Salmon for seder
I want to do baked salmon for sedear meal and this is my first time hosting the dinner. Can I use soy sauce, ginger and garlic combo to flavor the salmon? There just seems to be a lot of restrictions and rules so I want to make sure this is ok before I present it to my mother in law.
Most soy sauce involves wheat, so it is not kosher for Passover. In addition, Ashkenazi Jews (of Central/Eastern European ancestry) traditionally avoid all legumes, as well, including soy products. So the soy sauce is a no-go.
I generally don't make salmon the centerpiece of formal meals, so I don't have any specific recipes to point you towards, I'm sorry. However, here's a list of Passover-friendly ingredients that might work well with your salmon (totally not exhaustive, just what I thought of while procrastinating at work!):
Butter (for a dairy meal, or if your crowd doesn't care about mixing meat/dairy)
Almonds or other tree nuts (no peanuts, as they're legumes)
Shallot/scallion/other onion family members
Pure maple syrup (available with Passover certification if this is important to you)
Ingredients to avoid:
Anything containing wheat/oats/rye/barley spelt
Traditionally avoided by Ashkenazim:
Legumes, including all soy products
Corn and corn products
Rice and rice products
Mustard, cumin, turmeric, and some other spices
My mother makes a very popular, but very sweet, salmon in a ton of sauce with a giant pile of caramelized onions. I can ask her for the recipe if it's of interest to you.
Delicious idea. A topping of brown sugar, ground hot red pepper, ginger, and onion powder makes a nice baked salmon. But plain salmon with sauces (red; horseradish; yogurt dill; lemon butter) is also nice. The most important thing may be to know how long the seder will run so that you can have the baked salmon baked and hot, but not overcooked at serving time.
I agree with AdinaA about serving a plain (salt and pepper) salmon with side sauces. Keep it simple and you can't go wrong. Also, I've found that salmon doesn't always have to be served hot. It can be made a short-time ahead (especially poached) and served at room temperature. I'm a nice Baptist girl who's been married to a nice Jewish man for 35 years. I was petrified the first time I hosted Seder for his entire family! But, your mother-in-law will be so happy and proud of you for doing this.
Thanks so much for wonderful ideas and tips. I am glad I asked. I am a Catholic girl and I read I am not even 'qualified' to prepare Seder meal(and something about using pots, pans and dishes only for passover) but ever since my father in law passed away, my mother in law just lost her interest in cooking.
Initially, I was thinking about doing beef brisket and roasted chickens as main but I honestly don't know where to shop for kosher brisket(and I am sure they are super expensive for Glatt kosher quality??) and salmon is my mother in law and sister in law's favorite food so I changed the menu.
If anyone has a good haroset recipe, I'd appreciate it too.
That looks like a lovely and delicious menu! I am not sure how observant your husband's family is, and whether they would prefer that food for Passover be prepared in a kosher kitchen, on kosher-for-Passover pots, involving kosher-slaughtered meat, etc. However, do note that observant Jews generally do not serve fish and meat together on the same plate, although they can be served one after the other. This is a year-round thing, not particularly a Passover thing.
Haroset - My grandmother shelled and chopped 12 walnuts with one peeled and diced apple, with enough sweet wine (of the nasty stereotypical kosher stuff that nobody I know actually drinks) to get to a desired consistancy. We still run with her recipe. But there's a huge variety of recipes out there, and everybody's grandmother's recipe is, of course, the correct one :)
This is the one I've always used, adapted from Helen Nash, Kosher Cuisine.
3-4 medium apples
1 C. walnuts
1/3 C. red wine (Manischewitz, concord grape) (the one good thing it's good for)
1/2 t. grated ginger
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
Peel, core, quarter the apples. Pulse all ingredients in food processor until chopped to desired consistency (not too pureed). Have your husband taste to let you know if you need more sugar, cinnamon or wine.
Let us know how it goes.
You will be fine! The greatest compliment I had was when my father-in-law told me my latkes tasted just like his mom's and he made me the official family latke-maker!