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A Delicious Passover

March 16, 2010 | by Susie Fishbein

Elegantly simple Passover recipes.

Select recipes from Passover by Design

Sliced Beef with Shiitakes and Cherry-Brandy Sauce

meat•Makes 6 servings•non-Gebrokts

Place the beef stock and water into a medium pot. Whisk and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaves and rosemary. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Discard rosemary and bay leaf. Whisk the red wine with the potato starch. Add to the stock. Add liquid from the cherries, reserving cherries. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, season both sides of the beef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sear the meat, 8–10 minutes per side. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing on the diagonal into thin slices.

In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Sear the shiitake caps until soft, about 3–4 minutes per side.

When the red-wine sauce is done, stir in the cherries and brandy. Simmer for 3 minutes to cook out some of the alcohol and heat through.

Serve the shiitake atop the steak slices and drizzle with the cherry-brandy sauce.

¼ cup beef stock, can be made from beef consommé powder
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
½ cup red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
2 teaspoons potato starch
1 (15-ounce) can sweet dark pitted cherries, drained
2 pounds London broil or filet split
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 shiitake mushroom caps
2 tablespoons brandy

Rack of Lamb with Fig-Marsala Sauce

meat•Makes 6 servings•non-gebrokts

This is my all-time favorite way to prepare lamb. I save it for special occasions and always receive accolades from my family and friends. Its dramatic presentation makes for an incredible dinner that is sure to impress. The fig sauce turns a gorgeous amber color. The flavors come together in a way that makes you feel like you’ve just dined in the most expensive restaurant, without ever leaving your driveway.

Preheat oven to 450°F

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process 2 tablespoons olive oil, rosemary, thyme, and shallots 30–45 seconds, or until a thick paste forms.

Rub the herb paste into the lamb. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium oven-proof skillet. Add the lamb, fat side down, and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Turn the lamb and cook for an additional minute so that both sides are brown.

Add ½ cup wine to the skillet. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 18 minutes. If your skillet is not oven-proof, cover the handles with foil.

Remove the skillet from the oven. Place the lamb on a platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Add the remaining ½ cup of wine and the figs to the skillet. Bring to a simmer. Use a spatula to loosen the brown bits from the pan. Add the stock and simmer for 3–4 minutes. The sauce will thicken and become a nice amber color. Pour sauce over the lamb and serve.

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme, minced
2 shallots
2 racks baby lamb chops, 9 chops per rack; have butcher French the bones
1 cup marsala wine, divided
8 fresh Mission figs or 6 dried figs, cut into quarters
½ cup chicken stock

Cauliflower Française

meat or parve•Makes 6-8 servings•non-gebrokts

Française is generally a preparation reserved for chicken or thinly sliced veal. I thought I would try it with cauliflower, one of my favorite vegetables. The results? C’est magnifique!

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cover 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Trim the cauliflower to the base so that it sits flat on the cutting board. Trim off the two outer ends. Make 3 (¾-inch) lengthwise cuts to yield 3–4 large steaks from each head of cauliflower. Keep the remaining pieces that fall off in flat intact bunches, as much as possible.

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, stir together the 1 cup potato starch, 1?2 teaspoon salt, and 1?4 teaspoon pepper. Dredge the large cauliflower steaks, one at a time, in the potato starch mixture, shaking off the excess. Toss the smaller pieces in the potato starch and shake off excess. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow bowl or pie plate. Dip the cauliflower into the eggs to coat, letting the excess drip off; then place in single layers on prepared cookie sheets.

Once all the cauliflower is battered, spray the tops of the cauliflower steaks and pieces with olive oil-flavored cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper. Place into the hot oven and bake for 20–25 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.

In a medium skillet, melt the margarine. Whisk in the 1 tablespoon potato starch. Add the juice of the lemon, wine, and stock. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened and translucent. Stir in the parsley. Taste and re-season as needed. Spoon sauce over the cauliflower.

2 heads cauliflower
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon potato starch, divided
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
olive oil-flavored cooking spray
3 tablespoons margarine
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup white wine
½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons chopped fresh curly parsley

Acorn Squash with Frosted Cranberries

parve•Makes 8 servings•non-gebrokts

Acorn squash, like all winter squash, can be dangerous to cut. I ask the workers in the produce department at the supermarket to cut them in half and wrap them in plastic wrap. If you can find only large acorn squash, just cut the squash in half. After they are softened by cooking, you can cut each half in half again for more manageable servings.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place the acorn squash cut-side-down into a baking pan. Pour 1?2 inch of water around the squash. Bake 45 minutes.

In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. When sugar dissolves, reduce heat and add the cranberries. Simmer for 15 minutes. Drain off liquid. Remove the berries to a sheet of waxed paper. Separate with a fork. Set aside.

Remove squash from oven and pour off the water from the pan. Turn the squash cut-side-up. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, honey, ginger, cinnamon, margarine, salt, and pepper. Divide mixture evenly among the squash halves. Return to the oven for another 30–35 minutes, basting with sauce, until squash is soft.

Toss the cranberries with a little sugar to coat them. Remove the squash to a platter and fill each cavity with frosted cranberries.

Acorn Squash:

4 small acorn squash, cut in half around the “waist,” seeded
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons honey
pinch of ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons margarine, at room temperature
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Frosted Cranberries:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar, plus extra for frosting
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, unthawed

Lemon Mousse Parfaits

dairy or parve•Makes 6 servings•non-gebrokts

¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon potato starch
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
zest of 2 lemons (yellow part only, not the white pith)
juice of 3 lemons
1 cup heavy cream or nondairy whipping cream
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
blueberries or raspberries

For a light, ethereal ending to a meal, try this lemon mousse. The lemon color and flavor are both complemented by the fresh berries. In this recipe, homemade lemon curd is transformed into mousse with whipped cream.

Combine the sugar and potato starch in a heavy medium-sized pot. Whisk in the eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, and lemon juice until blended.

Turn the heat to medium and cook the mixture, whisking continuously, until it is thick and bubbly, about 3–4 minutes. Whisk for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat.

Place a strainer over a medium bowl. Pour the lemon mixture through the strainer, using your whisk to push it through. The zest and egg solids will get caught in the strainer and should be discarded.

Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the lemon curd, touching the surface so that it does not form a skin. Place in the freezer to quickly cool while you whip the cream.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the cream on high speed until it is thick and stiff peaks form. Slowly beat in the confectioner’s sugar until it is all incorporated.

Remove the lemon curd from the freezer. Using a spatula, fold in one-third of the whipped cream to lighten the mixture. Fold in remaining cream until it is an even, pale-yellow color. Refrigerate until needed.

Put a handful of blueberries or raspberries into each of 6 wine glasses or other stemmed glasses. Top with lemon mousse. Serve chilled.

Crumb Cake

Dairy or parve•Makes 12 servings•non-Gebrokts

When my friend Limor Decter heard I was doing a Passover cookbook, she immediately forwarded me a file of Pesach recipes from her friend Tsippy Nussbaum, who loves Passover food. Tsippy was kind enough to allow me to include this recipe, her favorite of the bunch. The ladyfingers that she recommends are from an 8-ounce box; they are non-gebrokts and made by Oberlander. If you can’t find them, you can use another kind of Passover boxed cookie. I used a whole (2.25–ounce) box of Lieber's brand Sugar-Coated Egg Kichel and the recipe worked out fine.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray a 9- by- 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, at medium speed, mix the sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla sugar, oil, eggs, and potato starch until you have a smooth batter.

Pour into prepared pan and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, toss the cinnamon, butter or margarine, crushed ladyfingers, brown sugar, and sugar. Use your fingers to pinch into coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the cake and return to the oven to bake for an additional 35 minutes.

    nonstick cooking spray
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    4 large eggs
    1 cup potato starch

Crumb Topping:

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, cut into small bits
½ (8-ounce) box ladyfingers, crushed and crumbled
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar

Click here to order your copy of Passover by Design.

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