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What's a goy to do? Help.........

I'm in charge of appetizers for a friend's upcoming Passover party.
Having trouble finding something that works--since the first three things I mentioned involved bread.....bacon.....and shellfish.
Ok, I'm an idiot.
I need help, hounds!

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  1. Check first with your host exactly what ingredients you can use - doesn't sound like they keep kosher if they want you to bring something, but they may not want you to use flour, bread, yeast etc so that cuts out pastry items. Maybe make something like tomato mozzarella and basil salad.

    1. This *could* be an opportunity for you to do some experimenting. Lots of "passover food" uses things like egg whites, matzoh meal rather than flour (or potato flour), etc.

      I think you probably want to be thinking "vegetables". How about marinated mushrooms, for expl? I have a great, high-taste, simple recipe that uses mushrooms, EVOO, vinegar, garlic, dijon mustard--none of which should pose any problem. Or maybe pickled asparagus?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Howard_2

        Er, the Dijon mustard does pose a problem. Technically, mustard seed is kitniyot and is not permissible for Ashkenzim. But it may or may not be a problem for your host. Same problem could apply to deviled eggs, depending on your recipe.

      2. Hard boiled eggs are traditional for Passover. How about deviled eggs?

        1. I agree about asking how kosher she keeps before proceeding. Also, if there are anything like my family, everybody has a "specialty" that they always bring. My sister's kugel is her offering, My brother always makes Pareve- and nobody else is allowed, even though mine is way better. :p Your hostess can steer you towards or away from things.

          Googling "passover recipes" will help you find dishes that you can easily make.


          1. Sorry--I should have mentioned this in the original post. They don't keep kosher. In fact, they said--anything is really fine. Until I started proposing dishes, and then they said--except that....except that. We're laughing about it now. But I am determined to make something fun for them. Think they want an appetizer that falls in the "finger food" category. People will be up and mingling at this point. Mushrooms fit that bill....as do stuffed eggs.

            4 Replies
            1. re: perk

              are you sitting down to a traditional seder night? If so don't do devilled eggs because eggs in salt water is part of the seder meal.
              If they said anything is fine then anything is fine as long as there is no pig, shellfish or flour. So you can't make dips and pita, and no tortilla chips with dips either.

              1. re: smartie

                Why not tortilla chips? They are made with corn, and are not leavened. Isn't the leavening the issue here, not the flour? Matzoh is made with flour. Tortillas are simply corn meal and water, as matzoh is simply flour and water.

                1. re: hilltowner

                  Corn is off-limits during passover as far as most Jews are concerned.

                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                    Corn, legumes and rice are no-nos for Ashkenazi Jews but fine for Sephardis. (Rule of thumb is that Ashkenazis are Central/Northern European, like Polish/Russian Jews are usually Ashkenazi, and if their families speak Yiddish they are probably Ashkenazi, and Sephardis are more likely to be Middle Eastern or Spanish, but you could just ask).

            2. Steamed asparagus spears individually wrapped in a slice of lox? Or would that be too lush for Passover?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Joebob

                This sounds like a winner to me. Maybe put a little lemon-dill dipping sauce on the side (since it's supposed to be finger food).

              2. Mushrooms are a great idea. What about stuffed mushrooms, but be sure to omit breadcrumbs (matzo farfel could be good as a substitute), or little potatoes with creme fraiche and caviar or smoked salmon, or matzo crackers with a gorgonzola/fig/nut spread (or tapenade, or roasted peppers and goat cheese, or anything else that would be good on a canape).

                1. How about a cruidite with a veggie based dip. Guacamole, tomato salad, red pepper dip, artichoke dip, etc. Check with your hosts if bean based, ie hummos, are okay. Also, parsley, dill &/or lettuce are part of the seder tradition, if you use them.

                  1. I would put a plate together that has a few items, such as olives, chilled asparagus spears, lox rolls (wrapped around cream cheese with dill), and mushrooms, as suggested by other posters. You can arrange them to look pretty and provide some variety at the same time so that there is chance of even the pickiest eaters will like something. Just stay away from breads, rice, pork products. Pseudo-kosher.

                    1. Perk, why not surprise everyone and go to the store and buy a couple jars of gefilte fish, some herring in sour cream, some whitefish salad with Tam Tam crackers? Seriously, these are some of the traditional Passover appetizers. You can look in Epicurious or FNTV sites for Passover suggestions. Gefilte fish is kind of like fish quenelles poached in a tasty broth, you can also make them with chicken breast.

                      Cold poached salmon with a sauce verte or cucumber/dill sauce would be good too. I have several recipes for an egg mousse you serve with caviar sauce. If you really want to be elegant, you could make little individual terrines in barquette molds. Also have some recipes for apple onion herring salad and other herring based preparations. Let me know if any sound appealing and I will share recipes. Good Luck!

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Diane in Bexley

                        Really good ideas. It's funny, no matter how adventurous you are during the normal part of your life, at Passover Jews tend to get all nostalgic for the old standards. I would suggest that this is the best idea of all - sort of like a Jewish antipasto. I've even seen jars of "cocktail" size gefilte fish balls, which would be perfect here. Serve with either matzoh crackers (if you can find them - I have been told the may be in short supply this year) or break up regular size matzohs into small pieces to serve.

                        Don't know if your hosts are ok with mixing dairy and meat, but if so, skip the cheesy dairy stuff if the main course will be meat or poultry. Fish and dairy is fine, though.

                        1. re: Diane in Bexley


                          In case you have not heard, no Tam Tams this year. Big oven at Manny broke.

                          1. re: jfood

                            Yes - heard. Ah well, we'll go for the "rustically casual" effect with matzoh broken into pieces. When my kids were little, they wouldn't bring matzoh sandwiches to school but were ok with the cracker-sized ones, so we would be up a creek without them. They're adults now and they're probably going to be eating ham and cheese on rye. Not my problem.

                            1. re: jfood

                              J, OMG! Thanks for the heads up, what a tragedy! We always serve Tam Tams with chopped liver, whatever will we do? Was planning to do big Passover staple grocery shopping this weekend. Think I can sub Carr's water biscuits without anyone the wiser? (just kidding, I would NEVER do that)Already bought matzos, matzo meal, new potato starch, soup mandlen, Batempte half sour pickles, Deluxe Delight, Almond Roca and jell candies. Figuring to get rest of it this weekend.

                            2. re: Diane in Bexley

                              Thanks Diane. The egg mousse with caviar sauce sounds really good. Could you share that recipe? I appreciate it!

                              1. re: perk

                                Will have to give you tomorrow, have to go home and find which cookbook it's in before I can post.

                                1. re: Diane in Bexley

                                  Basically, this is egg salad forced into a mold and topped with black, red or golden caviar (depending on your budget). Makes 4 cups, 1 quart mold. You could also turn these into individual barquette or other molds.

                                  Spray or oil 1 quart mold
                                  12 eggs, hard boiled, cooled, peeled
                                  salt & pepper to taste
                                  3 T finely chopped green onion or shallot
                                  2 T chopped chives
                                  2 T dijon mustard (some may object here, but we eat mustard on Passover)
                                  1/3 cup mayo (can use light)
                                  1 T dried dill weed
                                  1/4 up finely chopped celery
                                  1 small jar caviar of your choice (for garnish)

                                  Depending on how you like consistency of egg salad, chop eggs, I use food processor. Finely chop and add vegetables, add mayo, mustard, remaining seasonings. You want a stiff, but not dry consistency, otherwise won't mold well. Pack into mold, refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. I use fluted mold and turn out just before serving onto lettuce lined platter, decorate with olive salad. Spoon caviar over mold in decorative manner. I usually serve with Tam Tam crackers, but I understand these are not available this year for Passover (Manischewitz repair issue). You could use broken matzo instead.