My Meal Planner
Tips & Information
Of all the Jewish holidays in the year, none is as joyous as Passover, or as closely associated with
delectable traditional food. Many of these cherished dishes are time consuming to
prepare so we are always on the look-out for hassle-free holiday menus.
This year we turned
to our readers for some Passover advice. Passover, which celebrates the exodus from Egypt after years of slavery, begins at
sundown on March 31 with the Passover Seder (in many homes a Seder is held on the second night as
well). This ceremonial feast includes storytelling and prayers read aloud from the Haggadah (the book
that tells the Passover story) by family members and guests, and numerous courses of symbolic foods.
When Moses led the Jews out of Egypt to escape persecution, there was no time for the bread to rise,
and the resulting flat bread became the first matzoh. Since that time, no leavening or leavened products
such as flour, bread, baking powder, baking soda, or yeast can be used during the week of Passover as
a symbolic reminder of the Jews' historic passage to freedom. Matzoh replaces bread during Passover,
and matzoh meal, matzo cake meal, ground nuts, and potato starch are used instead of flour in all
baking and cooking. Jewish laws passed down through time prescribe what foods may be eaten and
how foods should be prepared. Packaged foods must be marked "Kosher for Passover". As with any
Kosher meal, meat and dairy foods cannot be served together.
To make matters even more challenging
for the Passover cook, kosher-for-Passover ingredients vary according to geographic heritage.
European Jews do not eat legumes, corn, or rice since these products can ferment, but to Jews of
Spanish origin these products are allowed. Before Passover, the whole house is cleaned of any
"chametz" (products made with leavening). Devout families use separate sets of dishes, cutlery, and
cooking utensils. Since no flour can be used, everything imaginable is made with matzoh: cakes,
stuffing, omelets, and fish dumplings (gefilte fish).
A typical Seder menu would begin with gefilte fish
(reader Linda Spitzer suggests giving giving canned gefilte fish a homemade taste by simmering the fish
juices with fresh carrots, onion, and celery, cooling the liquic and then combining with the fish),
followed by matzoh ball soup (Linda Spitzer enhances the flavor of canned chicken broth with fresh
carrots, parsley and celery), and roasted chicken stuffed with a matzoh-based stuffing. Roast lamb is
frequently the choice of Sephardic Jews. Passover cakes, often flavored with nuts, are light because
they don't contain any flour.
Breast of Veal Stuffed with Matzoh Broccoli Stuffing
Broccoli Farfel Stuffing
Grandma Lillie's Easy Knubble Borscht
Annette's Kugel with Apples
Passover Strawberry Cake Roll
Mom's Walnut Macaroons
By Carole Kotkin, co-author of MMMMiami--Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home
You can buy the book from our affiliate, Barnes and Noble, online!
Featured Articles Archive
Back to Member Home