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Biggest Passover "hit"

For me, it was pesto spaghetti squash.
I prepared a huge amount for Monday night's dinner. My guests finished the whole bowl, proclaiming it the "best spaghetti squash ever." My toddler thought it was real pasta, and kept asking for more noodles.

Definitely worth the work!!

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  1. Caramelized onion kugel cups made with potato starch and almond milk.

    3 Replies
    1. re: CloggieGirl

      The kugle contained: caramelize onions, almond milk, and potato starch as a thickener? Anything else? eggs?

      1. re: AdinaA

        Yes. I adapted this recipe (http://morequicheplease.com/2013/06/c...) by replacing corn starch with potato starch and soy milk with almond milk.

    2. pesto spaghetti squash sounds heavenly.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AdinaA

        I was upset there were no leftovers for me to have last night!

      2. It was mundane but my brisket was a huge hit - 8 lb Brisket devoured by 12 people - marinated overnight in Chili Sauce, Blueberry Preserves and a tablespoon of onion Soup mix -

        Placed in a pan on a bed of sliced onions and garlic cloves, seasoned with black pepper and kosher salt and then topped with a layer of tomato paste, a handful of brown sugar, another layer of tomato paste and more brown sugar (I used 2 cans of Tomato Paster)

        Sealed the pan tightly with aluminum foil and placed in a 275 deg F oven for 7-8 hours -

        1. Orange ginger sherbet, based on the sherbet recipe given to me on CH by queenscook.

          4 Replies
          1. re: almond tree

            I'm always pleased to hear when others have used my recipes and recommendations, especially when they're successful.

            Did you use fresh oranges, orange juice, or OJ concentrate? Similarly, in what form was the ginger you used? I would assume you used fresh, but I suppose powdered could work. What were the proportions? I've never done that combo, but it sounds great.

            1. re: queenscook

              It was a very busy erev Shabbos, so my measurements were not too precise, but here's approx. what I used:
              Juice & pulp of 3 large oranges and of about 1/3 lemon, 1 or 2 tsp minced fresh ginger, 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup sugar.
              I used fresh oranges first because they were a bit sour for eating as is and second I didn't want the sherbet just to taste like frozen OJ.
              It came out very tasty & refreshing. I served it with almond butter cookies, which were discussed on another Pesach thread.

            2. Shakshuka served on roasted portobellos with grilled haloumi and matzo sticks.

              3 Replies
              1. re: susiejane

                Did you use a grill pan for the halloumi? Any marinade? Have a package in my fridge

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  I did not have a pesadich grill pan especially not a milchig one.
                  I just cut vertical slices about 1/2 inch thick and did i it in a skillet. No marinade, but perhaps I used a little olive oil. we dipped it in the shakshuka sauce.

                1. re: ferret

                  Can you please share your gnocchi recipe. Mine game out very gummy. Thanks!

                  1. re: EmpireState

                    I used Yukon Golds. The batch I made used 9 medium-ish potatoes, baked rather than boiled. Once cooled to the touch (still pretty warm) I peeled them and put them through a ricer. Making a well in the middle, I added 3 eggs, a cup and a half of potato starch, cup of matzah cake meal, 1/3 cup olive oil and salt and pepper. Mixed it well and put it in the fridge for about an hour.

                    Then I grabbed a handful of the mixture, rolled it lightly into a ball and then rolled it on the counter into a snake about the diameter of my finger. Cut into 3/4" pieces on the diagonal, roll against the tines of a fork (optional) to get some furrows, and then drop into boiling water until they float.

                    I added them to a skillet with some olive oil, garlic, chopped parsley and basil and a healthy splash of brisket juices. Then ever so slightly brown while moving them around with a soft spoon (plastic, not metal). They were perfect.

                    1. re: ferret

                      Thanks. Do you remember how long this took from start to finish? Also do you know why all the gnocchi recipes call for peeling the potatoes AFTER they're cooked?

                      1. re: EmpireState

                        If you boil them skinless, you'll lose some starch and the potatoes absorb too much moisture. For a baked potato, the edges would dry out and you'd loose potato and end up having to scrape of that. If you can cook them ahead of time, cooked potatoes are far easier to peel than raw.

                        1. re: EmpireState

                          Baking took about 45 minutes, then about 15 minutes to wait for the potatoes to cool. Peeling, ricing, mixing took about 15 minutes, then an hour in the fridge. Rolling out and cooking took about 10 minutes for the whole batch.

                          1. re: ferret

                            Thanks. It sounds like it was worth the wait. I was impatient waiting for mine to finish and the result was so disappointing. I look forward to try your recipe. Thanks CloggieGirl for suggesting to cook them ahead of time...

                            1. re: EmpireState

                              Also, if you can do so, microwaving cooks them faster. You'd probably have to microwave a few at a time but that gives you time to let them cool and start peeling when others are cooking.

                    2. Seriously, and perhaps oddly, it was matzoh ball soup on the last night. Oh, and pancakes (matzoh meal, almond flour and potato flour) on the last four days were big hits.

                      1. I have to make brisket and matzah ball soup otherwise I might just be banned from the seder.

                        Some of this year's desserts were real keepers:
                        Devil's Food Cake with Almond Butter Frosting
                        Coconut Panna Cotta with Mango Curd (the panna cotta part was the huge hit)
                        the olive oil brownies from one of the other Passover threads

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: rockycat

                          Ditto on the brownies. Worth every nickel of the $6 I paid for the Lieber's vanilla to hide the olive oil taste.

                          Best purchase: Date syrup. I ate plain Dannon with date syrup all week including last night after we went shopping.

                          1. re: SoCal Mother

                            I'm surprised the olive oil had such an overwhelming taste; mine didn't, and I used extra-virgin, unlike some years where I used a lighter version.

                            I also made one pan where I used orange flavoring . . . not to hide any olive oil taste, but just for the flavor itself. It goes over well.

                            1. re: SoCal Mother

                              Date syrup is a good call. I used it on cottage cheese for breakfast most mornings.

                              1. re: rockycat

                                It's wonderful on matzoh brei. Speaking of which, any Yiddishist want to tell me what "brei" means.

                          2. Pot roast, potatoes, 1/2 onion, onion soup mix and sweet paprika done in crock pot - big hit,

                            1. Asparagus wrapped in home cured/smoked duck breast and/or salami grilled outside on the bbq and served with skewers of grilled new potatoes, peppers and onions.

                              Except for the sedarim and shabbos almost all our fleishige meals were cooked outside on the grill

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: bagelman01

                                I am sure that in those days we cooked manna outside on a grill too.

                                1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                  "The people spread out and collected it, and ground it in a mill or pounded it with a pestle, and boiled it in a pot, and made it into cakes; and its taste was like the moisture of oil."

                              2. Cauliflower crust pizza. Delicious and will be making all year, especially for the low carb crowd. My MIL could not believe it wasn't real pizza. The Tonnelli vodka style marinara sauce I used was reasonable tasty.

                                Also made chocolate chip mandel bread from a recipe given to me by a very secular coworker, and it was just right for a simple dessert or with coffee.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: helou

                                  Almost forgot! Turkish Albóndigas de Pirasa (Leek Meatballs). Wonderful.

                                  I have to ask - did anyone else enjoy David Brooks' Passover drasha column in the NYT as much as I did?

                                  1. re: helou

                                    I made califlower pizza too. So good a must try!

                                    1. re: sig

                                      I make zucchini pizza during the year. SO good

                                  2. Butternut squash soup using chopped onion, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic. I used Pereg meatball spice and ground cumin and cayenne. I roasted raw pumpkin seeds and chopped fresh cilantro to put on top. Another big hit were meatballs using the Pereg meatball spice (1 1/2 tsp per lb of meat) simmered in garlicky tomato sauce. I used a combination of ground beef and lamb.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: sharonfl

                                      I made a very similar butternut squash soup served with diced sauteed apples as a garnish. It was a hit!

                                    2. Claudia Roden's orange almond cake

                                      1. Mashed potatoes with grilled onions went over very well too. Sometimes the simple classics are all what people want.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: MartyB

                                          Use yellow potatoes, purportedly "Yukon Gold", lots of olive oil from experienced olives, much more salt than I would want to use, lots of chopped fresh dill, sauteed onions but at the end otherwise they disappear as mush.
                                          Instead of dill, sauteed garlic

                                        2. Eggplant matza mina, Nava Atlas' recipe

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: noya

                                            hubby's delish perfectly layered matzo lasagna and Gefen gluten free brownies were actually very good. Don't know how they do it out of basically potato starch, no matzo cake meal that's usually in Pesach brownies.
                                            Also, we had a fun tzimmes based on a mistake. Made tzimmes with Yukon and Russetts which cooked at completely different rates, so ended up with mashed potatoes, tzimmes style! And hubby's salmon croquettes are the best ever. Also tried a different farfel kugel recipe this year which called for a pound of cream cheese, which made me wonder, but it came out great, almost delicate, kind of a cross between kugel, cheese blintzes and cheesecake..

                                            1. re: chompie

                                              Would you share the kugel recipe with us? Sounds like the sort of thing that would be a big hit with my milichig loving picky eater grandchildren?

                                              Were the salmon croquettes made with canned or fresh salmon? would love a good recipe for that too.

                                              1. re: helou

                                                I'm not sophisticated enuf with my PC to link it, but google Matzo Passover Kugel at GreatGrub and it should show up.. We did change it a bit. Did not add the 1/2 cup of jam, instead added about third or more cup of sugar and threw in an extra cup of sour cream to finish the 2 containers. We also did not just use a splash of water. We soaked the farfel in a bunch of hot water til soft and squeezed it out. We also did not do the nut topping, just sprinkled cinnamon sugar on it. The recipe states that a lot can be changed without messing it up, and states those things. I will warn though that it was supposed to be a nine inch brownie pan for 45 minutes, but we ended up with closer to a 9x12 pan for an hour and a half! We microwaved a bowl of what didn't fit in our pan and it came out really good too! Sorry if that all sounds so complex but I think you can just mess around with their recipe as you see fit. This one looked fairly thick while making. I have made a different one that adds 2 cups of milk, the soaking water, more egg and less cream cheese and looks like soup and takes a long time to cook and firm but tastes very similar once done!

                                                1. re: helou

                                                  salmon croquettes are with canned salmon. We use the pink boneless skinless Bumble Bee. He hasn't written it down and it sounds pretty pedestrian but comes out really tasty. He mixes the salmon with mayo as if making salmon salad and a bit of ketchup and garlic powder and matzo meal til it can make patties and fries in sizzling oil until brown and crisp on outside, maybe a couple minutes on each side. Maybe the K for P Mayo and Ketchup gave it an even extra special flavor. He used to use eggs but doesn't bother any more.

                                            2. Passover farfel granola...used it to make an apple crisp topping. Leftovers were awesome. And toffee chocolate matzoh candy, people were fighting for the scraps.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: BeeZee

                                                is that the one where you dip the matzo in butterscotch, chocolate and nuts? I faked it last year for a quick snack by just melting some brown sugar and butter in the microwave, dipping the matzo and drizzling some melted chocolate and it crisped up and made a great quick snack.. forgot to do it this year..