Hungry on Passover?

It seems that no matter how many toasted coconut marshmallows, no matter how much cheese and matzah, no matter how many pieces of fruit I eat on Passover I am hungry the whole week.  Part of it is psychological – surely – but the other part is that we give up all kitnyot for the holiday, which means no beans, peas, rice, peanuts, lentils, etc, not just grain items.  So much of my diet is made up of these things that it is hard to compensate with potatoes and ice cream (yes, this year I did buy kosher for Passover ice cream.)  So here is a little something I whipped up that feels filling even if it has the same short list of ingredients as so many other Passover foods.  Enjoy.

Smoked Provolone and Green Onion Pancakes, Kosher for Passover

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded smoked provolone
  • 3-4 green onions
  • 1 cup  matzah meal
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt, shake of black pepper

Beat the egg with the milk and the oil.  Thinly slice the onions then stir them and the cheese into the egg mixture.  Mix in all the dry ingredients.  Let the mixture stand 5 minutes then stir well.  Heat a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Stir the batter once more then drop by the 1/4 cup into the hot pan.  Leave enough room for the pancakes to spread.  Cook until they are browned on one side then flip and cook the other side.  If you try to flip too soon they will be very tender and fall apart.  Either eat hot plain or cold, plain or with salsa.  They can be a main dish or a side.  Chag Pesach Sameach.

Extra Yummy Honey Lemon Waffles

These are so good.  Seriously, so good that you might eat the whole batch yourself.  Eat them plain or spread with honey butter or honeyed chevre.  Don’t drown their lemon flavor with syrup, though.

Honey Lemon Waffles

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • juice of half a lemon
  • zest of a whole lemon
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cups flour (you can use half whole wheat if you like)

Beat the eggs in a bowl then beat in the buttermilk, lemon juice, zest, and honey.  Mix all the dry ingredients together in another bowl then mix into the wet.  Cook on your waffle iron until they are slightly crispy.  They are that easy and *that* good.  Enjoy.

Thinking Outside the Matzah Box, Recipes for Passover and Beyond

Here are the four recipes from my Passover cooking class last night.  You will note there is no matzah, no eggs, no dairy in any of these recipes.  They are all pareve, Pesachdik, easy, delicious, and make beautiful dishes.  If you are busy planning your seder or just thinking about what to eat this holiday or are just looking for some new dishes for the whole year, these are good for you.  Enjoy.

Spring Root Vegetable Salad with Citrus Mint Dressing

Please note that quantities and ratio are up to your taste and desire.  Use this as a guideline but tailor it to your preferences.

  • 1 large beet
  • ½ large turnip
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 piece of celeriac same size as turnip
  • 1 orange
  • ½ lime
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and ground pepper to taste

 Peel the vegetables.  Cut the beet, turnip, and celeriac into thick slices and carrot in half.  Boil a small pot of salted water and cook the vegetables (one at a time – first celeriac, then turnip, then carrot, then beet) until they are just starting to soften.  You do not want soft or mushy veggies, you want them tender crisp.  Remove from the boiling water and cool in ice water then drain.  Cut the veggies into large matchstick pieces, trying to make the pieces as much the same size as each other as possible.  Put in a bowl.  Remove the orange supremes or segment and slice each piece in half lengthwise then add orange pieces to vegetables.  Add olive oil, the juice from the half lime, a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Taste then adjust seasonings as needed.

 Tilapia with Onions, Olives, and Red Wine Vinegar

 This recipe is for 6-8 people.  You can also use cod or sole for this dish

  •  3 large white onions
  • 6 whole tilapia filets (or 3-4 lbs fish filets)
  • ½ can pitted green olives (Halutza, of course!)
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • very small sprinkle of salt
  • generous sprinkle of ground black pepper

 Halve the tilapia filets down the center line (or cut the other fish into large pieces) and put in an even layer in a baking dish.  Halve the onions then slice thinly, put in a bowl.  Add the drained olives to the onions along with the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Cover the fish with the onion mixture, cover the dish tightly and bake at 350-400 F until onions are cooked, ~20-45 minutes. 

 Beet Green and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

 This is great spread baked on fish or tofu or squash, as a dip for crudités, topping bread or crostini, tossed with pasta, as a salad dressing, as a pizza base, pretty much anything.

  •  1 bunch fresh been greens
  • 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper

 Wash and dry the greens.  Put everything in the food processor and process then scrape the sides and process some more.  Stop when you get the texture you like – be it chunky or smoother.  You can freeze this and use it as wanted. 

Pears Poached in Red Wine with Chocolate Red Wine Syrup

 You can serve this as a dessert, with the chocolate sauce, or as a breakfast or snack without it.  Top with whipped cream, ice cream, cottage cheese, etc.  You can serve one or two halves per person.

  •  4 pears (you can choose what kind you like – Bosc, Anjou, green, red, etc – but they should be firm, not mushy to start with)
  • 2 cups sweet red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

 Halve the pears then using a melon-baller or teaspoon measuring spoon remove the cores.  Put the wine, water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a wide bottomed pot.  Bring the wine to a boil, reduce to a simmer then place the pears in the wine face-down.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes then check for texture.  The pears should be slightly soft to the touch but still firm.  Stop before they are mushy.  If they are still too firm, keep cooking and check every 5 minutes.  Remove the pears from the wine and put aside.  Bring the wine to a boil again and reduce a little until you have syrup.  Drop the chocolate into the wine and whisk well.  Serve with the pears.

Hey Doughnut! Hey!

Any time you see “rustic” in a food description you can assume that it means it isn’t polished.  In this case, the doughnut holes are not smooth, have a slightly irregular shape, and a crunchy outside.  And they are also delicious and easy to make.  Not too sweet, great for a brunch treat or a dessert, enjoy.

Rustic Doughnut Holes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 scant cup buttermilk or coconut milk
  • flavorless oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbs for tossing

Mix together all the dry ingredients.  Beat together the egg and the coconut milk.  Mix the wet into the dry.  Heat a couple of inches of oil in a heavy pot over medium-medium high heat.  Using a teaspoon, drop the batter into the oil and cook, turning them over until they are lightly golden all over.  Remove from heat and mix with the sugar/cinnamon blend to lightly coat (the easiest way to do this is to shake them in a paper bag, which also has the benefit of removing some of the oil.

On Turning 40

My birthday was last Tuesday; I am 40.  So far, it’s been a great decade – all 6 days of it.  Birthday dinners, big blow-out party (with nacho bar!), cake, candles, pinata, presents, new hair cut, lots of nice cheeses – what more could a birthday girl want?  This time I am not being sarcastic or rhetorical, there is really very little more that I want.  I started with three main goals for my 41st year:  finish the novel I started for NaNoWrMo last November, get a flattering hair cut, and go camping with the family at the Sand Dunes.  Haircut done, that leaves 360 days for the rest.  But for today, a beautiful sunny day, I’ve got the company of two small children who are growling and pretending to be polar bears.  How could I feel anything but happy to be 40?