Appetizers Always a Hit During Pesach


By the time you get around to “the meal” after the matzah and charoset and egg and gefilte fish and chopped liver and the chicken soup, seriously, who wants more food?

Well, all of us, of course. These staples are the menus of our ancestors and a woe to the chef who tampers with these appetizers.

While I’d never ask anyone to give up bubbe’s secret matzah ball recipe, if you want to really wow some of your guests, you might want to substitute one of the following recipes for the chopped liver or gefilte fish and tell them this is the year, in keeping with the spirit of Pesach, you’re going to be less a slave to food traditions and free everyone to try something new.

Onion Pastrami Bomb | Meat

Serves eight to 10

  • 2 pounds ground turkey or chicken
  • ⅔ cup matzah meal
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ⅔ cup kosher for Passover almond milk
  • ½ cup kosher for Passover barbeque sauce or apricot jam
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 to 4 small to medium sweet or yellow onions
  • 1 pound turkey pastrami
  • Additional barbeque sauce or warm apricot jam for dipping

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with sides with foil and set it aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, matzah meal, egg, almond milk, ½ cup barbecue sauce, onion, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix everything together with your hands and set the mixture aside.

Cut the top and bottoms off the onions. Cut the onions in half, peel off the skin and separate the onions into rings. Match up the rings from the top to bottom.

Using your hands, form meatballs and place it in the bottom half of the ring. Place the top half of the ring on top. Repeat until you have all the rings filled and topped.

Taking two to three strips of pastrami per “bomb,” wrap them around the filled onion rings and, using a toothpick, secure the pastrami in place. Place the wrapped onion bombs on the cookie sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until done. Serve with the extra barbeque sauce or warm apricot jam. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Roasted Stuffed Mini Peppers | Meat

  • 1 package mini peppers
  • 1 package kosher for Passover cocktail hot dogs
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a skillet, sauté the sliced onions with the wine and sugar. Cook until soft but not mushy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Cut the peppers in half (leave the stem on), scoop out the seeds and place them on a cookie sheet. Place a cocktail hot dog in each half and cook for five minutes. Remove from the oven and top with sautéed onions. Return the peppers to the oven and cook an additional four to five minutes until everything is sizzling. To serve, place the peppers on a serving platter or two or three on individual plates and top with chopped tomato and sprinkle with chopped parsley.



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