Traditional Recipes for Your Passover Seder Menu

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Invited to Passover Seder and don't know what to make, or hosting a Passover dinner for the first time? Try one of these traditional recipes ...

Meals at Passover are very symbolic – especially the Passover Seder dish, which includes multiple different parts.  One of the better known Passover foods is matzah (or matzoh), and according to tradition, three pieces of unleavened matzahs are to be placed within the folds of each napkin as a reminder that the Israelites fled Egypt in such a rush that they did not even get a chance to wait for their dough to rise.  The Seder plate also includes haroset, which is a mix of fruit and nuts meant to symbolize the mortar used when the Jewish people were forced to construct buildings as slaves.  In each part of your Seder meal, reflect on the past with these home-cooked, tasty dishes:

Matzah Balls

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons oil or chicken fat
  • 2 tablespoons soup stock or water
  • 1/2 cup matzah meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Beat eggs slightly with a fork, and add all other ingredients except the matzah meal, and mix together.  Add matzah meal gradually until the mixture becomes thick, and then refrigerate for 20 minutes in a covered bowl.

With wet hands, form the dough into balls (about 8 balls for 1/2 cup of matzah meal).  Drop the balls into boiling chicken soup, or into a large pot with 1 quart of water and 1 tablespoon of salt, after the water has come to a boil.  Cook for 30 minutes, and serve.

Braised Brisket

Ingredients

  • 1 well-trimmed beef brisket (3 1/2 pounds)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Rub the piece of beef with salt, pepper, ginger, and allspice.  In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, onion, garlic, and 1/2 cup water.  Spoon half of the sauce into a 9-by-13 inch glass baking dish.  Put the brisket in the dish, and pour the remaining sauce on top of the brisket so that it is fully coated.  Cover the dish tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil, or two layers of regular foil. Bake until the brisket is so tender that the meat begins peeling apart, which should be about three hours.  Remove the brisket from the dish, and skim any fat from the surface of the sauce.  Pour sauce in a medium saucepan, and boil it for about five minutes to reduce the sauce slightly.  Slice the brisket against the grain, and serve with the sauce.

Haroset

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/3 cup sweet red wine

Directions:
Put apples and walnuts in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle it over the apples and walnuts.  Stir in the honey and sweet wine.  Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

Flour-Free Walnut Date Cake

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups walnut halves
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pitted dates

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and coat the bottom and sides of a 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.  Put walnuts, cinnamon, and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor and mix together on the “pulse” setting until finely ground, but not powdery. Whisk the egg yolks, orange zest, and vanilla in a small bowl.  Next, beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy.  Mix in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until soft peaks form.  Fold in the yolk mixture and dates, then fold in the ground walnut mixture.  Scrape batter into the prepared pan. 

Bake for 23-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on the rack, then run a knife along the sides and invert onto a platter.

To add a glaze, take 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 4 tablespoons unsalted margarine or butter, and one teaspoon of honey, and put all in a cup and microwave until the margarine melts.  Whisk until smooth, cool slightly, then pour over cake.  Sprinkle extra chopped toasted walnuts on top and serve.

If cooking is not your thing, be sure to check out catering options for Passover here!

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