Last day of Passover and I am ready to welcome bread and other leavened grains with open arms and mouth! Thankfully, corn isn’t a prohibited grain and cornbread muffins are possible, with minor adjustments.
- cornmeal, 1 cup
- matzah cake meal, 1/3 cup
- egg, 1
- buttermilk or water, 1 cup
- sugar, 1/2 cup
- baking powder, 1 tsp
- baking soda, 1/2 tsp
- salt, pinch of
- canola oil, 2-3 tbsp
- Preheat oven to 425F or 200C
- Mix the wet ingredients together
- After sifting the dry ingredients, add them to the wet, mixing till just combined
- Scoop into a 12-cup muffin tray which has been oiled
- Bake 14-15 minutes, or till a finger pressed into the middle leaves no dent
- Stuff several, buttered, into mouth immediately!
The texture and colour of this soup is so appealing that I return to it often, whatever the season. Beef it up with some lentils and leave half the vegetables unpureed for a hearty meal with chunky bread. It’s easy to make and to vary, and I am finally attempting to pin it down in writing before I forget what’s gone into it!
- carrots, 500g worth, tipped, skinned, sliced
- tomato paste, 1 small can
- lemon juice, of 1/2 lemon, plus zest
- ground cummin, 3/4 tbsp
- ground coriander, 1 tsp
- leeks, 3, sliced
- celery, 3, chopped
- veg stock, about 600ml
- tomatoes, 2, skinned and chopped
- coriander leaves, handful
- In about 2-3 tbsp of butter or olive or canola oil, saute the leeks and celery till tender
- Add the ground spices, stir till fragrant
- Add the carrots and tomatoes and a little stock, allow to soften
- Add stock and tomato paste
- Simmer for 30 minutes or until the veg are cooked
- Bung most of the soup’s solids, including half the coriander leaves, into a blender and puree
- Return to the pan, keep warm till it’s served
- Drizzle with oil or add a dollop of sour cream on top of each bowl of soup, and, if you wish, some chopped coriander.
The majestic Passover layer cake. Want to make one? Here’s how. In this year’s version I substituted sweetened black coffee for the orange juice of yore. If you can possibly wait a couple of days, which might be a challenge, it’ll taste even better!
More Passover recipes may be found here.
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- matzah crackers, 4
- cheese, parmesan or mozzarella, grated
- pasta sauce
- baby spinach
- optional: anchovies, sardines, etc
- Preheat the grill/broiler
- Lay the matzah crackers on a wide and deep baking tray
- Spread the pasta sauce over it, then any veg and/or protein
- Top with cheese
- Bake under the grill for 2-4 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn
See here for more Passover recipes.
Charoset, the fruit and nut jam-like confection which, at Passover, recalls the mortar which the enslaved Jews of ancient Egypt bonded bricks together with, is relatively simple to put together. This version is similar to the charoset made in Egypt, which includes dates, nuts and cinnamon. I have substituted orange juice for the more traditional red wine, and thrown in coconut as a nod to my Jewish predecessors in Cochin, Kerala.
- Fuji apple, 1, grated
- dates, 1 cup
- apricot, 1/2 -3/4 cup
- preserved orange peel, 2 tbsp
- walnuts, 3/4 cup
- orange, 1, zest and juice of
- brown sugar, 1 tbsp
- coconut shavings, 1/2 cup
- lemon juice, of 1/2 lemon
- red wine, 1/4 cup, optional
- cinnamon, 1-2 tsp
- Put all the ingredients together in a food processor and blend, but not too finely
- Serve at the Passover Seder, and on toasted matzah for breakfast.
My mother-in-law makes a very morish version of this salad. I asked her once what she put in it and she reeled off some ingredients hastily, probably embarassed that the seemingly humble dish had attracted such interest, when on the dinner table lay at least five other items warranting adulation. I hope I mentioned these others to her too, because she is such a superb cook!
Here is my approximation of this salad, with an added twist (of lemon).
- English cucumbers, 4, sliced thinly
- white vinegar, distilled, 1/2 cup
- water, 1/2 cup
- sugar (or sweetener), 3 tbsp
- celery seeds, 1/2 tsp
- mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp
- dill, handful, chopped finely
- mint, handful, chopped
- spring onion, 3, sliced finely
- lemon juice, of one lemon
- lemon zest, of a whole lemon
- Slice the cucumbers thinly
- Separately, add all the other ingredients, except herbs, in a saucepan
- Bring the marinade to a simmer, just enough to ensure the sugar is well incorporated
- Allow to cool slightly, add chopped herbs, taste and adjust sweetness, piquancy and seasoning, then pour over the sliced cucumber
- Refrigerate at least 12 hours
- Before serving, check seasoning and adjust if necessary, adding some fresh herbs on top
Weetabix has been a regular fixture in this household’s Seinfeldian display of cereals since our older son was seven months old, when he had it with milk and banana. That was 8 years ago, so you can imagine my reluctance to stop stocking our larder with this stuff.
Although his interest in it has waned a tad in favour of variety – other cereals too, or toast, or yoghurt and fruit – thankfully my younger son has decided this is his favourite breakfast – and eaten preferably as displayed, with cream cheese and strawberry jam.
This is an incarnation I’d never realised possible until a pregnant friend from Australia (one of the original homes of Weetabix) said it was the one thing she constantly craved. After I tried it thus, or slathered with butter, I couldn’t blame her.
Two biscuits pack a welcoming 120 calories, 4 grams of protein , a miniscule 2 grams of sugar and 16 percent of one’s daily fibre needs – what’s there to think about?
For more Weetabix recipes, click here.
- Alphonso mango, 1, julienned
- red and green or variety of peppers, 2, julienned or sliced thinly
- English cucumber, 1, sliced thin and long
- carrots, 2 medium ones, as above
- corn, 1, boiled and sliced off the cob
- lime juice, about 4-6 tbsp
- fish sauce, 2 tbsp
- zest of 1 lime
- brown sugar or stevia, 1 rounded tsp
- garlic cloves, 2-3 large ones, minced
- sesame oil, 1/2 to 1 tsp
- mint leaves, handful, chopped
- coriander/cilantro leaves, handful, chopped
- thai basil, several sprigs, chopped
- handful peanuts, roughly chopped
- Place all the sliced and chopped veggies in an attractive bowl
- Using a whisk, combine the dressing ingredients, including herbs
- Pour the latter over the former and toss
- Serve in individual bowls with a sprinkle of peanuts over
- Turn into a meal with a hunk of seasoned, pan-browned salmon or tuna
This one is strictly for lovers of lusciousness and anti-dieters. My plonk of choice was Bailey’s, but the usual applicable liqueur is rum or perhaps marsala wine. Feel free to deconstruct it by serving in individual cocktail glasses or to experiment with flavours.
Hardcore tiramisu lovers might be horrified at the thought of experimentation but this is a pudding that lends itself happily to variation. Obviously it then ceases to be a tiramisu but you’d get to call it what you like.
Tiramisu, like many desserts, has a disputed origin. The one thing people seem to agree upon, apart from their wanting to devour it outrageously, is that it is a fairly recent invention.
I like to take my time making tiramisu because, from start to end, it’s a sensual feast. I lazily observe the yolks double in volume and lighten in colour, the marscapone transforming into a creamy dream … oh, and the sponge fingers disintegrating in the coffee due to the distracted chef aaargh!
- 250g marscapone
- 150ml cream
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- vanilla bean or essence
- Bailey’s Irish cream, 2-4 oz
- strong coffee, 1 cup of, with 2 tsp sugar
- rum, optional
- savoiardi biscuits, 1 packet or as needed
- In one bowl, cream egg yolks and sugar till pale and fluffy
- Add cream and blend, then add marscapone gradually
- Add Bailey’s and vanilla bean or essence. Keep aside
- In second bowl, with a clean whisk, whisk the egg whites till stiff
- Sieve the marscapone mixture to remove lumps
- Fold the egg whites into the marscapone mixture
- Dip savoiardi biscuits into the coffee (spike latter with rum if need be)
- Layer them immediately in a clear bowl
- Add a layer of marscapone cream, then savoiardi, and so on till done
- The final layer on top should be marscapone
- Shave some dark chocolate on top and/or dust with cocoa powder
- Keep others at arms’ length whilst you consume the lot. With a shovel.