Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Brunch Ideas

Any of you guys have some yummy, kid friendly Easter brunch recipes or ideas? We have volunteered to host something for some neighbors at our house and my creative seems low and all I can think of is the Cooks Illustrated Strata that I always make. Thanks!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

At the Seder Table

This is a picture of our seder plate that was given to us by Mike's Grandma Edith. Last night, we had a very special Passover Seder celebration at home this year. We have traveled the past couple years as guests of family seders. Mike's family presents a Broadway sing-songy seder that is hard to beat. However, this year we stayed at home and hosted our own seder. Our theme of the preschool/haggadah cliff notes version of seder was the Ten Plagues with props and all. Mike did an amazing job keeping the kids entertained the whole time. Looking for the Afikomen (hidden matzo) is always a great breaking point to clear off the table before dessert. The kids had the best time. Mia even said before bed "I wish we could have Seder every night."

This is what I served last night and I wanted to share a couple recipe that I really love. It's my favorite Jewish holiday. I love all the foods that surround this holiday. So, it was a total treat to be able to cook all these dishes and host this year.

The ritual plate consisted of the following:





Roasted chicken wing

Hard boiled egg (Beitzah)

Small bowl of saltwater


Matzo Ball Soup

Chopped Liver with Caramelized onions

Gefilte Fish with Horseradish

Potato Latkes with Apple sauce


Roasted Chicken

Chocolate Toffee Matzo

Almond Macaroons

Manichewitz Fruit Slices


Original Recipe Yield 3 cups

6 apples - peeled, cored and chopped

1 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon white sugar

3 1/2 teaspoons honey

1/3 cup sweet red wine


Place the apples into a large bowl. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the apples. Stir in the honey and sweet wine. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

Ellyn Goodrich's Alaskan Halibut and Salmon Gefilte Fish Terrine

Yield: Makes 20 servings

1 tablespoon pareve margarine
2 pounds halibut fillets, skinned and boned
1 pound salmon fillets, skinned and boned
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium Spanish onions, diced
4 large eggs
2 cups cold water
6 tablespoons matzoh meal
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons snipped dill, plus more for garnish

2 large carrots, peeled
parsley, for garnish
prepared red horseradish for serving

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan with the margarine.

Cut the fish into large chunks, and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse about 20 times, do not puree, but grind fine. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and sauté the onions over medium-low heat until soft and transparent. Let cool.

To the fish mixture, add the onions, eggs, 2 cups of cold water, matzoh meal, salt, white pepper, sugar and lemon juice. Beat in the electric mixer at medium speed, using a paddle attachment, for about 10 minutes. Add the dill, and grate in the carrots; mix well.

Pour the mixture into the greased bundt pan. Smooth the top with a spatula, and cover with foil. Place a large pan filled with water which is almost boiling and comes at least halfway up the sides of the bundt pan.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until the center is solid. Cool for 5 minutes, or until mold is cool to the touch. Run a knife around the edges. Place a flat serving plate on top, and then flip over, inverting the mold onto the plate. If the mold does not come out easily, give the plate a shake. You should feel or hear it give.

Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Slice as you would a torte, and serve as an appetizer. Garnish with the parsley and remaining dill, and serve with red horseradish.


4-6 unsalted matzohs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or unsalted Passover margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup coarsely chopped chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a large (or two smaller) cookie sheet completely with foil. Cover the bottom of the sheet with baking parchment — on top of the foil. This is very important since the mixture becomes sticky during baking.

Line the bottom of the cookie sheet evenly with the matzohs, cutting extra pieces, as required, to fit any spaces.

In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter or margarine and the brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil (about 2 to 4 minutes). Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and pour over the matzoh, covering completely.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350°. Bake for 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure the mixture is not burning (if it seems to be browning too quickly, remove the pan from the oven, lower the heat to 325°, and replace the pan).

Remove from the oven and sprinkle immediately with the chopped chocolate or chips. Let stand for 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate over the matzoh. While still warm, break into squares or odd shapes. Chill, still in the pan, in the freezer until set.

This makes a good gift.


You can also use coarsely chopped white chocolate (or a combination of white and dark), and chopped or slivered toasted almonds (sprinkled on top as the chocolate sets). You can also omit the chocolate for a caramel-alone buttercrunch.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Roasted Whole Red Snapper

I picked up a fresh whole red snapper at Costco this afternoon from those fresh seafood displays. This was a great and easy recipe. I had chives in my garden and diced up some cloves of garlic with sesame oil, salt and oil. We all loved it...including the kids.


One whole 3-pound red snapper, cleaned and scaled

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 scallions, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for rubbing


1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for rubbing


2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

1 serrano chile, seeded and minced

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for rubbing


Pick your favorite flavor combination (Asian, Mediterranean or Caribbean, at left).

PREPARE THE FISH: Choose one of the flavor combinations and chop all of the ingredients except the oil together with a large pinch of salt. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and stir in the oil. Make 5 parallel 3-inch-long slashes on each side of the snapper, slicing almost through to the bone. Lightly season the fish with salt and fill the slashes with the paste. Rub the fish all over with canola oil.

COOK THE FISH: Preheat the oven to 425°. Transfer the fish to a heavy rimmed baking sheet so it stands upright. To keep the fish stable, splay the belly flaps and set a crumpled foil ball under the tail. Roast the fish for 30 minutes, until the flesh just flakes. Transfer the fish to a platter. Using 2 forks, lift the fillets off the bones and serve.