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Adafina | Charoseth Reingold | Chicken Soup |Chocolate Cake | Gefilte Fish | Latkes
Matzah Brei | Meat Loaf a la Berkata | Ratatouille |Roasted Peppers, Mushrooms & Onions
Salmon Croquettes | Salmon Patties | Sweet & Sour Meatballs | Toasted Matzah Farfel
Veal with Peppers | Vegetable Cutlets | Gluten Free Chocolate Orange Cake
Adafina is one of many warm, overnight dishes (hamim) prepared for the Jewish sabbath. Jews are prohibited from cooking on the sabbath, but, on the other hand have an obligation to enhance the joy and festivity of the sabbath with warm, abundant food. They have learned to fulfill these potentially conflicting obligations by devising dishes which can slowly cook overnight from Friday afternoon until Saturday noon, when the family returns from synagogue to enjoy sabbath lunch. In the days before each family had adequate cooking facilities at home, such warm dishes were put into a communal bakery oven. Today, each family has a special warming tray or crockpot in their home to prepare such dishes. Each group of Jews has its own special formulation for the sabbath, such as cholent, tzimmes, t'fina, adafina, etc. Generally these include meat or chicken with such starches as potatoes, rice, barley and beans. This particular overnight dish is meant for Passover and uses Matzah instead of beans or barley.
4.5 pounds first-cut brisket
2 medium onions, peeled
2 T. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
5 medium potatoes, peeled
5 sweet potatoes, peeled and halved
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp. ground saffron
3 T. honey
other seasonings to your taste
Put brisket in a very large pot. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat; cook 15 minutes. Skim fat. Add everything besides matzas. Bring to an even simmer. Just before the sabbath begins, check the liquid level (it should be 1 inch above the solid ingredients), add matzas, and cover securely. Serve on Saturday noon with the soup part first, then the meat and vegetables following on a large serving platter. Adafina needs only some Matzah, a green salad and a compote for dessert for a filling and delicious Passover sabbath meal.
Charoseth is one of the symbolic foods of the Passover Festive Meal (Seder). The significance of eating charoseth is to remind us today of the mortar used by the Jewish people, when they were enslaved by Pharoah in Egypt. Each group of Jews has its own type of charoseth. The recipe below is Ashkenazic; whereas other charoseth recipes might be made from dates, oranges, raisins, figs, etc., spiced in many different ways. After the seder, my family enjoys charoseth as a spread to use on Matzah.
6 large apples (Rome, Macintosh, Jonathan, mixed), peeled and cored
2 cups walnuts, crushed
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3.5 oz. honey
1 cup dry red wine
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until almost smooth. This is enough for 24 persons (one night at the Reingolds' house).
This is the well-known and now universal soup of the "Yiddishe mama" as it was served in east European Jewish homes. Former Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir was known to cook a fine-tasting chicken soup for both family and VIPs whenever they came to call. Chicken soup is reputed to cure the sick but is equally recommended to the healthy.
1 soup chicken
2 cubes chicken bouillon
3 1/2 quarts water
2 sprigs dill
1 tbs. salt
3 celery stalks
1 parsley root
3 sprigs parsley
1 tsp. lemon pepper salt
Clean chicken thoroughly. Combine in a deep saucepan with water, onions, and bouillon. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook over low heat 1/2 hour longer, or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and strain soup. Taste and correct seasonings. Makes about 2 to 2-1/2 quarts of soup. Use the chicken in other dishes or serve with the soup.
Passover is the time for eggs. Almost all side dishes and desserts use huge numbers of eggs. I buy about 12 dozen eggs before I begin my Passover cooking and baking. I almost always need to buy more before I'm done. This cake is fudgey and dark. Use the best quality chocolate you can find, kosher for Passover. The recipe comes from an article in about 1975 by Pierre Franey, The New York Times, about Cynthia Zeger, a renowned New York baker.
10 eggs, separated, at room temperature
14 T. granulated sugar
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 cups finely chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Beat egg yolks and sugar until very thick and lemon colored. Stir in the chocolate. Fold in the nuts. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and fold into the chocolate-nut mixture. Turn into a greased 10 inch spring-form pan, and bake 1 hour. The cake is done when the center springs back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan.
The Jewish Sabbath is honored and enhanced with meals of delicious and abundant food. Challah, fish, meats, and sumptuous side dishes are served both Friday night and Saturday noon. Among Eastern-European Jews, gefilte fish is the traditional fish appetizer served on the Sabbath, the New Year, and Passover. Originally the ground fish mixture was actually put back into the skin of the fish for cooking, giving rise to the name "filled" or gefilte fish.
To improve on the traditional carp or carp and whitefish mixture, I experimented for several years with pike, trout, salmon, cod, and even halibut. I serve this gefilte fish recipe at Passover and the less ambitious gefilte fish loaf during the rest of the year.
Fish bones, heads, divided between two 10-12 quart pots
3 quarts water in each of two pots
8 carrots, sliced, divided between two pots
1 celery root, cleaned and divided between two pots
2 large onions, sliced, divided between two pots
1 1/2 T. salt in each of two pots
1 1/2 T. black or white pepper in each of two pots
7 pounds, boneless and skinless filets of cod (bones and heads in stock)
3 pounds, boneless and skinless filets of salmon (bones and heads in stock)
2 very large onions
6 slices of good challah (or on Passover, 1.5 cups Matzah meal)
1 cup water
1-2 T. white or black pepper
2 T. salt
1/2 cup olive oil
Yield: 60 large pieces
Combine all stock ingredients in the two pots, and bring to a boil. Simmer at the lowest heat, covered, while preparing fish. Grind the fish in batches, then grind onions (quite finely), challah or Matzah meal, and carrots.
I use a food processor to grind the fish, but you can also chop it in a chopping bowl or have the fish monger grind it for you. Put all ingredients, as they are ground, in a very large bowl or tub. (For Passover, I use a perfectly clean dish tub. It's the only thing large enough for all the ingredients to be thoroughly mixed.)
Beat water, pepper, salt, eggs and oil in a mixer or in the food processor--this should be almost mousse consistency. Add this to the fish mixture in the large bowl or tub and mix thoroughly. (If you prefer, you can do all of this in batches in a food processor.)
With moist hands, shape 1/3 to 1/2 cup of mixture into balls, and carefully place in the simmering stock. Be cautious that you don't disturb existing pieces, but you can crowd and fill the stock with fish balls. Distribute fish in the two pots, cover, and simmer for 1.5 hours.
Let the fish cool a bit, covered. Then carefully remove fish and vegetables to storage containers. Strain the liquid over the fish. Remove the carrot pieces and onions and add to the fish. Throw away the bones, and enjoy a "lunch" of the bits of fish in the strainer.
Store the fish for up to 7 days, well refrigerated. Serve mild or hot prepared horseradish on the side.
Originating in eastern Europe, latkes (potato pancakes) have been a staple of the Jewish diet for many years. Eaten especially during the festivals of Hanukah and Passover, these light and scrumptious treats continue to be a favorite on the Israeli menu.
3-4 medium potatoes
2-3 tbs. of flour (or Matzah meal on Passover)
salt and pepper
1 small onion (optional)
apple sauce (optional)
sour cream (optional)
Grate potatoes. Mix in egg, flour, salt and pepper. Grated onion may be added for flavor. Form into patties and fry until brown on both sides (about 2 minutes for each side). Serve with apple sauce or sour cream.
3 Manischewitz Matzos (any variety)
2 tablespoons water or milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
Break Manischewitz Matzos into pieces. Cover with water and then pour water off immediately. Press excess water out of matzos. Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet; add matzos and fry until lightly toasted. Beat eggs with remaining ingredients. Pour over matzos and fry, stirring frequently, until eggs are set. Serves 2 to 3.
2 lbs. beef, ground
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup Manischewitz Matzah Meal
1/4 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup catsup
1/2 cup onion, finely minced
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Form into a rectangular loaf, 1" thick on a shallow pan. Broil four to five inches away from the broiler unit, 10-15 minutes, without turning.
Serves 6 to 8.
Ratatouille is a southern French dish made from eggplant, zucchini, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. There are many different variations, and today you can find ratatouille pies, soups, and quiches. I like this version adapted from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Volume 1), Knopf, 1971, because it preserves the integrity of each type of vegetable and is moist without being soupy. It has the additional advantage of using a small amount of oil because of the initial roasting of the eggplant and zucchini.
1/2 pound zucchini, scrubbed, and sliced into 1/8-inch slices
1/2 pound eggplant, scrubbed, and sliced into thin (3/8-inch) slices, about 4-inches by 1-inch
3 T. olive oil
1/2 pound thinly sliced yellow onions
1 sliced green bell pepper
2 cloves mashed garlic
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and juiced
3 T. parsley
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray two cookie sheets with olive oil or another vegetable oil spray. Put the zucchini and eggplant slices on the cookie sheets. Brush very lightly with olive oil, and bake until slightly brown on each side. In a skillet, cook onions and peppers slowly in 2 T. olive oil for about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, and season to taste. Slice tomato pulp into 3/8-inch strips. Place tomato slices over onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Uncover, baste with the tomato juices, r heat, and boil for several minutes, until most of the juice has evaporated. Put 1/3 of tomato mixture in the bottom of a casserole. Sprinkle with 1 T. parsley. Arrange 1/2 of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half of the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put the rest of the eggplant and zucchini, and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Correct seasoning. Raise heat for 15 minutes, basting if dry. Serve cold, warm, or hot.
This is a simple, adaptable dish to serve during the year or at Passover. It is easily modified to include different vegetables such as root vegetables, eggplant or squash. If you are substituting tougher root vegetables such as rutabaga, turnips, or carrots, these should be sliced thinly and cooked a bit longer. Just put the root vegetables in the roasting dish 15 minutes before adding onions or other soft vegetables.
2 T. olive oil
3 medium yellow or red onions, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 pound cleaned, sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp. thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Put the oil in a shallow, large roasting dish. Heat for several minutes in the preheated oven. Spread the sliced vegetables in one or two layers over the oil. Turn the vegetables a few times to coat with the warm oil. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover dish, and return to oven. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and return to oven for 15 minutes. Serve with roasted poultry.
1-pound (2 cups) canned or cooked salmon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup Matzah meal, for coating
1/4 cup Manischewitz Matzah Meal
1 can Manischewitz Tomato and Mushroom Sauce
1/4 cup minced onion
Drain and flake salmon. Add salt, pepper, 1/4 cup Manischewitz Matzah Meal, onion, and 2 beaten eggs. Mix well; shape into 6 croquettes. Beat third egg with the water. Dip croquettes in egg mixture, then in the 1/2 cup of Matzah meal. Fry in one inch of hot fat until browned on both sides. Serve with heated Manischewitz Tomato and Mushroom Sauce. Serves 3 or 4.
Salmon patties are one of childhood's comfort foods. Even kids who claim to hate fish usually will eat many canned tuna and salmon dishes. Salmon patties have the advantage of including the bones and nutrients of the entire fish. Adults are also satisfied with salmon patties as long as the flavoring is carefully adjusted and they are served with interesting side dishes.
1 small onion
2 cans red salmon (16 ounces each), or you can use 3-4 cups cooked fresh salmon
2 large eggs
1 cup good bread crumbs (or Matzah meal for Passover)
1-2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2-1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried dill or 2 sprigs fresh dill
3/4 tsp. paprika
3 sprigs fresh parsley
canola or olive oil
Peel onion and coarsely chop in food processor with steel blade. Drain salmon, and add to food processor (including bones, skin, etc.). Pulse three or four times. Add eggs, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, lemon juice, pepper, dill, paprika and parsley. Pulse until you have a uniform mixture, but do not over-process. Put the remaining bread crumbs on a plate, and heat the oil in a large frying pan while you are preparing the patties. Form the mixture into patties (3 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick). Coat the patties with the bread crumbs, and put into the hot oil to brown. Brown on each side for about 4 minutes per side. Serve hot or cold with a good tartar sauce or mustard sauce.
2 pounds ground beef
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix or Manischewitz Matzah Meal
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
10 ounces condensed tomato soup
1 can Manischewitz Tomato and Mushroom Sauce
1 onion, diced
6 ounces water
8 ounces sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
Mix beef, egg, Manischewitz Matzah Meal, onion soup and ketchup until well blended. Form into small meatballs. In saucepan, mix tomato soup, Manischewitz Tomato and Mushroom Sauce, onion, water, sauerkraut and brown sugar. Add meatballs to sauce and cook over low heat, covered, for 1-1/2 hours. Sauce will be thick and dark. Serves 4 to 6.
2 cups Manischewitz Matzah Farfel
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine the Manischewitz Matzah Farfel with the egg and salt. Spread in a thin layer on a greased baking pan. Bake in a moderate oven (350ºF) 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve in your favorite soup
1 1/2 lbs. thin-sliced veal cutlet, cut into strips 1/2 inch wide
1/2 cup Manischewitz Matzah Meal
2 small or 1 large green pepper
1/4 cup vegetable shortening or margarine
2 large onions, sliced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (10 ½ oz.) can Manischewitz Tomato and Mushroom Sauce
3/4 cup water
Roll veal strips in Manischewitz Matzah Meal. Cut green pepper into strips. Heat oil in a large skillet; sauté meat over high heat until browned. Add onions and mushrooms; sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sauté over low heat 5 minutes. Add Manischewitz Tomato and Mushroom Sauce, water and green pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat 45 minutes or until meat is tender. Serves 4.
In 1975, I started making these vegetable cutlets (and also kugel) after finding the basic recipe in a flyer put out by the Manishewitz company. I've tinkered with the proportions over the years, and it remains a staple of our Passover menu. For seders, I prepare it as a kugel, but for a smaller group I take the time to fry individual cutlets. It's great in combination with leek and beef patties, a tomato-based salad, and some Matzah on the side.3 T. olive oil
1 chopped green pepper
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 1/2 cups chopped carrot
3 T. chopped parsley
10 ounces chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup Matzah meal
additional olive oil for frying
Sauté green pepper, onion, parsley, and carrot in oil for 5 minutes. Cook spinach, drain. Combine all vegetables. Add eggs, salt, pepper, and Matzah meal. Drop by heaping spoonful into hot oil. Brown well on both sides. Makes 12-15 cutlets. This can also be made into a kugel and baked at 350°F. for 40 minutes. For a kugel, I double the amounts, put it into a 9x13 pan, sprinkle with paprika, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
Melt 2 cups dark chocolate chips and 1 cup butter in a double boiler or microwave.
Remove from heat, mix in zest of 1 large orange or 2 small ones.
Add in 1½ cups light brown sugar.
Separate 5 eggs. Mix the egg yolks into the chocolate.
Using a mixer, whisk the whites to stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the chocolate mix.
Pour half the mixture into an 8-inch springform pan and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 30-35 minutes until the top has set.
Take out of the oven, then add the rest of the mixture (stir it before if it’s thickened).
Continue baking for a further 30-35 minutes until the top has set.
Cool in the pan completely before serving.
Sources: Embassy of Israel.
Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Haim Silberstein, “Get zesty this Passover with a delicious chocolate-orange cake,” Israel21c, (March 18, 2021).
Rogov's Ramblings- Reprinted with permission.
Daniel Rogov is the restaurant and wine critic for the daily newspaper Ha'aretz. He is also the senior writer for Wine and Gourmet Magazine and contributes culinary and wine articles to newspapers in Europe and the United States.
Photo: Yoninah, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons