The Shiksa’s Passover Potluck is a unique annual online event. I’ve invited my friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to share recipes that are kosher for Passover. My goals are simple– to foster mutual understanding between different cultures, to introduce you to my foodie friends, and to share yummy recipes and cooking ideas for Passover! To learn more about the Passover holiday, click here.
Passover Potluck 2013 is generously sponsored by Idaho Potatoes.
Kathy Strahs from Panini Happy has been an online acquaintance for quite a while now, and I finally got to meet her in person at the recent White on Rice Thermador White Party. She’s every bit as lovely in person as she seems online. When we talked at the party, I discovered that she knows a fair amount about Passover cooking thanks to her family and friend connections. As a blogger who specializes in panini sandwiches (translation- bread!), I wondered how she would navigate the kosher laws for Passover. Leave it to Kathy to come up with a creative and tasty panini that is kosher for Passover. I know most of you have some brisket in the fridge, so gather up your Seder leftovers and let’s get cooking! ~ Tori
Hello, everyone! I’m Kathy Strahs, the blogger and photographer behind Panini Happy, a food blog devoted to sandwiches and other creative recipes for the panini press. In addition to grilling all kinds of panini, I’m known for using my panini press to grill everything from Spinach-Feta Quinoa Cakes to Banana-Stuffed French Toast to even Homemade Ice Cream Cones. Today, thanks to Tori and her Passover Potluck, I’ve taken on a new panini-grilling challenge:
I honestly didn’t anticipate attempting to grill matzo when I first joined the Potluck. It was actually the furthest thing from my mind. Put a dry, crisp cracker that crumbles easily between the hot grates of a panini press? No, thank you!
But…what about soft, malleable matzo, wrapped around leftover Passover brisket and onions? With a dollop of creamy whipped avocado? And then grilled on the panini press to crisp things up again? Oh yes… Grilled Matzo Brisket Wraps would be a very good idea.
The first step in getting this idea to work was to soften the matzo. Our babysitter, who keeps kosher, introduced me to the concept, which she first observed in Israel and later in an inventive cookbook called Matza 101. It’s a simple process, in which you layer wet matzo between moistened paper towels until it’s “al dente” and bendable. I’ll admit it took me several packs of matzo before I got the technique down just right, but the results were worth it. The key, as in life, is patience.
Once I had matzo I could fold, assembling my brisket wraps was very easy. I brushed olive oil on one side of the matzo and seasoned it with a little salt for flavor and to encourage crisping when it came time to grill. On the other side, I piled on leftover shredded braised brisket (shredded roast chicken would also work well) and onions and topped it with a few spoons of whipped avocado. Then I carefully folded in two corners of the matzo to form a little open-ended burrito-like wrap. Lastly, I grilled the wraps on the panini press to crisp them up and enable them to hold their folded shape.
So there you have it – a different and tasty way to enjoy Passover leftovers. Thanks so much, Tori, for allowing me to share in this year’s Potluck!
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- 4 sheets of matzo*
- 1 medium avocado
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling on matzo
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lb leftover cooked brisket, shredded
- 1/2 cup leftover cooked onions**
- Spread out heavy duty paper towels on a clean counter top. Turn on cool water from the kitchen faucet and, one at a time, run each matzo under the water, wetting each side. Lay each wet matzo down on the paper towels, leaving about a 1/2-inch gap in between them. Then, place a soaking wet (don’t wring it!) paper towel on top of each matzo. Let the water absorb into the matzo until it’s easily bendable, like a noodle, about 20 minutes. Check it periodically – if it’s still not bending easily, wait a little while longer.
- Once the matzo is at the bendable stage, remove the wet paper towels and let the matzo dry a bit for about 10 minutes. Don’t rush this (I learned!) – if the matzo is too wet it will break. When it’s ready, the matzo will bend without breaking.
- In the meantime, while you’re waiting for the matzo, prepare the avocado spread. In a small food processor or blender, mix the avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper until it’s a smooth and creamy spread. Give it a taste and season it with more salt or lemon juice as needed.
- Heat the panini press to medium-high heat. ***
- For each wrap: Brush a little olive oil on one side of a prepared matzo. Sprinkle it with salt, if desired. Carefully flip the matzo over to the other side and top it with brisket, onions and a few dollops of avocado spread. Fold in two opposite corners of the matzo to encase the fillings, leaving the ends open.
- Transfer the wraps, two at a time, to the panini press. Close the lid and grill them until they’re warmed through and the matzo is lightly crisped, 3 to 5 minutes.
- * You might opt to prepare more matzo, if this is your first time, in case a few break.
- ** Alternatively, you can quickly slice and cook half an onion in a skillet with a few teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Season the onions with salt and pepper before adding them to the wrap.
- *** No panini press? You can always bake these wraps in an oven or toaster oven at 350°F until they’re hot and crisped, 5 to 10 minutes.
Other Great Passover Recipe Ideas
Passover Potluck 2012 – Slow Cooker Brisket with Chipotle Cranberry Sauce from Black Girl Chef’s Whites
Kosher Like Me – Turkish Inspired Leek Meatballs
Levana Cooks – Brisket in Coffee Brandy Sauce