Passover Preparations 5770

Spring is in the air and that means it is time to start preparing for Passover, which begins at sundown on 29 March. I am not going to be doing a lot of preparation this year, but I have gathered a few interesting recipes for you to consider for your own meal. First, here is a link to all of my Passover recipes from the last several years.

I have to say that I now feel the impact of Gourmet magazine’s demise. They always had a lovely Passover/Easter issue with lots of new ideas. Nevertheless, here are a few ideas I found for you:

Reminder: I eat kitniyot, so don’t be surprised by the rice and legume recipes.

Hallaq (Persian Haroset)

Lemony Asparagus Soup

Kubat Halab (Kubbeh made with ground rice)

Leg of Lamb stuffed with Haroset

Slow-Braised Short Ribs with Spinach

Chicken and Lentil Tagine

Mina del Pesach

Fudgy Chocolate-Walnut Cookies

Almond Cake with Cardamom and Pistachio

Chag Pesach Sameach 5769

Mr. BT and I would like to wish you and your family a very happy Passover. I made a Portuguese Almond Torte from a recipe by David Leite. I had to make a few adjustments to it to make it kosher for Passover, such as unfortunately having to use margarine instead of butter and I used powdered sugar to “flour” the baking pan. It smells wonderful and I am sure it it will be a delicious addition to our Seder.

I am going to borrow a Passover greeting from my cousin and say:

As we gather together this Pesach, may we rejoice in the ritual that binds us as a People. May the celebration of this festive holiday remind us of memorable Seders of the past and inspire us to create new and meaningful rituals for retelling the story of the Exodus today. And, as we celebrate our own freedom from oppression, may we be moved to work toward alleviating the suffering of others.


Mr. BT and Baroness Tapuzina

Bolo de Amêndoa - Portuguese Almond Torte

Serving Size: 10 to 12

Adapted for Passover from a recipe by David Leite

170g (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature

Icing sugar, for coating the pan

500g (3 cups) blanched slivered almonds

1 1/4 cups sugar

4 large yolks

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 large egg whites

Icing Sugar

Position the rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 170C (350F). Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter or margarine, line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease the paper. Coat the pan with icing sugar and tap out the excess.


Grind the almonds and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a food processor until the consistency of fine cornmeal. Make sure the almonds are as finely chopped as possible. Add the butter or margarine and pulse to combine. Set aside.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held mixer in a big bowl, beat 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the yolks on medium-high until very light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add the zest, salt, and cinnamon and mix until incorporated. Add the almond mixture and vanilla.


In an impeccably clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy then slowly whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until the whites form soft, luscious peaks. Add about one third of the egg whites to the almond mixture and stir to lighten. Carefully fold in the remainder of the whites until no streaks show. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

Bake until the cake is golden brown and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let rest for 5 minutes before releasing the cake from the pan. Cool completely before serving. The middle will collapse a bit; that is as it should be. Sift icing sugar on top of cake before serving.

Passover Preparations 2009

Spring is in the air and that  means it is time to start preparing for Passover, which begins on 8 April. I am not going to be doing a lot of preparation this year, but I have gathered a few interesting recipes for you to consider for your own meal. First, here is a link to all of my Passover recipes from the last couple of years. And, here are some interesting ones for you to try:

Italian Passover recipes from Chef Chaim Cohen and Dr. Eli Landau

Kodredo Relleno al Forno (Roast stuffed lamb with egg/lemon crust)

Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Almond-Mint Pesto (Omit the cheese from the recipe)

Syrah-Braised Lamb Shoulder with Olives, Cherries and Endives

Roasted Poussins with Pomegranate Sauce and Potato Rösti

Bolo de Amêndoa (Almond Torte) from David Leite

Walnut Date Torte

Baked Apples Marsala

I will add more as I find them.

Mimi at Israeli Kitchen is having a Pre-Passover Cooking Event. Email her recipes for your favorite Passover dishes – any variety, savory or sweet – and she will cook and blog about the most interesting ones. See her blog for more details.

Spanish and Italian-Inspired Shabbat Dinner

Since I was too ill to cook the last night of Pesach, I made the meal for Shabbat. Luckily, I still had some matza for my dessert.

Dinner this evening was:

Carn Estofada amb Prunes i Patates (Catalan-Style Veal Stew with Prunes and Potatoes)

I used osso bucco instead of the recommended veal shoulder. As the dish was simmering away, my husband sneaked a taste of the sauce and moaned blissfully, “this dish should be in a museum.” Need I say more? This dish is outstanding. The flavors of chocolate, prunes, chili, cinnamon and orange zest marry into an amazingly complex sauce that just bursts on the palate. The crispy potatoes add the perfect texture to the dish. This is a very rich dish that should be served with a dry and assertive red wine, such as the one we had. In the absence of the Rioja, we drank, a good Cabernet Franc or Shiraz would do pretty well.

For dessert, I made a family recipe that I have never made for my husband. They are matza fritters and they are made in several different countries. The Dutch call them Gremshelish, the Italians call them Pizzarelle Con Giulebbe. My recipe is combination of the Italian version and the version my grandmother used to make from leftover Matza Shalet batter. She served it with a lemon custard. This custard is dairy, so if you keep more than one hour between eating meat and dairy, you can serve this with a non-dairy lemon sauce of your choice.

This was a big hit with my husband. The custard is very light and creamy and the fritters are also light, but should not be served with a rich meal like we had for Shabbat dinner. You should make a double or triple recipe of the custard for all of the fritters.

Pizzarelle Con Crema di Limone

Yield: About 25 fritters and 2 cups of sauce

(Matzah Fritters with Lemon Custard)

For the fritters:

5 matzahs, broken into small pieces

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup slivered almonds or pine nuts

3 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 egg whites

Vegetable oil for deep frying

For the lemon cream:

1/4 cup sugar

2 large egg yolks

1 cup single cream (half and half)

2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the batter:

Wet Matza

Place the matza pieces in a bowl of cold water and soak until soft but not falling apart, one to two minutes. Drain in a colander and squeeze out any excess water.

Mix all Ingredients

In a large bowl, mix together the matza pieces, sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind, vanilla, salt, raisins, pine nuts and egg yolks.

Add Egg Whites

Ready to Fry

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the matza mixture.

Frying Fritters

In a large, heavy pot, on medium-high, heat at least 2 inches of oil. Drop heaping tablespoons of the matza as necessary, until they are a deep brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Matza Fritters

Serve warm or at room temperature, accompanied by the lemon custard.

For the lemon cream:

Whisk sugar and egg yolks in medium bowl to blend. Bring cream and lemon peel to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the yolk mixture. Return to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Strain custard into bowl; discard solids. Whisk lemon juice and vanilla into custard. Chill until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

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