Yom Tov Menu

Lemon Chicken with Lemon Salad
Hamburger Popovers
Asparagus with Hollandaise
Olive Oil Braised Carrots
Fruit and Meringue Kugel
Torte Caprese

Dairy Menu

Ginger Carrot Soup
Sole with Spinach and wine
Potato Yogurt Cakes
Chocolate Coconut Cake
Stuffed Apples with Matza and Nut Crumble
Banana Strawberry Sherbet

Passover Mandelbrot

Makes about 4 dozen

¾ cup safflower or vegetable oil
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs
¾ cup matzo cake meal
¼ cup matzo meal
2 tablespoons potato starch
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Juice and zest of ½ lemon (or orange)
1 cup sliced almonds
¾ cup mini chocolate chips or white chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, blend the oil and ¾ cup sugar until light. Add the eggs and blend thoroughly. In a bowl, combine the matzo cake meal, matzo meal, potato starch, salt, and 1-½ teaspoons of cinnamon and blend in the oil mixture alternately with the lemon juice and zest. Fold in the almonds and chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 portions. With lightly oiled hands, shape each portion into an oval loaf, 2 inches wide and 1 inch high. Place the loaves 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

In a small, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the remaining ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Remove the loaves from the oven and use spatula to transfer them to a cutting board, cut into ½ inch thick slices. Place the slices, cut side up, on the same baking sheets and sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Turn off the heat and return the slices to the oven. Leave the Mandelbrot in the oven for 10 minutes each side, or until lightly browned and crisp. Cool and enjoy.

Sweet and Crispy Sticky Salami

My cousin Donna gave me this and my kids love it. It’s just her style, yummy, kid and guest friendly, and easy.

1 salami, cooked
1/3 cup sweet and sour duck sauce plus extra for dipping
Kosher for Passover mustard (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet or oven safe dish with aluminum foil. Slice the salami down the center but do not cut through the whole thing (you want to create a pocket in the center of the salami. Pour the duck sauce in the pocket and over the top of the salami, coating the whole thing. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until browned, crispy, and caramelized. Cut into chunks and serve with extra dipping sauce, either kosher for Passover mustard or more duck sauce. We like it with mashed potatoes and use the extra sauce to sweeten the potatoes.

Chicken Schnitzel with Tomato Basil Salsa

This is also a good option for a Passover lunch. It’s still meat but it’s not hot – which, depending on the weather, makes a difference.

2 to 4 tablespoons oil
8 to 10 thin chicken cutlets (skinless, boneless breasts pounded to about 1/8-inch thick)
Matzah meal

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Dredge chicken in matzah meal to coat both sides. When oil is hot, add chicken and cook – a few minutes per side. Turn heat down if it starts to get too brown. Serve at room temperature with tomato-basil salsa.

photo: blogger

Tomato-Basil Salsa
4 ripe tomatoes
1 bunch basil, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients and serve at room temperature.

New Kosher Wines for Your Passover Seder – Part II

Finding new wines for the wine lover is challenge number one. Finding new wines that taste great and are priced for every-day consumption is an even greater challenge. The Yogev line of Israeli wines has been providing wine lovers with quality wines that are priced for weeknight meals and not only special occasions. New from Yogev is their first single varietal wine – the Yogev Cabernet Sauvignon. The Yogev Cab is a medium bodied wine that is versatile enough to go well with pizza, a burger or even just for every day sipping.

An exciting development in Israeli wine is the introduction of a Reserve line for Gamla wines. Gamla wines have long stood for quality and the addition of a new Reserve line, under the supervision of Israeli wine pioneer Peter Stern is sure to put a smile on Israeli wine lover’s faces. The first two wines to be released from the Gamla Reserve series are the Gamla Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon & Gamla Reserve Merlot. Each of these wines is full-bodied and fruity, with the Cabernet showing slightly more black fruit characteristics while the merlot is a bit softer, showing red fruit characteristics.

Not to be left out of the New Wine Party, California wineries are also constantly looking to keep Cali wine lovers happy with new and exciting products. A recently released special is the Herzog Reserve “Oak Knoll” Cabernet Sauvignon, another in the line of single vineyard wines from Herzog Wine Cellars. This small batch wine was tasted and positively reviewed by Daniel Rogov in an online video – a great endorsement!

Whatever the country and no matter the grape, this Yom Tov season make sure to take advantage of the bounty of new wines available on the market. Your taste buds won’t be disappointed!

Gary Landsman, AKA the “Wine Tasting Guy”, makes, sells, writes about and of course tastes wine. Presently doing PR/Marketing work for Royal Wines, you can contact Gary with any wine related questions at gary@winetastingguy.com.

Torta Caprese

This recipe is also from our friend Minda, a fabulous cook who lived in Italy for many years while her daughter was young and her husband was in medical school. She became friendly with the restaurant owners and got this one from one of her favorites in Capri, Italy. Its elegant and not too heavy but good enough to serve to company. It even appeared in Gourmet magazine from her in 1998.

1-3/4 sticks (7/8 cup) unsalted margarine (the original recipe calls for butter but margarine works to make it pareve)
7 ounces (1-1/4 cups) blanched whole almonds
6 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
Pareve confectioners’ sugar for garnish
Pareve whipped cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° F. and grease a 10-inch cake pan. Line bottom of pan with a round of wax paper and grease paper.

Melt margarine and cool. In a food processor finely grind together almonds and chocolate. Separate eggs.

In a bowl with an electric mixer beat yolks with granulated sugar until very thick and pale and beat in almond mixture and butter.

In another bowl with cleaned beaters beat whites with a pinch salt until they just hold stiff peaks and whisk one fourth into almond mixture. Fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly and spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake torte in middle of oven 50 minutes, or until it begins to pull away from side of pan and a tester comes out with moist crumbs adhering. Cool torte on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto another rack. Discard wax paper and cool torte completely. Invert torte onto a plate. Torte may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Dust torte with confectioners’ sugar and serve with pareve whipped cream.

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Matzah Toasts

Recipe adapted from cookbook, Bite Me

2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium celery stalks, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons potato starch
3 cups pareve chicken stock or vegetables stock
1 dried bay leaf
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Grilled cheese matzah toasts
8 square matzos
2 tablespoons margarine
16 pieces of cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Strain tomatoes, reserving their juices in a medium bowl. Spread strained tomatoes on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

While the tomatoes are roasting, in a large soup pot, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic, cooking until softened, about 8 minutes. Add potato starch and stir to coat. Over high heat, add the roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, pareve chicken broth, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, discard bay leaf and puree the soup with a hand held blender until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and chopped basil.

For the grilled cheese matzo toasts: place the cheese between the matzo squares, using 4 pieces of cheese for every two matzo squares. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted, about 6 minutes. Break into pieces and sprinkle a handful into each bowl of soup.

Russian Salad

1 large beet
2 large Yukon or other good potatoes
2 large carrots
½ small red onion
3 Osem pickles
1 small bunch dill
2 ribs celery, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and dice all the vegetables 1/2 inch. Cook the beets separately (so as not to turn the whole dish an unpleasant red) in a wide-bottom pot or a large skillet, with water just to cover, until tender and the water cooks out. Cook the turnip and carrots the exact same way in another pot. Transfer all the vegetables to a bowl. Cut the onion, pickle, dill, and celery in large chunks and place in the food processor. Pulse the mixture until minced. Add the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and pulse 2 to 3 more times, until just combined. While the vegetable mixture is still warm, pour the ground mixture over them and mix thoroughly. Store refrigerated in glass jars. Makes about 8 cups. Serve at room temperature.

Seder II

Cabbage Soup
Braised Moroccan-Style Lamb with Almonds, Prunes and Dried Apricots
Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins
Pineapple Kugel
Lemony Potatoes with Scallions
Chocolate Mousse Torte