Passover apple rhubarb crisp

April 12, 2009 at 11:07 am (Cook's Illustrated, Crisps and cobblers, Dessert, My brain, Spring recipes, unrated)

This recipe is based on a generic crisp recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. I adapted it to make it kosher for passover, and to use the beautiful spring rhubarb. Read the rest of this entry »

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Vegetarian Passover 2009

April 12, 2009 at 10:43 am (Jewish, Menus, Spring recipes)

I hosted my first seder this year.  We had planned for 15 people total, but in the end one guest was sick so we had only(!) 14 people to feed.  I played around with a number of different recipes in the weeks leading up to the seder, but finally settled on this menu:

  • Appetizers (before the start of the seder):  matzoh, a cheese plate, and green bean pate
  • Appetizers (during the seder): Hillel sandwiches with harosetz and beet horseradish
  • Soup:  matzoh ball soup in vegetable broth, with diced carrots, diced parsnips, and peas
  • Main course:  spinach matzoh pie
  • Side dishes:  beets in a sesame orange dressing and three-seed quinoa salad
  • Dessert: apple rhubarb crisp
  • Mignardise:  toffikomen

I made the toffikomen a few nights before, and just let it sit out on the counter, covered by a bowl.  The quinoa salad and green bean pate I made the day before, along with the matzoh ball batter and the spinach matzoh pie filling.  The day of the seder, I made the haroset, the vegetable broth, the beets, and the crisp.  I also pre-baked the spanokopita and fruit crisps, and boiled the matzoh balls and soup vegetables.

All the food turned out well, but we significantly overestimated how much food we needed.  We bought 4 large chunks of different cheeses, which was about right.  However, I made 2 recipes of green bean pate, which made about 8 cups, but we only ate about half that.  I made 2 matzoh ball soup recipes, which was supposed to make 32 matzoh balls, but they came out small and so I wished I had made a few more.  If they had been bigger it would have been about right. I made 3 recipes of the spinach matzoh pie (24 servings), and probably 2 would have been enough.  We made about 16 beets, but they were barely touched.  I wouldn’t make the beets again, for Passover or otherwise.  The sesame orange dressing simply didn’t complement the beets that well.  We made three quinoa salad recipes (supposedly 12-16 servings), which made about 6 quarts! of salad, and again we barely made a dent.  Probably one recipe would have been fine.  I made 3 crisp recipes (18 servings), and 2 would have been enough.  We made 2 toffikomen recipes, and 1 would have been sufficient.  For next year, I’ve learned my lesson. Given all the courses, I think next year I will make 1.25 servings per person.  Some people will have seconds, but that is counteracted by the guests that only take half a serving.  Probably 1 serving per person is sufficient, but having some leftovers is nice.

To reduce the amount of cooking, I could have cut all the amounts, not made the harosetz or the green bean pate, and only made one dessert.  I think that everyone was pretty stuffed by the time the toffikomen came around.

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Passover spinach matzoh lasagne

April 12, 2009 at 10:15 am (B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Dark leafy greens, Jewish, Necessarily nonvegan, Pasta, Starches, Website / blog)

For Passover this year I wanted to make Peter Berley’s spinach mushroom vegan tart, but I didn’t have enough time to figure out how to make a kosher-for-Passover crust. I did try making an almond, matzoh meal crust held together with butter, but it just turned to crumbly sand. Instead, I ended up making this matzoh spanokopita (spanomatzikah? matzokopita?) recipe from Gourmet magazine for the main dish. Although it’s certainly rich and cheesy, it doesn’t taste overwhelmingly rich. I call it spanokopita, and although the flavors are similar, it would need significantly more feta and butter to deserve the name. I simplified the recipe significantly, by using a stick blender instead of a stand blender and skipping the matzoh soaking and spinach squeezing steps. Here is my modified version of the recipe. Read the rest of this entry »

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Passover apple nut cake

April 12, 2009 at 9:41 am (B_minus (2.5 stars), Cake, Dessert, From a friend, Jewish)

A friend made this Passover apple nut cake many years ago, and I remember it being huge and fluffy and delicious.  I asked her for the recipe, but never got around to making it.  Finally, almost ten years later, I came across the recipe scribbled on a piece of paper, and decided to give it a try for Passover. Read the rest of this entry »

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