The “Matza Rap”
Chef Yochanan Lambiase, Jerusalem Culinary Institute
Hillel read the words of the Torah about the Pesach lamb, “on matzah and bitter herbs you shall eat it,” and he took it literally. And so the sandwich was invented.
When we look at the many commandments that we have to keep we find that they are multiple expressions of a single spiritual path, Jews are multiple faces to a single soul, as a symphony with a single conductor playing a single melody.
Especially in these hard times of economic turmoil and spiritual darkness we need to learn how to trust in Hashem, but that requires faith.
Matza is called the “Bread of Faith” because by eating it you are actually connecting back to Hashem and gaining an understanding that He is are guiding you through life, to reach the true goal that has been set for you.
When we make ourselves into a temple for the Divine, the bitter, the sweet and the tasteless challenges of life wrap together in a single sandwich.
Oven Roast Chicken with Orange, Lemon, and Fresh Ginger
1 (5 lb) roasting chickens
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated, divided
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons honey
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
3. Grate zest from 1 orange and from only 1 of the lemons and reserve it.
4. Cut the zested lemon into quarters and rub the outside of the chicken with the lemon quarters and discard them.
5. Cut the zested orange into quarters and also cut the other lemon into quarters and reserve them.
6. In a small bowl, stir together lemon and orange zests and 1 tablespoons of the grated ginger and rub this mixture evenly inside cavity of the chicken.
7. Put the orange and remaining lemon quarters inside body and neck of the chicken and season chicken all over with salt and pepper.
8. Place the chicken on a rack set in a shallow roasting pan.
9. In a small bowl stir together margarine or oil, citrus juices, honey, and remaining 2 tablespoons of grated ginger.
10. Place chicken on the middle rack of the oven and roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the fleshy part of thigh registers 170 degrees F. and juices run clear
Veal Cutlet in Batter with Honey Pecan Glaze
4 slices veal cutlet
Salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons Potato starch
2 eggs, beaten
1 Cup Pecans
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1. Pound cutlets until very thin.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Whisk the potato flour and beaten eggs to form a light batter
4. Dip cutlets first in potato flour, then in batter.
5. Shallow Fry on each side until brown.
6. Sauté the Pecans in a little margarine until golden and then add the honey, chopped Parsley and lemon Juice.
7. Place the cutlet into the sauce and coat it in the sauce
1¼ hours | 30 min prep
1/2 cup unsalted margarine (1 stick)
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 large eggs, separated
1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes, fresh or canned
½ cup Canned Chestnuts (a bag of peeled roasted chestnuts is fine also)
1 teaspoon rum extract (you can use almond extract if you are unable to find rum extract kosher for passover)
10 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon salt
Chocolate Ganache Glaze (optional)
1/2 cup water
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
curls semisweet chocolate
pureed strawberries or raspberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch spring form pan with baking parchment.
2. Torte: In a mixing bowl, cream the unsalted margarine or butter with the 1/3 cup sugar. Blend in the egg yolks, then the mashed sweet potatoes, Puree Chestnuts, rum extract (if using), and cooled chocolate.
3. In another bowl, with clean beaters, whip the egg whites gently until they are a bit foamy. Then add in the salt and whip on a higher speed, slowly dusting in the two tablespoons of sugar to form stiff, glossy (but not dry) peaks. Fold one third of the egg whites into the sweet potato/chocolate mixture and work them in well to loosen the batter. Then, gently fold in the remaining egg whites, blending well but taking care not to deflate the mixture. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes. The cake rises and looks dry, and slightly cracked on top when done. The middle should be soft but firm. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. At this point, the cake can be frozen for up to a month. Even if serving it the same day, chill the cake for an hour or two before finishing it with the ganache glaze.
4. Chocolate Ganache Glaze: In a double boiler, bring the water to a gentle boil and add the chopped chocolate all at once. Remove from the heat and stir briskly with a wire whisk until all the chocolate melts and you have a thick glaze or sauce-like topping. Refrigerate for an hour or so. (You can also make this ahead and refrigerate it for up to a week or two. Simply warm it to the right temperature for glazing the cake.)
5. Invert the cake onto a cardboard circle or cake board so that the smooth, flat bottom faces up. Do not be dismayed if this is not a high cake — it is a torte and is meant to be a little less than statuesque. Pour the glaze over the cake and, using a metal spatula, even out the glaze and spread it along the sides.
6. Instead of the glaze, you can also simply sift some cocoa over the top of the cake or decorate it with curls of chocolate (using a vegetable peeler and a warmish chocolate bar). The cake can also be offered with a pureed raspberry or strawberry sauce, garnished with chocolate shavings, or left as is, with a citrus leaf, a sweetheart rose, or several berries in the center.