Two Great Passover Meat Dishes

Passover is just around the corner. I was already flooded with emails about what to make and what new products I recommend. I’m not sure if I am ready to menu plan but a few things come to mind for Passover. I like to keep the recipes simple and do as much ahead of time as possible. These two recipes are perfect for just that. Don’t forget to check for amazing new and indexed Passover recipes. Each week we add about 5 new ones to our list of hundreds that are already big hits everywhere. And send us your favorites so we can share them with others!

Sweet and Savory Brick Roast (or French Cut Square Roast)
Baby Lamb Chops with Wine Vinaigrette

Chicken With Savory Vegetables, Wine and Crushed Tomatoes

Chicken With Savory Vegetables, Wine and Crushed Tomatoes
Another great make-ahead Passover chicken. Store covered in the refrigerator and rewarm covered too. The sauce is terrific and continues to season the chicken while it is refrigerated for a day or so.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 10

  • 8 chicken drumsticks or pieces
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 pieces celery, stalks diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Roasted Garlic or 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cups chicken stock

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Warm a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and cook, turning once, until well browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the celery, carrots, fennel, onion, and roasted garlic to the Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables start to caramelize, about 7 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Add the tomato paste and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the wine and stir to scrape up the brown hits on the pan bottom. Add the tomatoes, thyme, parsley, and stock to the pot and bring the liquid to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pot, cover, and put the pot in the oven. Bake until the chicken meat begins to pull away from the bone, 45 to 60 minutes. Divide the stew evenly among warmed wide shallow bowls with mashed potatoes or cooked quinoa.
  3. Rewarm covered if making ahead of time.


Cucumber Mint Quinoa Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

4.0 from 1 reviews

Cucumber Mint Quinoa Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
Serves: 6

  • ¼ cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 3 large shallots, minced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Passover soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup raw quinoa
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves, or more to taste

For the dressing:
  1. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until a light golden brown or until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil, the sugar, Passover soy sauce, salt, vinegar, lemon juice, and pepper to taste. Stir until the sugar dissolves and all the ingredients are well combined. Set aside to marinate briefly.
Make the salad:
  1. In a saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer, cover, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, or until the water is fully absorbed. Place the cooled quinoa in a large bowl. Add the cucumbers and chopped mint and stir to combine.
  2. Add the shallot dressing and toss well to coat. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator and toss again before serving.
  3. NOTE For a warm quinoa dish; toss the cucumbers and herbs with the quinoa while it is still warm. Prepare the dressing as instructed and toss with the warm quinoa mixture. Serve immediately.


Chicken With Wine and Rosemary

Chicken with Wine and Rosemary
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 6

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 chicken, cut in ⅛’s
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and pepper

  1. In a large skillet with 3-inch sides, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Season chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and place in skillet. Cook until golden all over, about 4 minutes each side.
  2. Add wine to skillet and bring to a boil. Cover skillet, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the rosemary and stock and to a boil. Cover and cook on low for another 15 minutes. Uncover and cook until sauce has slightly thickened and chicken is cooked through, about 10 more minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with pan juices.


Passover Wines, What to Drink for the Seder and More!

Wine is so important on Passover.  But it’s not simple selecting wine during this time because they serve different purposes.  First we need to select the right wine for the seder, something easy to drink, flavorful, yet not too high in alcohol or too sweet so that drinking the four cups is not as physically difficult as actually leaving mitzrayim.  Then, Yom Tov wines, or wines that we should enjoy and savor at the Yom Tov table but are not too painful on the pocketbook.  We call these value wines, great taste for a reasonable price. Wines that enhance a meal and bring joy and flavor to the special dishes we have prepared.  And finally, there are gift wines, or wines we bring to others when we share a meal, a thank you or just a way to cherish a time together. These are splurge opportunities or times to taste something we have always wanted to purchase.

For all our wine consultation, we love to ask our friends at Royal Wine.  They certainly have the pulse on the wine world and give the best advice!


For the seder, Royal recommends, French wines because they are always lower in alcohol content due to the colder climate and lack of extreme exposure to sunlight (typically 1-3% lower than most other countries) where the grapes are grown.  French wines have between 11-12.5% alcohol compared to a more common 14%. A semi-dry low alcohol red wine like a Herzog Chateneuf Rouge (red) is perfect for the seder. When a wine has a low-alcohol content like a moscatto it is typically very sweet because the sugar was not converted into alcohol.  Many people like this at a seder.  We recommend a semi-sweet wine (it has higher alcohol content than the sweet wines but is more full flavored), like the Or Haganuz Har Meron.  We went through a lot of this wine for Purim too.

For a Yom Tov wine and something that has great value, we recommend the new Merlot Argamon from Barkan.  At, $9.99-11.99, it’s a great buy.  We also like the new Edom M series (M for mevushal) from Psagot.  I personally just bought 6 bottles for about $16 each.  Their wines have a smooth and luscious quality and pair well with most chicken and meat dishes, which makes it a great Yom Tov option.

For a gift wine, try The Herzog Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Basin Vineyard. From Basin Vineyard Napa Valley. I tried this (and posted about it) at the KFWE 2014, and it was one of my favorite wines of the evening.  The grapes come from a Northern region of the area called the Basin and the results are terrific, full flavored, rich and warm feeling.  See more details on this wine here.  It is just out and available so ask your vine seller for some today because it will sell fast, as it has received some well-deserved great press.

Let me know what you are drinking or what you liked. Many thanks to Royal Wines for their great suggestions to help with the enjoyment of the Four Cups and more!

Wine Chart

2013 Passover Wines

GKC readers not only inquire about great Passover recipes, but also about great Passover wines.  This time of year we are flooded with wine and food questions and we will attempt to help you with each of them.

First,  the most popular question is, “What are your recommendations for great Seder wines? Specifically, please recommend wines that are easy to drink (we call that not too tannic), and have a low alcohol content (not above 13%).  Our friends at Royal Wine Corp. always help us out.  This year we have a new wine chart that lists all of your options and we have our own recommendations below.

Second, people want to know what we recommend for Yom Tov meals.  Yom Tov meals should be accompanied by fuller bodied and slightly more decadent wines than what we would serve at the seder.  We’ve got our pick below.  It’s a great wine from one of our favorite kosher vineyards in Israel that is just a few years into kosher wine making (you can tell they are not newcomers to wine making though!)

And lastly, we get a lot of questions about gift wines.  “What wine should I bring as a gift? What’s a good wine that appeals to lots of different people and different types of food?”  See our picks below and treat those hosts well with a great bottle.

Top Picks for Seder Wines (drum roll please):
1 – Segal’s Fusion Red (12.5%) (Segal is making great wines at great prices, check them all out)
2 – Barkan Pinot Noir (13%)
3 – Red by W (13%) (W wines from California are better than ever)
Goose Bay Pinot Noir NoV
4 – Goose Bay Pinot Noir (13%) (I tasted it at the Kosher Food and Wine Experience and loved it)
5 – Zakon Muscatini Red (6.5%)

Best Wine Pick for Yom Tov Meals:
Tulip Syrah Reserve
Tulip Syrah Reserve – I raved about it at KFWE 2013 and can’t wait to get some for my table.

Best Wine Gift Picks for Passover:
1 – Binyamina Special Reserve Late Harvest ($25)  At this price how could you go wrong?
2 – – Louis Royer VSOP Cognac ($65) Super decadent gift and beloved by all.
3 – 1848 Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($60)  If you come to me as a guest, I love this wine, so please bring it J

Need more picks? See the more complete list of New Passover Wines here.

Passover Wines 2012

GKC loves chatting with friends at Royal Wines. We get all of our best wine suggestions, like last week’s Top “low alcohol” wines to help choose the perfect wines for the seder. Now this week we are focusing on what to drink on the Yom Tov meals. As we mentioned, we like to stick to low alcohol wines during the seders to stay focused and save the finer drinking wines for Yom Tov meals.

If you are looking for great value, try these…

Top “great value” wines

1. Gamla Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP: $22.99)
2. Baron Herzog “old vine” Zinfandel (SRP: $14.99)
3. Weinstock “Red by W” (SRP: $9.99)
4. Binyamina Reserve Shiraz (SRP: $24.99)
5. Ben Ami Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP: $11.99)
6. Chateau Le Petit Chaban (SRP: $19.99)
7. Barken Classic Pinot Noir (SRP: $11.99)
8. Segal’s Fusion Red (SRP: $14.99)
9. Ramon Cardova Rioja (SRP: $15.99)
10. Baron Herzog Chardonnay (SRP: $14.99)

These special wines will enhance your Yom Tov. Our must try Yom Tov wine menu includes any or all of the following. They make great gifts too!

Top “Trophy” Wines
1. Yatir Forest (91 points)
2. Castel Grand Vin (92 points)
3. Capcanes Peraj Ha’abib (95 points)
4. Chateau Leoville Poyferre (93 points)
5. Elvi “EL 26” (92 points)
6. Psagot “Edom” (91 points)
7. Gamla Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (90 points)
8. Barkan Superieur Pinotage (90 points)
9. Carmel Limited Edition (91 points)
10. The CAVE (90 points)

Alcohol Content in Wines

What wine should I be drinking at my Seder? It’s a common question, but one that is impossible to answer. It depends on people’s personal preference, their budget, whether they are seeking low alcohol wines or not, if they want to try something new to market, or even if a person is seeking that “trophy” wine to proudly display alongside the Cup of Eliyahu (Elijah). This Passover we will cover all of those subjects.

First, are wines for the seder. And yes, we do drink low alcohol wines when it comes to the Arba cosot (4 cups)…it keeps us awake, aware and looking forward to that special wine served at the meal!

GKC friends at Royal Wine helped us choose the, drum roll please…

Top “low alcohol” wines
1. Bartenura Moscato (5% abv – alcohol by volume) SRP -$14.99
2. Bartenura Malvasia (5%) SRP – $14.99
3. Kedem Concord Kal (3.5%) SRP – $5.99
4. Zakon Muscatini Red (6.5%) SRP – $12.99
5. Zion Winery Kalil (4%) SRP – $9.99
6. Kesser NY Cabernet Sauvignon (12%) SRP – $7.99
7. Barkan Classic Petite Syrah (12%) SRP – $11.99
8. Weinstock “Red by W” (12%) SRP – $9.99
9. Goose Bay Pinot Noir (12%) SRP – $27.99
10. Baron Rothschild Bordeaux (12.5%) SRP – $37.99

Wine List with Sugar and Mevushal

click for larger view

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