Smitten Kitchen Kosher for Passover Recipes

Although today is the last official day of Passover, I had to leave you off with two MUST TRY PASSOVER RECIPES from Smitten Kitchen. I figure you could always use them for 2010, though they’re great for any occassion despite them being k for p. Enjoy!

indian-spicedvegetablefrittersIndian-Spiced Potato Fritters  (minus the Peas if you’re k for p)

 

chocolatecaramelcrackersChocolate Caramel Crakers

 

 

chewyamaretticookiesChewy Amaretti Cookies

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Matzoh Pies, The Latest In New Israeli Food

matzohpieMatzoh Pies… yes, I did say Matzoh Pies. Yesterday’s kugel is today’s pie according to well, me and probably Janna Gur author of “The Book of New Israeli Food” and the chef behind this immaculate Passover masterpiece.

It is possible that I tend to appreciate food more than others but I was taken aback by the beauty of this Mina del Pesach (Passover Matzoh Pie). Though this Passover Matzoh Pie is a variation of a Shepard’s Pie, it obviously took time to mold each piece of Matzoh to appear as if it were an actual pie. A work of genius, I’m telling you!

And I can assure you that Passover Matzoh Pie is not the only thing we’ll be seeing from Janna Gur.  In “New Israeli Food,” Gur discusses diverse Jewish cultures – Sephardic, Ashkenazic – and other influences that make up Israeli cooking today. Gur claims that most of the upscale restaurants in Israel are a mix between Israeli and Mediterannean cuisines, so why shouldn’t we be reflecting that blending here in America?

The Boston Globe article portrays Gur as an incredibly interesting woman and a true culinary innovator. I look forward to uncovering additional recipes in “The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey” and trying out Gur’s Passover Matzoh Pie (with all of my leftover matzoh).

To replicate Gur’s Passover Matzoh Pie yourself visit the Boston Globe website here.

Jessica’s Matzoh Lasagna

mac-cheese-matzoh-lasagna-0092Matzoh Lasagna is my go-to food when I’m just sick of eating typical Jew food like turkey, brisket, kugel, and sweet and sour meatballs. Don’t get me wrong, those Jewish delicacies are delicious but there’s only so much meat I can eat in a week. And, I’m not much a meat eater to begin with.

And since it was already Day 4 of Passover and found myself craving Lasagna and Mac and Cheese, I knew I needed to shake things up. And though I can’t really replicate mac and cheese right now (though they do sell k for p noodles), I figured I’d take my best shot at making the lasagna.

Truth be told, it’s not too tough. You get some cheese, sauce,  matzoh and POOF you have yourself a matzoh lasagna. But, if you want to get creative, then you consult an expert like myself. Well, maybe not an expert, but it’s known that I like to experiment in the kitchen.

Lasagna is one of those rare dishes that you really just can’t screw up. Unless you oversalt it or somehow dry out the noodles, or matzoh in this case, even the worst of cooks can produce a phenomenal end result. So go crazy! Throw in whatever you have lying around your kitchen and experiment.

Though the Matzoh Lasagna recipe below is fairly typical, I included frozen spinach to give the dish more texture and added a few Italian spices to enhance the flavor of the lasagna. You’ll find that this is both an easy and satisfying dish that truly isn’t too different from the original. It’s also a great way to finish off those family size packages of Matzoh!

Jessica’s Matzoh Lasagna

mac-cheese-matzoh-lasagna-008

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Matzoh Sheets
  • 1 1/2 – 2 Cups K for P Pasta Sauce
  • 1 8 oz Package Frozen Spinach
  • 3/4 Container (12 oz) K for P Whipped Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 Pieces K for P Cheese (for top of matzoh lasagna)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • a few turns of fresh ground pepper

PREPARATIONS

  • Rinse the matzoh sheets under cold water and set aside stacked on a few paper towels. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Defrost the spinach and squeeze out all the additional liquid in a sieve.
  • Mix the spinach, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, and last 6 ingredients (spices) until well combined (some people like to add an egg to bind the mixture together).
  • Coat the bottom of a pan (large enough to hold the matzohs) with marinara sauce and place the first sheet of matzoh on top of the sauce
  • Spread 1/3 of the ricotta and spinach mixture on top and then cover with another piece of matzoh.
  • Repeat twice with the sauce, ricotta and spinach mixture, then matzoh process.
  • Top the fourth and final sheet of matzoh with sauce and four pieces of k for p cheese (Meunster, Mozzarella, Gouda, crumbled Feta) and any additional herbs you may want to top it off with like basil or oregano.
  • Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until cheese bubbles.

Why is this night different than all other nights?

Believe it or not, Passover happens to be one of my favorite Jewish holidays despite that we are forbidden from eating bread, among a few other random things like peanuts and corn syrup. Though one of the reasons I enjoy Passover is not because I no longer have to recite the four questions, but because I actually know the story of Passover. And though it’s not a happy story per se, like most things in life it’s an important stepping stone in how we (the Jews) survived persecution (feel free swap in your latest stressor here).

But in food terms, it gives most cooks a reason to experiment in the kitchen, and that’s really all the motivation I need to get cooking. So I figured that I’d leave you with a few choice recipes to help brighten your holiday meal, since this night really IS different than any other night…

I know it becomes difficult year after year to spice up your seder but Gourmet Magazine in particular has dozens of recipes in their online archives just waiting for some eager Jewish cook. Luckily, I’ve selected what I believe to be the most delicious recipes of the bunch and hope that after trying them for yourself, you’ll agree.

I’m planning on making the Matzoh Baklava and the Flourless Chocolate Cake, with hazelnuts. The only recipe I can vouch for is Chef Hung’s Herbed-Up Chicken. He was nice enough to share some of his Passover-friendly dishes at a Passover demo last weekend at the JEC. And I must admit, that it was not only easy to replicate, but was incredibly delicious. So stay tuned for the recipe… 

PASSOVER’s GREATEST RECIPES

Matzoh Baklava

Top Chef Hung’s Herbed-Up Chicken

Sindi’s Flourless Chocolate Cake (with hazelnuts)

Roast Leg of Lamb

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Eggplant Salad with Dill & Garlic

Braised Short Ribs

Cauliflower-Leek Kugel with Almond-Herb  Crust

It’s Great To Be Back!

This happens to be a big post for me. Not only is this my first post in over two weeks, which I know is just unacceptable for attaining a captive audience, but it’s also my first post on wordpress since I initially started blogging!

The truth is, I only left wordpress in the first place so that I could place sell out ads on my blog. I know that is completely lame and especially because I wasn’t even getting enough traffic to make anything substantial. And when I say substantial I mean, I JUST received a check for $2.20 cents from my only legit sponsor FoodBuzz. Clearly I wasn’t doing this for the money people!!! But regardless, I am happy to be back with wordpress which is a far superior blog host (to blogger) in more ways than I can speak of considering it is now 11:55 pm and I am completely exhausted from eating an absurd amount of food at tonight’s Choice Eats Awards, hosted by the Village Voice.

But not to worry, there will be PLENTY more on the Choice Eats Awards, with other fun coverage of recent food events, and PASSOVER recipes!