All year round, I love experimenting and trying new recipes in my kitchen, but Pesach is not that time of year. After all the shopping, cleaning, and preparation are done, I want simple, easy recipes that I know my family will eat. These recipes have been part of my Pesach “go-to” menu for years, and I hope they become part of your “tried and true” family traditions as well. Chag kasher v’sameach!
Sorbets are a great dessert. They are light and refreshing after a big Yom Tov meal. The trick to a smooth and creamy sorbet is double-blending. Once the sorbet is almost frozen, blending it again is worth the extra effort. I like to store sorbet in four oz. cups with lids or these adorable push-up pops (from Amazon). They make for easy serving.
Fruit Punch Sorbet
1 14 oz. bag of frozen strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1 packet fruit punch or raspberry Jello
In a small saucepan, boil the strawberries, water, and sugar until soft, mash with a fork, and allow to cool. Add orange juice, pineapple juice, and Jello and blend in a food processor until smooth. Freeze in a 9×13 pan for at least six hours. Place the sorbet back into the food processor fitted with the “S” blade and puree until it is smooth. Transfer to desired container and freeze.
One bag frozen mango, semi-defrosted
3 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
Blend all ingredients in a food processor and freeze for at least six hours or overnight. Transfer to a food processor and blend in batches until smooth. Transfer to desired container and freeze.
Top of the rib is a lean and inexpensive cut of meat. Cooking it over a low flame for three hours softens it. French roast works great with this recipe as well. The sauce is thick and sweet, and I slice the roast and freeze it in the sauce. It can be rewarmed in a low-temperature oven until just warmed through.
2-3 pound roast (top of the rib or French roast)
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 packet Goodman’s onion soup mix
Salt and pepper
Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, sear the meat on both sides. In a small bowl, mix the cranberry sauce and onion soup mix till smooth and spread over the meat. Cover the skillet and cook over a low flame for three hours, flipping every hour until the meat is fork-tender.
This recipe was given to me many years ago by my friend Eta E., and since then it’s been my family’s favorite chicken recipe, hands down. They ask for it all year, but it’s reserved for Pesach. You can freeze the nuggets and sauce separately and just heat them in a skillet before serving. They taste fresh, and no one will ever know they were frozen.
2 lbs. chicken cutlets, thinned and cubed
1 cup potato starch
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of pepper
Place cubed cutlets into potato starch and spices, then egg, then potato starch again. Fry on both sides till golden.
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. imitation soy sauce
3 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. salt
In a small saucepan on a low flame, heat all ingredients until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce begins to thicken. Place chicken and sauce into a large frying pan and heat through.
This recipe went viral a few years ago. To update a classic, I added onion and spices. It’s great to snack on, on Erev Yom Tov when you can’t eat matzah yet.
1¾ cup potato starch
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ cup oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients till smooth. Using a rubber spatula, spread batter onto two lined cookie sheets.
2 onions, finely diced
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
3 tbsp. oil
3 tbsp. minced garlic
¼ tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and allow the onions to sit for one hour. Then, spread onion mixture over kichel batter and bake for ten minutes. Remove from oven and cut into squares. Return to oven and bake for fifteen to twenty minutes, until golden.
Garden Vegetable Kugel
Aside from potato kugel, I rarely make kugels during the year. On Pesach, however, I find them to be convenient and a great side dish. This vegetable kugel is light, is great for yom tov, and is low carb.
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
2 small zucchinis
3 carrots, peeled
1 box baby Bella mushrooms
1 small potato, peeled
2 stalks celery, peeled
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup light mayonnaise
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. potato starch
In a food processor fitted with the coarse coleslaw attachment, shred all the vegetables. In a large frying pan, sauté the vegetables in olive oil until they begin to soften (about ten to fifteen minutes). Allow to cool. Add eggs, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and potato starch. Place in a parchment-lined deep 5×7 pan, or oven-to-table dish. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, until golden.
Purple Onion Dip
This dip is delicious, and I use it year-round. It’s especially delicious on matzah and crackers.
2 purple onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place onions on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake until the onions soften and the edges begin to char. Allow to cool. Place the rest of the ingredients into a food processor fitted with an “S” blade and blend until smooth. Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks.