Woman serving Jewish matzon ball soup from a pot, close up

Think beyond matzah pizza this year — Annabel Cohen offers creative recipes to eat throughout the week of Passover.

By Annabel Cohen

Passover lasts for a long time, especially when you’re thinking about the food you’ll eat.

That’s a lot of eating home-cooked fare and lots of matzah.

Each year, I forget how much I like matzah brie…until Passover. Then I wonder why I don’t make it all year long. I prepare it sweet for breakfast (soak matzah in a mixture of whisked eggs and milk — 1 egg and ½ cup of milk for every matzah sheet — and fry in butter or oil with lots of cinnamon and sugar). I make savory at night. Nix the sweetness and add fresh or frozen (thawed) spinach, cottage cheese, feta cheese to the mix and fry slowly in olive oil.

Aside from classics, there is a whole week of snacks and meals that can get pretty dull, especially when there are often so many seder leftovers you simply cannot stuff another bite of “brisket on matzah” into your mouth.

Here are some thought-starters to keep the holiday noshing modern, fresh and fabulous.

Green spring pureed cream asparagus soup in ceramic bowl on dark wooden table
iStock

ASPARAGUS SOUP

2 pounds asparagus (2 bunches)

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1½ cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

1½ cups peeled, 1-inch Idaho or russet potatoes

1 cup ½-inch carrot rings

6 cups water

Kosher salt and white pepper, to taste

½ cup half-and-half

Trim the top 2 inches of the asparagus stalks and set aside (these will be used to garnish the soup).

Cut the tough ends off the asparagus (it’s lighter in color and “tough” — do not use).

Press “sauté” on the Instant Pot and add butter to the pot. Add the onions and saute until tender, stirring occasionally. Add the asparagus (not the tips), potatoes, carrots, water and 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. white pepper. Seal the lid on the pot and press “high pressure” or “manual,” press the “plus +” to add 10 minutes to the cooking time. When finished cooking, allow the pot to cool for 15 minutes. Release any remaining steam manually.

To make on the stove, saute in a large saucepan or soup pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cook on medium heat for about 30-40 minutes.

Use an immersion blender, blender or food processor to make the soup smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. To serve, warm the soup with the remaining asparagus tips. Drizzle in the half-and-half and serve. Makes 8 or more servings (depending on portion size).

MATZAH AND MUSHROOM STUFFED ROLLED EGGPLANT

1 large eggplant, sliced vertically into thin slices

Vegetable oil for brushing over the eggplant

Olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

12 ounces sliced mushrooms

Salt and pepper to taste.

1½ sheets matzah, crumbled

¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

1 large egg

1½-2 cups good-quality marinara sauce

1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly brush one or two rimmed baking sheets with olive oil. Arrange the eggplant slices on the baking sheet and lightly brush the eggplants with additional olive oil. Bake the eggplant slices until softened, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, heat another 2 Tbsps.  oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for another 3 minutes. (Do not allow all the liquid to evaporate.) Stir in the matzah and cook 2 minutes more.

Remove from heat and cool slightly before adding the pine nuts, salt and pepper to taste. Let this mixture cool slightly.

Reduce heat to 350ºF. Spray a baking large dish with nonstick cooking spray (large enough to accommodate the eggplant rolls).

Place one slice of cooked eggplant on a clean surface. Spoon about ¼-1/3 cup of matzah mixture at one end of the slice and roll carefully. Carefully place the eggplant roll in the baking dish. Repeat the process, packing the eggplant into the dish tightly until all the slices and filling are used.

Spoon the marinara sauce over the rolls and cover in foil. Bake, covered in foil for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle over the cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes more, until the cheese is melted. Makes 6-8 servings.

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP CRACKLE COOKIES

These are thin and fudgy with an almost meringue-type, crackled top.

3 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ tsp. salt

3 large egg whites at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa
powder and salt.

Add the vanilla and egg white and whisk until you obtain a thick batter (because there is no flour, the batter must be thick or it will “spread” too much on the baking sheet.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Make a test cookie. Form the batter into a 1-inch round ball (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the top of the cookie is dry and cracked. Based on how the first cookie comes out, form the remaining batter into the balls and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Makes 20 servings.

MANDELBREAD

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. salt

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups matzah cake meal

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts,
slivered almonds, or combination
of the three

Topping:

¼ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Combine eggs and sugar in a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add the juice, salt and oil and mix well. Combine nuts with cake meal and cinnamon in another bowl, stir to combine and add to the egg mixture — the dough will be sticky.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Form 2 long logs (about 3-inches wide) on the baking sheet with your hands (moisten hands with water or oil to make handling the dough easier). Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the mandelbread from the oven and, using a serrated knife, slice into ½-inch slices, while it’s still hot. Arrange the slices, cut side down, on the same baking sheet.

Reduce oven heat to 300ºF, sprinkle the sugar and place the sliced mandelbread back in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until toasted. Allow to cool completely. Makes about 3-4 dozen slices.

autumn Apple pie with powdered sugar on white background
via iStock

PASSOVER APPLE CAKE

Like a coffeecake, this cake has umpteen incarnations. Satisfying and great the next day for breakfast, if there’s any left.

Batter:

6 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

2 cups matzah cake meal

2 Tbsp. potato starch

Filling:

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled or unpeeled, cut into thin wedges (about 6 cups)

Juice of 1 lemon

½ cup sugar

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Topping:

½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

3 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Make dough: Combine all dough ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Spread half the batter in an ungreased, 9- by 13-inch baking dish.

Make filling: Sprinkle the apples with lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix sugar with cinnamon and add to the apples. Arrange apples over the batter and top with the remaining batter.

Make topping: Combine nuts with sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the cake and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Cool and cut into squares. Makes 12 or more servings.

Read more:

 

All recipes ©Annabel Cohen 2019
annabelonthemenu@gmail.com.

 

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