After the ceremonious reading of the Haggadah, invite your loved ones to join you for a hearty Seder dinner that is both traditional and modern. Start things off with a reinterpretation of the classic gefilte fish: pan-fried matzo-crusted trout. Serve with a crisp green salad. Next move on to rich bowls of piping hot matzo ball soup. Instead of offering the expected brisket, select another tough cut of meat — beef short ribs — and slow-cook in Kosher red wine. A tzimmes, a time-honored Passover stew made from sweet potatoes and dried fruit, is delicious on the side.
For these festive recipes,
1 large egg
1/4 cup water
1 cup matzo meal
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Eight 6-ounce rainbow trout fillets with skin, rinsed and patted dry
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
Oregano Oil, recipe below
- In a bowl, beat the egg and water with a pinch of salt. In a shallow baking dish, toss the matzo meal with the pepper, garlic powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
- Dip the trout fillets in the beaten egg, then dredge in the matzo meal mixture; transfer to a baking sheet.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in each of 2 large nonstick skillets. Add 4 fillets, skin side up, to each skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned at the edges, 5 minutes. Turn and cook until the skin is crisp and the fish is just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with salt. Serve with the Oregano Oil.
3 oregano sprigs, lightly crushed
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a glass measuring cup, combine the oregano and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 2 days. The oil can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Discard the sprigs before using.
Makes 2/3 cup.
- Seafood, Appetizers
7 to 8 ounces Boston lettuce (2 heads), torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 pound Bibb lettuce (2 heads), large leaves torn into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Combine lettuces in a large bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, then drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- Side Dishes, Greens
5 Tbs. melted chicken fat or vegetable oil
8 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup matzo meal
1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
2 Tbs. minced shallots
1 carrot, peeled and finely grated
1 cup peeled and finely diced carrots
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, 4 Tbs. of the chicken fat and 1/2 cup of the stock and whisk until well blended. Stir in the matzo meal, the 1 tsp. salt, the pepper, dill, shallots and grated carrot. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the remaining 8 cups stock to a simmer. Season with salt.
- Meanwhile, with wet hands, gently form the matzo meal mixture into 6 balls, each about 2 inches in diameter. Do not make them too compact.
- Slip the matzo balls into the simmering stock. When they rise to the surface, reduce the heat so the stock is barely simmering. Cover and cook for about 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. chicken fat. Add the diced carrots and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes; do not allow them to brown. Set aside.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the matzo balls to a bowl. Strain the stock into a clean pot and return the matzo balls to the soup. Ladle the soup and 1 matzo ball into each of 6 warmed bowls. Garnish with the sautéed carrots.
- Soups/Stews, Stock/Broth
1 bottle kosher for Passover Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons kosher for Passover vegetable oil
6 short ribs, trimmed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
Matzoh meal, for dredging
10 cloves garlic, peeled
8 large shallots, peeled, trimmed, rinsed, split, and dried
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 stalks celery, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, coarsely chopped
6 sprigs Italian parsley
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 quarts unsalted beef stock or chicken stock
Freshly ground white pepper
- Pour the wine into a large saucepan set over medium heat. When the wine is heated, carefully set it aflame. Let the flames die out, then increase the heat so that the wine boils; allow it to boil until it cooks down by 1/2. Remove from the heat.
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large casserole, large enough to hold 6 ribs, over medium-high heat. Season the ribs all over with salt and the crushed pepper. Dust the ribs with about 2 tablespoons of matzoh meal and then when the oil is hot, slip the ribs into the pot and sear for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until well browned.
- Transfer the browned ribs to a plate. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot; lower the heat to medium, and toss in the vegetables and herbs. Brown the vegetables lightly, 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute to blend.
- Add the reduced wine, browned ribs, and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil; cover the pot tightly, and slide it into the oven to braise for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the ribs are tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork. Every 30 minutes or so, lift the lid and skim and discard whatever fat may have bubbled up to the surface.
- Carefully transfer the meat to a heated serving platter with a lip and keep warm.
- Boil the pan liquid until it thickens and reduces to approximately 1 quart. Season with salt and pepper and pass through a fine-mesh strainer; discard the solids.
- Pour the sauce over the meat. Serve with vegetables of your choice.
- Main Dishes, Beef
9 medium carrots, (about 1 pound), peeled
4 sweet potatoes, (about 2 pounds)
1 cup bite-size pitted prunes, (about 6 ounces)
1 cup dried apricots, (about 5 ounces)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons orange zest, (from one orange)
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut carrots into 2-inch pieces.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, and lower heat to medium; add sweet potatoes in their skins, and cook for 20 minutes, adding the carrots after 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Peel sweet potatoes, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large bowl along with carrots and remaining ingredients. Mix well, and transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.
- Cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes, basting with pan juices after 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve immediately.
- Side Dishes, Potato