Favorite Passover Recipes - 2014
In celebration of Passover, our popular series, Cooking with the Stars returns. Let's gather around the Passover table, sharing favorite family recipes from the 2014 guest culinary stars. Some of these recipes are beloved heirlooms; some are updated treasures, several are new and contemporary. All are truly delicious!
We thank our 2014 culinary Stars for sharing their cherished family food jewels, and wish them all a happy, healthy, kosher, and zissen (sweet) Passover!
Tamar Ansh is a busy multitasking mom who loves to write, cook, bake, read, and more. In her spare time, Tamar is a bestselling cookbook author of books such as A Taste of Challah, Pesach - Anything's Possible, A Taste of Tradition and others. She is a food columnist and gives live cooking and challah demonstrations around the world. Mrs. Ansh lives in Jerusalem together with her family and their pet rabbit Fluffy. Her newest book (a "Passover Cookbook for Kids"), is avaliable here: Let My Children Cook!: A Passover Cookbook for Kids
Lauren Stacy Berdy
Lauren Stacy Berdy writes: "What's a Jewish Papa to do when his daughter wants to become a chef?" It was 1976 and that is not what he had in mind for her.
Lauren Stacy Berdy has cooked professionally for over 30 years and in kosher kitchens for thousands of hours. She studied at LaVarenne Ecole de Cuisine, Paris, earning Le Grande Diplome d'Etudes Culinairs. Over the years, Lauren has developed a substantial kosher clientele who appreciate the integration of her vast culinary knowledge with Jewish dietary laws. Lauren wrote her first book, an e-book titled Remaining Kosher, as an invitation for readers to look over her shoulder in the kitchen, and to join her on foraging journeys to the ethnic markets she finds wherever she lives or visits. Lauren lives in South Florida. Visit her website: laurenstacyberdy.com.
Remaining Kosher may be purchased through iTunes or the Apple iBooks App on your iPad or your Mac. You may also buy it here:
Mayim Hoya Bialik is an Emmy nominated actress, trained neuroscientist, author and the mother of two sons. She is currently starring on the CBS hit comedy "The Big Bang Theory", where for six seasons she has played the Emmy nominated role of Amy Farrah Fowler. Her career has been amazing, diverse and now quite delicious! She writes weekly for the Jewish parenting site Kveller.com sharing thoughts about her life as an observant Jewish actress and mother.She studies through Partners in Torah, and speaks for a variety of organizations around the United States. Visit Mayim's Facebook page official.mayim.bialik; follow @Missmayim on Twitter; or read her her blog on kveller.com. Do read our review of her latest book "Mayim's Vegan Table", a vegan family cookbook.
We thank Mayim for sharing some Passover thoughts with KosherEye readers:
What is your favorite childhood Passover food memory - and would you share the recipe with our readers?
My favorite memory of Passover and food isn't a home-cooked one, although my mom was a great cook! She would buy this tray of tiny Pesach chocolates, maybe a tray of 24... I think it was, all lined up in this plastic tray. Some were flavored, with coffee or orange, and they were these amazing little vintage-style chocolates. I have not seen them in maybe 25 years though. But they always said "Pesach" to me. (KE: Mayim, we think that you are talking about an assortment from Barton's or Barricini's)
What dishes are the highlights of a delish Vegan Passover Seder?
Well, I always make mango quinoa, and I love sautéed artichoke bottoms with shallots. I make a lovely eggplant tomato farfel casserole, which sounds mushy, but it's actually delightful and is a big hit with my sons too. On the Seder plate itself, I use beets instead of a shank bone (which is an halachically acceptable substitution), and a wooden darning egg instead of a chicken's egg!
What are your ultra-favorite vegan recipes for Passover?
I make Ashkenazi charoses with apples, walnuts, and Manischewitz. My ex-husband prefers making a Sephardic one with dates, cinnamon, and raisins. Funnily enough, that's become everyone's favorite except my father, who still prefers mine!
Moroccan Vegetable Salad
Eggplant Farfel Casserole
Chocolate Truffle Pie
Ronnie Fein is a cookbook author and cooking teacher in Stamford. Her latest book is Hip Kosher. Visit her food blog, Kitchen Vignettes at www.ronniefein.com, and follow her on Twitter at @RonnieVFein.
My grandmother was a typical, European Jewish grandma, always hugging, always busy, always cooking the different foods that her children and grandchildren loved. Chremslach for my brother Jeff, baked blintzes for my Dad. For my mother there was grandma’s roasted eggplant salad, which she called “potlajella” (I tasted something similar, called raheb, in Egypt). We visited grandma once a week and I remember that practically every time we got to her house there was an eggplant cooking right on top of the gas burner. She’d let the vegetable scorch black, then she’d scoop the insides into a bowl and mix it with chopped raw onion and sometimes tomatoes or bell peppers, occasionally celery, always olive oil. I hated that dish. I did try it, if only because my mother raved about it so much and because I was fascinated by how those flames came right around the eggplant in the middle of the kitchen. But I thought the salad tasted awful. In fact, because of potlajella I had an aversion to eggplant until I was a married woman and my husband asked me to cook some. Naturally, I chose to make grandma’s recipe, which wasn’t a recipe at all, just a bunch of ingredients, to see if Ed would like it. I roasted the eggplant at high heat in the oven (you can’t scorch an eggplant on an electric cooktop!) and I “potchkied” with the ingredients as grandma used to say, and was surprised at how delicious we both thought it was. Tastes change. For many years now I make grandma’s eggplant salad several times a year and usually for one of my Seder dinners. I change the recipe from time to time though. Sometimes I add some fresh, chopped chili pepper or cilantro (grandma would never have thought of those!) or mix in a few olives. I use shallots, which have less sting than raw onion. I also give it a sprinkle of zatar as a final flourish. Whatever the changes, this will always be grandma’s potlajella. Beautiful, refreshing and delicious for our Passover table.
Ronnie's recipe: Eggplant Salad
Susie Fishbein is a world-famous kosher cook and author. Her wildly successful Kosher by Design series has sold almost half a million copies worldwide and has led to hundreds of appearances by Susie from coast-to-coast, Canada and Israel. She has profiled in the New York Times and on CNN, and been named one of the 50 most influential Jews by the Forward. A media darling, she has been a guest on dozens of network TV and radio shows, and at the White house In recognition of National Jewish Heritage Month. She is just back from leading a culinary tour of Israel. Susie's influence on the kosher culinary world was recognized by her peers when she received an award as a kosher pioneer at the 2013 Kosherfest media event, Kosherfeast.
Susie's Recipe: Popovers with Strawberry and Cinnamon Honey Butter
Laura Frankel is the Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. She is the author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons (Wiley) and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes (Wiley). Chef Laura writes for The Jerusalem Post and Bitayavon and Joy of Kosher magazines. Chef Laura is an avid farmer’s market supporter, giving demos and teaching classes all over the country featuring market produce. Chef Laura has cooked for many dignitaries, including: Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Joseph and Hadassah Lieberman, Presidential Candidate Al Gore, Mikhail Gorbachev, President George Bush,Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven Spielberg, Senator Hillary Clinton, Ivanka Trump, and many others. At the 25th anniversary celebration of Kosherfest in the fall of 2013, Chef Laura was honored as an innovator in Modern Kosher Cuisine. Visit her website is www.ChefLauraskosher.com. Follow her on Twitter: cheflaura1, and check out her Facebook page cheflauraskosher.
For Norene, life is a four-letter word "FOOD!" She is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada, as well as a food consultant, cooking instructor, speaker and recipe developer. She has also operated a catering company and is a contributor to the Canadian Jewish News along with numerous other publications around the world. Her newest book is The New Food Processor Bible 30th Anniversary edition. In late 2013, Norene was honored by her peers and recognized as a kosher pioneer at the pre Kosherfest Kosherfeast event. Visit Norene at Gourmania.com or on twitter at @norenecooks or join the chat on her popular Facebook page Norene's Kitchen.
Passover Food Memories
My late mom, Belle Rykiss z'l, was an outstanding cook and baker. She would make the most delicious meichels for her family and she rarely needed to refer to a written recipe. Weeks before Pesach, we would have discussions on the best way to make the lightest, best-tasting Passover sponge cake, debating on how many eggs we needed to ensure that the cake would reach the very top of the tube pan. She would use a combination of potato starch and cake meal – she hated the taste of cakes made with just potato starch. I loved when she added grated bittersweet chocolate to her cake batter.
My mother's matzo balls were always light and "puchedich". During the year, she would add baking powder to the batter to make them as light as a cloud. Either omit it during Passover, or use Passover baking powder. My mom could always tell the difference between matzo balls made from a mix and those that were homemade. You could rarely fool my mother!
At the Passover Seder, I think that perhaps the fifth question should be,
"How many matzo balls would you like – one or two?" The polite son replies "Two please, if you have enough!" But the hungry son replies, "I'll have at least four!"
Eileen Goltz is a food writer and host of Slice of Life on NPR. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris and currently lives in Fort Wayne. She writes for the Journal Gazette and various newspapers, magazine, websites and blogs throughout the United States and Canada. She is the author of the Perfectly Parve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Group, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press and Woman's World Magazine. Visit Eileen at her website: CuisinebyEileen.com.
We thank Eileen for sharing her 2014 List of Passover Substitutes with KosherEye.
June Hersh is a former teacher, passionate home cook, food archivist and an author who writes cookbooks with a charitable flavor. Her first book Recipes Remembered, a Celebration of Survival, was written in association with the Museum of Jewish Heritage who benefits from ALL of her proceeds. Now in its fifth printing, it features the remarkable stories and cherished recipes of Holocaust survivors. June and a special softcover edition of Recipes Remembered was featured on QVC this past March. She also authored, The Kosher Carnivore, the ultimate meat & poultry cookbook written for the kosher clueless to the kosher committed.
Books are available through the Museum of Jewish Heritage or online booksellers.
June blogs regularly sharing food tidbits and a slice of life and has been a featured columnist for The Jewish Week and KosherEye. She speaks across the country about Recipes Remembered for private groups and Synagogues and is a featured speaker for both The Jewish Book Council and The Federation of North America. Additionally, she is a member of the lay advisory council to the New York Board of Rabbis. Recently she teamed with professional photographer Brian Marcus to photograph and interview Holocaust survivors and their families for an eventual gallery exhibit and illustrated book. See hsproject.org.
She and her husband of over 37 years call New York City their weekday home, spending weekends in Bedford, New York. Visit June's website at: http://www.junehersh.com
Follow her on twitter @junehersh or on Facebook at June Feiss Hersh
For speaking engagements Contact Ron at email@example.com
June's Recipe: Tsimmes Chicken with Prunes
Ruth Joseph lives in Cardiff, Wales. She is a prize- winning Welsh-Jewish author and media personality, and has been involved in broadcasting. She has been on several TV programs carried on the BBC Wales, including her popular series titled 'Anti- Inflation Cookery'. She is also a food writer for the Jewish Chronicle. Ruth is the author of the book Jewish Traditional Cooking that shares 150 nostalgic and contemporary Jewish recipes. http://ruthjoseph.co.uk
Passover Star Lévana Kirschenbaum was co-owner of Lévana Restaurant on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and a pioneer in kosher upscale dining. She is a cooking teacher and cookbook author, and the diva of glorious, simple, healthy meals. Levana has countless devoted fans for her fearless, practical and nutritious approach to cooking and embarks on speaking, book signing and cooking engagements around the country and abroad. Levana has published "Lévana's Table: Kosher Cooking for Everyone", "Lévana Cooks Dairy-Free!" and a book-DVD set based on her demo series called "In Short Order ". Her latest publication is "The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple. Visit her website www.levanacooks.com, and on Twitter: @Levanacooks and find Lévana on Facebook as well.
Levana's Recipe: Brisket in Sweet and Sour Sauce
Gloria Kobrin specializes in creating delicious gourmet food that is approachable to the home cook and that happens to be kosher. Author of the Kosher Cookbook App for iPhone and iPad, Gloria currently shares her recipes and cooking tips on her kosher cookbook page on Facebook: on her blog at: koshercookbook.blogspot.com, on Twitter.com/Koshercookbook, and now on her fabulous new website: KOSHERBYGLORIA.COM. In Gloria's words: "Kosher Cookbook has grown from a fledgling App that no one had ever heard of to an active Facebook page where I interact with people from all over the world; to my guest posts on other sites about food, travel and books, to what is now Kosher by Gloria. It has grown wings."
Her peers honored Gloria as a cutting-edge kosher star at the 2013 KosherFeast, the pre-Kosherfest media dinner.
Rabbi Chef Avi Levy
It Ain't Over Until it's Passover
Every year at this time, it seems like a collective scream goes up from Jewish households worldwide. "AHHHHH!!!! PESACH'S COMING!!!! "
The first order of business in my house is to take a careful assessment of all the chametz, and determine what we must get rid of. Traditionally I start with my liquor cabinet. Somehow starting there always makes the rest of the job easier and more fun. Go figure.
Now that my kitchen is relatively chametz-free, I start to think about cooking. . . again.The reality is that with all of the cleaning, turning the kitchen upside down and shopping, I rely on a few stand-by recipes.
Now I have always believed that we make too big a deal out of our Pesach menus and the subsequent foods for the eight days (seven if you're in Israel).
Pesach is a state of mind, literally and spiritually."One of the concepts in the elimination of chametz from our lives on Pesach is that we eliminate our inflated egos and desires and return to a simpler, more spiritual lifestyle. And one of the most outward manifestations of that is in our food."
So for us it's back to the basics - fresh vegetables, minimally processed and natural foods.
So this is a great opportunity to get some fresh herbs and spices into your dishes. There are so many different minhagim (customs) on Passover, depending on whether you're Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Chabad etc.,that it's best to consult your own rabbi if you have any questions.
A quick wine note: when it comes to your Seder, having good wine is important both from a gastronomical and a spiritual perspective. But BE CAREFUL. Make sure that the wine you use is not only kosher, but also kosher for Passover.
It should be noted that many hold to the tradition that the food served at the Seders should not be roasted, but instead should be cooked in some sort of liquid. This is a tradition designed to avoid anyone confusing the food we're eating with a Pesach sacrifice,which was always roasted. So for me, I go with some stand-by recipes:
Rabbi Avi's recipes:
Turkish Lamb Armico
Mediterranean Lamb Koftas
Sharon Lurie (who actually is the Kosher Butcher's wife) is the author of two bestselling cookbooks- Cooking with the Kosher Butcher's Wife and Celebrating with the Kosher Butcher's Wife.
She is also producer and star of her own radio show in South Africa on 101.9 CHAI FM RADIO- http://www.chaifm.com/index.php/line-up/weekday-shows-6am-6pm/6am-12pm/chai-cooking-corner (LINK)
In addition to creative recipes, gorgeous photos, and an obvious love and passion for Jewish culinary heritage, Sharon's books share her secrets and vast knowledge of meat cuts – how to select them, cook them, season them and serve them. Sharon's husband's branch of the family has owned and operated Johannesburg's Nussbaum's Kosher Butchery since 1936.
Wait until you see her Passover table. WOW!
CELEBRATING WITH THE KOSHER BUTCHER'S WIFE
By Sharon Lurie, The Kosher Butcher's Wife
We start celebrating Pesach with the Seder meal where matzo makes its debut and 'Baron de Luria' , our own homemade vintage, takes center stage. Pesach is an eight-day festival, but this is where I beg to differ (sorry, but it's in the blood). For me Pesach is anything but eight days. It's an intense five weeks of hard labor, scrubbing and cleaning like an obsessive-compulsive maniac! When I start scrubbing those curtains and carpets, believe me, I'm one with my Matriarchs. I must have worked in the launderette of Pharaoh's palace!
As parents, we have the capacity to ensure that the page our children take out of our Hagaddahs are filled with beautiful warm memories of this special Chag. Involving our children and grandchildren in all the Pesach preparations is certainly an investment in their futures and ours.
Some of my warmest childhood memories are those borne out of the strict preparations for Pesach.
The 'searchical scrub' as we called it, (never mind the search for chometz, no Surgeon could 'scrub up' the way my mother did for Pesach) would happen every year round about now. Only once every pot, pan and plate used during the year had been packed away in cupboards and sealed so that not even Houdini's plates could escape, could we bring down the Pesach kitchenware. Up would go the ladders and down from the cupboards would come the crockery and cutlery, unpacked to the beat of a military drum!
All this for just eight days of the year and the cooking hadn't even begun!
Jeff Nathan, is Executive Chef and co-owner of Abigael's on Broadway and is an award-winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author of two best selling books, Adventures in Jewish Cooking and Jeff Nathan's Family Suppers: More Than 125 Simple Kosher Recipes. He is well known for his television series, New Jewish Cuisine, which is seen on public television stations nationwide, in Israel and in several other countries. Chef Jeff is also culinary consultant for the Hain Celestial Group and Kedem / Royal Wines Corporation. His creative approach to cooking has been enthusiastically received in leading newspapers and magazines, and he has been a guest chef on several TV programs. He has appeared on most all of the major networks and took away the bragging rights when he won the chicken soup Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Visit Chef Jeff on his Facebook page Jeff Nathan-Abigaels or on Abigaels.com. And, by the way if you don't feel like cooking for Passover, Abigael's can accommodate you and your guests for Seder! (By reservation only, space permitting.)
Passover Star Joan Nathan considers food through the lenses of history, culture, and tradition. She regularly contributes to The New York Times, Food Arts Magazine, and Tablet Magazine and is the author of ten award-winning cookbooks. Her most recent book is Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, which was named one of the 10 best cookbooks of 2010 by NPR, Food and Wine, and Bon Appétit magazines. In 1994, Nathan's Jewish Cooking in America won both the James Beard Award and the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook of the Year Award. Eleven years later, these awards were bestowed upon her 2005 cookbook, The New American Cooking. Joan was recently honored as a kosher pioneer at Kosherfeast, the pre-Kosherfest media event.
The mother of three grown children, Ms. Nathan lives in Washington, D.C. and Martha's Vineyard with her husband, attorney Allan Gerson. For more information, visit her website at: joannathan.com.
Joan's Recipe: My Favorite Brisket (Not Too Gedempte Fleysch)
Paula Shoyer, author of The Holiday Kosher Baker (Sterling 2013) and The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-Free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy (Brandeis 2010) and is a contributing editor to several publications including Ami's Whisk, Kosherscoop.com, joyofkosher.com, jewishfoodexperience.com, and the Washington Post, among others. Paula graduated from the Ritz Escoffier pastry program in Paris, and now teaches French and Jewish baking classes in the Washington, DC area and conducts large-scale baking demonstrations around the world. She also consults for kosher bakeries. Paula has appeared on Food Network's Sweet Genius and is a frequent TV news show guest. She lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with her husband and four children. Visit Paula at her website paulaspastry.com.
Paula's Recipe: Florentine Bars
Tina Wasserman is an award-winning cooking instructor, specializing in contemporary kosher cuisine. Trained in nutrition and education, Tina holds degrees from Syracuse University and New York University, and is a popular food educator in her own cooking school and as a scholar-in-residence in communities across North America. In 1994, Tina was elected to Les Dames d'Escoffier, an international culinary society that honors women in the food and beverage industry. Tina is the food expert for ReformJudaism.org. Her first cookbook, Entrée to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora continues to be embraced as a teaching tool and history of Jewish foods throughout the world as much as a cherished cookbook. She lives in Dallas, Texas. For more about Tina, visit Cookingandmore.com.
A lifelong food lover, Orly Ziv worked for many years as a clinical nutritionist before launching her company Cook in Israel in 2009 where she offers culinary tours around Israel and intimate cooking classes in her home. Orly believes that one of the best ways to learn about a place and people is through the food they eat. She recently published her first cookbook, Cook in Israel, which includes over 100 healthy and delicious recipes that are simple to prepare, each accompanied by a beautiful full color photograph. Visit Orly Ziv at cookinisrael.com