A Passover Meal of Freedom and Remembrance
The Jewish holiday of Passover is, at its core, a celebration of life. The roots of the observance were born during the Jewish exodus from Egypt, when God “passed over” the homes of Jews when he was slaying the country’s firstborn.
To honor this history, during the eight-day span of Passover (which in 2012 begins at sunset on April 6), leavened bread (chametz) is eschewed, but with a some creativity and today’s wide availability of matzoh in many forms means you can create a modern, delicious meal with very little trouble.
The Seder, a ritual feast, is central to the holidays, and many households serve brisket as the centerpiece for the meal, though roast chicken is also common. We’ve put together an amazing Passover meal that manages to be impressive without being fussy. Start out with golden salmon potato cakes and dill-spiked matzoh-ball soup, then serve up a perfectly cooked brisket partnered with a spinach-filled potato casserole and roasted carrots. For dessert? An outrageously decadent flourless chocolate cake that will win raves from your guests.
Salmon-Potato Cakes: These pretty little cakes are very easy to make, thanks to a shortcut: store-bought mashed potatoes (if you are Kosher observant, make sure the label reads “Parve.”) Just fry them until golden brown and watch your guests gobble them up.
Dill-flavored Matzoh-Ball Soup: Matzoh ball soup is all about the matzoh balls—beaten egg whites makes these light and fluffy, the ideal contrast to the clear, flavorful broth. This soup gets an additional pop of flavor from fresh dill.
Basic Roasted Carrots: Carrots are an everyday refrigerator staple, so we often forget how delicious they are simply roasted with a drizzle of olive oil. You can perk these up with fresh herbs if you like, but they’re also tasty as-is.
Castilian-Style Passover Potato Casserole: This elegant Kosher casserole makes a perfect pairing with brisket. The spinach filling is a welcome surprise that lends a deep, mineral tang to the dish.
Oven-Barbecued Brisket: To infuse this brisket with intense flavor, a dry rub is left on the meat overnight. The roast is then cooked low and slow, and emerges incredibly tender, with an appealingly barbecue-like taste.
Too-Good-To-Be-Called-Passover Cake: This decadent chocolate cake doesn’t contain a grain of flour—a combination of chocolate, sugar, butter and eggs creates an incredibly moist chocolate flavor bomb that kids and adults alike will go wild for.