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Oct 13, 2012 06:07 PM

Help me decide on my husband's birthday gift

He wants either the pasta maker or the meat grinder attachment for his Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I'm leaning towards the pasta attachment, but also wondering if the meat grinder could be useful during Passover. Any opinions or cautionary tales? Thanks.

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  1. I'm thinking this is not really so much a kashrut question; maybe you would get more useful advice if you posted on the cookware board?

    1. Pasta makers are really fun. You can stuff fresh ravioli with herbs, veggies and cheeses (or meat) and produce dishes not usually available in kosher versions.

      1. I have no use for a pasta maker for Passover, BUT my meat grinder gets tons of use.

        Grinding liver for 50 servings is much easier by machine than by hand.

        I also grind all my own 'hamburger' be it beef, veal, lamb or turkey. I make lots of meatballs on Passover, as well as stuffed cabbage and peppers.

        The last use I make of the meat grinder is to grind up leftover meat and make Pesachdiche meat knishes to serve on the last days.

        8 Replies
        1. re: bagelman01

          See, this is why I want to be a guest at Bagelman's table. Homemade Pesachdiche meat knishes. And homemade chopped liver.

          1. re: AdinaA

            My wife makes the best chopped liver, I do the grunt work. 1/2 chicken, half beef. She has considered making it professionally to sell in local 'gourmet markets' but the local Vaad doesn't allow establishments under their supervision to kasher liver.

            1. re: bagelman01

              And here the Spouse thought I was the only person who used both beef and chicken liver. I still think it's the only "right" way to make it.

              1. re: rockycat

                wife used to make it with calves and chicken liver, I always thought it was too blandand had no bite. One yuntif she had jury duty too close to make the liver, IO made it according to her recipe, but swapped beef for calves liver. Ever since then she makes it that way

            2. re: AdinaA

              Any chance you'll give us the meat knishes recipe? I'd love that.

              1. re: helou

                I know you addressed this to Adina, but I was the one who uses the grinder attachment to grind leftover meat for the meat knishes. I prefer to use brisket, or short ribs, but a potted piece of chuck will do.

                Passover Potato Knishes
                Meat or Pareve
                • 4-5 medium russet potatoes, peeled
                • 2 eggs, separated
                • 1/4 teaspoon salt
                • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
                • 2 onions, diced finely
                • 1/4 cup chicken fat or vegetable oil
                • 1/2 cup matzo meal or potato starch
                • salt and pepper, to taste (if the above is not enough)
                1. Boil potatoes in salted water until cooked through
                2. Drain, mash, cool and set aside.
                3. Beat egg whites with 1/4 teaspoon salt until stiff and set aside.
                4. Brown onions in the 1/4 cup chicken fat or oil and set aside.
                5. Beat egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer until light colored and add sautéed onions along with their cooking fat or oil, the mashed potatoes, matzo meal or potato starch and seasonings.
                6. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
                7. Using about 1/3 cup of the mixture, form potato mixture into balls. If desired, make an indentation with your finger and fill with ground cooked chicken or beef or sautéed mixed vegetables. Close and flatten.
                8. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray or lightly grease with vegetable oil. Place knishes on baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, until golden brown.
                Either cook and drain ground meat, or coarsely chop and grind leftover meat or poultry to use for filling. Your leftover meats will have flavor. The cooked ground meat will have to be seasoned before stuffing the knishes
                Leaving out the meat filling and using vegetable oil instead of chicken fat will allow this recipe to be made pareve.
                Using only potato starch will make a lighter knish and work for those who don’t eat Gebrokhts
                I have found the Israeli matzo meal too heavy and coarse for this recipe, if you must (or choose to) use Israeli product, use cake meal instead of Matzo Meal.
                These do NOT freeze well, but will hold already baked in the refrigerator for up to two days, reheat in oven, not microwave.

                1. re: bagelman01

                  Thanks so much - this seems delicious. So since we have no problem with gebrokhts, which do you suggest makes the better knish - matzoh meal, potato starch, or a combination of both?
                  In England they sell (or they used to - not sure if they do anymore) matzoh meal that's either fine or coarse. I've gotten good results for some English recipes that call for fine meal by running my regular American matzoh meal through a food processor for a little bit. What do you think?

                  1. re: helou

                    I use a mix of 70% matzo meal 30% potato starch. Any of the American Matzo Meal works just fine. As it happens I use Rakusen's Matzo from England for Non-Seder Pesach use and have make meal in my food processor. It doesn't seem to matter if it is fine like cake meal or coarse like traditional matzo meal. I just have found that Israeli Matzo meal is very heavy and does not work in my recipes. The knaidlach come out like sinkers and everything else, such as matzo rolls are like lead weights that lay in the stomach.

          2. I have the meat grinder, and it's word of caution - if you read the reviews, you'll see that a lot of people say that it's a piece of crap, and made of plastic, and will break, however the only thing I would say, is that if you use it properly (ie meat being cold, and trimming most of the tough connective tissue away), then this is a great, and pretty cheap (I picked one up for $30 at sears) tool...
            That being said, I would also love a pasta maker, but if I had to decide between the two, I would probably say I would get more use out of a meat grinder than a pasta maker

            1 Reply
            1. re: koshergastronome

              I think that those making the comments that it is cheap and has some plastic parts are used to the old iron hand crank grinders that screw on the countertop..................
              I have both stand alone electric meat grinders (Rival about 30 years old) and grinder attachments for both chometz and Pesach Kitchen Aides. The Kitchen Aides process more pounds per hour and I love being able to adjust the speed of the flow for the density of the meat. Veal and Chicken can grind faster than beef or turkey.

              Biggest problem most people have is using the fine hole blade on gthe first chop. One needs to run the meat through the large hole blade first and then through the small hole for hamburg or chopped lover.
              The large hole is great if you want to make something with a bit of a chew such as Salisbury Steak.

            2. Thanks for the input everyone. I logged on to check my post and proceeded to laugh myself into hiccups over this -

              2 Replies
              1. re: garlicvampire

                We also laughed till it hurt just before R'H through YK. As a chef and lucky user of many a kitchen toy....there is not even a question. BY THE PASTA ATTACHMENT!!!!! Growing up in Texas, I never knew from fresh pasta. Homemade Challah, tortillas, worlds of varying salsas and salad dressings...yes every week. But after being gifted the pasta attachments to our cobalt kitchen aid, z'L, our kitchen play absolutely kicked up a notch. The easiest lasagna sheets in the world....3 minutes and ready to go, ravioli, simple pastas, linguini, tagliatelle, so cool, so easy, so hard to ever go back to pasta from a box! Vs. a meat grinder you think you'll use just for pesach....please don't get me wrong....I am as much a meat man as ever there was, but you will both get so much more use and love out of the pasta kit. I also highly recommend getting a very simple wooden pasta hanger....Bed bath and Beyond probably has 30 to choose from.

                1. re: gotcholent

                  I am a meat lover. That said I have the pasta attachment for my chometzdiche kitchenaid. Since the OP posed her query about using the meat grinder for Passover, I felt it ruled out the pasta attachment.

                  I do not often use the pasta attachment, as I have a separate pasta maker. I do concur on wooden drying racks for pasta.