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March 31, 2005 - Image 52

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-03-31

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A Sephardi Passover

Some recipes from the "other" Jewish culture.


Special to the Jewish News


ost American-style Jewish
foods are Ashkenazi (Eastern
European) origin. The recipes
for roast brisket and chicken soup,
sweet-and-sour fish, knishes and kugel
that we think of as Jewish food can be
found in countless Polish, German and
Russian cookbooks.
German dumplings, knode4 are trans-
formed for Passover by substituting
matzah meal for the flour to make knai-
dle. Even the charosetwe eat is made
with apples, a fall harvest fruit.
Sephardi Jews have their roots in
Southern Europe and the Middle East.
Most Israelis, whatever their origin,
enjoy mostly Sephardi foods with their
Middle East influences. With the many
culinary prohibitions regarding this
spring festival, the one universal food we
are commanded to eat is matzah.
Everything else is interpretation and cu-
tom, refined throughout Jewish history.
The greatest Passover food disparity
has to do with kitniyot (legumes or
grains). While Ashkenazim permit no
kitniyot, other than those used in
matzah during Passover, many
Sephardim allow the use of fresh
legumes and rice. They were the major
sources of nourishment in the Sephardi
The following recipes are Sephardi in
origin, but contain no kitniyot for our
American sensibilities. Try- adding a few
of these recipes for your seders or during
the week of Passover.

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup honey
1 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
grated zest from 1 orange
2 Tbsp. olive oil
12-16 chicken pieces (about 8-10
segments from 3 oranges
fresh chopped parsley, garnish
Preheat the oven to 375F.

Combine juice, honey, onions and
garlic in a medium saucepan over medi-
um-high heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10
minutes. Remove from heat and set
Combine salt, pepper, cumin, cinna-
mon, orange zest and olive oil in a small
bowl and stir well to combine. Rub this
mixture over the chicken pieces and
place the pieces (skin side up) in a large
roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, for 30
Turn the chicken over and roast for 20
minutes more. Turn the pieces over (you
may wish to drain the fat from the pan
at this point, or you may keep it as part
of the sauce). Pour the sauce over the
chicken and arrange the orange seg-
ments over and around the pieces.
Roast the chicken for 30 minutes
more. Cover the pan (with a lid or foil)
and keep warm until ready to serve.
To serve, drizzle the remaining sauce
over the chicken and serve with orange
segments and sprinkled with fresh pars-
ley. Makes 8-12 servings.

BERENJENA (savory eggplant stew)
This is a vegetarian version of a recipe
that calls for cooked ground lamb or
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 2 cups chopped onions
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 meditun eggplants (about 3 pounds),
cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup fresh chopped parsley
kosher salt pepper to taste
1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds
1 cup yellow raisins, optional
In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat the
oil over medium-high heat. Add the
onion and garlic and cook, stirring often
for about 5 minutes. Add the bell pep-
pers and cook for 1 minute more. Add
the eg-gplant, tomatoes and lemon juice;
bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for
al301.1t 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the parsley, almonds and raisins if
using. Season to taste with salt and pep-
per and cook for 5 minutes more. Keep
warm until ready to serve. Serve alone or
over rice. Makes 12 servings or more if
serving with other foods.


fish patties)
For variety, replace the fish with fresh,
cooked spinach (well drained) and serve
with a wedge of lemon.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes in juice
or 4 cups fresh chopped plum tomatoes
2 bay leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
fresh chopped parsley, garnish
2 pounds skinned and boned cod,
ground or chopped in a food processor
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 eggs
2 cups matzah meal
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
vegetable oil for frying
1-2 cups matzah meal (to coat fish pat-
Make sauce: Heat oil in a medium
saucepan over medium-high heat until
hot. Add the onions and garlic and
cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add
the tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper
and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and
simmer for 15 minutes.
Adjust seasonings to taste and add
basil. Keep warm until ready to serve or
chill and reheat.
Combine cod, onions, eggs, matzah
meal, salt and pepper in a medium bowl
and mash well with your hands until the
mixture is uniform. Cover with plastic
wrap and chill for 2 or more hours (up
to overnight).
Heat about 1/4-inch of oil in a large,
nonstick skillet over medium-high heat
until very hot. Place 1 cup of matzah
meal in a shallow dish.
Using wet hands, shape the fish mix-
ture into flattened patties (about 1/3 cup
of mixture each). Carefully dredge the
patties in the matzah meal and fry on
both sides until golden. Place the fin-
ished patties on the prepared baking
sheet. Add more oil if needed and the
second cup of matzah meal if needed for

About 30 minutes before serving,
place the patties (uncovered) in a 250E
oven to heat. Serve the keftes with the
sauce spooned over the top and sprin-
kled with chopped parsley. Makes 8

These are fluffy matzah meal pancakes
with a baklava-style syrup. They're a
wonderful breakfast treat or dessert.
Serve them warm or at room tempera-
1 cup honey, any variety
1 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
6 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 cups matzah meal
vegetable oil for frying
2 cups chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
Make the syrup: Place all syrup ingre-
dientsin a inicraWave-safe bowl and
cook on high for 2 minutes. Stir well.
WhiSk eggs well in a large bowl. Add
the salt and cold ,water, whisking well
and thoroughly. Mix in the rnatzah
meal. The batter should be like a thick
pancake batter.
I-Heat about 1 /4-inch of oil in a large,
nonstick skillet over medium-high heat
until hot.
Make a test pancake: Pour about one-
quarter cup of batter into the hot oil.
The batter should spread, but not be too
runny. If it is too runny, add more
matzah meal to the mix. If the batter is
too dry, add a bit more water.
Make as many pancakes as the skillet
will allow. Cook until bubbles break on
top and the underside of the pancake is
golden. Turn the pancake over and
brown the other side.
Remove the bimuelos to a baking
sheet that's been lined with paper towel
and keep warm until ready to serve.
Serve with the toasted walnuts sprinkled
over the top and drizzle with the syrup.
Makes 8 or more servings.

For more recipes, see INOnline.corn

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