I kind of feel like a truck hit me, in a good way. These past two weeks have been totally bonkers. I knew Passover would be busy, but I couldn’t have anticipated just how busy it would actually be. Since today is the last day of Passover, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the highlights with you. After the recap, please share your own Passover thoughts and memories in the comments section. I’d love to hear how all of your Seders went, and what kinds of new recipes you tried!
As the holiday approached, I created this new index of Passover recipes, with special categories for Ashkenazi, Sephardic, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and more. I’ll use it each year and add to it when new Passover-friendly recipes are posted. Click the matzo to see the index:
I also organized the second annual Passover Potluck. We had some incredible submissions this year from some really talented, fabulous food bloggers. Click the badge below to see all of the terrific recipes that were shared:
I have to give one more thank you shout-out to Idaho Potatoes for sponsoring this amazing potluck and helping me bring all of these wonderful recipe ideas to you.
To kick off the Passover media appearances, I shared Passover recipes on New Day Northwest in Seattle:
Then I shared some holiday dessert ideas on Fox San Diego:
After that, I spoke at the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture for their “In the Mix” series about my “Passover Secrets.” I had a great time demoing a few recipes and talking about my own Passover cooking experiences. It was a great group and a fun time was had by all.
Finally, I came back home to a house full of our Israeli friends, who flew all the way here to join us for my home-cooked Seder meal. It was a pretty big celebration. I made, in total, 35 pounds of brisket and a giant vat of matzo ball soup. Two full days of cooking. By the end I was downing Advil for my back and iced tea for the caffeine fix. But I made it, and everything turned out fantastic… or so I’m told!
Sadly, I didn’t get any pics of the food. Between the Haggadah and rushing to and from the kitchen, I just didn’t have the time. I can tell you what was on the menu, though!
The Shiksa’s Passover Seder 2013
Slow Cooker Barbecue Brisket
(I modified it by using homemade BBQ sauce and potato starch)
Moroccan Carrot Harissa Salad (recipe will be in my upcoming cookbook!)
I did something a little different with my matzo ball soup this year. Usually, I make one huge pot of chicken soup the traditional way, then I make a separate large pot of broth for the matzo balls. The matzo balls soak up a lot of soup, so cooking them in their own pot of stock reserves the soup broth for guests. Rather than going through all of the chopping, peeling, etc. of veggies to make a second pot of stock for the matzo balls, I came up with a shortcut. I bought a rotisserie chicken (our local kosher market carries them during Passover). I cut most of the meat off and reserved it for the large pot of chicken soup. Then I put the skin and bones into the second pot and boiled them. It produced a rich, dark, seasoned broth, which only needed a little salt to make it taste excellent. I strained the broth, then cooked the matzo balls in it. This resulted in the most flavorful matzo ball soup I’ve ever made. The idea was inspired by a reader a couple of years ago who suggested using rotisserie chicken for my chicken soup broth. It’s way easier than making a second pot of stock from scratch! Plus you’ll have those yummy bits of rotisserie chicken in your soup. Try it sometime, you’ll love it!
So here’s something amazing. I had more hits on my website this month than I’ve ever had in the history of my blog! It warms my heart to know how many of you made my recipes for the Passover holiday, that your families and friends ate and enjoyed these dishes I’ve worked so hard to develop. Your comments and emails mean more to me than I can say. I haven’t gotten back to all of you yet, but I’m trying my best! Thank you for reading, sharing your comments and thoughts, and being part of what I consider to be the greatest cooking community online (I’m biased, of course). You all inspire me daily.
How about you? What are your highlights from Passover week? What was the best dish you made? Any kitchen disasters? Please share!