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All time favorite Seder recipes

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How about a chance to post your all time favorite recipes for the seder meal? We could subdivide the thread into Askenaz and Sephard recipes, depending on the response. Might be a real good thing for people planning their first seder - or their 30th!

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  1. 1 of my favorite Pesach recipes -- for the seder or any meal -- is apple kugel,
    Basically just thin sliced apples held together with an egg or 2, baked in an oiled pan. Can add cinnamon &/or chopped nuts if desired. Doesn't need sugar IMO.
    The top layer of apples get all chewy & yummy.

    5 Replies
    1. re: almond tree

      That sounds absolutely amazing! I might need to try that...

      1. re: almond tree

        I'm going to try this, maybe for dessert.

        1. re: almond tree

          almond tree,
          could you post the recipe for that apple kugel? Thanks.

          1. re: bcc

            With pleasure.

            PESACH APPLE KUGEL (Adapted from The Spirit & Spice of Kosher Passover Cooking)

            6 apples, peeled, cored & sliced very thin
            2 eggs, beaten with 2 TBSP potato starch
            2 TBSP oil (walnut gives a great flavor)
            2 TBSP apple or orange juice
            1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional
            1/2 cup ground nuts, optional
            pinch salt
            (The original recipe called for 3/4 c sugar as well, but I never add it.)

            Mix all ingredients well and pour into an oiled 8" x 8" baking pan. Recipe says to bake at 350 F for 1 hour -- that doesn't sound right. I think I give it about 1/2 hour, till it's nice & brown on top.

            1. re: almond tree

              Hi almond tree,

              The apple kugel was a big hit. I used walnut oil and cinnamon and baked it for about 40 minutes, since I more than doubled the recipe. Everyone loved it, including my wife and daughter, who were both horrified that I left out the sugar.

        2. Are we talking just for the seder or the entire passover?
          For the seder my family usually does a variation on Thankgiving dinner: turkey, stuffing made from matzah farfel, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.
          If we are talking all of passover then my favorite is eggplant rollatini stuffed with a mixture of riccotta, spinach and parmasean.

          1 Reply
          1. re: EllieS

            Let's stick with seder for the moment and try to post actual recipes so that people can recreate our favorites.

          2. Whole turkey, brisket, chicken parts with matzah crumbs, turkey roast.

            I also make a lot of roasted carrots, beets, zucchini.
            Last year we koshered our BBQ, so I grilled lots of vegetables and left them in containers in the fridge.

            Bought a new wok this year. Planning to keep it parve and use it for sautéeing vegetables. Don't care much for matzah and Passover snacks, so I like to have lots of cooked vegetables in the house

            15 Replies
            1. re: cheesecake17

              during chol hamoed, we grill a lot of kebabs on the bbq grill

              Chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, veal with fresh veg.

              This year the kids bought me a smaller size Green Egg so i'll be smoking brisket, short ribs and poultry for Pesach.

              I am basically a carnivore. If wife or kids want dairy, they fend for themselves.

              1. re: bagelman01

                Meat is easier (to me) on pesach. There's only so much matzah pizza I can handle. Last year I grilled chicken cutlets and made my husband a chopped chicken salad for lunch- lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, grilled zucchini, potatoes. He really enjoyed it.

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  40 years ago when I got my first apartment as a single adult, I made it an all Fleishige apartment. I drink my coffee black, don't like cereal and milk, and use margarine, not cream cheese on a bagel.

                  For years there was little selection of Pesach dairy outside of NY. I don't eat yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, so why bother............

                  Most lunches on Pesach are a cold salad with cut up deli or leftover meats/poultry for a fleishige chef salad.

                  My kids miss pasta on Pesach, so one night I make them spaghetti squash with a tomato meat sauce

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    Wow! I couldn't imagine an all fleishig home. I like coffee with my milk :) not the other way around!

                    While my husband likes meat, I could easily go without. Cheese, yogurt, vegetables. The sickly sweet hemeishe yogurts aren't really my thing...I'm happy Dannon will be back this year!

                    Tomato meat sauce... I like the idea! May borrow it when we have company

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      I learned to drink coffee as an after dinner drink. Mom served meat every night, hence black coffee. Growing up we had two meat meals every day (Lunch and dinner).

                      I find that I try to make meals as close to 'normal' during Pesach to keep my kids and wife happy. So if they like spaghetti and meatballs, then spaghetti squash and tomato meat sauce or meatballs works.

                      When the kids were small, chicken nuggets with a Pesach cake meal crumb dip worked fine.

                      Meatloaf seems the same, chometzdiche or for Pesach.
                      Chicken breast, hot dogs, hamburgers or steak on the grill is easy and familiar. The simpler the meals, the less complaints I get. One year my wife tried all kinds of 'Pesach recipes' for substitute food, such as matzo lasagne, matzo pizza, etc. The kids couldn't wait until Pesach was over to eat normal food. the following year we did it my way and there were no complaints about wanting regular food.

                      One rule we follow, if we wouldn't buy it all year, we don't buy it just cause its made for Pesach, so no bubble gum, cotton candy, terrible fruit slices, jel rings and assorted terrible quality chocolate.

                      1. re: bagelman01

                        Totally a sidebar, but I have to laugh reading about the fleishig apartment. The Spouse will never have coffee any way but black and it never occurs to him that other people do it differently. When we were engaged and invited to the rabbi's house for Shabbat lunch, he just couldn't get why there was no coffee served after the meal. You could see the lightbulb go off over his head when I explained that many people use milk with coffee and the rabbi obviously doesn't have parve creamer in the house, so no coffee.

                        My kid is the same as yours. Won't eat Pesach food at all so plain grilled meat and steamed veggies all week. She complains endlessly until she can get the real deal again.

                        1. re: bagelman01

                          Speaking of awful pesach food, a relative once purchased pesach "pancakes." Completely and totally inedible.

                          In my house, we eat a lot of matzah pizza, husband and kid like it. Matzah lasagna is a once a year special, but I know people who make it year round.

                          This year I am truly not going overboard. Ifi don't buy it normally, I am not buying it for pesach!

                          1. re: cheesecake17

                            Same. We buy borscht for Pesach, not during the rest of the year, but otherwise, I can live without an awful lot of things for 1 week. I've got to admit, though, my life would be a lot easier if we could drop this silly kitniyot thing and finally have rice.

                            On the upside, we use a lot more fresh food during Pesach. How bad can that be?

                            1. re: rockycat

                              We eat rice, but I can say I don't enjoy checking it!

                              We also eat lots of fresh food - apples, grapes, zucchini, carrots.

                              1. re: cheesecake17

                                Do they not sell pre-checked rice?

                                1. re: queenscook

                                  They do, but it's ridiculously expensive. Maybe $5/lb... And this week Carolina was on sale in key food for $7.99/20 lbs

                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                    Well, the way I look at these things is . . . what value do I place on my time? If it would take an hour to check a pound of rice, and it costs $5, is my time worth that $5? Since $5 is probably less than babysitters now make per hour, kal v'chomer, I would have to say an hour of MY time is certainly worth that.

                                    But, alas--and shockingly(!)--not everyone sees things my way.

                                    1. re: queenscook

                                      I know what you're saying... It's not that I won't or can't do it... It's just tedious. Usually I check enough to fill a gallon size ziplock. After kiddo goes to sleep, or during nap time, with the radio on.

                                2. re: cheesecake17

                                  Apparently, starting this year there is rice available in the US with a hechsher for Pesach. Whether you can find it or not is another question.
                                  http://www.kashrut.com/Passover/PAler...

                            2. re: bagelman01

                              Has anyone tried Matzolah? I think its supposed to be like granola. The advertisement says that it one a prize at the kosher festival.

                  2. or even be more divisive>>Gebroks or Non Gebroks.

                    My favorite is a gatzeh Tzimmes with 8 or more kinds of dried fruits, honey, cinnamon, a whole brisket and a few dozen matzo balls that cook in the tzimmes. Carrots, sweet potaoes, white potatoes, canned pinapple, pineapple juice and whatever else I feel like throwing in.

                    The fruit and veg gets served as a veg the first seder. The brisket gets served the second seder, as brisket is never great the first day.

                    Of course if non-gebroks no kneidel in the tzimmes and why bother?

                    1. i love trying out different interesting main and side dishes, and i mix and match between savory and sweet - i'll have matzoh farfel with pan-fried sweetbreads, or a stuffed breast of veal, whole roast turkey or a rack of beef ribs for the main. as a side dish i'll do apple or blueberry "kugel", roasted cauliflower or broccoli, truffle-mashed potatoes or a sweet potato mash. i love pesach!

                      1. Farfel with mushrooms. Wonderful for the seder and even better for breakfast the next morning...

                        1. It would be nice if people posted more recipes. So far, the apple kugel is the only one listed here, but it would be great to see more. Pesach is hard for us with small kids nagging for cheerios - pesach cheerios is gross. I stick to what I know, but just on Pesach, I do make Yapsik, which is a simple potato Kugel with meat inside (Flanken). The meat is sauteed with onion prior to being baked in the potatoes. The Potatoes are grated and mix with egg, salt and pepper and oil as a regular kugel would be and then the meat is stuck between a potato top and bottom. Everyone loves it. Flanken is kind of pricey, so I just buy it once a year. Otherwise, it's chicken, broiled garlic tilapia and Moussaka with ground beef all the way:)

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: lenchik

                            i'm thinking of making a yapsik this year with a layer of kishka between the kugel and the meat - brilliant or banal? what do you think?

                            1. re: ahuva

                              Your idea definitely has potential -- but how do you make your kishka? For Pesach kishka, I use mixture of grated potato, carrot, onion, potato starch & spices, so mine is not really so different from the kugel.

                              1. re: ahuva

                                Potentially brilliant, but I'd worry about the quantity of fat- too many yapsiks already fall apart due to the amount of grease in them, and I'd think that kishke would just make that worse. But if your yapsuk usually has good structural integrity, I think you'd be fine.

                                1. re: masteraleph

                                  My yapsik usually comes out more like a shepard's pie, really - i make it in an oven-to-table and stick a big spoon into it for people to scoop out. I'm thinking about purposely making the kishka less-greasy to combat the combined onslaught of grease from the kugel and the meat.

                              2. re: lenchik

                                You may want to go post on the Home Cooking board to get more recipes. Also search there, I am sure this is a topic that has been discussed there before.

                                1. re: lenchik

                                  Pesach is difficult with a young kid, but planning ahead helps a lot. I bought one box of pesach "cookie crisp" and one package of cookies. Shes never had cookie crisp cereal so i dont think she will notice.

                                  Potato or zucchini pancakes are easy to make. I also do spinach "cupcakes" and zucchini roll ups. The pancakes and cupcakes are easy snacks to take along.

                                  Few weeks ago I made an apple crisp for Shabbat that had no flour or substitutes. It was basically different types of nuts, ground and whole, and coconut. Everyone loved it and I'm planning to make it for pesach. I'll send it with husband for breakfast with a scoop of yogurt on top or serve it with ice cream.

                                  Also, my daughter made "truffles" recently in a cooking class. They were not KFP but I'm going to experiment with them. Hopefully they'll turn out ok.

                                  Oh, and kiddo likes vegetables. Lightly steamed carrots, broccoli, or potato fries are all food snacks or sides.

                                  If there's any recipes you want, I'll be happy to post

                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                    What are the zucchini roll-ups? They sound interesting.
                                    Along the lines of your apple crisp, I sometimes make K-P date squares -- filling made from dates simmered with a little water, then spread between layers of nut "crust." Nice change from sponge cake for dessert :).

                                    1. re: almond tree

                                      The Roll ups are simple- zucchini sliced lengthwise, grilled, and filled with a mix of ricotta and chopped herbs. They can be eaten like that or placed in a Pyrex with marinara and baked.

                                      1. re: almond tree

                                        Speaking of dessert-
                                        My mom made these fantastic chocolate marshmallow circles one year. Melted choc chips, combined with chopped nuts and chopped marshmallows. Use Saran or parchment to make a tube shape and freeze. Slice into rounds when ready to serve. (Helps to defrost a bit first)

                                      2. re: cheesecake17

                                        Please post the apple crisp- sounds great!

                                        1. re: 4greatkds

                                          Apple crisp

                                          Fruit to fill 2 qt baking dish

                                          Topping
                                          1 c ground nuts
                                          1/2 c shredded coconut
                                          1/2 c chopped nuts
                                          Sprinkle of: salt, cinnamon, nutmeg
                                          1/4 c neutral oil

                                          Combine topping and crumble over fruit
                                          Bake till fruit is bubbly and soft and topping is golden. If topping is browning too quickly, cover with foil

                                          Fruit-
                                          Appes & pomegranate seeds
                                          Apples & cranberries
                                          Mixed berries
                                          Apples & blueberries

                                          Nuts - I usually use ground almonds, and chopped walnuts. But you can use anything you have

                                          On pesach I skip the nutmeg.

                                        2. re: cheesecake17

                                          Can you please post recipe for spinach cupcakes?

                                          1. re: lenchik

                                            Sure. Defrost one large large bag of spinach and squeeze out all liquid. Sauté an onion and several cloves of garlic. In a bowl combine spinach, onion, 8 oz cottage cheese, handful shredded cheese, 2 eggs (or 4 whites), salt and pepper.
                                            Bake in cupcake tins. Can be frozen

                                      3. Chicken pieces baked or simmered in oj with minced fresh ginger.

                                        1. i just made my very favorite seder recipe: i ordered catering.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: SoCal Mother

                                            A wise woman!

                                            1. re: mommystar

                                              Yup. Just acquired 4 more guests...we're at 31.

                                              1. re: SoCal Mother

                                                Wow 31 guests! SoCal Mother, you are amazing.

                                                1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                  yeah, well ask me afterwards how it went. I have regulars who come every year and have their tasks and I am good at delegating. For instance, I assigned someone to make 16 chairs appear, someone else to check the romaine and someone to make the hard boiled eggs. Can't be purchased cooked because my kids like to crack them on each others' heads and they were very disappointed when I bought peeled eggs one year. My most regular regular will go to the restaurant store and buy the paper goods.

                                                  Another tip I got from someone: I have a spiral notebook I
                                                  keep with notes from one year to the next. Who came to seder, my notes from the Rabbi Eidlitz tour, what got eaten and most importantly what is in the Pesach storage.

                                                  I write stuff like a note to remind me that we broke the corkscrew and if I take something out during the year I put a note in to replace it.

                                                  I just usually need a day to search for where I left the notebook.

                                                  1. re: SoCal Mother

                                                    Re: your spiral notebook . . . I do the same thing, but keep all the info on my computer. No need to wonder where it is. I actually have a folder (on the computer) with embedded folders for each holiday. For Purim I keep my recipient lists, my themes, pictures of my mishloach manor, etc. In the Pesach folder, I have my recipes, notes on what we liked or didn't, how much we needed, what was left over, what we need to buy or replace, etc. It has worked well for the past 11 years, and really helps me organize in advance.

                                                    1. re: queenscook

                                                      Good idea. I have my Pesach shopping list & notes on the computer, but recipes are written down & stored away with Pesach dishes. Makes it hard if I want to look up/share a recipe during chametz season. Maybe this is the year I'll do something about it.

                                                  2. re: PotatoPuff

                                                    Also, my kids are older and they drive, and most of my regular kids drive also so I send them out running errands while they are home on break. And most importantly, we are almost always invited out 1st night so I only do this once.

                                            2. my very favorite seder meal (unless we have a lot of vegetarians, which seems to happen more and more) is braised lamb shanks with mint pesto and garlic mashed potatoes. People always eat every bite. I marinate it two days ahead and cook it one day ahead. It is good with steamed carrots or asparagus.

                                              I know many people do not eat lamb at seder but this is what I grew up eating so it is what I serve.
                                              Here is a recipe similar to mine

                                              http://www.chow.com/recipes/18715-bra...

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: magiesmom

                                                I always love to make sweet and sour brisket. The recipe is virtually untouched from the regular year, and it's just so easy--ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, onions and garlic.

                                                Here's one take on it: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/jewish-s...

                                                1. re: DeisCane

                                                  Sounds amazing!

                                                  1. re: SoCal Mother

                                                    SoCal,

                                                    I never liked "traditional" brisket but I can't get enough of it. Like I said, it's so easy that it's almost embarrassing how many compliments it draws.

                                                    1. re: DeisCane

                                                      I make what I consider a traditional brisket, which is an enhanced onion-soup based gravy. I am having 26 this year, and I do 2 of them, with some kind of chicken dish. I made an Israeli orange spiced chicken for years, and have tried other things lately. This year I am going to do chicken with roasted fennel and red onion in an orange balsamic sauce.
                                                      I have always made a parve sweet farfel kugel that is like a sweet noodle kugel. Also, a mixed veggie kugel that I make with grated zucchini and carrots, with sauteed onions. I found a recipe on kosher cooking that I am going to try this year, it is a farfel kugel made with spinach, mushrooms and onions.
                                                      Does anyone make their own gefilte fish? My 90 year old mother always made the chicken soup with matzoh balls, and the gefilte fish for me. She had a pacemaker put in about a month ago, so doesn't think she can handle doing both, and the chicken soup is easier. I am going to try doing the gefilte fish on my own. I hate to see the idea of home made gefilte fish go by the wayside. If you have a recipe, or any tips, let me know.