Pesach Recipes With and Without Matza Meal
Sometimes it is about getting back to basics. And what is more basic than a knaidle and some kugel?
This first idea is from my newly released Pesach cookbook, Pesach – Anything's Possible!, fresh on the market in bookstores near you, or online, a completely gluten free, matzo meal free Pesach and year round cookbook. These look so real your guests may just fall off their chairs in shock! In my family I make them since we do not eat "gebroks" ie, we do not use any form of matzo or matzo meal in the foods we make on Pesach. You might use them just because they are so good…
Tamar Ansh is an author, freelance recipe developer, and food columnist. Her articles have appeared in Jewish publications worldwide. She has published 4 books so far which include: Splitting the Sea (Targum Press), inspirational stories on finding one’s soul-mate; Let's Say Amen!, an illustrated children's book about the holiness of Amen (Feldheim Publishers); her first cookbook, A Taste of Tradition (Feldheim Publishers) which is both gluten free and kosher for Passover. Her most recent book is called A Taste of Challah (Feldheim Publishers, 2007). It is a photographic guide to baking and shaping beautiful challahs, and includes many other healthy and interesting bread types as well. Visit http://www.TasteofChallah.com to see all her books online, as well as other, not yet published, challah and bread recipes. She will be coming on a short book tour and speaking in two different places in the Tri-State area the week of March 4-9th! See her website for details and locations.
1 lb./ 1/2 kilo ground white chicken or white turkey
1/2 tsp. salt
1 potato, cooked and mashed
1 small onion, diced or pureed
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate, covered, for two hours or more. Boil up a large pot of salted water until it comes to a rapid boil. Alternately, you can make these directly in a pot of boiling chicken soup. They do expand somewhat so make sure your pot is large enough. Drop small balls into boiling hot water and cook for 35-45 minutes. You may then drain and freeze in plastic bags for later use, or add to the soup pot about 45 minutes before it finishes cooking.
Traditional Matzo Balls
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup matzo meal
1/2 cup water (** or check my secret inside the recipe instructions!)
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder, optional
pinch of salt and pepper
The key to really fluffy, light and delicious matzo balls is not in the matzo – it’s in the eggs. Once I figured that out, the rest became easy. Place the 4 eggs into your beater, or use your hand beater, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5-8 minutes. Turn off the mixer and add in all else. Stir by hand at this point so that the eggs will still retain some fluffiness. The mixture is sure to fall; that is fine. Place mixture in fridge for an hour or more.
Here's another secret, as promised. Instead of using water, you can substitute the same amount of seltzer water, plain soda water. It does not affect the taste adversely in any way, yet it helps create fluffy light matzo balls that are outstanding…
I always find that it is best to boil up the matzo balls in plain salted water first, and only add them to the soup later on. This way they will not soak up all your precious and delicious soup when boiling and they will re-fluff as they boil up the second time around.
Use a large pot as these matzo balls will grow a lot and need a lot of room to expand. Boil up the water with some salt thrown in, until it is boiling rapidly. Using wet hands, form small balls and drop them gently into the boiling liquid. Let them boil rapidly for 30 minutes. Remove gently from the pot and cool. These may now be frozen in plastic bags and removed for use as needed. I usually add mine to my soup, straight from the freezer, about an hour before I turn the soup off (when I make it during the year. On Pesach, I’m making the non-gebroks variety).
Crushed Matza Matzo Balls
2 pieces of machine matzo, crumbled well, but not ground
1 small onion, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dried
4 Tablespoons ground matzo meal
pinch each of salt and pepper
Soak the crumbled matzos in cold water for a few minutes. Squeeze them out and set aside. Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft and light brown. Beat the eggs slightly with a fork and add this, together with the onions, to the matzo mish. Chop parsley and add as well. Sprinkle in salt, pepper, and matzo meal. When I do this, I usually don’t add too much salt and pepper now as the matzo balls will absorb the flavor from the soup and that already has salt in it. Mix the entire mixture together and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Boil up the water with some salt thrown in, until it is boiling rapidly. Wet your hands with water and form small balls, drop gently into boiling salted water. Do only one or two balls and watch what happens in the first five minutes. If they completely fall apart, add in a bit more matzo meal to the batter, and then try again. What’s especially nice about this recipe is how different it looks than the traditional style of matzo balls.
Shredded Apple Kugel
5 Granny Smith apples, shredded
2 t. lemon juice
2 t. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
5 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
½ cup oil
¾ cup potato starch
1 package vanilla sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
Sprinkle the lemon juice over the shredded apples. Toss them with the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites until they start to turn white; add ½ cup of the sugar to them and beat until soft peaks form. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until the mixture is thick. Add the oil, potato starch, and vanilla sugar and beat some more until the mixture is smooth. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Pour this out into a lined 9x13-inch baking pan. Arrange the grated apple mixture all over the top of this batter. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cinnamon. Bake for 45–50 minutes, until the kugel is set. Let it cool in the fridge before slicing. Do not freeze this kugel.
Let’s Beet Them Apples! Kugel
4 cups beets, cooked and shredded
2 green apples, peeled and shredded
1 T. lemon juice
¼ cup oil
½ cup potato starch
½ cup ground walnuts
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
Mix together the shredded beets and apples. Sprinkle the lemon juice and oil over them and toss again. Beat the eggs with a fork in a glass and then add. Sift the potato starch over the mixture. Add the nuts, sugar and salt and mix through. Pour this out into an 8x8 inch pan or two 9 inch loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes, until the top is firm looking. Refrigerate. Slice into squares and serve warm or cold.