These recipes come from the phenomenal bestselling cookbook, "Kosher By Design", Artscroll Publications.
Stuffed Matzah Balls
These matzah balls are unbeatable -- light and perfectly fluffy. Use a big wide pot, they really expand! The baking powder is the key ingredient and is now available for Passover.
Don't double the recipe; two batches will not fit in the pot at one time.
Sometimes, for a nice twist, I make them "stuffed". Using a vegetable peeler, I scrape off some carrot and celery shavings. When each matzah ball is formed, I poke a small hole, stuff in the shavings, then roll the batter over the shavings. I cook and serve them as the recipe states below. When you bite into the matzah ball you see the color and texture of the vegetables peeking out.
Although the matzah balls can be reheated in your chicken soup, initially cook them separately as indicated below. The starch in the matzah balls will murk up your soup's appearance and soak up a lot of your soup. I tend to make them along side the soup and use 5 cups of the soup with 5 cups of water to boil the matzah balls in so they get the flavor. In a pinch the matzah balls can be made in salted water as well.
For the cooking liquid:
5 cups water
5 cups chicken soup, broth, or bouillon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs plus 1 extra egg white, separated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/3 cups matzah meal
thin carrot shavings (optional) thin celery shavings (optional)
fresh parsley, roughly chopped (optional)
Place the 4 egg whites and salt in a mixing bowl. Let them come to room temperature as you bring the water, chicken soup, and teaspoon of salt to a boil in a large wide pot.
With mixer at medium speed beat the eggs until fluffy white peaks form. Add in the yolks, baking powder, and pepper. Beat on low. Sprinkle in the matzah meal and continue beating. Let the batter sit for 3 minutes to firm up. Wet your hands very well with cold water. Scoop up batter and roll between your wet hands until it forms a golf ball sized ball. Gently place the matzah balls into the soup. Re-wet your hands between each matzah ball. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes.
If making the "stuffed" option, while rolling each matzah ball, stuff in a few of the shavings and roll the batter back over it. Gently drop into the soup. The matzah balls will double in size, if you would like smaller balls or to get more out of the recipe, roll the balls smaller but cook the same amount of time.
Yield: 6-8 large matzah balls
Tri-Color Gefilte Fish
This easy spin on traditional gefilte fish has three different colored layers for a sophisticated look. It takes only 5 minutes to prepare. The recipe is based on a 9-inch springform pan with a removable bottom. If you are using a larger springform pan you may need to use 1-2 loaves per layer. Playing with the amounts won't affect the cooking method, but you may need to increase the cooking time by 10-15 minutes.
2 (22-ounce) loaves plain gefilte fish, defrosted in wrapper
1 (22-ounce) loaf salmon gefilte fish, defrosted in wrapper
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
6 cucumbers for horseradish wells, plus one extra long cucumber for top
prepared red horseradish (optional)
yellow pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick vegetable spray. Give it a heavy even coat. Open each of the 3 gefilte fish wrappers.
Add the dill and juice from lemon into one of the plain gefilte fish loaves. Mix thoroughly so the dill is dispersed evenly. Set aside.
Using a thin spatula, spread the plain gefilte fish into an even layer in the bottom of the springform pan. Top with an even layer of the salmon. On top of the salmon, spread an even layer of the lemon dill fish mixture.
Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 1 hour. If the fish does not look set in the center, remove the foil and bake 5 minutes longer.
Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Can be made a few days in advance. As an optional garnish, slice a long unpeeled cucumber by hand or by mandoline into paper thin slices. Lay the slices in concentric circles around the top of the fish.
Release the sides of the springform pan. To serve as individual servings, cut into wedges, like a pie. Trim any brown edges.
Cut the cucumbers into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Hollow out the center. Mix a few tablespoons of the prepared horseradish with a little mayonnaise to make a pretty pink sauce. Fill the cucumber wells.
Serve a slice of fish on a piece of leafy lettuce with a cucumber well. You can decorate each plate with tiny squares of yellow pepper.
Yield: 10-12 servings
This is a fabulous Passover dessert. The three components: meringues, lemon cream, and chocolate-dipped nuts can all be prepared 2-3 days in advance and assembled right before serving. If not using for Passover, substitute cornstarch for the potato starch, add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar to the egg whites when whipping them for the meringues, and try using dairy whipping cream and white chocolate-dipped nuts for dairy meals.
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar, super-fine if possible
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup potato starch
2 cups water
juice of 3 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
3 egg yolks
1 (8-ounce) container whipping cream
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon margarine
6 hazelnuts or cashews
Allow the egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes If you are short on time, place the egg whites in a stainless steel bowl and set it in a bowl of warm water for 2 minutes to bring the whites to room temperature quickly. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to the lowest possible temperature, 140-175 degrees.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites with the salt about 5 minutes or until soft peaks form; the tips will curl. Gradually add the sugar, beating on high until stiff peaks form; the tips will stand straight and sugar will be dissolved. Fold in vanilla and almond extracts. Evenly spread the meringues into 12 circles. Flatten slightly so they have a diameter of about 3- to 4-inch circles. Place the two baking sheets in the oven for 4 hours. When they are done, remove from the parchment; if the bottoms are sticky in the center, return them to the oven for longer. You want them completely dried out but not browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
When completely cool, place in an airtight covered container. Store at room temperature for up to three days.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and potato starch. Whisk in the water, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice.
In a small bowl, stir the egg yolks with a fork. Add a spoonful of the lemon cream to the eggs. Slowly stir the egg mixture into the lemon cream. Continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cool for 15 minutes. Cover the top of the filling with plastic wrap, making sure it touches the cream or a skin will form. Cool to room temperature or refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days in advance. In a large bowl, with mixer at a high speed, whip the whipping cream. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in 3/4 of the whipped cream into the lemon cream. Reserve rest of whipped cream for dollop on top.
Over a double boiler or in a microwave, melt the chocolate with the margarine. Roll each nut in the chocolate and gently remove with a fork to a sheet of wax paper. Let stand until chocolate is set and shiny; can be put in refrigerator for 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container until ready for use.
To assemble, spread half the meringues with lemon cream. Top with remaining meringues. Place a small dollop of whipped cream on the top of each "sandwich" and top with a chocolate dipped hazelnut or cashew. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 servings
These recipes come from the phenomenal bestselling cookbook, "Kosher By Design", Artscroll Publications. The cookbook contains a special index indicating recipes appropriate for Passover.