Passover started last night, so today was the first full day, and I’m already sick of matzah. For those of you who don’t know, Passover is the Jewish holiday that celebrates when we left Egypt. According to the Torah, the Jews left in such a hurry that they didn’t have time to let the bread rise. Today, we remember this event by not eating any leavened bread for eight days. Sounds pretty easy, right? Only it’s not just leavened bread. You see, the ancient rabbis got a little paranoid about certain things, like flour possibly rising if left in water for over 18 minutes without being baked. So now, pretty much anything with flour in it is a no-go for passover. The exception of course is matzah (or matzo if you prefer).
Yes, these dry, tasteless cracker boards will be the bane of every semi-religious Jew’s existence for the next seven days. Matzah is okay because it was carefully supervised and they made sure that they got that matzah in the oven before the magic 18 minutes had elapsed.
I generally subsist on matzah, cottage cheese, and, of course, matzah ball soup for Passover, but this year I think it’s time to make some changes. Today I got on Pinterest and found some yummy looking recipes to make Passover a little less bland. I’m going to give you direct links to the recipes, because nothing sucks more than finding something really awesome on Pinterest but not being able to find the original source. Well, maybe eating matzah for eight days straight sucks more.
I definitely want to try this vegetable matzo pie from The Shiksa in the Kitchen. I love artichoke hearts and asparagus, and this recipe has them both in abundance. The recipe is a little more involved than I’d like, but then again, I’m a huge fan of throwing a frozen meal in the microwave and hitting start. The recipe seems to make a lot though, so we can probably just eat on the leftovers for lunch for a few days afterward.
For a much simpler meal, Martha Stewart provided the recipe for this matzah pizza with fried eggs on top. You probably don’t really need the recipe for this one, but I like the addition of the egg to the matzah pizza. It makes it a little more interesting and you could easily eat this instead of the ever-present matzah brie for breakfast.
For a breakfast option that even those of you who aren’t forced to eat matzah will enjoy, try this smoked salmon hash with lemon-parsley vinaigrette from chow.com. It looks delicious, but it will probably be more effort than I’m up for early in the morning (and certainly more than my fiance will want to do that early), so I think we’re going to make this as a side one evening and eat the leftovers in the morning.
Our friend Martha also brings us this recipe for braised brisket, which is a bit more involved than the matzah pizza. It still seems quite easy, though it has to cook for about 3 hours. Unlike some of the other brisket recipes I found, this one calls for about 3.5 lbs of beef instead of 8-10 lbs of it, so it’s probably not a bad recipe for two people. We may have leftovers, but I’m a huge fan of leftovers.
For dessert you can go with the macaroons or you can make this delicious-looking walnut cake with chocolate whipped cream from none other than Etsy. The ingredients are simple and it doesn’t call for any flour substitute, so you don’t have to go out and buy matzah meal or potato flour.
Do you have any favorite Passover recipes?