8 Recipes for Celebrating Passover

Passover is that time of year when colorful boxes of matzo fill the supermarket shelves and observant Jews consume this Passover cracker instead of leavened bread for eight days. Jewish families have many ways to transform this bland staple to make it more enjoyable —from spreading on basic cream cheese to making matzo pizza, each family has its own way of eating on this holiday.

Traditions aside, eating matzo for so long can become redundant no matter how much tomato and cheese is atop it. So, we’ve put together some unique recipes to enjoy this Passover. From breakfast to dessert, these delicious recipes are kid-friendly and are easy to make, letting you spend more time with your family around the Seder table and less time worrying about cooking.

Passover Pizza Recipe (Serves 1)

INGREDIENTS: For the pizza:

  • 1 sheet of matzo
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella, Cheddar, or jack cheese (or a combination of cheeses)
  • Passover-friendly toppings (Pick and choose to your liking):
  • Sliced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced olives
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced artichoke hearts
  • Sliced onions
  • Fresh chopped basil
  • Spinach leaves
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Red chili pepper flakes
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Oregano or rosemary

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place matzo sheet on foil-lined baking sheet. Spread matzo with the tomato sauce, and then sprinkle it evenly with the cheese. Place any toppings you like from the list above evenly across the top of the cheese.

Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes until the cheese melts. Take out of the oven and serve. You can slice the matzo into 4 triangles to make for easier eating, if you’d like.

Flourless Dark Chocolate Lover’s Cake Recipe (Serves 10)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the baking pan
  • 6.6 ounce dark chocolate, preferably Dove, chopped roughly
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons 70-percent (or greater) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Butter a 9-inch round baking pan and line with parchment paper.

Place the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water over medium-low heat, making sure the bowl does not directly touch the water. Add the butter and melt until smooth. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the eggs until slightly frothy.

Remove the chocolate-butter mixture from heat and whisk in the eggs. Using a rubber spatula, fold in 3/4 cup of the cocoa powder until just incorporated and pour into the baking pan. Bake until a crust forms on top of the cake, about 25-30 minutes.

Combine the cream and remaining cocoa powder in a large bowl and refrigerate. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes before turning upside down onto a serving plate. Remove the parchment paper if stuck. Whip the cream and cocoa powder in chilled bowl until just stiff peaks form. Serve the cake with the chocolate whipped cream.

Sephardic Charoset Truffles Recipe (Makes 25)

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place dates, apricots, raisins, pistachios, and honey in a food processor and pulse for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth but still has some texture.

In a bowl, mix together the sugar and the cinnamon. Form date mixture into balls that are about ¾ inches in diameter. Dip the balls in the cinnamon sugar and coat thoroughly. Serve at room temperature.

Perfect Brisket Recipe (Serves 20-25)

INGREDIENTS: For the beef injection and marinade
  • 1 quart water
  • 3 tablespoons beef base (preferably Minor's brand) or beef bouillon powder
  • 3 tablespoons au jus concentrate (preferably Minor's brand) or one 15-ounce can strong beef broth
For the beef rub:
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated dried onion
For the meat:
  • One 15-20 pound whole untrimmed brisket, preferably Wagyu
  • 2 aluminum pans
  • Injector
  • Blanket

For the beef injection and marinade:

In a large stockpot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the beef base and the beef au jus to the water, and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat. If reserving for a later use, let the liquid cool then pour it into a jug or bottle. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For the beef rub:

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients thoroughly. You can store this rub in an airtight container indefinitely.

For the meat:

Trim your brisket. Place the brisket, fat side up, in an aluminum baking pan. Inject it by eyeballing 1-inch squares all over the brisket and injecting half of the beef injection in those squares. Flip the brisket over, fat side down, and pour the remaining injection/marinade over the meat.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. 30 minutes before you are ready to cook the brisket, heat a smoker to 350 degrees, keeping it an average of 300 degrees. (You can also use a gas grill, but you’ll need to prepare it for smoking.)

Remove the brisket from the marinade and discard the marinade. Using your hands, apply the beef rub all over the meat. Place the brisket in a clean aluminum baking pan, place the pan in the smoker, and cook for 2 ½ hours. Remove the pan from the smoker and cover it with aluminum foil. Put it back into the smoker and cook for another 1 ½ hours or until the temperature in the point end of the meat reaches 205 degrees.

Remove the pan from the smoker and wrap the pan, still covered with aluminum foil, in a thick blanket. Let it rest at room temperature for 3-4 hours. Unwrap the pan, discard the foil, and remove the brisket, taking care to save the the accumulated juices. Set the brisket aside. Strain the juices of all grease, and pour the juices into a medium saucepan. Warm the juices over medium heat, and allow them to come to a simmer.

Meanwhile, slice the brisket against the grain; try to make the slices as consistently sized as possible. Place the slices on a warm platter and pour the juices over them. Serve immediately.

Shiitake, Apricot, and Matzoh Stuffing Recipe (Makes 8, 6oz. POrtions)

  • 3 ounces clarified margarine or olive oil
  • 8 ounces onions, small dice
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushroom, stems removed and cut into thin shreds
  • 1/8 teaspoon sage
  • 3 ounces shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
  • 4 ounces finely diced celery
  • 3 ounces dried apricots, minced
  • 1 ½ cups matzoh farfel or crushed matzoh
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely cut fresh dill

Melt the margarine (or olive oil) in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the onions and sweat over medium heat. After a few minutes, add the mushrooms and then the sage, shallot, and garlic and continue cooking without color. Add celery and apricots.

Place crushed matzoh or farfel in a small bowl. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the matzoh and immediately cover. Let matzoh steam for 5 minutes. Uncover matzoh, add to the cooked vegetable mixture and remove from heat. Mix all ingredients together well. Season well with salt and pepper and chill thoroughly. Add dill when cool.

Perfect Roasted Chicken Recipe (Serves 4)

  • One 3- to 4-pound chicken
  • 1 lemon and/or 1 medium-sized onion, quartered
  • Kosher salt, to taste

About 1 hour before cooking the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator, and rinse it. If you intend to make a pan sauce, cut off the wing tips and add them, along with the neck if you have it, to the pan in which you will roast the bird. Truss the chicken or stuff it with the lemon or onion, or both. Salt it and set it on a plate lined with paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees or to 425 degrees, if you’re concerned about smoke. Set the oven on convection if that’s an option.

Put the chicken in an ovenproof frying pan and slide it into the oven. After 1 hour, check the color of the juices. If they run red, return the chicken to the oven and check it again in 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving it. Carve the chicken and serve.

Easy, No-Bake Chocolate Matzo Cake Recipe (Serves 8)

  • 7 chocolate bars (3 ounces each, dairy or pareve)
  • 1 small bottle sweet kosher wine or grape juice
  • 7 matzo squares

In a double boiler or the microwave, melt the chocolate bars till smooth.

Pour sweet wine or grape juice into a shallow baking dish or pan. Soak the matzos for 45-60 seconds, or until they’ve absorbed some of the wine or juice. Don’t let them soak too long, or they’ll get mushy and fall apart! Remove matzos from liquid.

Place 1 moistened matzo in the center of a small tray or plate. Using a spatula, spread the matzo generously with melted chocolate, covering the whole surface of the matzo. Take another matzo and layer it on top, then spread it with chocolate. Repeat the process until you have seven layers of chocolate matzos. Put an extra thick spread of chocolate on the top layer.

Place the layered cake in refrigerator and let it set for about an hour, or until the chocolate has hardened. After the chocolate has set, store the cake at room temperature. Use a sharp knife to cut and serve.

Feel free to dress up the cake however you’d like. Some people add whipped cream and nuts. If you want a taller, thicker cake, feel free to add more layers. The thicker the cake, the longer it will take to set in the refrigerator.

PointsPlus Matzoh Brei with Bananas and Yogurt Recipe (Serves 4)

  • 3 boards matzoh, broken into 1-1 ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, in the raw or regular sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • 1 large banana, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries

Place the matzoh in a colander in the sink and hold under cold running water for 30 seconds to dampen. Drain well and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the egg, egg whites, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. Add the matzoh, stirring gently to coat.

In a 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Pour matzoh mixture into a skillet in an even layer and cook until bottom is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Flip over with spatula (matzoh brei may break into pieces, which is fine). Cooking until eggs are set and second side is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Serve topped with yogurt, banana slices, and blueberries.

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