passover

A Great Day brought to me by InterfaithFamily.com

The start of most spam I get these days starts with “I won an iPad and you can, too” – Well, I won a gift certificate from Interfaithfamily.com and, no, you can’t win one, too. Well, not now, maybe next time. I filled out their Passover/Easter survey and I, who never win anything – wait, I say that but I did win that boxed set of Almaden wine in college (that was in…1983), and then there was a really long dry spell and I didn’t win anything until 2000 when I won a backpack from Whole Foods and then I won another backpack from REI last year …does this mean the universe wants me to hike?

My husband asked what my plans were for the money (see above) then I thought …maybe I should save it? Pay for some college or retirement? …and then I said, Nah…Let’s go shopping! I am going to spend some and save some (just like we are always instructing our children to do). Ahem.

So thank you, Interfaith Family (my go-to site for interfaith questions and great articles). I am either getting new outdoor chairs for the patio, tons of books or some super cute shoes…to hike in.

Great Day

Without sounding all spammy, I won a gift certificate from interfaith family.com and no, you can’t win one, too, week, not now, because it is over and I won! I, who never win anything – wow, I say that but I did win that boxed set of Almaden wine in college, and a backpack from whole foods in 1999 and another backpack from REI last year – I think the universe wants me to hike.

A carrot cake recipe at Whisk Kid is gorgeous.

Easter is over and Passover is soon to be over…do yourself a favor and go the the Whisk Kid blog for an amazingly beautiful carrot cake recipe. Yum.

Holiday overlap: Passover and Easter

Last night we had an amazingly delicious meal from my friend, neighbor and co-host for the recent PTO dinner. She is a lovely, generous hostess and able to cook by using her intuition and experience rather than adhering to a recipe strictly. I also try to adapt recipes but there are people who are gifted at this and she is one of them. Her daughter is also learning this lovely intuitive way to cook and is better at it than many adults (myself included).

For example, as you know, Passover is not about the bread but she wanted to make biscuits, so she adapted, tweaked, cut it in half and made better a recipe she found on-line.  If I could figure out my scanner (which I will not attempt now for as soon as  I post this I have an Easter dinner to prepare), I would show you her notes. You will have to trust me.  If she had made it as directed we would have eaten hockey pucks for dinner.  An amazing pulled turkey in a barbeque sauce  (which I will share later) was served on top of these lovely buns with a gorgeous green salad and wonderful potato salad on the side.

Great Passover buns/biscuits

 (if you are curious it is here so you can see the recipe transformation)

Ingredients:

Makes 20 biscuits (really about 14)

  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tb. oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 100 grams (1 cup give or take) of matzo flour (matzo meal)
  • 3 eggs

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a pot, boil water, oil and salt. When it is boiling, remove it from heat and add matzo meal in one go. Mix well and add the eggs one at a time. Stir quickly as the water is hot and otherwise you will have scrambled eggs in water (yum).  This is evidently like making the pastry for eclairs which I have not tried – another culinary challenge awaits!

Mix well until the dough is smooth (add some meal if the dough is too sticky and create little biscuits with your (wet) hands.

Place on baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Wonderful delicious biscuits (you can mix whole wheat and regular matzo meal or spelt matzo meal which I jsut discovered this year).

Now onto Easter dinner – I am going to make a roasted turkey roulade from Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics cookbook.

Roasted Turkey Roulade

– serves 6 or 7 –

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

Ingredients

3/4 cup large-diced dried figs, stems removed
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Calvados or brandy (not using – substitute chicken broth)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups diced onions (2 onions)
1 cup (1/2-inch-diced) celery (3 stalks)
3/4 pound pork sausage, casings removed (sweet and hot mixed)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted * toast in pan over low heat for five minutes
3 cups Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned stuffing mix (don’t have, don’t want, will use a nice cranberry bread cut up)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (don’t have homemade – will use little concentrate from More than Gourmet that I get at Marty’s or Whole Foods)
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied (5 pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Procedure

1. Place the dried figs and cranberries in a small saucepan and pour over the Calvados and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until cooked and browned.

4. Add the figs and cranberries with the liquid, the chopped rosemary, and pine nuts, and cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

5. Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir well. (The stuffing may be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)

6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan. Lay the butterflied turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board., Sprinkle the meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

7. Spread the stuffing in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Don’t mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. (Place the leftover stuffing in a buttered gratin dish and bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside the turkey.)

8. Starting at one end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides.

9. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.

10. Place the stuffed turkey breast seam side down on the rack on the sheet pan. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until a thermometer reads 150 degrees in the center. (I test in a few places.)

11. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Carve 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve warm with the extra stuffing.

cookbook.

As I have not made this, I should get moving.  Happy Easter.

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