Lean Cuisine

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27 Aug 2015

There’s Four Questions. Pick a question, any question… see if you can find it again! Actually, I was hoping you’d pick the fourth of these parables:

4. Why is this night different from all other nights? For on all other nights, we eat either sitting straight or leaning; But tonight we are required to lean!

For our purposes today it really should read “we are required to EAT lean!” Pesach can be a difficult time for those trying to eat lower-cholesterol because it seems that almost everything is either fatty or full of eggs. If you look at the typical 8-day shopping list, you’ll see dozens of dozens of eggses for example, and fatty meats and metric tons of high-carb potato and matzo dishes. So here our goal is how to eat some of the time-honored dishes (with a moderne twist here and there), but produce them in a more healthy manner.

Our first recipe combines both technique with ingredients to produce a moist, tender, lower-fat Brisket Bordelaise–today’s lean “first cuts” without the “brust deckle” tend to dry out over the loooonnnng braising period and wind up tough and stringy. At two days to produce, this is definitely Slow Food, but then again, there’s not much to actually do except marinate overnight, bake, cool, and make the gravy. Did I mention this is the “house brisket” here at Merlin’s Kitchen?

Arriving on Track 2 from sunny southern Spain (Andalusia was home to The Rambam!), moving us along as a relief after heavy matzo-laden dishes, we then accomplish a bright vibrant salad with little strain. Lower-carb, and with only the “good” fat of olive oil, this will go a long way in achieving the famous “seven colors a day” for good nutrition.

Lower on eggs than a trad sponge cake (as well as lower in work since it all can be mixed in one bowl), this Walnut “Fudge” Torte–technically, a torte is a cake made with ground nuts–is deceptive with its low height. It’s as rich and dense as its eggsier, fattier cousins in the pastry shops (and less sugar as well), incredibly the moistiest, with layers of flavors built in from the simple list of ingredients. Annnnnd, it also has the property of being non-gebrochts.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.