Monday, April 17, 2006

Surprisingly Good Passover Food

As I usually can't stand Pesach, here are some surprisingly good recipes I found. Some from friends, some from the good ole net and some from a great book entitled Matzah 101.

Some of the recipes, the ones form Matzah 101 actually, call for "prepared matzah" To do this, set out dry paper towels onto a surface, counter, table, etc. wet matzah under cool running water and lay flat side by sider onto the papertowels. Put sopping we papertowels over the wet matzahs. Wait 10-20 min until matzahs have the consistency of an al-dente noodle. remove the top layer of paper towels and let dry for another 15-30 min. Then you can use them in the recipes or store them in plastic wrap. I like to do 1 or 2 boxes at a time so I have the prepared matzahs all ready to go when I need them.

When you're ready for them just spread with softened butter or margarine and for a sweet recipe brush with a vanilla orange juice mixture and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. For a regular recipe sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, parsley, oregano, basil or anything else that strikes your fancy.

So here we go, Pesach Recipes!

Quinoa Pilaf (quinoa is a great grain with protein that's kosher for pesach! YAY!)

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken soup(or 2 cups water & 2 tbsp chicken soup flavoring)
1 cup celery minced
8 oz mushrooms
1 medium onion chopped

Sautee onions, then add celery, then mushrooms.
In a medium bowl soak the quinoa in cold water for 5 minutes
Drain and rinse under cold running water
In a medium saucepan combine the soakes quinoa, vegetables, and soup and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes or until just tender
Drain, reserving the cooking liquid

Matzah Spring Rolls

12 prepared matzah
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
3 Medium Onions grated
4 Stalks Celery finely sliced
4 Medium Carrots, peeled and grated
1 Small Cabbage, Grated
1 tbsp pepper
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp margarine

In a medium nonstick skillet, place oil over medium heat.
Saute, onions, celry, carrotsd, and cabbage for 5-10 min
Add pepper and sauté 2 more min
Cool and set aside

Cut prepared matzah into fourths
Lightly brush softened margarine on both sides of prepared matzah quarters.
Add one tbsp veggie mixture in lower center of matzah end and roll up firmly.
Place onto cookie sheet, seam side down.
Bake in preheated oven @ 400 Deg F. for 30-40 deg until golden.

Matzah Lasagna Spinach Rolls
These were AWESOME! No way could I tell it was matzah instead of noodles.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Preparation Time, 30 minutes
Yield 27

9 Prepared matzahs
4 Tbsp margarine
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped, or frozen and pressed

Trim top and bottom of prepared matzah as close to the edge by following the grain for a nice finish. Now, make strips by cutting the matzah into thirds, again following the grain, and set aside

Coat 2 11x7 baking dishes with no stick cooking spray. Drain and thaw out the spinach.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, all or the mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese and spinach and stir well.
Very lightly spread softened magarine on the softened margarine strips, then spread about 1 tbsp of the spinach mixture on each strip and roll up. Arrange cut side down and set aside.
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato, fresh or canned
4 cups tomato sauce
1 teaspoon each oregano and basil
1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, and onion powder
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Fresh basil for garnish

The sauce does not need to be cooked separately. Mix above ingredients and spoon mixture over lasagna rolls. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, Uncover and top with the remaining parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and serve with salad as a meal or appetizer.

Matzah NY Cheesecake.
Also amazing! My family loved this one, and they even loved the matzah crust. "better than the graham craker kind" Just beware, this one takes a lot of planning ahead, because it needs to cool a couple of times at loooong intervals.

Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees. Yield 16 DO AHEAD 14 hour recipe.

For the Crust,
4 prepared Matzah
3 tablespoons soften margarine
1/4 cup Orange Juice
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar and 1/8 tsp cinnamon combined
1/4 cup almonds, toasted and crushed.

Grease sidesd of a 10” springform pan with margarine and sprinkle with some of the cinnamon/sugar mixture and set aside.
Combine vanilla and OJ into a small spray bottle. Spray both sides of the prepared matzah. Set for ~1/2 hour,
Coat both sides of matzah with margarine and sprinkle both sides with sugar mixture.
Place all 4 matzahs in front of you so that they are arranged to form a square. Turn pan upside down over matzah,
Use a sharp knfe and cut around the pan, yielding wedges to form a circle.
Turn pan right side up and place wedges with points inside the center to form a matzah bottom.
Sprinkle the bottom of the crust with both toasted almonds and sugar and set aside.

For the Filling
4 cups softened cream cheese (8oz)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs beaten
1 pint Sour Cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon peel, grated

Combine softened cream cheese with the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy. Pour into the matzah crust and bake in a preheated oven for 50-60 minutes until firm. Cool in refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours or preferably overnight.
When the cake has cooled, prepare the topping by preheating the oven to 375 deg F
Mix with a spoon 2 cups sour cream, and 2 tsp vanilla and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Cover the cold cake with sour cream mixture and bake for 35 minutes in preheated oven
Cool for 12 hours
Prepare Crème garnish
4.4 oz vanilla instant pudding mix (one small box)
3/4 cup milk, 1/2 pint whipping cream,2 tbsp (powdered) sugar

Prepare pudding as per directions except use only 3/4 sup of milk. Whip 1/2 pint of whipping cream add 2 tbsp sugar until fluffy. Add to pudding mixture and whip together until light and fluffy and spread or use pastry bag to garnish top of cheesecake. Top with thinly sliced strawberries.

Artichoke Fritatta
Another Yummy Yummy recipe, one that I eat all year round actually, it's the only matzah I eat outside of Pesach. I think I may have posted it before.

4 eggs
6 large squares of crumbled matzah (or 6 cups matzah farfel)
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
2 small jars of marinated artichoke hearts chopped
1 bunch chopped green onions
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of tobasco or Worcestershire sauce (if available)

Saute onions in oil from artichoke jars, remove when tender.
Mix all ingredients together until well blended.
Put into 8inch oiled pan
Bake @ 325 degrees F, preheated oven for 30-40 min
Cut into small squares.
May be made ahead and frozen.

Try some, we still have a few more days before it's all over!
If we can't have the real thing, i guess these are a pretty good substitute.

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