Passover, the Annual Cooking Marathon

Here’s the trouble with having an extensive collection of wonderful, well-read cookbooks representing a variety for culinary styles and carefully organized recipes culled from monthly foodie magazines along with other recipes harvested from the wealth of on-line sources and zooms. Where is the particular recipe you prepare only once a year! Case in point, my beloved and delicious Passover pecan torte (see 4-9-20 post). The inventory of my deep freeze revealed a package of ground pecans of indeterminate date. Some lemons were also rattling around the fruit bin. This torte would be just the recipe to use the lingering ingredients!

Lemon-pecan torte

Somehow my aging brain, of decreasing grey matter, remembered a long ago, cut out recipe in the “Jewish foods” loose leaf folder (Family Circle, 1991)! Just in time for the carefully constructed cooking schedule. First seder this year was Friday evening. Thursday’s agenda included my huevos haminados (Sephardic brown eggs), soup stock (complete with whole chicken to be used later in the week), charoset (using my mother’s recipe, see 4-9-20 post), and said torte.

huevos haminados and charoset

Actually, by the time I was able to identify where the recipe was secreted, it was prepared Friday morning. Friday’s cooking agenda included pre-cooking the baby artichokes (found unexpectedly at the local Fruiteria), finishing the soup and non-Greek matzah balls, and a new roast lamb recipe. Friday morning, I also had marzipan on the prep list – the recipe came from a zoom I watched in the past two years (see 7-12-21 post), a great new addition to my cooking repertoire.

marzipan

We usually do two seders; each night this year I experimented with new recipes. Friday Night was Sumac Navajo Leg of Lamb with Onion Sauce, a recipe from our local paper, the recipe is available in other on-line sources (https://www.newmexicomagazine.org/blog/post/recipe-sumac-navajo-leg-of-lamb-with-onion-sauce/). I scattered the parboiled, halved baby artichokes in the roasting pan with the meat. This dish was among the best we’ve had; the tangy sumac paired with the onion sauce makes a lovely flavor profile.

An unusual feature of seder in our home occurs when it’s only the nuclear family. As we read the Haggadah we also listen to the old Jan Peerce record!

Friday night seder, chez nous

Saturday’s new recipes were Chicken with Potatoes and Leeks with Pine Nut Gremolata, from the April Food and Wine magazine. (https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chicken-potatoes-with-pine-nut-gremolata) along with sautéed dandelion greens and blistered shishito peppers. Warning, the gremolata takes lots and lots of chopping; it was well worth the work, a tasty addition to the dish.

One of our new Korean neighbors, intern chefs at a ritzy hotel, joined our seder.

Of course, two of our girls, Sweetie and Jinxie, also joined the family gathering in the dining room.

Jinxie
Sweetie

Passover continues for the entire week in our house. I am planning to prepare several of the dishes gleaned from the many, many zoom presentations viewed in the past month or so. One dish repeated several times was Sephardic mina, what I have always considered a Pesach lasagne, called by many names (see 3-29-21 post for the recipe I used last year). Here is one I found interesting: Jewish Art Collaborative, Boston, Chef Michael Leviton, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMrDy9m7vd8.

 

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