A Different Twist On Pesach!

by | in Passover

Cookbook author and caterer Naomi Nachman certainly knows a thing or two about putting a modern twist on traditional Passover dishes. Her new cookbook, Perfect for Pesach (ArtScroll), is packed with creative, imaginative recipes that are easy yet elegant, and are absolutely perfect for Passover. Passover will never be quite the same! Enjoy!

Recipes and photos adapted from Perfect for Pesach by Naomi Nachman with permission from the copyright holders ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, LTD.

Charoset Salad

Yields 8 servings

Naomi wanted to include a version of charoset in the book, so she created this charoset-inspired salad with all of the flavors you expect to find: cinnamon, wine, nuts, apples and more.

Ingredients:

Charoset Salad.  Photo: Miriam Pascal

Candied Almonds:

  • 1 cup blanched, sliced almonds
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Dressing:

  • ½ cup cream Malaga or sweet red wine
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

Salad:

  • 5 to 6 oz. baby spinach or choice of lettuce
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, with peel, diced
  • 8 dried dates, pitted and diced

Instructions:

  1. First, prepare the candied almonds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add almonds, sugar, and cinnamon; cook for approximately five minutes, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Do not overcook or sugar will burn.
  3. Spread the nuts in a single layer on prepared baking pan; set aside to cool.
  4. Next, prepare the dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a container; cover tightly and shake to combine.
  5. Finally, assemble the salad. Add spinach, apples, dates, and candied almonds to a large bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with desired amount of dressing (you will have extra); toss to combine.

Tips:

  • Be careful when working with the candied almonds, as hot sugar can cause a painful burn.
  • Nuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week. Dressing can be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge for about a week.
  • This recipe makes a large quantity of dressing. Keep any extra in the fridge and use it to dress salads all week.

Shepherd’s Pie Potato Skins

8 to 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 red potatoes, with peel, cleaned well

Meat Filling:

  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Potato Topping:

  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

Ingredients:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until tender. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the meat filling. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion; cook for approximately 5 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and carrot; sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes, until softened.
  4. Add beef; cook, stirring to break up the meat, until meat is browned. Add ketchup and salt. Reduce heat to low; cook for approximately 10 minutes, until meat is cooked through. Set aside.
  5. Once cool enough, prepare the potato skins: Cut each baked potato in half and scoop most of the potato flesh into a small bowl, leaving a small amount attached to the skin. (This will help the skin hold its shape.) Return potato skins to baking sheet.
  6. Next, prepare the potato topping by adding oil, salt, pepper and egg to reserved potatoes. Mash until smooth. Set aside.
  7. To assemble, fill each potato skin with meat mixture, then spoon or pipe mashed potatoes over it. Sprinkle paprika over potatoes.
  8. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until tops are golden.

Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffed Capons

Yields 8 servings

Capons are attractive when served for a yom tov meal, and they make a great change from roasts and meat. In the kosher market, capon refers to a deboned chicken thigh with the skin on. The skin keeps the capons moist while cooking, and the filling becomes a built-in side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken capons

Stuffing:

  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 10 oz. white button mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1½ cups raw quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water

Instructions:

  1. First, prepare the stuffing. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until they start to brown. Add mushrooms; cook for an additional few minutes, until softened.
  2. Add quinoa, water, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook, covered, for approximately 15 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 1 (9×13-inch) baking pan.
  4. Stuff each capon with quinoa mixture. Place stuffed capons into prepared pan. Place any remaining stuffing around the capons. Set aside.
  5. Next, prepare the sauce. In a small pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions; fry until translucent.
  6. Add remaining sauce ingredients; bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook for five minutes, until sauce has thickened slightly. Pour over capons in pan.
  8. Cover pan tightly; bake for 1 hour. Uncover; bake for an additional 30 minutes, until the tops start to brown.

Serve with additional stuffing on the side.


Fudgy Chocolate Bundt Cake with Coffee Glaze

Yields 1 large Bundt cake

A Pesach cake recipe that will have people asking “Is this really a Pesach cake?”

Fudgy Chocolate Bundt Cake with Coffee Glaze
Photo: Miriam Pascal

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 2½ cups almond flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 Tablespoon imitation vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs

Coffee Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a Bundt pan well; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, potato starch, coffee, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs. Add dry ingredients; stir to combine.
  4. Pour batter into Bundt pan; bake 40-45 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely in the pan.
  5. While cake cools, mix up the coffee glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients to form a glaze. If the glaze is too thick to pour, add water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired texture is reached.
  6. Once completely cool, remove cake from pan and pour the glaze over it.

Norene Gilletz is a leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada.

This article was featured in Jewish Action Spring 2017.