spring to the taste of hard-boiled eggs in a salty bath. When I was 12, I prepared the combination for lunch one day during October. But as I took a bite of boiled egg doused in salty water, it tasted so terrible I couldn’t eat it. I was crushed by the disappointment and concluded at that young age that you have to wait for Passover to appreciate this special dish resonating with so much history.

During Passover, many Sephardim eat an egg dish called Huevos Haminados in Spanish, or oven eggs. The recipe is prepared by layering eggs among onion skins and coffee grinds in a pot of water. The mixture is then warmed in the oven on a low temperature for many hours. This slow cooking method not only gives egg yolks a satiny texture, but also turns their shells a splendid brown color, reminiscent of roasted eggs.

Many Huevos Haminados recipes suggest saving the skins from the onions used in Passover cooking. However, I find that method does not produce a large enough yield. In preparation for making Huevos Haminados, I go from supermarket to supermarket collecting skins from bins of onions. The skins of red onions lend the most gorgeous color.

Every spring my husband worries that I will be accused of shoplifting for this practice. So far, cashiers have given me nothing more than strange looks when I point out a bag full of onion skins.

While Passover is perhaps the most cherished of Jewish holidays, for many people the sheer volume of eggs used in recipes poses health issues, specifically regarding the amount of cholesterol consumed. There are several ways to be health-conscious while observing the egg’s role during seders.

The yolk is the culprit, containing all the egg’s cholesterol and fat (about 5 grams in a large egg). With only about 20 calories, the egg white consists of water and slightly more than half the egg’s protein.

For the seder’s egg course, I recommend preparing large eggs. Ironically, large eggs are the smallest size available commercially, followed by extra large and jumbo.

Another way to cut down on cholesterol is to slice hard-boiled eggs in half, thus limiting portion size. For those who want to get fancy, place a tiny dollop of caviar on each half. Cover the halves with plastic wrap before serving, so the yolks don’t dry out.

For a cholesterol-free egg course, serve egg white omelets. I suggest stirring some chopped parsley into the beaten egg whites to give them spring color. This also adds the symbol of Passover greenery. Of course, egg white omelets can be served for breakfast, brunch or lunch throughout Passover.

When it comes to matzah casseroles made with vegetables or fruit, you can eliminate one or two of the egg yolks called for in recipes. Add an egg white for each yolk you discard.

A highlight of any seder is a rich chocolate cake, made lofty and moist by a bevy of luscious eggs. If you’re counting calories or cholesterol, dessert is the one place to splurge with an abundance of eggs. To balance a cake’s opulence, serve it with fresh strawberries.

During Passover’s eight days, I often return to the supermarket for additional ingredients. I end up making more macaroons, either coconut or chocolate almond; matzah brei, either mushroom or classic; Passover lasagna, with or without meat; or my signature dish, peach kugel. These recipes wouldn’t exist without the most ubiquitous ingredient in all of Passover cooking — eggs.

HUEVOS HAMINADOS

(Oven Eggs)
(Parve)
Prepared entirely in the oven, these eggs turn sepia brown and are served at Sephardic seders as the egg course.
Equipment:
A 4-qt. ovenproof pot that you don’t care about, as it may get stained, or a deep ovenproof glass casserole of equal size
Ingredients:

  • 4 c. tightly packed onion skins
  • 12 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. coffee grinds
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 250°.
2. Place half of the onion skins at the bottom of the pot or casserole. Nestle the eggs between the skins. Don’t crowd them. Sprinkle coffee grinds over eggs. Add oil, vinegar and salt. Slowly pour enough water inside to submerge the mixture, about 2–3 qt.
3. If using a pot, cover it with the lid. If using a casserole without a lid, cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Place eggs in the oven for 6–8 hours.
4. Remove pot carefully. Lift out eggs using a long-handled slotted spoon and place them temporarily on paper towels to drain off excess water. Eggs can be served hot or refrigerated for later. Yield: 12 servings

VEGETARIAN PASSOVER LASAGNA

(Parve or Dairy)
Equipment:
2 (10-by-15-inch) ovenproof pans
Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil, or more, if needed
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 9 pieces of commercially prepared matzah
  • 2 zucchinis sliced into circles about 1/8 inch thick
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2/3 c. Parmesan cheese, optional
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 dried sage leaves, crushed
  • 2 large pinches of dried rosemary needles
  • 6 eggs
  • Juice from half a lemon

Preparation:
1. Coat 1 baking pan with cooking spray and reserve. In second baking pan, dissolve bouillon cubes in 3 c. boiling water and reserve. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil on a medium flame. Add onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until onion slices wilt, about 5 minutes. Move onions to prepared pan and distribute evenly.
3. Submerge 3 squares of matzah into bouillon bath until barely softened. Gently lift matzah pieces one at a time. Cover onion layer with the first 2 pieces of matzah. Break the third piece in half to fill in the edges on one side. (Don’t worry if matzah falls apart slightly. But if it completely disintegrates, soften additional pieces.)
4. To the skillet, add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Add zucchini and half the garlic, sprinkling lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Cover matzah layer with zucchini mixture. Sprinkle 1/3 c. of Parmesan cheese on top, if using.
5. Repeat Step 3 and cover zucchini layer with 3 pieces of matzah.
6. To the skillet, add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. Add mushrooms and remaining garlic, sprinkling lightly with salt and pepper, plus sage and rosemary. Sauté until mushrooms wilt, about 5 minutes. Cover second matzah layer with mushroom mixture. Sprinkle 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese on top, if using.
7. Repeat Step 3 and cover mushroom layer with 3 pieces of matzah.
8. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Add lemon juice and 1 c. of bouillon and beat again. Pour egg mixture over the top of the lasagna. With a spatula, press down on the lasagna to even out liquids. Bake until lasagna is firmly set and bubbles at the edges, about 45 minutes. Recipe can be served immediately or made 2 days ahead, refrigerated, and reheated. Recipe freezes well. Yield: 24 squares

PASSOVER PEACH KUGEL

(Parve or Dairy)
Ingredients:

  • Nonstick vegetable spray
  • 2 c. apple juice
  • 2/3 c. dried cherries
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans sliced peaches
  • 3 pieces of matzah, broken into 1-inch squares
  • 6 eggs
  • Zest and juice from half a lemon
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2/3 c. chopped walnuts
  • 4 Tbsp. margarine or butter, melted

Preparation:
1. Coat a 9-by-13-inch ovenproof baking pan with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a small pot, heat 1 c. apple juice to a simmer. Remove from flame. Stir in dried cherries and soak them while assembling remaining ingredients.
3. Place a colander over a large bowl. Drain the peaches, reserving the liquid from the can in the bowl. Dice peaches.
4. In a medium-sized pot, heat the remaining apple juice to a simmer. Remove from flame. Soak broken matzah squares in apple juice until soft, about 5 minutes. Using the colander, drain matzah and discard the juice. Reserve.
5. With an electric beater, whip eggs until frothy. Add lemon zest and juice, sugar and salt, and beat until well combined.
6. Drain the cherries and add them to the egg mixture, along with the peaches and walnuts. On a low speed, mix until incorporated. With a wooden spoon, add soaked matzah and gently stir until incorporated.
7. Move mixture to prepared pan and spread evenly. Pour 1/3 c. of the reserved peach juice evenly over the top. Drizzle the melted margarine or butter over the surface. Kugel will look quite liquid. Place kugel in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until edges brown and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a day. Cut into squares before serving. Kugel tastes delicious with sour cream. Yield: 18 squares

MOCHA PECAN TORTE

(Parve)
Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 7 egg whites
  • 1 c. pecans
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate bits
  • 1 Tbsp. instant espresso coffee
  • 3/4 c. sugar

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9-inch springform baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until firm. Don’t overbeat or whites will become watery. Reserve.
3. In a food processor, using a metal blade, grind pecans and chocolate bits until broken into small pieces. Mix in coffee and sugar until blended. Fold mixture into egg whites, and by hand gently stir with a spatula until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 40–45 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature and serve with sliced strawberries sprinkled with sugar and drops of lemon juice, or Coffee Whipped Cream (recipe below). Yield: 10–12 slices

COFFEE WHIPPED CREAM

(Dairy)
Ingredients:

  • 1 pt. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. instant espresso coffee

Preparation:
Place the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until cream forms firm peaks. Stop machine every minute or so to avoid overbeating and turning the cream to butter. To check for firm peaks, lift beaters from mixture. Serve immediately.

A good egg: safety and nutrition tips

1. Buy the freshest eggs possible by purchasing them before the sell-by date.

2. Before purchasing eggs, examine them for cracks to avoid bacteria from getting inside. Gently roll around each egg within the carton. If an egg won’t budge, chances are the bottom is cracked and has leaked, gluing the shell in place.

3. Always purchase eggs from a refrigerated case. Avoid cartons at the front of the case because they have been exposed to warmer air each time the case was opened.

4. At home, refrigerate eggs immediately. It’s preferable to store them in their cartons at the back of the refrigerator so they are not exposed to room temperature air every time the refrigerator is opened.

5. Refrigerate cooked eggs within an hour after preparation. They should be consumed within a week.

6. Although recipes abound for raw eggs, they are still considered unsafe to eat by many health experts who warm against salmonella poisoning.

7. To improve whipping ability, keep raw eggs at room temperature for 20 minutes (but no longer) before beating them.

8. When separating eggs, it’s preferable to keep all traces of yolks from the whites so the whites can reach the maximum volume during beating. However, a speck of yolk will not ruin your chance of producing frothy egg whites.

9. Eggs are easiest to separate when cold. While egg separators, available wherever kitchenware is sold and at many supermarkets, keep yolks from whites, they take longer than the old-fashioned method of pouring whites into a bowl.

10. The stringy stuff inside an egg anchors the yolk in the center of the white. It is not an imperfection or a beginning embryo. The more prominent the stringy stuff, the fresher the egg. It does not interfere with cooking or the beating of an egg white.

11. Eggs with a visible blood spot on the yolk are safe for consumption. These tiny red spots are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel during the egg’s formation. While in the past, the consumption of eggs with blood spots was forbidden by the laws of kashrut, because these spots were the beginning of an embryo, modern production methods have improved and this is no longer the case. Blood spots found in commercially produced eggs today do not present any fundamental problems for kosher consumers. However, many followers of kashrut continue to discard eggs with blood spots.

12. Organic eggs are produced by hens fed with certified grains, minus most conventional pesticides and fertilizers. Growth hormones and antibiotics are prohibited. Organic eggs are more expensive than regular eggs because it costs farmers more to allow their hens to roam outside of cages and to give them organic feed. However, organic eggs have the same nutritional content, fat and cholesterol as regular eggs.

13. Brown eggs are as nutritious as white eggs. The color of the shell is determined by the breed of hen.

14. Make sure your refrigerator is at 40°. If the temperature is colder, eggs may freeze. Eggs that have been frozen should be discarded as they don’t perform well in cooking. If the temperature is warmer than 40°, your eggs will not last as long as they would in a colder environment.

15. When properly stored, eggs rarely spoil. However, as an egg ages, the white becomes thinner, the yolk gets flatter and the yolk membrane weakens. Although these changes affect appearance, they don’t indicate spoilage and don’t greatly affect the nutritional value of the egg or its ability to perform in recipes. Before spoiling, an old egg is more likely to dry up. But like all organic matter, eggs can go bad. Telltale signs are a sour or fruity odor and a blue-green color. If in doubt, discard a suspicious egg. It’s not worth the risk of getting sick.

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Passover lowdown

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Passover lowdown

Posted on 29 March 2010 by admin

By Annabel Cohen

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are sugars and starches, and nearly all foods contain them. Many of us want to avoid carbs.

But we don’t have to completely steer clear of carbs (we need them for energy), IF we choose the right ones. Complex carbohydrates are often acceptable on low-carb diets. Whole grains, legumes and brown rice (for you Sephardim) and most vegetables are good carbs. What we must pass up are “simple carbs” — white sugar and flour, very sweet fruit, and starchy vegetables such as white potatoes and carrots.

But you CAN eat low-carb during Passover. For gefilte fish, leave out the “fillers” and substitute low-calorie sweetener for sugar. Cut the onions a bit; don’t eat the carrot. Make roast brisket, but leave out sugary ingredients such as ketchup and wine. Even matzah balls can be made with whole-wheat matzah meal.

Sara’s Gefilte Fish

This recipe, from a friend in Bloomfield Hills, has already been adapted to be naturally low-carb.
NOTE: I prepared this without the matzah meal with good results.
Fish:

  • 1 large white onion (about 8 oz.)
  • 3-1/2 lb. ground fish (from about 4 lb. whole whitefish and 3 lb. pickerel; reserve head and bones)
  • 1/2 c. ice water
  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c. whole-wheat matzah meal

Stock:

  • Reserved heads and bones of fish
  • 1 large yellow onion, unpeeled
  • Water
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

Prepare fish: Peel and cut the onion into small chunks (reserve both ends of the onion). Place the onion pieces in the bowl of a food processor and process the onion until it very finely chopped (almost a paste).
Place the fish in a large bowl. Add the onions and water and mix with an electric mixer until combined. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste (start with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. white pepper). (To test seasoning, place a small amount of fish on a dish and microwave for 1 minute. Taste for seasoning. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.) Mix in the matzah meal. Chill mixture until ready to use.

Prepare the stock: Place the reserved fish heads and bones in a large pot. Season the heads and bones well with salt and pepper. Add the whole onion and reserved onion ends. Cover with water and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for 30 minutes. Strain the stock into a large bowl and discard the head and bones.
Place the stock back into the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Bring another pot of water to a boil (to use if needed later).

Using wet hands, form the fish mixture into 12–20 egg-shaped balls (depending on the size you prefer) and drop them into the boiling stock. Add enough boiling water (if needed) to cover the fish. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook for one hour more (shake the pot occasionally so that the balls do not stick to the bottom of the pot). Turn off heat and allow the fish to cool in the stock.

Remove fish to a deep dish and cover with stock (reserve carrots if desired). Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Microwave Mashed Cauliflower

If you’d like to add cheese to this recipe, stir in 1/2 c. of Parmesan cheese (or your favorite cheese), or 1/2 c. softened cream cheese, to the mixture.

  • 2 lb. cauliflower florets (from about 2 cauliflower heads)
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced cauliflower
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle

Place the cauliflower florets in a large microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cook on high for 6 minutes, or more, until the cauliflower is very tender. Place the hot cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon the mixture into the dish and drizzle with oil. Bake for 30 minutes and keep warm until ready to serve. Makes 8 or more servings.

Whole-Wheat Matzah Balls

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. sparkling water, seltzer or club soda
  • 1 c. whole-wheat matzah meal
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place eggs in a large bowl and whisk well. Whisk in the oil and water. Add the matzah meal, salt and pepper and stir well (taste the batter for saltiness). Chill (uncovered) for 1 hour. Use wet hands to form the batter into about 16–18 1-inch balls.

Bring a large pot of water with 2 tsp. of salt to a boil (the balls need room to expand, so don’t crowd the matzah balls). Drop the balls into the water. Immediately cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes or until cooked through (limit lifting the lid of the pot for best results). Makes about 8 servings (eat less for low-carb).

Bertha’s Vegetable Soup

We grew up with this soup, served “as is” — chunky — or pureed (with a bit of olive oil).

  • 1 c. chopped onions
  • 1-1/2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 chayote squash, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1-1/2 c. 1/2-inch zucchini chunks
  • 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • Water to cover, plus 1/2 inch
  • Salt and to taste

Combine all soup ingredients in a pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for an hour or more, until the vegetables are very soft and the broth is golden. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes 8, or more, hearty servings.

Cheesecake with Walnut Crust

Crust:

  • 1 c. ground walnuts (or walnut meal)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. Splenda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Cake:

  • 1-1/2 lb. (3 packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. Splenda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • Fresh strawberries, garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Prepare crust: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well. Press the crust in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Place a large length of foil on a counter and lay the springform pan on it. Lift the sides of the foil to wrap the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside. Pour very hot water into a pan with at least 2-inch sides that’s large enough to accommodate the springform. Place in the oven while you prepare the cheesecake.

Make filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and Splenda in a large bowl until creamy, Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well until incorporated. Add lemon juice and sour cream and beat well. Pour this mixture into the crust-lined pan.

Place the springform in the pan of hot water and bake for 1 hour. Since not all ovens heat equally, check the doneness of the cake by shaking the pan lightly (it should not “jiggle”); the top should be dry and firm to the touch. If it is not, bake for up to 30 minutes more, checking every 10 minutes for doneness. Remove from oven and cool. Serve cold, with fresh berries on the side. Makes 16 servings.

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Strudel recipes

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Strudel recipes

Posted on 01 October 2009 by admin

iStock_000008161797Medium copy

By Linda Morel

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Strudel Filling

An appetizer or side dish; dairy (or parve, if phyllo sheets are brushed with olive oil).

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. golden raisins
  • 1 small- to medium-sized cabbage
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 carrots, diced fine
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

Preparation:

  1. Soak raisins in 1/2 c. warm water while assembling ingredients.
  2. From cabbage, discard thick outer leaves. Remove core and coarse veins in some leaves. Slice cabbage into thin ribbons.
  3. In a large pot, heat the oil on a low flame and add cabbage and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until vegetables wilt.
  4. Meanwhile, place vinegar and brown sugar in a small bowl and mix with a spoon. Stir occasionally, until sugar dissolves.
  5. Add vinegar mixture to cabbage pot, along with raisins and 1/2 c. water. Stir ingredients. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften.
  6. Remove from flame and cool to room temperature. Pour ingredients into a colander and let liquids drain. Recipe can be made to this point 2 days in advance, placed in a covered container and refrigerated.
  7. Follow directions in “Turning frozen phyllo dough into flaky strudel.” In step 11, place 1-1/4 c. cabbage mixture on top of a pile of 6 phyllo sheets. There is enough cabbage filling for 3 strudels. (For a parve recipe, in steps 9, 10 and 14, brush the phyllo sheets with oil instead of butter.)
  8. If phyllo was brushed with butter, bake 40–45 minutes, or until dough browns and flakes. If brushed with oil, bake 30–35 minutes, or until dough browns and crisps.

Yield: 3 strudels, cut into 8 pieces, or 24 pieces in all.

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Strudel Filling

An hors d’oeuvre, appetizer or side dish; dairy (or parve, if phyllo sheets are brushed with olive oil).

Ingredients:

  • 4 extra-large onions, sliced into thin disks
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, or more if needed
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1-1/2 lb. white mushrooms, sliced thin

Preparation:

  1. With your fingers, separate onion disks into rings.
  2. On a medium flame, heat oil in a large pot. Add raw onion rings and sprinkle with salt. Stir occasionally.
  3. When onions start to brown, after about 15 minutes, add mushrooms and more salt, if desired. Stir occasionally, until mushrooms brown and onions are fully caramelized, about 25 minutes.
  4. Cool to room temperature. Place onion mixture in a colander to drain excess oil. Recipe can be made to this point 2 days in advance, placed in a covered container and refrigerated.
  5. Follow directions in “Turning frozen phyllo dough into flaky strudel.” In step 11, place half of onion mixture on top of a pile of six phyllo sheets. There’s enough filling for 2 strudels. (For a parve recipe, in steps 9, 10 and 14, use oil instead of butter.)
  6. If phyllo was brushed with butter, bake for 30 minutes, or until dough browns and flakes. If brushed with oil, bake for 20 minutes, or until dough browns and crisps.

Yield: 2 strudels, cut into 8 pieces, or 16 pieces in all.

Viennese Apple Strudel Filling

Dessert; dairy.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 medium-sized baking apples (Cortland, Gala, Rome, etc.), peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. apricot preserves
  • 1 tsp. brandy
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. walnuts, chopped fine

Preparation:

  1. On a medium-low flame, melt butter in a large skillet. Add apples, sugar and cinnamon. Stir occasionally until apples soften, about 15 minutes. Add lemon zest, vanilla and walnuts. Stir well. Cool to room temperature. Recipe can be made to this point 2 days in advance, placed in a covered container and refrigerated.
  2. When ready to continue, place apricot preserves in a small saucepan on a low flame, until heated through. Remove from flame and stir in brandy.
  3. Follow directions in “Turning frozen phyllo dough into flaky strudel.” In step 11, place half of apple mixture on top of a pile of 6 phyllo sheets. There is enough filling for 2 strudels.
  4. Bake strudels for 35 minutes, or until dough browns and flakes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Yield: 2 strudels, cut into 8 pieces, or 16 pieces in all.

Easy Pear and Cranberry Strudel Filling

Dessert; dairy (or parve, if phyllo sheets are brushed with vegetable oil).

Ingredients:

  • 4 (14-1/2-oz.) cans of pears, preferably pre-sliced
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/4 c. blanched almonds, chopped fine

Preparation:

  1. Drain pears in a colander and reserve the liquid. Pour 1 c. of the liquid into a small saucepan and discard the rest. Add the cranberries. Simmer on a low flame until cranberries soften, about 10 minutes. Remove from flame and leave in liquid while assembling remaining ingredients. Drain in a colander.
  2. Slice pears, cut them into 3 or 4 chunks and place in a bowl. Add sugar, if pears need sweetening. Add remaining ingredients, including cranberries. Mix gently with a spoon to blend. Recipe can be made to this point 2 days in advance, covered and refrigerated.
  3. Follow directions in “Turning frozen phyllo dough into flaky strudel.” In step 11, place half of pear mixture on top of a pile of 6 phyllo sheets. There is enough filling for 2 strudels. (For a parve recipe, in steps 9, 10 and 14, brush the phyllo sheets with oil instead of butter.)
  4. If phyllo was brushed with butter, bake 35 minutes, or until dough browns and flakes. If brushed with oil, bake 25 minutes, or until dough browns and crisps. Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or lemon sorbet.

Yield: 2 strudels, cut into 8 pieces, or 16 pieces in all.

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