2017-03-29 / Columns

The rebbitzin’s recipes: Delicious Passover dishes to please everyone

COOKING
DEBI EPSTEIN

I am certain that Passover preparations are in full swing! I am impressed that you actually found a few free moments to read this column. Passover (Pesach) is a Biblically taught, eight-day festival when the Jewish people commemorate the freedom of our forefathers from the bitter enslavement in the land of Egypt. The holiday begins Monday evening, Apr. 10. The Seder begins after nightfall. Outside Israel, Jews observe a second Seder on the second night of Passover. Jews around the world recall our Exodus amidst family and friends, dressed in their festive clothing. Our tables are adorned with the finest of dinnerware, and Seder plate (see below). We recite the Haggadah (our manuscript for the Seder). The children (or youngest family member) ask the four questions. We drink four cups of wine, eat matzah and bitter herbs, dipped into salt water, remembering our tears when we were enslaved by Pharaoh in Egypt.

It is noteworthy to mention that all year round, it is a mitzvah to recall the Exodus (as recited in the Shema prayer.) However, on the Seder nights, it is a mitzvah to relive the redemption and to verbally discuss the details of our Exodus. We elaborate, in great detail, the pain of our enslavement and our miraculous Divine Redemption, orchestrated by Hashem, our Gd. On both evenings, a festive meal is served. Afikoman is our dessert. We conclude our Seders in joyous melody chanting, “Next Year in Jerusalem.”

Additionally, throughout the week of Passover (Apr.10-18), we eat special foods, which do not contain any chometz (leavening agents). Our homes have been thoroughly cleaned for the holiday.

My best wishes for a Zeessin (sweet) Pesach. Chag Kasher v’Sameach! A joyous and kosher festival to all!.

How to assemble a Seder plate:

• Roasted egg; Boil an egg for 20 minutes. Do not remove shell. Place on stove burner to roast for 2-3 minutes.

• Charoset: A mixture of apples, walnuts, wine, cinnamon and ginger. This resembles the mortar which the enslaved Jews built bricks with in the land of Egypt.

• Maror: One leaf of romaine lettuce or horseradish.

• Carpas: One boiled potato or stalk of celery.

• Chazeret: One leaf of romaine lettuce.

• Zeroah (Roasted shankbone): A roasted chicken wing. Place cooked chicken onto stove burner and roast for 2-3 minutes.

Additional items to be placed on the table at the Passover Seder:

• Haggadah.

• 3 round Matzot, resembling the tribes of Cohen, Levi and Yisrael.

• 4 cups of kosher red wine/grape juice reminding the Jewish people of their former exiles.

• 1 cup of wine/grape juice in honor of Elijah the Prophet.

• Salt water in a glass (prepared before the holiday). In remembrance of our bitter slavery in Egypt.

Please note: All ingredients in the recipes below should be certified Kosher for Passover.

CREAM OF
ZUCCHINI SOUP
6 medium zucchini, chopped
2 large onions, peeled and
chopped
1/4 cup kosher for Passover
almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté two onions in six TBS. extra virgin olive oil in large stockpot until softened. Add zucchini and cook for an additional five minutes. Add six cups water, salt and pepper and cook on medium to low setting for 30 minutes. Remove from stove, and set aside to cool. When cooled, blend with an immersion blender. Add almond milk, and swirl in pot.

Serves 4-6.

SPIRALIZED CUCUMBER
SALAD
4 medium cucumbers

1 red onion, peeled
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup kosher for Passover
vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt

Spiralize cucumber, then onion, and mix with remaining ingredients.

Place into a large container. Marinate in refrigerator for several hours, or overnight. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6.

STUFFED CHICKEN
CUTLETS with BEEF
2 lb. chicken cutlets, thinly
sliced
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
2 cans tomato paste
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup potato starch

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Add cilantro and chopped onions and mix together well. Season with salt and pepper.

Place 2-3 TBS. in the center of each chicken cutlet and roll up and place seam side down. Repeat process until all ingredients have been used. Place eggs into a small bowl. Place potato starch into a small bowl. Tip each chicken cutlet into eggs, coating well on all sides, and then into potato starch. Fry in batches in a heated large skillet coated with five TBS. cottonseed oil. Fry for 6-7 minutes on each side on a medium setting. In a large roasting pan, place two cans tomato sauce with two cups of water. Add four TBS. chicken soup mix and mix together well. Place chicken into large roasting pan filled with tomato sauce. Coat chicken well with sauce and sprinkle with parsley. Cover with aluminum foil. Place into preheated oven and cook for approximately 45 minutes.

Serves 4-6.

STRAWBERRY SORBET
2 pints fresh strawberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 TBS. lemon juice

Purée strawberries in food processor. Add remaining ingredients, blending together well. Place into container and put in freezer and freeze. When completely frozen, remove from freezer and place into food processor once again. This will aerate the sorbet and cause it to be light and airy in texture.

Enjoy!

Serves 4-6.

deb.epst@gmail.com

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