Passover Menu at last!

As promised, the recipes for the chicken soup with matzo balls and brisket. Amazingly delicious. We also had gelfite fish and chopped liver but as I have never attempted these two items, you will have to go it alone. I did find some good recipes on Epicurious for both.


  • 4 1/2 – 5 lb brisket (trim of all fat or you will have the Exxon Valdez of briskets. I know this because it has happened to me)
  • •1 onion
  • •1-2 tablespoons of oil
  • 16 oz. can of tomato sauce Saute onion in oil until golden brown.

Add 3/4 cup water, and 1/3 can of tomato sauce. While that simmers, rub the brisket with paprika, kosher salt and pepper. Cook on low heat for 1-1 1/2 hours. Remove brisket from pan and put on a large cutting board. Cut against the grain of the meat. Take out onions with some sauce and purée in blender or food processor. Add the purée back to the gravy and add the rest of the tomato sauce. Add salt, pepper and the now sliced brisket. Cover and cook for another 1-1 1/2 hours.

Matzo Ball Soup

Chicken Soup


  • 1 soup chicken (4-5 lbs) cut in to quarters
  • 31/2 quarts of water 2 onions (cut in half)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt 2-3 carrots 3 stalks of celery
  •  1 tablespoon dry dill (0r 2 sprigs of fresh dill)
  • 3-4 sprigs of parsley Clean chicken. Rinse in water and salt.

Combine with 3 quarts of water and onions in large stock pot. Bring to a boil,cook over medium/low heat for about 1 1/2 hours. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour more. Let stand, refrigerate overnight.

Next day: Skim off and discard chicken fat. Heat over low heat until lukewarm. Remove chicken and set aside. Remove remaining ingredients (keeping all broth in the pot) and discard. Stain remaining soup into a smaller pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to heat on medium heat and serve.

Matzo Balls

  • 5 tablespoons (level) of either chicken fat or vegetable oil
  • 5 extra large eggs, beaten

Combine with 5 tablespoons of seltzer water and mix. In a separate bowl, combine the following dry ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup matzo meal (unsalted and do not get matzo ball mix)
  • 1 level teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper

 Mix dry ingredients into egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight (best – if pressed for time, refrigerate for as long as you can) In a large pot add water and salt. Bring to a boil. Make the matzo balls and drop in the boiling water. Cook at full boil for 30-45 minutes. Add to your soup and serve. This is an elegant and lovely soup. I have made this and added noodles and chicken and sliced carrots. The carrots and noodles will cook quickly and the broth is wonderful. The chicken you have already cooked.

A Passover feast and a humbled baker

Aviv Organic Mazos whole wheat
I bought it because of the box

Passover was lovely.  We celebrated at the home of dear friends who kindly share this special holiday with us.  Our family celebrates the holiday traditions of each religion of  (parental) upbringing (Jewish and Catholic) and hope that we are also sharing the lessons and values of each. 

So, last night, first, a lovely, lively and simple seder kept the children and adults engaged as we all took turns reading from the Haggadah.  Then there was the food, oh, the food!  Perfectly delicious homemade matzoh ball soup and delectable brisket were the order of the day (I will print the recipes later from our hosts – Thank you, Grandma M!). 

Then there was the cake…oh, the cake, idiot-proof?  Hmm..well, it was fine when it came out of the oven but due to (both equipment and operator) error, there were a few issues.  First, the springform pan did let in some water (even though I did take the precaution of wrapping the pan in foil) which may have been less if I had the presence of mind to remove it from the water bath immediately.  My guess is that as it cooled, more water entered the pan, resulting in a really unattractive edge of liquid-y chocolate. Then cake started to slide off the pan in a really scary, rubbery way.  

Panic.  Breathe. Repeat.  

I cut off the edges and cut the cake into salvageable (brownie-like) sections.  Luckily I had whipped cream, ice cream, berries and Chocolate Carmel Matzos ready to go.  The cake tasted good but was clearly a mess.  So much for idiot-proof -oh, and we renamed the cake “Passover Princess Cake”  because a certain impressionable youngster learned the word idiot and it seemed like a good idea.  I have made this cake on at least two occasions without incident and I will definitely make it again.  It does keep beautifully and is usually lovely.  Serve with your choice:  whipped cream, ice cream, berries or, best, all of the above. 

Many thanks to our kind and lovely hosts for the wonderful company, amazing food and sweet Passover Seder.

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