Passover Recipes for The Whole Family

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From Sambor, Ukraine where one line of my ancestors lived for 500 years, to the streets of New York City where they arrived at the turn of the century, to the sidewalks of Brooklyn where I currently reside, these recipes have graced my family’s seders for generations. As we celebrate this Passover virtually, it will be only the sixth time in my life to not join my parents. The onus has now fallen on me to continue these recipes (minus the gefilte fish, which will require fish I can’t procure currently, and much-needed guidance from my mother) and tradition for my children. It is with excitement and trepidation that I will make my first ever matzoh ball soup, with my mother thankfully a Zoom or phone call away!

 

Matzoh Balls

  • 2 TB chicken fat (or butter)
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup matzoh meal
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Pepper and nutmeg (I use fresh grated) to taste

 

Directions:
  • Pour water over matzoh meal – stir till all water is absorbed (might need a few drops more)
  • Add fat, then egg and seasonings – Mix well
  • Cool and then place in refrigerator for an hour or more.
  • Moisten hands with cold water – roll the dough into balls the size of a walnut.  Drop into boiling soup – cover and cook 15 minutes (reduce heat to a slow boil.)
  • Makes enough for a 7 cup recipe of soup.

 

Notes:

These are light in texture. You can roll the balls and chill them on a tray for several hours before plopping into the soup

 

Chicken Soup:

  • 3 1/2 – 4 lb. stewing chicken – cut up
  • 7 cups of water
  • tsp.+ of salt
  • 3 or 4 stalks celery – cut in half
  • 2 or 3 carrots cut into slices or strips (as you like in your final bowl)
  • 1 medium onion – whole
  • 1 tomato – slit an “X” in the core
  • 2 or 3 chicken bouillon cubes

 

Directions:
  • Boil water – add chicken – skim schmootz/froth
  • Cover and cook over low flame for 1 3/4 – 2 hours
  • Then add celery, carrots, onion, tomato and chicken bouillon and cook for 45 minutes to an hour more
  • Remove all but the carrots

 

Notes:

I usually put the chicken in a colander over a big bowl to let it drain and cool, then I add back the broth to the soup pot. The leftover chicken comes in handy during the week for salads, sandwiches, chow mein, tetrazzini, etc.

Depending on the pot, I often take the main chicken parts out after the initial cooking, usually in a colander or strainer to collect the broth, so it doesn’t overcook and sometimes there is not enough room in the pot.

 

Gefilte Fish

  • 5 lbs. whitefish and yellow pike (aka jack salmon) –( 2 ½ lbs of each before filleting)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 very large (or three medium) onions + 1 large onion for the court bouillon
  • 1 ½ cups cold water
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • ¼ cup matzoh meal
  • 3 carrots

 

Directions
  • Fish should be skinned, boned, all scales and silver removed – very clean
  • ALSO save the bones, heads and tails
  • Grind the filets in the Cuisinart or have the fishmonger do it for you
  • Place bones and heads of fish in the bottom of a large (6 qt.) pot along with one large
    sliced onion. Add 6 cups of water and salt and pepper – Bring to a boil.
  • Osterize the eggs and onions. Add to the ground fish in a large bowl. Gradually add the
    water while mixing with a hand mixer. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with
    the mixer.
  • In a very small saucepan bring some of the court bouillon to a boil and drop in a ½ tsp. of
    the fish mixture – Cook for 5 minutes and taste – Adjust seasoning (usually needs a bit
    more salt) – Repeat process ‘til seasoning is correct.(use 1/8 tsp. increments)
  • Have a bowl of cold water to moisten hands – Form balls about ½ – ¾ cup in size and
    carefully place around the pot. Spoon the bouillon over the tops of the balls for 5
    minutes. Reduce heat to LOW and COVER. Cook 2 hours.
  • Add sliced carrot rounds (sprinkle over tops of expanding balls) and cook 1 hour more.
  • Gently giggle the pot occasionally while cooking.
  • When done, turn off heat and slant cover slightly on pot and cool for ¾ hour.
  • When cooled – carefully lift our pieces and place in a 3 qt. glass pan with the carrots. I
    use a large melamine slotted spoon and a fork to gently separate and lift out the pieces.
  • When all are out of the pan – tilt the glass dish and use a bulb baister to remove all the
    drained liquid and put it back in the pot. Pour the liquid from the cooking pot through a
    strainer into a bowl. Discard the offal – cool the liquid and chill thoroughly – It will gel
    slightly.
  • Serve with a carrot or two on top and have beet horseradish and fish jelly to pass. The
    flavored cooking liquid moistens the fish – can be served in a pitcher or gravy boat.

 

NOTES:

I usually clean the fish further than the market removing ALL bones.
From start to getting the fish into the pot is 2 hours. – Start to very finish is 6 ¼
hours.
Can be made 2 days before serving (Cool and cover tightly).

 

Almond Macaroons for Passover

  • 8 oz. almond paste
  • 8 oz. superfine sugar (caster sugar at Whole Foods)
  • 2 large egg whites

 

Directions
  • Chop almond paste in a food processor or mixer.
  • In a bowl, mix one egg white with sugar until well mixed.  Add to mixer and mix well.
  • Add last egg white to mixer and mix until very smooth.
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls on parchment paper lined cookie sheets – space 2” apart
  • Bake at 325 degrees (use your lower oven!) 17 – 18 minutes till an even light brown
  • Cool on cooking rack 8 – 10 minutes
  • Remove to rack to fully cool
  • Store in air tight containers. Cookies DO NOT keep more than two days before disintegrating
  • Makes about 48 macaroons – Recipe doubles well

 

Join us tomorrow, April 8 at 11:00 AM as Laura makes her family’s famous matzoh ball soup recipe!

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