Passover

 

Pesach Supper Savers

 

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After the Seder Plate is washed and the haggadahs are shaken out and put away, there is an inner sigh of relief mixed with contentment, a feeling of release after all those weeks of build-up leading up to Seder night. We are full, we are sated with the work of our hands…that is, until the next day when the festive intermediary days of Chol HaMoed are upon us and somehow, despite all the food….everyone is hungry. Again?

Chol HaMoed Pesach is a particularly beautiful time of year – with spring buds and blossoms all abloom, it presents wonderful opportunities to spend time with family, go on outings or activities and to leave our kitchens! Nonetheless, at the end of the day, there are still hungry mouths waiting for dinner, especially after a long day out. Now is the perfect time to get organized and anticipate those “forgotten” meals of Pesach. A little advanced planning now will go a long way towards ensuring stress-free meals on days when time and energy are at a premium. Plan a holiday week menu now to minimize shopping trips and maximize your family-time.


 

Passover Prep – The Seder Plate

 

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The highlight of the Passover holiday is the Seder. The Seder is a ritual meal at which we read the Haggadah – a book that sets out the order for this Passover meal. (Seder means order).

The Seder plate traditionally has small bowls / plates of the food items used and referenced to in the reading of the Haggadah. These are the items on it:


 

Kosher Wine for Passover – Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4

 

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As the sun begins to set on the evening of Friday, April 6, 2012, Jews all over the world will gather together for the first night of Passover.  Throughout the narrative retelling the Exodus from Egypt, we drink four cups of wine to celebrate our freedom from slavery.  There was a time, not so long ago, when sipping the syrupy sweet Concord grape wine at the Seder was a form of cruel ancient punishment – symbolic, but not satisfying.   Now, we have so many amazing choices of wines to enjoy at Seder it can seem almost overwhelming.  Freedom has its challenges.

Let me try to make things a little easier this year with four tips on how to choose the perfect kosher wine for Passover and a few recommendations for your Seder.


 

Prime Grill Exclusive Recipes for your Passover...

 

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Wine and dine your guests this holiday, in the comfort of your own home.

Chef David Kolotkin, executive chef of The Prime Grill in New York City, brings his passion and innovation to your table this Pesach. Learn the secrets behind the unique flavors and flare Prime Grill diners enjoy. Chef David’s love for cooking didn’t sprout in a commercial kitchen. They were born in his childhood home, enjoying his mother’s delicious home-cooked meals and bonding moments with his parents in the kitchen. There, his deep respect for food grew, leading to his illustrious culinary career. Now, this Pesach, find that same inspiration—in your own home, around your own table with these recipes:


 

Passover Prep – Start Cooking!

 

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We made it! Now all that’s left to do is cook. I like to put up my soups and mains way ahead of time, so that I can spend the day before Passover working on my side dishes and desserts as they tend to take more time. At least if I know that the mains and soups are taken care of, I can cook the rest with a happy unstressed frame of mind.

Before I start with the individual dishes I chop onions and peel garlic enough for all my recipes. I separate the onions into ziploc baggies that hold a half cup of chopped onions. The snack size baggies are perfect for this. I chop all the veggies and bag them up. It just makes it easier to get all the cooking done. Prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking to ensure you have everything you need. This cuts down on last minute store runs.


 

Recipes for Dorot Frozen Herbs

 

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When I first discovered frozen cubes of ginger, garlic and herbs from Dorot at the local kosher market, I couldn’t believe it.  What a great idea!  It’s about time someone came out with an easy to use alternative to dried herbs or jarred garlic.  How many times had I bought a huge bouquet of dill for chicken soup, only to find a bag of mush on the bottom of my fridge a few weeks later?  These Dorot cubes give the taste of fresh garlic and herbs, without the chopping and the waste.

Charoset with Ginger


 

Five Charoset Recipes from Around the World

 

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Syrian Haroset - Victoria Dwek

My father-in-law, a Rav, told me he was once asked, “Why is haroset delicious if it represents such sad things?” He responded, “Every difficulty in life is really sweet—they are blessings from G-d.” Every ingredient in the haroset is symbolic of the Jewish labor in Egypt. The walnuts are the pebbles of the bricks. The dates represent the mud, and the wine is the blood of the babies who were used in place of bricks when the quotas weren’t filled. As most Sepharadim eat gebrokts, the matzah meal represents the straw, also used to make bricks. This recipe is from my husband’s grandmother a”h, Rosa Dwek, from Aleppo, Syria.


 

Seder Night Checklist

 

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On the Ka’ara—The Seder Plate

Matzahs—3 Whole


 

Let’s Get Cooking for Passover

 

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Now that we’re in the heat of gearing up for Pesach, here’s a sampling of some of my family’s favorites, from fish to meat to dessert. Best part is that each of these recipes can be frozen in advance so you have a head start on some dishes for Pesach…

The recipes featured below were excerpted from Tamar Ansh’s Pesach cookbook that is completely non-Gebrochts and gluten-free, PESACH- Anything’s Possible!


 

Passover Prep – Turn Over The Kitchen

 

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OK. Take a deep breath. You have come this far. Your house is clean. Your shopping has been done. Errands have been taken care of. Give your kitchen a final clean. The steps you followed in Passover Prep – Clean Your Kitchen have paved the way for the final clean. Go over these steps again, paying even more attention to detail, and putting away all your chametz items that don’t need to remain on the counters. We close up our pantry for Passover, selling the contents within, and we put the toaster and the cookie jar and all those items that are out on the counter during the year are stored inside during Passover. Tape up the cabinets that will not be used over Passover.

Once everything is put away you can get to work on the counters and the sinks. I would advise you at this point to consult with your local Rabbi about the correct method of kashering your counters for the holiday. Some people steam their counters, some pour boiling water, some do both AND cover them as well.


 

Seven Perfect Recipes for your Passover Meal

 

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Most cooks are stumped when it comes to menu planning for an important event. What’s the best starter? How to pair mains with sides? And yuntif is your ultimate culinary performance. The stage is set, the audience is seated at your table, the curtain rises, and the spotlight is on you.

Chill. Those folks around your table are not food critics from the New York Times; they’re just your family and friends. And you’ll be a star because we’ve done all the planning for you: every course in this elegant coordinated meal perfectly combines flavors, textures, and colors. Just serve and bow to the applause.


 

Passover Prep – Time to Shop!

 

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It’s overwhelming – the amount of Passover goods that are available these days. If you are not careful you can end up spending more than you have budgeted for the holiday. I use a master list every year – and I have found that it really helps me keep my spending to a minimum.

Print it out, take it with you.


 

Making the Most of Natural Flavors on Passover

 

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I don’t know about you but in my family we are pretty strict on Pesach. It’s a funny thing though because when I talk to some people, they seem to think we are so lenient. Considering that Pesach standards stretch from eating rice to not using dishwashing soap (a relative of mine actually washes her dishes with kosher salt!), I guess I can see why some might consider me lenient.

So what do we, or don’t we, eat? Well thankfully, my family does not use shmaltz. We opt for nut oil instead. We don’t use spices or processed condiments like ketchup, mayo, and duck sauce. So our seasonings mostly involve kosher salt and liquid sugar (a simple syrup that is made by boiling water and sugar and pouring it through a cheesecloth). The liquid sugar really comes in handy for my mom because she loves to make everything sweet. She pours it over sweet potato cubes for perfect candied potatoes, adds it to roasts, fruit salads, and even nut-pancakes.


 

Non-Gebrokst Recipes

 

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For me Pesach is synonymous with Matzah Balls and Matzah Brei. But there are many who do not make these delicious delights on Pesach – because they only eat Non-Gebrokst. What is this? Gebrokst means Matzah that has come into contact with water or with food prepared with water. The concern is that there may have been some flour that wasn’t properly mixed with the water while preparing the matzah and is therefore susceptible to becoming leaven – a big no-no for Pesach.

This makes cooking for Passover a little more challenging, but not impossible! Here are some great recipes:


 

Sweet Endings – 6 Non Dairy Passover...

 

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Artificial and processed kosher-for-Passover ingredients simply don’t taste good. But that doesn’t mean we can’t satiate our sweet tooth on Passover with something sweet and divine. The following selection of recipes incorporate only all natural ingredients — no compromises. They are also interchangeable, complimenting each other to enable you to widen your dessert repertoire.

Serve the chocolate macaroons on their own, or sandwich them with sorbet or chocolate ganache in the middle. You can also layer the ganache with the vacherin or nut torte — or shaped it into truffles. Mix and match to suit your tastes — and enjoy sweet endings to each and every meal.