Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Tishri 6, 5775

Create New Culinary Traditions This Pesach

March 26, 2014
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The book, A Taste of Tradition: Pesach — Anything’s Possible!, by Tamar Ansh, is just that — a taste of traditional Jewish food, with an “anything’s possible attitude” about what can be prepared for Passover. 
 
This book is a must for anyone who is kosher-observant and on a gluten-free diet. It offers more than 350 kosher gluten-free recipes. Traditional Jewish recipes, including gefilte fish, potato blintzes and mock chopped liver, are also presented.
 
And many of the book’s more contemporary recipes also have a Jewish flavor to them, such as Rebbetzin Meisel’s Apple Blintz Kugel, Beet Latkes and Cocoa Blintz Pie. 
 
For others, this book offers a variety of kosher-for-Passover recipes. It is a great help to be reminded that during the week of Passover, indeed,“anything’s possible.”
 
A Taste of Tradition: Pesach — Anything’s Possible! will make your Passover tastier and healthier, and it will provide you with a wonderful selection of kosher, gluten-free recipes for the whole year.
 
Persian Meatball Soup
Meatball Ingredients:
11⁄2 lbs. ground beef 
2 medium onions, minced or grated 
1 large egg, lightly beaten 
1⁄3 cup chopped fresh parsley 
1 tsp. salt 
1⁄2 tsp. cardamom or cinnamon 
1⁄4 tsp. turmeric 
1⁄8 tsp. ground black pepper
Soup Ingredients:
2 quarts chicken stock 
3 medium carrots, sliced 
3 medium red potatoes, peeled and quartered 
1⁄2 tsp. turmeric 
pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes
 
To prepare the meatballs, combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate until the mixture is easy to handle, at least one hour.
Meanwhile, start to prepare the soup.
 
Place the stock, carrots and potatoes into a large pot and bring to a boil over a high flame. Cover, reduce the flame to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the turmeric and cayenne.
 
Raise the flame and bring the soup to a boil. Using wet hands, form the meatball mixture into 1-inch balls.
 
Add the meatballs to the soup, cover the pot, reduce the flame to low and simmer about 1 hour. Taste to see if it needs more salt.
 
Serves 6.
 
Very Berry Salmon Steaks
4-5 fresh salmon steaks, about 5-6 oz. each 
3 Tbsps. olive oil 
1 very small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped 
3⁄4 cup semi-dry white wine 
1⁄3 cup fresh orange juice 
3 Tbsps. balsamic vinegar 
1⁄4 tsp. pepper 
1 tsp. salt 
2 tsps. honey 
1 Tbsp. potato starch 
1 cup fresh blueberries or strawberries, cleaned, hulled and chopped 
2 scallions, chopped 
2 chives, chopped, optional
Preheat the oven to 375˚.
 
Clean off the steaks. Line a small baking pan with parchment paper. Lay the steaks in one layer onto the lined pan. Brush each steak with olive oil. Sprinkle on the chopped fresh parsley.
 
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the center of the fish steaks flake easily with a fork and they are just baked through. Don’t overbake the fish or it will not be tasty and delicately textured.
 
To prepare sauce, place the white wine, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, pepper, salt and honey in a small pot. Simmer it together on a low flame until it starts to bubble around the edges.
 
Dissolve the potato starch in a small amount of water in a cup or small bowl and mix it with a spoon so it is smooth. Add it to the sauce and stir immediately. The sauce should thicken somewhat.
 
Turn off the heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Then add the blueberries or quartered strawberries, scallions and chives.
 
Stir the sauce and pour it over the steaks. Serve immediately.
 
Serves 4.
 
Tangy Veal or Meat Roast
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup (wine) vinegar
2 tsps. parsley flakes
1⁄2 tsp. oregano
4-5 lbs. roast, washed and dried
1 cup semi-dry white wine
3 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, sliced into rounds
2 large onions, sliced
Next-Day Marinade Ingredients:
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄2 cup (wine) vinegar
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1⁄2 tsp. oregano
1 cup tomato sauce, optional
6-8 garlic cloves, pressed
 
Squeeze the garlic cloves into a bowl using a garlic press. Add the olive oil, vinegar, parsley and oregano to the bowl, mixing it well with the garlic.
 
Place the meat into a large glass or plastic container and pour the garlic mixture over it. Marinate the roast for 6 hours or overnight, basting periodically. Then place the meat in a pot that fits its size as closely as possible.
 
Add the wine to the meat, put the pot over a medium low flame and simmer it for 3 hours. Cool and refrigerate the pot overnight.
 
The next day, remove the meat from the pot and discard the juices. Slice the roast and lay it flat into a 9x13-inch (or a bit larger) baking pan. Mix the ingredients for the marinade and pour it over the meat slices. 
 
Arrange the celery, carrots and onions over the meat and cover the roast well with foil. Bake at 350° for another 2 hours, basting the roast once an hour or so to prevent it from drying out.
 
Serves 8 to 10.
 
Chicken in Leek, Garlic and Lemon Sauce
1 whole chicken, cut into eighths
1⁄3 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup potato starch
1 tsp. pepper
2 medium onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
1 medium leek, diced
3 medium carrots, shredded
11⁄2 cups semi-dry white wine
1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsps. paprika
 
Skin the chicken pieces. Pour some of the olive oil in a large frying pan and leave it ready nearby. Place the potato starch in a plastic bag together with the pepper. Shake the bag to mix it together a bit.
 
Place each chicken piece into the bag and shake to coat it. Heat the oil in the frying pan over a medium-high flame and brown the chicken on each side. Set it aside.
 
Keep doing this until all the chicken pieces have been coated and browned. In the bits left over in the pan, add a bit more olive oil, the onions, garlic, leek and carrots. Reduce the flame a bit and saute these vegetables until they are soft.
 
Add the wine, lemon juice and paprika. Stir the sauce and cook it for 10 minutes. Add the browned chicken pieces back into this sauce, cover well, and simmer on a low flame until the chicken is fork-tender, about 75 minutes.
 
Serves 4.
 
Charoses Petits Fours
11⁄2 cups dried dates, pitted and checked for bugs 
1⁄2 cup yellow raisins 
3⁄4 cup dried apricots 
1 green apple, shredded 
3 Tbsps. semi-dry red wine 
1 tsp. cinnamon 
1 cup finely ground walnuts 
1⁄2 cup finely shredded coconut, optional
 
Place the dried fruit in the food processor, fitted with the metal blade.
 
Add in the apple, wine and cinnamon. Puree until smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides of the processor as necessary.
 
Scrape the contents of the bowl into a plastic container and refrigerate it until it is firm enough to roll into balls. If you want to do this quicker, put the container into the freezer for one hour.
 
To create the petit fours, remove just a small amount of the mixture at a time, so the rest stays firm.
 
Roll it into bite-sized balls, then roll it into the finely ground nuts (and the coconut, if you choose to use it). Place each one on a baking tray lined with plastic or directly into tiny decorative muffin liners.
 
Once they are all rolled and coated, slide them back into the freezer until use. Alternately, you can use a long, rectangular plastic container and line up the petits fours in one row.
 
Continue by covering them with a piece of parchment paper and then lining up the next row on top of them.
 

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