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Happy Passover

Now how's that for an oxymoron?

Anyhow, Kelly asked for the flourless chocolate cake recipe, so there she goes. This year, I'm not doing anything else new, but I did make a big batch of tomato stuff. Yes, that's a technical term. I've never written down the recipe or measured anything, so this could be horribly off -- my apologies. It makes up well with marginally ripe tomatoes, and is wonderful on eggs, matzah, tuna, and any kind of cheese or meat you'd wrap up in a tortilla if it weren't Passover.

Seed and dice 2 cups of Roma tomatoes (I quarter them, cut out the seeds, then chop up the strips of flesh). Put them in a non-reactive bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix in 1 heaping Tablespoon of chopped garlic (I like it HUGELY garlicky, you could cut way, way down on this or increase it, as your taste demands). Chop 1/4 cup of fresh basil finely and toss in bowl (again with the more or less to taste). Pour on good olive oil and balsamic vinegar in 2:1 proportions. I kinda like mine heavier on the vinegar and lighter on the oil, but I think that's about how I do it. You want enough to cover the tomatoes and generate some juice to start with, but not too much, because the salt will make the tomatoes bleed. This stuff needs to sit for at least 4 hours to get all the flavors mixed together properly. Let me know if you try this and actually measure things, eh? I generally make this one on instinct -- it was originally an attempt to recreate something my mother in law bought at Costco.

And this is a staple of passover for our household:

Recipe adapted from something I read in a newspaper article when I was first married and needed Passover recipes.

2 boxes of chopped frozen spinach
1 small bunch of green onions
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons of klp matzoh meal
oil for frying
salt, white pepper, cajun spice, and ground mustard to taste.

Thaw and drain the spinach completely and place in a bowl. I mean *drain it dry*. I usually do this by squeezing handfuls over a colander. Chop the green onion and mix with the spinach, eggs, meal, and spices. Heat oil (maybe 1/8 - 1/4 inch in 10 inch skillet) on medium high. Drop spinach by heaping spoonful into skillet, pressing down on the pile of spinach to make a patty that's round. Flip once or twice, looking for the green to turn only *slightly* brown. Very slightly. Drain on paper towels, brown paper, or newspapers. Serve warm or room temperature with sour cream and/or applesauce.

And this one is a good main dish meal (delicious with that tomato stuff on top...)ETA: I left out the spinach part! Added now

Again with the 'I don't usually measure' warning - these measures are very approximate. Recipe is adapted from an Italian one my grandma used to make.

8-10 large eggs (depending on size of group you're feeding)
1 med onion, chopped
1 T chopped garlic
1/2 cup half and half
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 oz feta, cubed (I think I may use more than that, but never a whole block of 8 oz...)
salt and pepper to taste.

Oven preheated to 350 F.

First, mix up the eggs. Beat the eggs thoroughly with the half and half and salt/pepper. Add the spinach and give it another stir.

Next, sautee onions in olive oil in a 10 inch ovenproof skillet (I use a cast iron one...). Add garlic just as onions start to go translucent and finish off sautee.

Pour in egg mixture. Evenly distribute feta across the pan (like pepperoni on a pizza, but the cheese will sink).

Transfer entire pan to oven. I'm never sure exactly how long it cooks -- probably 45 minutes? It'll puff up in the oven quite a bit, just start checking on it at about 30 minutes and let it go until it's the doneness you like your eggs. I like mine pretty close to dry.

This is good served warm or room temp. And, as I said above, I love it with the tomato stuff.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 5th, 2004 05:34 am (UTC)
So...I know you're not allowed to use leavening in Passover stuff, but are you not permitted to use flour? Just wheat flours? Could you use rice or potato?

Just curious.
Apr. 5th, 2004 08:11 am (UTC)
All grains are pretty much banned during Passover, though there are some technical loopholes that folks use. Originally, the thing was to avoid leavening, but the Rabbis who made many of the rules that establish the laws that are most often followed determined that adding water to any grain could cause a person to accidentally leaven a food, so all are banned. And I'm not at all clear about why, but rice, corn and legumes are also banned. That one is really sketchy to an outsider, but it's more about tradition than anything else. Catholic me likens Passover to Lent -- it's meant to hurt. There's apparently a loophole that allows quinoa. I don't even know what quinoa is ;-)

All that applies to Ashkenazi Jews (mostly European in descent) -- there's another group, the Sephardic Jews (mostly Mediterreanean in descent), who follow different traditions and do allow rice, corn, and legumes. Both traditions allow potatoes.

But then how does matzoh get made, you ask? Well, there are some very precise and specific rabbinic rules on how one may mix wheat and water to obtain matzoh, and there are manufacturers who produce the stuff with Orthodox rabbinic supervision specifically to be kosher for passover (that's what the klp in my ingredients list is for: kosher l'pesach). It's apparently extremely difficult to do this properly in your home. ::shrugs:: I quit trying to get logic out of kosher rules a long, long time ago.

So klp matzoh meal may be used, and potato starch is also availble that's kosher for passover. But potato bread, with yeast, is still not allowed. Many people will use beaten eggs to make sponge cakes using matzoh "flour" during passover, as well. I think these things are *nasty*, and don't even try...

More than you wanted to know, right?
Apr. 5th, 2004 08:25 am (UTC)
More than you wanted to know, right?

Actually, no. :) I'm a big old religion geek, and find it all fascinating.
Apr. 5th, 2004 09:26 am (UTC)
Speaking of Martha (as Kelly the antiMartha did below), I saw a story on her show last week about the making of the matzoh. I believe that it has to be completed within 18 minutes (IIRC), or the batch cannot be considered kosher.

Interesting stuff.
Apr. 5th, 2004 10:01 am (UTC)
Nods. That's part of what makes it hard -- something to do with anything longer than that amount of time causing something akin to leavening to occur with the water and wheat... The making and baking has to be done in that amount of time entirely, or else rising occurs. I was taught all this stuff way back at the beginning of our marriage, but most of it has leaked out as useless ;-)
Apr. 5th, 2004 10:09 am (UTC)
Your icon makes me giggle.
Apr. 5th, 2004 01:20 pm (UTC)
Hee! I know, me too. It's by the talented jidabug.
Apr. 5th, 2004 06:01 am (UTC)
Oh yay! More of Chris's recipes! ::noting them down::

::hugging you:: Missed you!
Apr. 5th, 2004 08:12 am (UTC)
*hugs back*

I've missed folks here, too! I'm so far behind, I will never, ever catch up. Have I said congratulations yet on tenure??? You've really arrived when they're sending you up in the campus rag!
Apr. 8th, 2004 01:47 pm (UTC)
LOL I guess so! And yes you did send a yay my way--thanks. :)

::hugs:: champagne and cinnamon rolls for breakfast!
Apr. 5th, 2004 07:12 am (UTC)
Cool, and thanks.

NOw have a chocolatey goodness idea for Easter!

Yes, wrong holiday, but they are the same week, so what the heck.
Apr. 5th, 2004 08:13 am (UTC)
Mmmm. That chocolate cake is my favorite, favorite, favorite dessert. I have to reserve it to Passover time or I'd blow up like a balloon eating too much chocolate!
Apr. 5th, 2004 08:30 am (UTC)
well the AntiMartha here only bakes for holidays. Oh yeah, the chocolate frosted sugar bomb..yeah, that embodies the pain of Lent/Passover.
Apr. 5th, 2004 08:33 am (UTC)
Giggles. Exactly. The whole thing, Catholic version or Jewish version, is kinda silly. But traditions are good. Viva la Pagan rituals!
Apr. 5th, 2004 11:37 am (UTC)
Ooh, thank you so! Always need new recipes for Passover around here.

And wishing you a good Pesach for your first seder tonight :)
Apr. 5th, 2004 12:25 pm (UTC)
And wishing you a good Pesach for your first seder tonight :)

Back at you! And that flourless chocolate cake is like, the best Passover dessert *ever*. I actually use it as a bribe to the kids as we get farther on into Passover. At the point where they are sick to death of Matzah and desperate for waffles or pancakes or toast or cereal for breakfast, I get all magnanimous and pull another cake out of the back of the fridge and allow it for breakfast for kids who don't whine about passover being awful.

Apr. 5th, 2004 02:47 pm (UTC)
I know I don't know you, but I must enthuse regardless--
That icon is brilliant. Brilliant.

My words, earlier, lamenting that hiding the affikomen is not as much fun when you're the only one around to look for it suddenly seem far, far dirtier than originally intended.
Apr. 6th, 2004 10:00 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I don't know you, but I must enthuse regardless--
That icon is brilliant. Brilliant.

Heh, thanks! I needed a fun Passover icon and requested this idea, and the lovely eyesthatslay met the challenge. When it was time to hide the afikomen, this definitely gave me a giggle.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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