The recipes below may be suitable for your seders or for the many nights of Passover.
1 ONION, PEPPER AND FARFEL FRITTATA
Serve this as a light main course with a salad, or as a side dish.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 large eggs
2 cups regular or whole-wheat matzo farfel
1. Spread 1 tablespoon of oil on the bottom and sides of a 10-inch skillet and heat over medium. Add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1/8 teaspoonof the black pepper, sugar and thyme. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally,for 8 minutes, or until very soft. Add the green and red bell peppers and cook, again stirring occasionally, 5 minutes longer.
2. Meanwhile, combine the eggs with the remaining salt and pepper and beat lightly with a fork. Stir in the farfel.
3. Pour egg mixture into the skillet and stir so the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cook, occasionally separating the mixture as it starts to set toallow uncooked egg on top to seep to the bottom. Cook the egg 13 to 14 minutes, or until it is lightly set. Run a knife or spatula around the edge.
4. Place a plate over the skillet and invert. (If some of the frittata sticks to the pan surface, simply scrape it out - it won't matter; it getsinverted a second time.) Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and allow it to heat up for 15 seconds. Slide the frittata back in and cook another 10 minutes, or until completely set.
5. Invert the frittata 1 final time onto the serving plate and cut into wedges. Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 269 calories, 12 g protein, 31g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 282 mg cholesterol, 29 mg sodium
2 VEGETABLE TZIMMES
While tzimmes is traditionally cooked alongside the meat, this one is cooked separately. This recipe may be halved.
3/4 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 carrots, cut on a diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 cup pitted prunes
2 medium onions (about 3/4 pound) cut into eighths lengthwise, then across,
3/4 pound white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
1. Combine sweet potato, carrots, prunes, onions, white potatoes and canned tomatoes with their juices in a Dutch oven. Toss in the cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice and salt and place over medium-high heat. As soon as the liquid in the pan bubbles, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally (and lowering the heat or adding a little water if necessary) for 1 hour, until the potatoes, carrots and onions are very tender. Makes 12 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 111 calories, 2 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 0g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 304 mg sodium
3 COLLAPSED CHOCOLATE TORTE
The key to this outrageous cake is to not overcook it. Because the torte is rich and intense, serve it in small portions. Top with whipped cream or frozen raspberries pureed with sugar.
1 tablespoon powdered cocoa
1 cup slivered almonds
8 ounces top-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 sticks ( 3/4 cup) unsalted butter (or margarine), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and dust with cocoa. Shake off excess cocoa.
2. Grind the nuts finely in a food processor.
3. Melt chocolate in the microwave until about 1/3 of it is creamy. Stir vigorously, then put it back in the microwave for 10 seconds, stir and repeat until chocolate is melted but barely warm to the touch. (This method prevents it from scorching.)
4. Cream the butter or margarine with an electric mixer until fairly smooth, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat again until well blended. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the egg yolks, ground almonds, and chocolate, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
5. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Stir about 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites.
6. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle will have a little chocolate clinging to it, but will not be coated.
7. Let the cake cool in the pan at least 30 minutes. Remove the sides, place a flat serving plate over the top of the cake, and flip it over. Use a long knife to carefully separate the cake from the bottom of the pan and remove. Using another flat plate, flip the cake again.
8. The cake will collapse and the top crack slightly as it sits. Makes 16 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 338 calories, 4 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 27 g fat, 14 g saturated fat, 99 mg cholesterol, 22 mg sodium
Experiment with whole wheat matzo and farfel in your favorite Passover recipes.
The following Passover dishes can be made in advance. Make these cookies the week before and store tightly covered in a dry place; make the matzo balls a couple of weeks ahead and keep them frozen until Sunday night (at which point transfer them to the refrigerator to thaw); the charoset can be made one day ahead.
4 COCONUT-PECAN MERINGUE COOKIES
While these are well-suited for Passover, they are also lovely any time you want a sweet, light bite.
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup shelled pecans, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
3 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees with 2 racks in the center.
2. Spread the coconut on half the cookie sheet and the pecans on the other half. (The cookie sheet should be dry, not greased.) Place in the oven and toast until the coconut is lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer coconut and nuts to a plate to cool (they can be combined).
3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpatwhat is this? doesn't seem to be a brand name.
4. Use an electric beater to whip the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar and continue mixing until the egg whites are glossy and hold their shape. Using a spatula, fold in toasted pecans and coconut when the beater is lifted.
5. Drop well-rounded teaspoonfuls of batter about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets. Place in the oven for 15 minutes; remove and rotate the trays and bake 16 to 18 minutes longer, or until the cookies are dry in the center. Makes about 40 cookies.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Each cookie: 35 calories, 0 protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7 mg sodium
5 GRANDMA JENNIE'S MATZO BALLS
Many people claim their grandmothers made the best matzo balls, and I must beg to differ. It was my Grandma Jennie, who passed away last year at age 109, who truly made the best. Try them; you'll see.
Grandma Jennie, being a very practical woman, realized early on she could make these ahead of time. After cooling the matzo balls on baking sheets, she would wrap them tightly right on the pans and freeze them. Once frozen, the matzo balls were transferred to freezer bags and thawed completely before reheating.
Whether previously frozen or not, matzo balls should be added to the soup 5 to 7 minutes before serving, or until they are heated through.
2 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup matzo meal
1 bouillon cube or packet
Pinch each of salt and pepper
1. Separate eggs; lightly beat yolks.
2. Beat whites until they just hold their shape. (When the beater is raised up from the whites, the peak will hold but it should not appear dry.)
3. Fold the yolks into the whites, and beat mixture until stiff. Fold the matzo meal in a little at a time, adding a pinch of salt and pepper along the way.
4. Fill a large soup pot halfway with water; add a chicken bouillon cube or packet and bring to a boil.
5. Wet your hands and roll 1 teaspoonful of the meal to form each ball. Do not overwork. Drop the balls into the boiling water, reduce the heat to simmer and gently cook for 30 minutes with the lid slightly askew.
6. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the matzo balls to a baking sheet. Let cool slightly and drape with plastic wrap. Makes about 15 matzo balls.
Nutritional analysis per matzo ball: 22 calories, 1 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 1 g fat, 32 mg cholesterol, 84 mg sodium
This is one fairly traditional version. For a slightly different charoset,
replace the raisins with chopped dried apricots, figs, dates or any combination of these fruits. Also, bear in mind the yield may vary depending on the size of the apples.
4 apples, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
2/3 cup Manischewitz Malaga wine
Toss the diced apples and cinnamon together. Stir in all the remaining ingredients and let sit, loosely covered, at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Taste and add sugar if needed. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 61/2 cups.
Nutrional analysis per half cup: 163 calories, 3 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 mg sodium
Other good do-ahead Passover dishes include chicken soup and brisket, both of which can be made in advance and frozen.