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Anyone else starting to do some Passover planning?

I'm holding the second seder at my house in a few weeks so naturally I've begun to think of what to make. In the past I've made brisket (lots and lots of time); Joyce Goldstein's apricot chicken; herbed cornish game hens; stuffed breast of veal; and turkey. I'd like to make something different but I've run out of ideas I'm afraid. Many people won't eat veal or I'd make a veal roast. Ditto for lamb. I could do a standing rib roast but I'm afraid of cooking it and then holding it for too long. I usually have between 18-22 people. Any good suggestions? If you're having a seder what are you making? What has 'worked' in the past?

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  1. I've already planning first night 20 people. Everytime I try something my family (and extended) keep asking for the old tried and true. So for us it will be gefilte fish, chicken soup with matzoh balls, turkey and brisket ,salmon croquettes, mini potato knishes, mushroom and onion farfel, broccoli souffle and veggie kugel. I am going to try a flourless chocolate torte for dessert (last year I found Kosher for Passover ladyfingers and made a strawberry tiramisu). Good luck, have fun and have a wonderful Passover.

    2 Replies
    1. re: berna

      please, can you share your broccoli souffle recipe? I've got the meat, fish, soup down, but I'd like to see some green vegetable on my seder table!

      1. re: NYchowcook

        I do blanched asparagus with a vinaigrette. It can be made the night before and just brought to room temp before serving.

    2. Our family does the same every year. We all collect at my Aunt and Uncle's who make matzo balls a week in advance, freeze and defrost for soup. I think my Aunt may even measure each ball 'cuz they all seem the same.... Oh and 1 small carrot for color! Ok, so since their food is small brain, I ALWAYS volunteer to contribute. And, it always becomes a few things, enough for me to have a meal to accompany the only staple that works, roasted chicken. This year I thought I'd make a vege lasagna - no pasta, of course. I love Zergut's roasted red peppers and roasted eggplant. I use those two and accompany w/ sliced zucchini, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and sometimes sliced onions. I layer with pasta sauce and various cheeses. Then bake. YUMMO! Make w/garlicy alfredo, pesto and or red sauce or any combo. You'll love it and it's non-tradtional, fresh and uplifting. Then I always bring some kind of salad. This year maybe greens w/blue cheese, candied walnuts and a zingy vinegarette. Dessert, I make chocolate dipped strawberries. Always very popular. This year I'll add marscapone for dipping and maybe chocolate covered matzo sammys w/almond paste in the middle. :)KQ

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kitchen Queen

        I am guessing that you don't observe kosher style even at passover since you are mixing cheese dishes with roasted chicken dishes.

        we are making a veggie lasagne this year for ourselves and some of our customers as well - my son has gone vegetarian so we are having a dairy and fish seder this year.
        here's the menu

        appetizers besides harosetz,

        Med Rim Olive & Artichoke Tapenade
        surrounded by fancy cut carrot petals

        …Sassy Sephardic Salmon
        – filet of salmon seared in a Med Rim spice rub,
        nestled in a bed of caramelized onions and carrots
        and finished with a honey-lemon reduction sauce

        …Vegetarian Alternative:
        Gruyere Mushroom Lasagne
        Yellow & Green Zucchini “Noodles”
        layered with fresh spinach, gruyere cheese sauce,
        caramelized onions & mushrooms

        …Med Rim Spinach Salad
        baby spinach leaves, chiffonade of fresh basil
        and watercress with marinated artichokes,
        teardrop cherry tomatoes
        & fresh marinated mozzarella
        tossed with a citrus white balsamic vinaigrette

        …Thai Inspired Broccoli Salad Fresh Broccoli
        with Sweet & Tangy Apple Cider Vinaigrette,
        Colorful Bell Peppers & Roasted Cashews (not spicy)

        …Southwestern Sweet Potato Anna
        - slices of sweet potato cooked in a chipotle pepper
        enhanced cream sauce

        dessert for the clients will be chocolate and caramel dipping pond with an array of homemade macaroons and meringues along with fresh fruit - had fun testing out recipes all month and finally settled on 4 varieties

        for the family we will just have the homemade cookies and maybe
        I will have the time to make my infamous triple chocolate threat flourless mousse cake but somehow I doubt it...

      2. Berna -- Could you share your mushroom/onion/farfel kugel recipe. I lost mine and haven't found another good one yet. Thanks!

        1. What about a beef tenderloin? Takes under an hour to roast, then can easily sit at room temperature until you're ready to serve. Slice and serve with a variety of hot sauces.

          1. I have a feeling that a beef tenderloin is not a kosher cut....from the rear end of the animal? Or am I wrong??

            1. You are correct - not kosher.

              1. I always serve brisket because the family wants it, which I've already made sliced and froze. Made a side dish of farfel with onions not kugel, more like rice. One year I made beef burgundy with lots of small onions, carrots and mushrooms. They ate it over the farfel and loved it. Can be made ahead and reheated, can also do with chicken.

                Make flourless chocolate cake all the time, serve it with either strawberry or raspberry sauce.

                1. I'm making a (non-kosher) seder meal: matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, hard boiled eggs in salt water (like grandma used to), brisket of course, and I'm thinking: 2 amazing 5-hour roast ducks! (those who object don't have to eat them; those who are interested will love it!) Copious amounts of wine. Haven't figured out the vegetables beyond tsimmes.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: NYchowcook

                    Hi! The duck sounds delicious -- whose recipe? Love the attitude... I too cook what I want to eat! If I'm going to do all this work -- this year is a light year -- only 26 at most and only 1 night -- I figure I should get to choose...

                    1. re: andrea thurm

                      it's the "amazing five hour roast duck" from Vinegar Factory newsletter printed in 150 Best American Recipes.
                      online at http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/spe...

                  2. I'm making the Silver Palates classic Chicken Marbella for night two.

                    Sooo easy, and very tasy. With sides of roasted asparagus and tsimmes.

                    Homemade macaroons for dessert.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Jennalynn

                      would you please share your recipe for homemade macaroons? I'd love to try!

                      1. re: NYchowcook

                        I've been making these Martha Stewart macaroons for years and they are not only delicious, but unbelieveably easy. And you can make them ahead of time and freeze them. Just take them out of the freezer on the morning of the seder and they will be fine for after dinner.


                        1. re: NYchowcook

                          I used this recipe last year with great success... I obviously ignored the flour part.


                      2. The Chicken Marbella sounds really good. Does it hold well once cooked? Say for an hour while the seder is proceeding? Tsimmes not too redundant with it with the sweet tastes and all?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: KingsKetz

                          I"ve made the Marbella -- many times -- I think I've served it for Passover -- it's certainly fine -- if not better -- when it's not straight from the oven... If I remember correctly, I don't use all of the brown sugar the recipe calls for... Because it's sweet, I tend to serve it for Rosh Hashanah instead of Passover, but it's great for a crowd.

                          1. re: KingsKetz

                            It is great even if you keep it low on warm (the breasts may dry out a little, but not too bad)... or cold the next day. It's always been my go to dinner party dish.

                          2. If you realy want to make something to wow your guests that is realy different try making a dish that comes from Israel called in in Hebrew Dag Chraima or Dag Charif. It's a fabulous Moroccan recipe and all the ingredients are kosher for Pesach. You can google the recipe or if you can not find it and you want it here a few requests and I will write it out for you. Chag Sameach

                            1. I gather that it's a spicy fish dish. I'm really interested but the transliteration didn't yield any results on google. If you don't mind posting the recipe it sounds like something I'd be interested in. Thanks!

                              1. Normally I would never give out this recipe but seeing as its Passover enjoy

                                5 hot Jamiacan peppers with the seeds taken out

                                1 bundle of curly parsley

                                1 tomato

                                5 or six pieces of salmon or rainbow trout in portion size

                                4 or 5 cloves of fresh garlic

                                3 red,green, or yellow, sweet peppers

                                1/2 cup of olive oil

                                21/2 teaspoons of salt

                                2 teaspoons of paprika

                                2 teaspoons of granulated garlic

                                3 cups of water

                                OK first peel 5 cloves of garlic and just place them scattered on the pan whole
                                then cut your peppers in large pieces usually in quarters and lay them down with skin side up completely covering
                                the pan
                                then cut open those 5 Jamaican peppers take out the seeds discard and place them all around the
                                then lay the pieces of fish on the peppers skin side down covering the peppers
                                cut slices of tomatoe and lay one slice on top of each piece of fish
                                chop up the parsley and fill in all the crack in between the fish and the pan and you should be able
                                to use most of it

                                Now add the salt, granulated garlic, and paprika to the half cup of olive oil and mix well, then spoon
                                the mixture over all the fish
                                use the same cup and depending on the size of your pan put in 3 approximately cups of water
                                put your stove on high heat to bring to a boil
                                when it starts to boil bring it down to a low simmer for abour 1 1/2 hours until most of the water has
                                boiled. make sure that there is no cover on at anytime.
                                let it cool down uncovered for about half an hour and then cover it to keep it from drying out

                                its ready to eat and If it turns out good call me over for dinner LOL by the way its fabulous cold
                                as well the next day ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,When I have guests over for dinner this is their favourite dish that I make very rare to have any left over,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Happy Passover

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Mr.D

                                  sounds incredible -- thanks for sharing...

                                2. I perused a jewish holiday cookbook from the library the other day that had two ideas I found absolutely brilliant, that I plan to use this year:

                                  1. Gefilte fish mousse: briefly put jarred drained gefilte fish in the cuisinart with a little mayonnaise, sour cream and horseradish, then layer in a glass bowl with jarred roasted red peppers (I think instead I'll use the carrots from the jar for the layers).

                                  2. Canned coconut macaroons pulsed in the cuisinart with a little melted butter, then pressed into a pie tin, baked and cooled. For a custard pie. Wow!

                                  1. Mr. D thanks! Chag Sameach lecha gam ken! I do appreciate it tho I'm not sure how I'm going to survive 5 scotch bonnet peppers. I'm breathing fire already. But I'm fearless so I will try it.

                                    Heidipie -- the pie crust sounds like a good idea but I don't much like coconut. I usually buy almond macaroons. I'm wondering if it would work as well. It should I think.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: KingsKetz

                                      I've found what I hope will be the perfect slow-cook recipe--chicken osso bucco. (Several good recipes are available on-line.) You can make it for a crowd, and if it's in the pot longer than you expected, no worries. For dessert, I suggest looking through Alice Medrich's "Bittersweet," which has plenty of flourless recipes, and one of the best--her Bittersweet Deception--has no butterfat and is therefore pareve as well as low-calorie. Not so you'd know, either, it tastes that rich. The recipe actually calls for two tbsp flour, but I once forgot them, and the cake was splendid anyway. I'm fairly certain that you could substitute matzo meal. Sometimes I've made sorbet from the Cook's Illustrated recipe (I have it from the magazine issue of many years ago; don't know whether it's in the cookbook). The recipe calls for vodka, and I use potato vodka so that there's no grain involved. Big hit, and a pleasant way to end a long, large meal.

                                    2. Roast boned leg of lamb with a matza farfel stuffing is a fave in my house. I use lots of Asian spices on the outside

                                      1. Okay, now who's got an amazing Tsimmes recipe?

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Jennalynn

                                          I could use one too....depending on what I make in the end and maybe a farfel-mushroom-onion kugel....my recipe keeps disappearing.

                                          1. re: Jennalynn

                                            Here's my amzaing tsimmes recipe (I got from a friend)


                                            9 medium carrots (about 1 #, peeled)
                                            4 sweet potatoes (about 2#)
                                            1 c. bite size pitted prunes (about 6 oz)
                                            1 c. dried apricots (5oz)
                                            2 T. lemon juice
                                            1/3 c. orange juice
                                            1/4 c. honey
                                            1 t. ground cinnamon
                                            2-1/2 t. orange zest
                                            1/4 t. salt

                                            1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
                                            2. Cut carrots into 2" pieces
                                            3. Heat large saucepan of water to boil, and lower heat to medium. Add sweet potatoes whole in skin, cook 20 mins.
                                            4. Add carrots to potoates after 10 mins. Drain and set aside; let cool.
                                            5. Peel sweet potatatoes & cut into 1" chunks
                                            6. Place potatoes in large bowl w/ carrots & remaining ingredients. Mix well.
                                            7. Transfer to 2 qt baking dish. Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes.
                                            8. Baste w/ pan juices after15 minutes. Remove from oven.

                                            1. re: NYchowcook

                                              We are feeling "brisketed out" this year so I am doing an orange-roasted capon. The capon is stuffed with mixture of onions, fennel, garlic, rosemary, orange zest and orange cognac and basted with sauce made of orange juice, butter and more orange zest. Baby carrots and squash are roasted alongside the bird. A nice dish for spring.

                                              1. re: takeoutgirl

                                                Hmm Butter on the bird. Not sure that is exactly kosher. I'm sure you meant parve margerine

                                          2. I'm beginning to obsess about this year's Passover menus (doing 2 seders for the first time). Most is under control, but I'm searching for a chicken dish. I've looked on-line to try to find Joyce Goldstein's apricot chicken, but haven't been successful. Can you either paraphrase the recipe or tell me where I can find it?


                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Marion Morgenthal

                                              Hi Marion - I found it on the Food Network website although I think it's also in the NY Times Passover Cookbook. It's called "Joyce Goldstein's Cornish Hens w/Apricots, Tomatoes and Spices". It has a lot of steps to it but it's well worth the trouble. I've made it with quartered chickens and cornish hens and it works well either way. If you have any difficulties locating the recipe give a yell.

                                            2. Just made just under 6 lbs of prepared horseradish for our Sedar. We have a big family and will have 40+ people the first night and around 60 the second night. My aunt gave me this job a couple of years ago. One I'm sure she was glad to get rid of.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                How do you make it? I have horseradish growing in my garden and I dig up a root every year for the table, but have not yet made the condiment.

                                              2. I sure am doing Passover planning. I have not frequented this board but have recently moved to a house with a wonderful big dining room!

                                                I am hosting Passover for the 1st time. I am an Ashkenazi Jew and not very religious, more of a cultural jew. My mom or my sis always hosted so now me and my catholic husband have a dining room to fit 14 so it's our turn.

                                                Here is our menu:

                                                Mixed nuts (minimal appies)
                                                Celery & carrot sticks (minimal appies)

                                                Hard-boiled eggs
                                                Charoset (Guests to bring)
                                                Gefilte fish (I taste-tested the following: Manishewitz regular--too fishy, Manishewitz Gold--too sweet and smooth and Mrs Adlers, the one that says "serve chilled with horseradish!" was the best and had the the least fillers and no MSG)
                                                Horseradish of all types (Gold's plain grated and grated with beets and fresh horseradish)
                                                Shankbone for seder plate (have substituted a chicken bone roasted in the oven with a little paprika)
                                                Matzoh (Streit's)

                                                Chicken soup (I will make as clear a soup as possible then parsnip and carrots at the end)
                                                Matzoh balls (guests to bring)
                                                Soup mandelen (these are the little soup nuts (crackers) by Manishewitz that are a tradition for my family)

                                                Brisket with potatos and carrots (Joel Siegel’s Brisket of all things, but recipe looks great and you can find it online. Also takes care of 1 side dish since a bunch of carrots and 2 lbs new potatoes go in)
                                                Green Salad
                                                Sweet Potato Tzimmes (Pesach Sweet Potato Tzimmes from cooks.com)
                                                Matzoh Kugel (Guest to bring)
                                                Steamed broccoli

                                                Almond macaroons (store-bought)
                                                Joyva chocolate covered raspberry rings (couldn’t resist!)
                                                Choc macaroons (home-made by guest)
                                                Other desserts: flourless choc cake, choc-covered matzoh, other
                                                cakes,tortes, etc. (Guests to bring)

                                                Wine (not necessarily kosher...)
                                                Passover wine (Manishewitz)
                                                Grape juice (for the kids to use instead of wine)
                                                Seltzer, diet root beer (just 'cuz we like it!)

                                                1. We are not kosher at all, but do try to keep to the restrictions of Passover. After reading posts on this board and searching the internet extensivley for new and exciting recipes, I have finally come up with my menu:

                                                  Smoked salmon mousse (from epicurious, never tried)
                                                  Halibut/Salmon Geflite Fish (ditto)
                                                  Chicken soup (guest making) with matza balls (packet mix, I'm afraid..)

                                                  Whole poached Salmon (with perhaps a dill/mustard sauce, dont have a recipe yet)
                                                  Chicken Thighs in a Lime Honey marinade
                                                  Potato Kugel (still not sure whether to go with old recipe or try a new one)
                                                  Salad (someone bringing)
                                                  Need another vegetable dish - any ideas?!?

                                                  Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse (from 2007 NY times, my own addition of nut brittle on top)
                                                  Orange Almond flan (also NY times, surrounded by caramelised baked orange slices)
                                                  Coconut macaroons
                                                  Fruit platter (someone bringing)

                                                  I'm keeping fingers crossed that all the new untried recipes turn out ok and that most of it can be made in advance!