Growing up in a Jewish household was fun because it made me a little different then most of my peers in school. However the holiday season was always depressing m because despite my parents’ going out of their way to make it special; let’s face it, Hanukkah is not Christmas. Ironically Hanukkah is not considered a particularly important holiday in the Jewish religion either.
However every March (or April, depending on the year) my brother and I always got excited for Passover. Passover has so many customs, traditions and most importantly, yummy food. Some years we went to my grandparents, other years we stayed home. Every year though we had our family Seder, a tradition Matt and I continue to keep. I always equated it more to Christmas because the Seder is an all night event, usually included friends and/or extended family and it just seemed more important then Hanukkah (because it is).
Anyway this is a food blog, so let’s talk about the food which is outrageously good. The centerpiece of the Passover table is actually a part of the meal itself known as the Seder Plate. Each part of the plate represents a different component to the Old Testament story of Exodus. Dear friends of ours bought us this stunning plate this year.
Passover has lots of goodies, even if you are not Kosher or Jewish. No offense to my family, but Matt has become the best Jewish cook in the family, despite not being Jewish. First we always start with Matzo Ball Soup. This is a hardy soup, but nothing screams family like this amazing dish. Chicken soup is used as the base and Matzo Balls are basically dumplings with unlevened bread. Of course you can buy boxes Matzo Balls, and they are okay, but homemade is lightyears superior. Ina Garten has a great recipe in her book, “Cooking for Jeffery,” but we suggest you add a little more matzo meal to it.
For the main course we usually go with Brisket. There are lots of good Eastern European style Brisket recipes out there. We generally roast it in the over for 3-4 hours in red wine and onions. For side dishes we usually roast potatoes and Green Beans. Of course we cannot have bread during Passover so we eat Matzo instead.
Dessert for Passover can be rough because gluten is a no-no since the Hebrews had to leave Egypt prior to bread leavening. Chocolate mousse is a great solution.
How did you all celebrate Easter, Passover or any spring holiday?