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Passover '09 ideas

  • b

Starting to plan for this years seder and would love any new ideas or old recipes that you love.

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  1. Google Nigella Lawson Clementine Cake. I make it without the baking soda. It turns out fine. If I am feeling fancy then I separate the eggs and fold in whipped egg whites. It is a great recipe and Trader Joe's carries the Ground Almonds.

    Ditto the attached which is from Joan Nathan's Cookbook and was made by the mother of the owners of the old wonderful Capsuto Freres in Tribeca (when it was really an outpost)


    3/4 cup of butter or margarine
    3/4 cup of sugar
    5 eggs, separated
    6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (like Baker’s)
    6 ounces finely ground almonds or almond flour
    Pinch of salt

    1. Cream the butter and sugar together. Mix in the egg yolks.

    2. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Cool and add to the butter mixture. Add the almonds.

    3. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into the batter. Pour into a 9 inch greased baking tin. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Cool and cut in squares.

    Yield: about 24 Brownies

    2 Replies
    1. re: Mdee2

      That cake is based on a recipe by Claudia Roden, for a sephardic orange cake. If you google Roden orange cake, you'll find many recipes, most of them are without baking soda or flour, but same goes, you can just eliminate the soda and replace the flour with more ground almonds, or matzoh meal. It's amazing, people beg me for the recipe every time I make it, and oh yeah, it is a great idea to separate the whites and whip em.

      1. re: Mdee2

        Yay -- I just bought almond flour!

      2. Both freeze well...am making today and doing that

        1. Bon Appetit's matzoh balls with chives and dill; carmelized matzoh; don't know what else.

          1. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            This is an amazingly good cake -- pecans and orange. It's really good enough that I make 2, and it's just as good a week later. Every year I swear I'll make it outside Passover, but I haven't managed yet.

            1. I've made the clementine cake and agree that it's great, but I don't have a kosher-for-Passover food processor or blender. Anybody have any dessert recipes that don't require one?

              2 Replies
              1. re: GilaB

                If you have an electric mixer, there are several desserts I can recommend. I hate the taste of cake meal, so I've collected a number of recipes that don't use it. Here are recipes--funny, all are chocolate :)!:

                chocolate, walnut and prune fudge torte

                Unsweetened cocoa powder
                1 1/2 cups diced pitted prunes (about 8 ounces)
                1 cup prune juice
                1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted margarine
                8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
                3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
                1 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts (about 4 ounces)
                8 large eggs, room temperature
                2 large egg yolks
                1 3/4 cups sugar
                Pinch of salt
                1 cup prune juice
                1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted margarine
                10 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
                24 walnut halves
                For Cake:
                Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Dust pan with cocoa powder. Tap out excess. Wrap outside of pan with heavy-duty foil.
                Place prunes in small bowl. Pour 1 cup prune juice over. Set aside to macerate 15 minutes.
                Melt margarine in heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Add 3/4 cup cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Mix in walnuts and prune mixture. Cool to lukewarm.
                Using electric mixer, beat eggs, yolks, sugar and salt in large bowl at medium speed until well blended and just beginning to foam, about 1 minute. Add chocolate mixture and stir until well blended. Transfer batter to prepared springform pan. Set springform pan into large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Set baking pan in oven and bake cake until top looks dry and crusty and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes. Place in refrigerator uncovered and chill overnight.
                For Glaze:
                Bring juice and margarine to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Cool until thick but still pourable, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
                Line baking sheet with foil. Dip walnuts halfway into glaze. Arrange on prepared sheet and refrigerate until chocolate is set.
                Meanwhile, using small sharp knife, cut around sides of cake to loosen. Release pan sides. Set cake on rack. Pour glaze over cake and spread to coat completely. Arrange walnuts, chocolate half at outer edge, around top cake. Refrigerate until glaze is completely set, at least 3 hours. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover loosely with foil or cake dome and keep refrigerated.) Cut cake into wedges and serve.

                Chocolate Souffle Cake

                8oz semisweet chocolate
                8oz. unsalted butter
                2tbs tasteless salad oil
                8 large eggs separated
                1C granulated sugar
                1tsp vanilla
                pinch salt
                Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heavily butter a 12 cup bundt or other fancy tube pan, and sprinkle it generously with sugar (including the tube).
                Melt chocolate, butter, and oil. In a large bowl, stir the egg yolks to mix, and gradually add chocolate mixture. The mixture will thicken as the warm chocolate mixture cooks the yolks. Stir in the sugar and vanilla until smooth. In another bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until they hold a point when the beaters are lifted. Fold them gently in about four additions to the chocolate mixture. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for two hours and 15 minutes. The cake will rise and then fall which is okay. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes,then turn out on serving dish for immediate serving or on paper lined cookie sheet to freeze. If freezing, wrap securely in saran wrap or foil after the cake has frozen, and to defrost, unwrap, put on serving plate immediately, and cover closely with saran. As the warm air meets the frozen cake, moisture will condense on the outside of the saran. If the cake is uncovered, it will condense on the cake making it soggy. Serve with whipped cream on the side if desired.
                This cake freezes well, is wonderful when served warm directly from the oven with cold whipped cream, and has a long life span in the refrigerator. It's a favorite among my family and friends. It's a large fallen chocolate souffle.

                Chocolate Meringue Cake

                10 oz. semi sweet chocolate
                4oz. unsalted butter
                1C sugar
                8 large eggs separated
                pinch salt
                Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Generously butter an 8" springform and line the bottom with a circle of buttered wax paper.
                Melt chocolate and butter together and stir until smooth. I find the easiest way to do this is in the microwave oven on medium/high for about 3-1/2 to 4 minutes. The mixture should not be completely melted, but removed from the oven and stirred gently until everything is melted and combined. Lightly whisk egg yolks, and gradually add chocolate mixture mixing until blended. Add sugar, stirring once again until smooth. In another bowl, beat egg whites and salt until stiff. Fold a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then fold in the remainder. Turn batter into the pan, smooth the top slightly and bake for one and one half hours. Let cake stand at room temp until cool, then GENTLY remove sides of springform and invert onto serving plate or paper lined cookie sheet if freezing. Freeze and defrost as directed for souffle cake (see recipe for chocolate souffle cake please for comments on all my chocolate cakes). Sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost with jelly and/or whipped cream, or light chocolate glaze. A very thin jelly glaze is excellent either under the whipped cream or chocolate glaze.
                The cake will fall after removal from the oven. Don't worry, you're going to mask it with whipped cream. If you glaze it, do it on the bottom which will be perfect when inverted.

                Chocolate Mousse Torte
                12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
                1 ½ tbsp instant coffee
                3/8 cup boiling water
                12 eggs separated
                1 cup sugar
                3 ½ tsp vanilla
                1/8 tsp salt
                Fine dry bread crumbs (or matzoh meal


                1. Preheat oven to 350oF.
                2. Place chocolate in top of double boiler over warm, not boiling water. Dissolve coffee in ¼ cup boiling water & add to chocolate. Cover and let stand over very low flame. Stir with wire whisk occasionally. When chocolate is almost melted, remove top of double boiler & whisk mixture until smooth. (OR YOU CAN MELT CHOCOLATE WITH COFFEE IN MICROWAVE ON LOW HEAT)
                3. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks until thick. Gradually beat in sugar until mixture thick and lemon colored.
                4. Gradually beat chocolate into yolk mixture.
                5. Beat in 1 ½ tsp vanilla
                6. Beat egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry. Stir ¼ of whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining whites gently until blended.
                7. Dust well-buttered 9” pie plate with matzoh meal. Fill plate with part of mousse mixture so it comes just level with the edge. Bake 25 minutes; turn off oven heat and leave in the oven 5 minutes longer.
                8. Remove and cool for 2 hours on a wire rack. As it cools, the cooked mousse sinks in the middle to form a pie shell.
                9. Meanwhile, cover and refrigerate the remaining uncooked mousse. When the shell is cooled, fill with chilled uncooked mousse, mounding it up like a pie filling. Chill 2 – 3 hours.
                10. Beat cream, remaining vanilla & confectioners’ sugar together until stiff. Spread over pie, or using cake decorator, make lattice pattern over top of pie.

                1. re: Marion Morgenthal

                  These recipes sound amazing. I'm going to try them!

              2. I make a combination of new dishes and repeats every year. Here's what I have planned so far for this year:

                -- Gefilte fish to put out cut into bite size pieces while people are just hanging around before seder starts. With horseradish and some crudite and dip of some sort (new dip, just not sure what yet)

                -- Matzoh balls/soup -- repeat

                -- Brisket -- I have been perfecting this recipe for years and it always gets better! -- repeat

                -- Chicken -- this year I am making Pandora's Chicken (similar to Chicken Marbella but with artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes). I did a trial of this 2 weeks ago and it was very good. -- new this year


                -- Potato Kugelettes -- made in mini-muffin tins (repeat) OR some other type of kugel -- something new?

                -- Apple-Matzoh Kugel -- made last year for the first time and it was fantastic...I have been thinking about it for a whole year! -- repeat


                Asparagus with Shallots-- Barefoot Contessa's shallot sauce but she makes it with string beans. -- made this a few years ago


                And another vegetable -- TBD

                And my husband always makes these Martha Stewart macaroons...they can be done ahead of time and they freeze beautifully. My sister is in charge of the rest of the desserts. I hate baking!


                5 Replies
                1. re: valerie

                  valerie- I don't eat olives...do you think if I leave it out the recipe for pandora's will still be ok?

                  1. re: drewb123

                    I think it will be fine, but honestly, if you are making it for your seder, I would strongly recommend including the olives. I happen to love the sweet/salty combination and I can only assume that other do to, since Chicken Marbella is so popular. My husband would keel over and die before he would eat an olive (or an artichoke or sun-dried tomato), but I included all of these things in the dish and he just strictly ate the chicken with some sauce (the olives were rather large cut only in half so they were easy to work around). He loved the flavor, despite not liking the above-mentioned ingredients. (same goes for Chicken Marbella -- he would never touch a caper or god-forbid a prune! But he loves the flavor of that too.)

                    Also, when I tried out this dish a few weeks ago, I made some minor changes that might be noteworthy...

                    -- I used dried oregano and parsley since I forgot to get fresh.
                    -- It doesn't specify, but I used green olives
                    -- I used chicken breast on the bone as well as thighs, plus a few boneless chicken breasts (recipe calls for boneless breasts but I don't like to serve boneless breasts to company -- I prefer to serve a mix). I guess if you used all boneless breasts the cooking time would be less, but in my case, the pieces got too dried out since they were cooking with the pieces on the bone.

                  2. re: valerie

                    Could you share your brisket recipe?

                    1. re: twinmommy

                      I love this short rib recipe and one time I thought "hey, I bet this will make great brisket". And it does, if you like brisket on the sweet side.

                      The ingredients are the same, but it evolved due to quantity and brisket needing much longer to cook. For 5-7 lbs of brisket, I double the ingredients, and I use crushed pineapple rather than chunks (I read this in the epicurious reviews and it is a good tip). This way, it kind of disappears into the sauce, but the sweet flavor is still there. Nobody can figure out that there is pineapple in it (I feel like it's the secret ingredient!) I also use WAY more than 2 onions, maybe 6 or 8. I do not brown the brisket. I put onions above and below the meat in the dutch oven. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over the brisket. Cover, and the whole thing goes into the oven, on around 300, for 3-4 hours, closer to 4. Also, in the last hour, I add a whole bunch, and I mean a lot, of baby carrots. This way they get soft, but don't disintegrate.

                      Last year for Passover, I had 16 guests, and I made about 11 lbs. of brisket. I tripled the sauce and cooked it (in 2 dutch ovens) for about 5 hours.

                      Take it out (and take the meat out of the sauce), and let it cool down a bit until the meat is at a temperature where you can handle it. Slice. Then take some of the sauce, plus some onions and carrots and either stick them in the blender, or, as I do, use the immersion blender in a separate bowl or pot. Not for all of the sauce/carrots/onions, just some of it, so that when this mixture goes back in with the sauce that has not been blended, it gives the sauce some heft. When I made it the first time, I felt that the sauce was too thin and the Chowhounds taught me this trick!

                      Clean out dutch oven, and put the sliced meat and sauce back in in layers. Refrigerate the whole thing for a day (or even 2 days) and then take it out early on in the day when you are going to serve it. Peel the layer and/or pieces of fat off the top and you are good to go. I like to take it out early so it has a chance to thaw out a bit before it goes back into the oven. Then heat on about 300 for an hour or so, depending on how cold it was when it went into the oven.


                  3. Almond-Lemon Macaroons (Almendrados) from NYTimes - I love this recipe and make it every Passover. Very special and easy to make.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: galka

                      I plan to try this recipe. How far ahead can the Almendrados be made? It looks great!

                      1. re: ali123

                        I usually make them day before and wrap in plastic. Do not overbake- they are so lovley when they are a little on the softer side. Last year I scrambled- all places were out of blanched almonds- finally found some slivered ones in Traders. This year I bought them in advance.

                    2. I'm trying very hard to come up with a lighter than usual Passover menu or actually two since I am making both seders. The first will be for my family only. We're only 8 this year. And the second will be for family and friends - about 15. Much smaller than my usual 25.

                      I think I'm making chicken soup and matzoh balls one night and a pureed asparagus soup the other. I'm going to skip the fish course I think. I had a great salad of chicory and anchovy dressing the other night that I think I'm going to try to duplicate one night. A friend made a composed salad from the Ina Garten cookbook with roasted sweet butternut squash, nuts, and dried cranberries that I might make. If I feel ambitious I might make some chopped chicken liver to pass with it just for old times sake...or not.
                      My niece wants to cook chickens the first night so I was thinking of Joyce Goldstein's Chicken dish from Cucina Ebraica with ginger, lemon and honey I think it is. The second night has me stumped tho. I've made briskets in the past (all good), and stuffed breast of veal, and lamb shanks, and osso buco, and veal roast w/powdered porcinis and different kinds of chicken. I'm trying to think of something different though my husband is pressing me to make turkey one night and I just may.

                      Anyone have a great different idea for a main dish?? I'm afraid to make lamb...to many people don't like it I think...but then, lots of people don't eat veal also! And it's just too difficult to make duck for so many people. Maybe I'll just do the turkey and make a tsimmes with some flanken for those who feel they've missed out on the pot roast!

                      For anyone looking for a great dessert, there's a recipe on epicurious for a nut torte with a honey lemon soaking syrup - sort of a little baklava-like. Pray for leftovers it only gets better with each passing day!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: KingsKetz

                        could you post the epicurious link. I just did a bunch of searches, but I couldn't find the torte.

                        1. re: chililala

                          Sorry haven't been here for a bit -- sorry if I confused with the wrong term....here's the link. It's really delicious especially if you like baklava. And it gets better as a leftover!


                        2. re: KingsKetz

                          Kingsketz- I am notr sure if this is what your looking for but I am doing dave liebernmans apricot chicken with prunes and sage, it is basically using 1 or 2 whole cut up chickens and throwing a bunch or ingriendents together and then pop it in the oven.

                          Always a crowd pleaser.

                          Just google dave lieberman apricot chicken

                          1. Just wanted you all to know that Joan Nathan is doing a Q&A this year at newyorktimes.com, I find it very helpful on ideas and recipes. check it out if you would like.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: drewb123

                              Thanks for the link, however I followed the link , but just see the questions. Is there another link to the responses Joan has given, or is this just a very new thing, and Joan has not yet had time to respond?
                              Please let me know what I am missing, since I can read the questions, but not Joan's answers.

                              1. re: bxgirl

                                Joan responds usually to a few at a time every few days, it has just begun so just keep checking everyday :) No responses yet.