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Alternatively Traditional Seder

February 8, 2010 | by staff

Recipes for the Seder with a little 'twist'!

    Eggplant Caponata

This can be served with the fish as an appetizer or with the meal as a salad. Although the list of ingredients is long, you just throw them all in a pot. So try it, it’s a big hit at our table and I’m sure it will be at yours as well.


1 eggplant, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1/2 cup sliced green olives
3 tablespoons pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 1/2 hour. Stir frequently. Cool and refrigerate before serving.
Serves 12-16.

    My Mother’s Brisket

There are just some times when Mother really does know best. This continues to be the best brisket ever.


1 5-6 pound brisket
1 onion, sliced
2 tablespoons paprika
1 can tomato soup


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place brisket in roasting pan and cover with the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Bake for 3 hours until soft, checking halfway through to see if you need to add any water ( but you shouldn’t). If not for immediate consumption, allow brisket to cool, then slice. Return meat to gravy for reheating. For a variation, you can try this with duck sauce and without onions (although I really don’t recommend variations)

    Banana Cake

7 eggs, separated
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 very ripe bananas)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bag (2 cups) chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a tube pan.

Beat egg yolks. Add sugar slowly, beating constantly. Add bananas, potato flour and cinnamon and mix well. Beat egg white until stiff and fold into banana mixture. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. Cool briefly and remove from pan. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and smooth over cake as glaze.

    Meringue Cookies

3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat over to 250 degrees F. Beat egg whites until they hold their shape but are still soft. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon onto foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour.

Variation: Eliminate chocolate chips, make larger cookies and use small glass to make medium-sized indentation in meringues before baking. You will now have meringue shells to fill with sorbet, mousse or fresh fruit for a “fancy” dessert.

    The Old Familiar Charoset

(and my personal favorite!)


2 cups chopped apples
2 cups chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons sweet red wine


Combine and refrigerate. I know it’s supposed to remind us of the mortar for the bricks, but it happens to taste really good.

    Matzah Farfel and Spinach Stuffing

2 cups chicken broth
1 12 ounce box of matzah farfel
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 bulb fennel, tops removed, coarsely chopped
1- 10 ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl stir together the chicken broth and matzah farfel. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes. Then gently stir in eggs. In a skillet, cook the onion in the olive oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is softened. Add the fennel and cook the mixture, stirring for 5 minutes, or until the fennel is crisp-tender. Stir in the spinach and cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring until the liquid is evaporated. Stir the vegetable mixture into the matzah farfel and season with salt and pepper. Pour into greased 9x13-inch pan and bake for 1 hour.


How can it be Yom Tov without a tzimmes?


2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup pitted prunes
orange juice


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine potatoes, carrots and fruit in an oven-proof casserole dish or baking pan. Drizzle honey over mixture, varying the amount depending on how sweet you like it. Pour enough orange juice over mixture to cover the bottom with 1/4 inch of juice. Cover casserole tightly and bake for 1-1/2 hours.
Serves 8.

    Fluffy Matzah Balls

3 eggs
1/2 cup matzah meal
1/2 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon dill


Beat eggs with oil. Add matzah meal and dill and mix well. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Rinse hands with cold water (so matzah balls won’t stick) and make small balls. Drop them into the water. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Makes 12-15 matzah balls.

    Chicken Soup

It wouldn’t be Passover without chicken soup


2 chickens, cut into eighths
6 carrots, cut into thirds
6 celery stalks, cut into thirds
2 parsnips, cut into thirds
2 turnips, diced
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons dried dill weed


Place chicken in a 12 quart soup pot and cover with 6-8 quarts water, leaving room for all the vegetables. Bring to a boil and remove scum. Add vegetables and spices and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1-1/2 hours. Remove chicken and either shred and return to pot or save for another occasion. This makes a very rich and delicious soup. May be served with or without vegetables.
Serves 30.

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