Taking old favorites and making them simpler
for the holiday.
Special to the Jewish News
-eople often get the wrong
idea about those who love
to cook. I don't cook fancy
or what some like to call
gourmet meals all the time.
I simply don't always have the time
required to fuss when it comes to
cooking. This translates to holiday
cooking as well.
Like many busy cooks, I, too,
hunger for ease. So for Passover, I offer
these genuine, not-too-fancy, make-
ahead recipes that don't require an
unreasonable amount of steps or
ingredients. Best of all, they're the tra-
ditional foods many prefer and expect
during this holiday.
Okay, maybe there's the extra spice
or some individual adjustment to a
classic, but in the end, the recipes are
simple, established Passover menu
To round off your menu, serve a
simple vegetable — steamed or roast-
ed. While there's no quick solution for
matzah ball soup, I know plenty of
people who seldom make their own.
If you're not the from-scratch type,
simply buy good quality chicken
broth, add sliced carrots, some sliced
celery and a handful of fresh chopped
Prepare your matzah balls using "the
mix" (thought by many to be the best
recipe for matzah balls anyway), and
You may also add a bit of cinnamon to
taste if you wish.
4 granny smith apples, unpeeled but
cut into chunks
1 cup lightly toasted walnuts
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup honey
Chop apples in the bowl of a food
process using a pulsing action (do not
process until smooth — it should be
chunky). Remove the apples to a bowl
and add the red wine and honey. Stir
well. Set aside.
Place the walnuts in the same bowl
(you do not need to wash it). Pulse the
walnuts until chopped (do not over-
process). Stir the nuts into the apples.
Transfer the charoset to a serving dish
and cover well with plastic wrap until
ready to serve.
GEFILTE FISH LOAF
For variety, try making this with
salmon. It will have a lovely pinkish
2 pounds finely ground whitefish
1 cup finely chopped or shredded car-
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup matzah meal
1-3 T. sugar (depending on how
sweet you like your fish)
2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground white pepper
Extra carrot slices, steamed or boiled,
Spray the inside of a loaf pan (8x4
inches) with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine all the ingredients in a
large bowl and stir or beat with an
electric mixer until well combined.
Spread the mixture in the prepared
loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until
the fish is set. Remove from oven and
top with plastic'wrap (press the wrap
right onto the fish surface). Chill up
to 2 days.
To serve, run a knife around the loaf
pan if necessary and turn the fish onto
a cutting surface. Cut the fish into 6
large slices. Cut the slices in half, diag-
onally, and arrange them on dishes.
Top with a slice of cooked carrot (you
may also serve this on a leaf of lettuce,
colorful kale or on top of field greens).
Makes 12 servings.
SPRING ROASTED POTATOES
You may also use a fresh orange
instead of lemon to give the potatoes a
3 pounds small redskin or new pota-
toes, halved or quartered if large
3 T. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
1 T red pepper sauce, such as
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh dill or 1 T.
1 lemon, cut into wedges, garnish
A variation on Almond Orange Cake.
Preheat an oven to 425F. Combine
all ingredients, except lemon, together
in a large bowl or disposable roasting
pan. Toss well with a large spoon or
Arrange the potatoes in a single
layer (as much as possible). Roast the
potatoes, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Use a spatula to turn them over, and
roast another 30 minutes or more
until tender. Makes 8 12 servings.
ROAST CHICKEN WITH
12-16 chicken pieces (breasts or
thighs and drumsticks), with skin and
1 pound baby carrots, peeled and cut
into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into
1 1/2-inch chunks
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut
into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup chopped onions
kosher salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 T thyme leaves, or 2 t. dried
2 T. fresh rosemary leaves, or 2 t.
1 T minced garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar or juice from 1
1 red bell pepper, chopped finely, gar-
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
Preheat an oven to 375F. Arrange
the chicken in one or two roasting
pans (or use disposable aluminum
pans), leaving room between the
chicken pieces for the vegetables. (If
you are using both thighs and breasts,
place the white meat in one pan and
the dark meat in the other — the
white meat will cook faster).
Arrange the carrots, turnips,
parsnips and onions around the
chicken. Drizzle the chicken and veg-
etables with the olive oil and sprinkle
with salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary
and garlic. Cover the pan(s) with foil
and cook the chicken for 45 minutes
for the breasts and 1 hour for the
Raise the heat to 475F, uncover the
pan and cook the chicken and vegeta-
bles for another 30 minutes, until the
chicken is cooked through and the
skin is golden (turn the chicken and
vegetables over in the pan half-way
through). You may cool and chill the
chicken and vegetables up to one day
ahead at this point and reheat it at
250F, uncovered, for 1 hour).
Transfer the chicken and vegetables
to a serving platter (or two if you
want to serve the vegetables separate-
ly) and drizzle with the juices from
the pan, if any, and the balsamic
vinegar. Sprinkle the chopped pepper
and parsley over and serve. Makes 12
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