Tag Archives: Ashkenazic

Menu for Marge’s Passover Seder, 2013 (2nd Night)

Apricots_Chocolate1A

Chocolate Dipped Dried Apricots
with Slivered Almonds

For the last few years I have taught several Passover cooking classes at three of the major cooking schools in Manhattan (ICE, The Natural Gourmet, and The JCC) that focused on Sephardic specialties. One year one woman contacted me saying that she was very disappointed that she could not attend my upcoming Italian style Passover cooking class, but would I instead be interested in preparing that same menu for her family Seder? (Her husband then drove in from upstate to pick it all up.) This ended up being my first official Passover catering job, and since then every year I get several requests for anything from Middle Eastern Passover desserts, to appetizers, full entrees, and even entire Seder meals.

Of my regular clients, one of my most favorite is Marge, who lives just across the park from me in New York City. Together we have cooked two Chanukah meals, and now I am planning my third Passover dinner menu for her and her family. As is often the case with several of my clients, Marge likes to have some of her own family’s traditional Ashkenazic dishes (such as gefilte fish, matzah ball soup, chopped liver, or perhaps a kugel) while adding some new and unusual Sephardic dishes to change things around and make her meal more unique. With Marge’s family I now know that I have to balance certain individual likes and dislikes, such as the following: apricots and dates are preferred over prunes, cumin over curry (but not too much), no bell peppers, and not to put onions into every dish we make. This year the meal will be for 15 people. Here is my working menu (but there might be changes):

STARTERS:
Syrian Charoset with Dried Apricots, Orange Blossom Water, and Slivered Almonds
Gefilte Fish (Marge’s cousin will bring)
Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls (check with Marge who will bring?)

MAINS:
Tossed Green Salad with Artichoke Hearts, Avocado, and Toasted Walnuts
(with olive oil, lemon juice, and dried mint vinaigrette)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and Carrots (toss with olive oil and salt)
Syrian Meatballs with Allspice and Cinnamon in Tomato-Cumin Sauce
Sephardic Style Brisket with Coriander, Ginger, Tamarind, and Apricots (leave out the prunes)
Potato Kugel (with lots of onions and eggs–not too dry!)

DESSERT:
Syrian Flourless Pistachio Macaroons with Orange Blossom Water (1 1/2 dozen enough)
Egyptian Toasted Walnut-Pecan Macaroons with Dates and Cinnamon (1 dozen enough?)
Chocolate-Dipped Dried Apricots with Slivered Almonds (make fewer than last time)
Other Passover-friendly Cake or Chocolates (someone will bring?)
Fresh Fruit, Sorbets

Advertisements

Syrian Charoset with Apricots, Orange Blossom Water and Almonds

Charoset_Apricot_Syrian_BlogOne of the most popular dishes on the Seder table is charoset, the fruity spread used to symbolize the sweetness of our ancestors’ freedom from slavery. In every Jewish culture there is a charoset that reflects the unique ingredients of the region. While the most traditional charoset that Ashkenazim (Germanic and other Eastern European Jews) prepare consists of finely chopped apples, walnuts, wine, cinnamon, and some sugar, most Middle Eastern and Mediterranean communities use dried dates as their base, adding other dried fruit (such as raisins and figs), along with varying spices and nuts. The charoset takes center stage on he Seder plate, and is the dish where one can be most creative. Below is my recipe for a Syrian charoset that uses dried apricots in place of the usual dates in most Middle Eastern charosets (in Syria they also do a charoset with dates sometimes mixed with the apricots). The orange color of the apricots really brightens up the Seder plate and table, and the sweet-tart flavor is especially nice if you find pure dates to be too sweet.


Syrian Charoset with Apricots, Orange Blossom Water and Almonds
(Yield: Serves 8 to 10 / Makes 2 Cups)

For Charoset:
2 cups whole Turkish dried apricots
½ cup orange juice
¾ cup hot water
2 tablespoons coconut sugar or unrefined whole cane sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 to 3 teaspoons orange blossom water
¼ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios or whole blanched almonds, coarsely chopped

For Serving:
2 tablespoons shelled, unsalted pistachios, or whole blanched almonds,
slivered or finely ground in the food processor

1. Combine apricots, orange juice, water, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until apricots are very soft and mushy, 30 to 40 minutes. (Make sure to stir every 5 to 10 minutes to prevent burning.)

2. Pour hot apricot mixture into a food processor and add the lemon juice and orange blossom water. Pulse 1 to 2 minutes until a smooth paste. Scoop out into a medium sized bowl and mix in the chopped nuts by hand. Cool to room temperature.

3. Serve charoset at room temperature in a small, decorative bowl garnished with the pistachios
or almonds.

©Jennifer Felicia Abadi:  www.TooGoodToPassover.com / jabadi@FistfulofLentils.com

The Seder

A Simple Passover Haggadah

Eshkol HaKofer

Sephardic & Judeo-Arabic Seder Menus and Memories from Africa, Asia and Europe!

too GOOD to PASSOVER

Sephardic & Judeo-Arabic Seder Menus and Memories from Africa, Asia and Europe!

In my Iraqi Kitchen: Recipes, History and Culture, by Nawal Nasrallah

Sephardic & Judeo-Arabic Seder Menus and Memories from Africa, Asia and Europe!

Bendichas Manos

a blog about living, cooking and caring in the Ladino tradition

KOSHER LIKE ME

COMING SOON

my madeleine

Sephardic & Judeo-Arabic Seder Menus and Memories from Africa, Asia and Europe!

A Kosher Christmas

'Tis the Season to be Jewish

%d bloggers like this: