The Jewish holiday of Passover, celebrated this year from April 15-April 23, 2022, recognizes the plight of the Jewish people and how they attained freedom in Biblical times. We bond with family and friends during Passover at a Seder, a traditional feast that celebrates the Israelites’ miraculous freedom from slavery in Egypt at the hands of Pharaoh. And if you celebrate this holiday, you know that tradition and food go hand in hand to make the occasion special. A traditional Seder table is set with a special plate of six foods that symbolize what the Israelites had to endure. Wine is poured for blessings, and matzah (unleavened bread) is eaten to commemorate the Jews’ hasty departure from Egypt, which did not allow time for their bread to rise. However you celebrate this holiday; you’ll want to set your Passover table with traditional fare that may be prepared from recipes that have been handed down for generations, or begin your own tradition with recipes of your choosing. To help you along, we’ve compiled some delectable Passover recipes, from appetizers and soups to the main course and dessert. We hope you’ll find a favorite here that becomes a part of your Passover celebration.
Why do we eat it on Passover? Charoset is a delicious dish served alone or as one of the Seder plate items. It’s a mixture of fruits, nuts, and sweet wine or honey. Charoset is symbolic of the mortar used by the Israelite slaves.
- 3 medium Gala or Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
- 1½ cups walnut halves, lightly toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup sweet red wine such as Manischewitz
- 1½ tsps. ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. packed brown sugar
Instructions: In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients. Store it covered at room temperature until ready to serve.
Matzo Ball Soup
Why do we eat it on Passover? Matzo Ball Soup can be enjoyed for a Jewish holiday or anytime at all. The catch is to make your matzo balls airy and fluffy. Matzo represents the unleavened bread that the Jewish people ate in the desert to sustain themselves when they fled from Egypt.
For the Matzo Balls:
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup (54.5 ml) vegetable oil
- 7 tablespoons water
- 1 cup (140 g) matzo meal
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) salt
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) freshly ground black pepper
For the Soup:
- 2 quarts (1892.71 ml) chicken stock
- 3 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Make the Matzo Balls: Lightly whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vegetable oil, then the water. Stir together the matzo meal, salt, and pepper in a separate small bowl. Stir the matzo mixture into the egg mixture. The consistency will initially be like pancake batter, but it will immediately begin to thicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours.
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. With moistened hands, form 1 tablespoon of matzo mixture into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Drop the balls into the boiling water so that each falls into the pot in a different place, not crowding each other. When all of the balls are added, reduce the heat to medium-low heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove one matzo ball, cut in half, and check for doneness. The matzo ball is done when the inside is not dark or wet. If necessary, cook 5 to 10 additional minutes, or until the color is uniform throughout and the texture is light and fluffy (I did end up cooking mine for an additional 10 minutes).
- Make the Soup: While the matzo balls are cooking, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the carrots, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the matzo balls to the soup. Stir in the fresh parsley and serve immediately. Do not leave the Matzo balls sitting in the soup for more than one hour.
Source Credit: InsanelyGoodRecipes.com
Tzimmes (in Yiddish it means “a big fuss”)
Why do we eat it on Passover? This sweet casserole is an appropriate dish to be served during the Jewish holidays and is generally a symbolic gesture of hope for a sweet year ahead.
Note: You can make and freeze Tzimmes for up to 3 days ahead, cover and refrigerate. Reheat at 325 degrees.
- 1 1/2 lbs. orange yams, peeled and cut into 1–2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 lbs. white sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces (2 potatoes)
- 1 lb. carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds (8 carrots)
- 6 oz dried apples (1 1/2 cups)
- 6 oz dried cranberries (1 1/4 cups)
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (you may substitute “no chicken” broth)
- 12 oz pitted prunes (3 cups)
- Place cut yams, sweet potatoes, and carrots on the bottom of a large, heavy pot.
- Pour dried apples and cranberries on top.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together orange juice, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Pour mixture over the fruits and vegetables in the pot.
- Add chicken broth or “no chicken” broth to the pot, covering the vegetables halfway. Heat pot over medium-high until it begins to simmer. Stir the ingredients once gently. Reduce heat to a gentle but constant simmer. Cover the pot.
- After 45 minutes, open the pot and gently stir again. Place pitted prunes on top of the simmering ingredients.
- Cover pot. Continue to cook on the lowest heat for another 15 minutes, until potato pieces are tender, and prunes are warmed and softened. Don’t cook too long, or the prunes will dissolve.
Source Credit: toriavey.com
Why do we eat it on Passover? Brisket is a completely Kosher meat, unlike other parts of the animal, and was considered an inexpensive option because it could feed many people. Brisket is tough meat that must be cooked for many hours at a low temperature.
- 7 lbs. brisket, first or second cut (do not trim the fat – especially if it’s grass-fed)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 large brown onions, peeled and sliced
- 1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 lb. celery, peeled and sliced
- 28 oz tomatoes – whole, diced or crushed (1 large can)
- 10 peeled whole garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (I like apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar works too)
- 2 cups beef or chicken broth divided
- Salt and pepper
You will need: Large roasting pan, blender or food processor, large skillet, spatula, parchment paper, aluminum foil, large glass or ceramic baking dish, sharp carving knife
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Rinse the brisket and pat dry. Rub both sides of the meat with black pepper and salt.
- Heat a large skillet over a medium flame on the stovetop. Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil into the pan. Brown the brisket on both sides—it will take 4-5 minutes per side. A large brisket may overlap the edges of the skillet; you can brown it in stages, letting half the brisket overlap the edge, then adjusting it to brown the other half.
- While brisket is browning, pour canned tomatoes, garlic, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and 1 ½ cups broth into a blender or food processor. Add 2 tsp of salt (or 1 tsp if using a salted kosher cut of brisket) and ¼ tsp of black pepper. Pulse till garlic is chopped small and all ingredients are combined.
- Remove the browned brisket from the skillet.
- Drizzle 2 tbsp. more olive oil in the pan and add the sliced onions. Sauté them over medium-high for a few minutes until they begin to soften and shrink in size.
- Add the carrot and celery slices. Sauté for another 5-6 minutes until the onions are soft and browning and the vegetables are fragrant.
- Pour the vegetables out of the skillet and onto a plate, reserve. Add 1/2 cup beef stock or chicken stock into the skillet and let it heat up. Use a spatula to gently scrape up any brown bits and pan juices that are clinging to the skillet. Turn off heat.
- Pour half of the tomato mixture into a large roasting pan.
- Place brisket on top of the tomato sauce, fat cap facing up.
- Pour the sautéed vegetables across the top of the brisket, along with the broth and brown bits.
- Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top of the vegetables and brisket.
- Cover the roasting pan tightly with a layer of parchment paper followed by a layer of foil. The parchment forms a protective layer between the meat and sauce (which is acidic) and the foil.
- Place brisket in the oven. Let it roast undisturbed for 5 to 7 hours. It will take about 1 hour per pound of meat (leaner cuts of meat like grass-fed may take longer—test for doneness). The brisket is ready when it flakes when pierced with a fork. You can let it cook even longer for a soft, shredded texture if you prefer. When fully cooked, the brisket will have shrunk in size.
- Remove brisket from the pan and let it rest on the cutting board fat-side up for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the sauce and vegetables from the roasting pan into a smaller saucepan. Skim fat from the surface of the cooking sauce, then reheat the sauce till hot (not boiling).
- Cut fat cap off the brisket, then cut the brisket in thin slices against the grain. Serve topped with hot tomato sauce and softened veggies.
- Cover and refrigerate in a baking dish overnight, and warm up at 325 degrees for approximately one hour if serving the next day.
Source Credit: toriavey.com
Why do we eat it on Passover? Roasted meats were only eaten by royalty in biblical times, and many believe that by eating roasted meats God elevated the Jews from slavery to a holy nation. Serve your roasted chicken with veggies and potatoes.
- 1 whole chicken (about 5 lbs.)
- 3 Matzos, broken into small pieces
- ½ cup chicken broth, warmed
- 3/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
- ¼ cup margarine or (or butter, if not Kosher), divided
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup pecan pieces, toasted
- 2 Tbsp. matzo meal
- ½ Tsp. ground pepper
- ½ Tsp. ground thyme
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix broken matzos, chicken broth and apricots in a medium bowl; set aside. Melt 3 Tbsp. of the margarine in a large skillet. Add onion and celery; cook until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Add matzo mixture; mix well. Cool. Add eggs, pecans and matzo meal; mix well.
- Stuff chicken cavities with matzo mixture; close cavities with skewers and string. Place, breast side up, on rack in baking pan; brush with remaining 1 Tbsp. margarine, melted. Sprinkle with pepper and thyme.
- Bake 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until chicken is cooked through (165°F), basting occasionally.
Source credit: myfoodandfamily.com
Passover Rainbow Cookies
Why do we eat them on Passover? Cookies are a favorite sweet treat no matter the holiday tradition. And rainbow cookies are a Passover favorite. These traditional Kiddush cookies have been adapted with Passover ingredients.
Prep: 20 minutes, Cook: 10 Minutes, Ready in 30 Minutes plus chilling, Makes 18-24 cookies
Note: You’ll need 3 square baking pans.
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 4 oz almond paste, broken into little pieces or processed in a food processor for 30 seconds
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter or margarine
- ½ cup matzah cake meal
- ½ cup blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp kosher-for-Passover vanilla extract
- red and green food coloring (about 8 drops each)
To make the chocolate glaze:
- 1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- raspberry jam
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your pans. Add parchment paper to the bottom of each pan. Grease again and add a light dusting of matzah cake meal. Tap pan to remove any excess flour.
- Using a hand mixer (or whisk attachment to stand mixer), mix eggs and sugar until thick and yellow. Add crumbled almond paste and combine.
- Add melted butter (or margarine), matzah cake meal, almond flour, salt, and vanilla.
- Divide batter into three even amounts. (Try using a food scale if eyeballing is too difficult.) Leave one plain. Add green food coloring to one batch of batter. Add red food coloring to the other batch of batter.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just set and no longer wet in the middle.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Place chocolate, shortening, and a pinch of salt in a glass bowl. Microwave for 30-second intervals until melted. Stir vigorously to ensure there are no clumps.
- Place parchment paper on top of a platter or baking sheet. Add red cake layer to parchment paper. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam. Top with a white layer. Add another thin layer of raspberry jam. Top with green cake.
- Carefully spread half the melted chocolate on top. Place in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or until completely hard.
- Turn over and spread the remaining chocolate on the other side. Place back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight.
- Trim edges and slice into cookies.
Source Credit: Myjewishlearning.com
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By Susan Sherman for NP, Inc.