Revamp Tried-and-True Recipes


By Eileen Goltz

Most people think that Pesach is a celebration of our release from Egyptian bondage and deliverance into Israel. I prefer to think of it as the time of the great debate: Do I serve floaters or sinkers with the chicken soup?

I grew up with sinkers, and my husband was raised with floaters. We have great “discussions” every year about which matzah ball is the best matzah ball. (I’m right, of course.)

I would never presume to tell anyone what to cook for seder. Every family has traditional specialties they serve, and woe to the person who tries to tamper with them.

Last year, I suggested that we try a wonderful new glazed sweet potato recipe I had found. I wanted to skip the boring sweet potato and pineapple casserole that’s been served every year since Moses told Zipporah to throw a few things together and get a move on.

Saying that I got a negative reaction is like saying Pharaoh got a little wet. I relented and kept the menu pretty much the same as it has always been.

I did, however, promise myself that this year I would make a few additions to the menu. It’s a little extra work, but after chopping 35 onions and peeling 4,000 eggs, what’s a few extra? Hopefully, these recipes will become part of our seder tradition, and I can kiss my potato kugel goodbye.

Potatoes and Leeks

Serves eight to 10

  • 2 pounds new potatoes, quartered
  • 8 leeks, washed, trimmed, diagonally sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes, leeks and garlic. Cover with water, add the salt and cook 12-17 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain.

Pour the oil over the hot vegetables and sprinkle with tarragon and lemon peel. Toss gently and serve warm or cold. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with fresh tarragon or lemon.

Anna_Shepulova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Vegetable Kugel

Serves six to eight

  • 1 cup grated raw apple
  • 1 cup grated raw sweet potato
  • 1 cup grated raw carrot
  • 1 cup matzah cake meal
  • 1 cup margarine or oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Passover baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ cup sugar

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 10-inch casserole dish. Mix all the ingredients together well. Pour them into the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees, remove the cover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Slice and eat hot.

Anna_Shepulova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Passover Lemon Bars

  • 1 cup matzah cake meal
  • ½ cup margarine
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Beat together the cake meal, margarine and powdered sugar until well blended. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch square pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes (lightly browned)

Combine the eggs, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon juice, and beat until smooth. Pour it over the baked crust and return it to the oven until bubbly and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Cool and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cut into bars.

Note: I find that my ingenuity is tested to its limit at this time of year. I can’t always find the kosher-for-Passover items that I need. So rather than do without, I make them myself.

Powdered Sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar minus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch

Mix together in a food processor for about 2 seconds or place in a plastic bag and shake together.

Baking Powder

  • ½ tablespoons baking soda
  • ½ tablespoon cream of tartar

Mix together in a plastic bag.

Ambrosia Medley

Serves 10

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple cubes
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • ½ cup orange juice

Layer half of the pineapples, bananas and strawberries in a medium serving dish or dessert dishes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of the coconut. Repeat layers. Top with remaining coconut. Slowly pour orange juice over fruit. Chill until serving time.

This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Fruit Gazpacho

Serves eight

  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 3 cups orange juice, with pulp
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange and 1 lime
  • 2 cups diced cantaloupe
  • 2 cups diced honeydew
  • 1 mango peeled and diced (optional)
  • 1 apple peeled and diced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup green or red seedless grapes, cut in half
  • Fresh strawberries
  • 1 or 2 kiwi, peeled and sliced

Combine the tomato puree, orange juice, sugar, orange and lemon zest, cantaloupe, honeydew and mango in a large bowl. Process half the mixture in a food processor until smooth. Pour the mixture over the fruit in the bowl. Mix well. Stir in the apple, blueberries and grapes. Refrigerate covered for several hours. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with several strawberry halves and a couple of kiwi slices.


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