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Passover Menu Advice

valerie Mar 21, 2010 08:04 PM

Last week was a crazy week...bad storm knocked out power for 5 days plus I completely lost my voice and then it turned into a massive head cold which just won't quit! (And of course we lost everything in both freezers and most things in the refrigerator.)

Anyway, I now must focus on my Passover dinner which is rapidly approaching and while I've got it mostly planned, I just can't finalize the menu. 11 adults and 5 kids. Here's what I've got so far and what I can't decide on:

Gefilte Fish "nuggets" with horseradish
Crudite of some sort with Tzatziki (new dip this year)
Melitzanosalata (Greek eggplant) with Passover crackers (also new dip this year)

Matzo Ball Soup
Sephardic Haroset (new this year -- usually my sister makes it but I'm making it this year)

Braised Chicken with lemon and capers (new this year)

Potato Kugelettes or Knishes? (not sure which?)
Apple Matzoh Kugel (make every year -- love it!)
Stuffed Zucchini (new this year)

Macaroons, mandelbread, matzoh crunch

Here are my questions:

a) In the past I have always had 1 additional side, like a broccoli or spinach souffle or asparagus of some sort. Do I really need it? Or should I just add steamed asparagus?

b) I've always made potato kugelettes in advance and stuck them in the freezer. Thinking of trying this recipe for potato knishes instead. Do you think I can make them and freeze or should I stick with my tried and true kugelettes?


Thanks in advance for any input!

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  1. w
    weezycom RE: valerie Mar 22, 2010 04:35 AM

    I would go with your kugelettes because you've got a lot of new dishes on your menu and that always takes a little extra time & attention, so you need some reliable standards in the group to take some burden off you. I would go with steamed asparagus as the green side -- one, because it's just about the best veggie ever, and two because, again, a nice simple preparation that keeps the pressure off of you.

    1. b
      berna RE: valerie Mar 22, 2010 06:29 AM

      I always make the knishes...they very fast and easy and can be made ahead of time. That being said, could you please post the recipe for the kugelettes, they sound interesting.

      2 Replies
      1. re: berna
        valerie RE: berna Mar 22, 2010 07:37 AM

        I may be shunned for this but my secret recipe for the kugelettes is using Manischewitz potato kugel mix! I add lots of finely chopped sauteed onions and a little garlic to the mix and then I bake it in muffin tins, or mini muffin tins. I make ahead of time and freeze, defrost the day before and crisp them up in the oven before serving. People love them!

        Is your recipe for the knishes similar to the one in the link that I posted above?

        1. re: valerie
          berna RE: valerie Mar 22, 2010 07:49 AM

          Almost. I use canola oil (or veg oil) instead of margarine and I add some sauteed onions (nicely caramelized) to the mashed potatoes. I'm not one for freezing, but these would probably freeze well. You can easily make them ahead of time and just reheat the night of the seder. They are really good and go over very well.

      2. ChefJune RE: valerie Mar 22, 2010 06:53 AM

        I would add a salad of mixed greens with a simple vinaigrette. We find that helps cut the richness that is inherent in the meal. Asparagus is a great choice, especially as it is just beginning to come into season.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ChefJune
          berna RE: ChefJune Mar 22, 2010 07:22 AM

          Or maybe a chopped isreali salad.

          1. re: berna
            valerie RE: berna Mar 22, 2010 07:44 AM

            I was also considering a broccoli salad, but haven't come across a recipe that sounds good (they all seem to have a lot of mayo which does not sound appealing).

            I think I will go with either simple asparagus, or a broccoli or chopped salad....berna, if you have a recipe or any guidance on the israeli salad, that would be great!

            1. re: valerie
              elliora RE: valerie Mar 25, 2010 07:38 PM

              A little late but for an easy Israeli Salad, dice up finely some tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and parsley. To taste, add olive oil and lemon. You can make it in the morning and just salt it right before serving so it does not get too soggy. Really refreshing with a passover meal and it even has parsley!

        2. d
          dlpc RE: valerie Mar 24, 2010 07:45 AM

          Just wondering, were you able to find Kosher for Passover capers? I can't find them and when I asked at the kosher market they told me capers aren't kosher for passover. I thought they were part of a flower, so I'm not sure why...

          6 Replies
          1. re: dlpc
            valerie RE: dlpc Mar 24, 2010 09:41 AM

            Honestly, I didn't check since I am not that observant. I mean, I wouldn't serve bread or legumes to my guests, but I don't always use products that have been certified KforP.

            I just did some searching on-line, though, and while I didn't see any capers that were kosher for Passover, I didn't see anything that says that you can't have them for Passover. And I saw loads of Passover recipes, including some from Joan Nathan, whom I trust, that included capers. Not to say that this makes it right or wrong, but it's good enough for me...and I have used capers in seders past for Chicken Marbella and other recipes, so why stop now?!?

            1. re: valerie
              HungryinBmore RE: valerie Mar 25, 2010 09:25 PM

              Weather will be decent. Matzo ball Soup and Salad. Grilled Ribeye Steaks and Salmon 1st night. Turkey 2nd night. Potatoes. Green Beans. Glazed Carrots. Homemade Passover Brownies. Homemade Strawberry Shortcake with Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream and Homemade Strawberry Sauce.
              and whatever else desserts/fruit salad. miscellaneous that lands at my house!

              1. re: valerie
                MikeG RE: valerie Mar 25, 2010 10:32 PM

                I mean, I wouldn't serve bread or legumes to my guests,

                KP aside, what about the tzatziki at the same meal with the chicken and brisket?

                1. re: MikeG
                  valerie RE: MikeG Mar 26, 2010 04:59 AM

                  My kitchen is not kosher (for Passover or otherwise), my plates are not kosher, my guests are not kosher (in fact, 1/3 of the adults attending are not even Jewish), and my apple-matzoh kugel has butter in it. So a little yogurt served at the beginning of the meal is not a problem for us!

                  1. re: valerie
                    marcia2 RE: valerie Mar 27, 2010 02:01 PM

                    Is it the apple matzoh kugel on Epicurious?

                    1. re: marcia2
                      valerie RE: marcia2 Mar 27, 2010 04:35 PM

                      Yes...it's so, so good. I use cranberries instead of raisins and cut back on the sugar as many reviewers suggest.


            2. k
              KosherHound RE: valerie Mar 27, 2010 07:35 PM

              I'd add an extra veggie side. If steamed asparagus appeals to you, go for it. Your menu is large so your addition should be really easy and low-maintenance.

              I personally prefer knishes or bourekas over potato kigel, but if you have a sure-fire winner, I'd choose that. If you buy pre-bought pastry dough, knishes are really simple, but they don't feel like a dinner side to me. The little kigel-ettes also sound like they have the potential for a really pretty presentation. Gotta love mini foods. :) You shouldn't have any problem freezing potato kigel, no matter the size. Be sure you warm them in the oven, not the micro, though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: KosherHound
                valerie RE: KosherHound Mar 27, 2010 08:11 PM

                I decided to go with roasted asparagus. And I opted to stick with my kugelettes because as someone pointed out, I had a few new things and sometimes tried and true is a good thing. I am very curious to try out the knishes, though, but these past 2 weeks have been a bit stressful for me, so now was not the time.

                Oh, and I will take the kugelettes out of the freezer tomorrow and on Monday they will be heated in my (rather large) toaster oven. They crisp up nicely. Brisket, apple matzoh kugel, dips were made today...my house already smells good.

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