The Jew And The Carrot

Roman Holiday: Pizzarelle Con Miele

By Alyssa Shelasky

Pizzarelle Con Miele are a classic Roman Jewish Passover cookie. Read about how Alyssa Shelasky learned to make the recipe while living in Rome here.

Inspired by Edith Arbib Anav

Yield: 8 servings

8 sheets of matzo
4 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup sugar
½ cup of kosher for Passover cocoa
powder, highest quality
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup raisins
2 cups peanut oil for frying
4 tablespoons of honey
2 teaspoons of lemon juice

1) Soak the matzo in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes, until very soggy. Remove from water, squeezing out as much moisture as you can from the matzo.

2) Put the matzo in a large bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients, lighting mashing everything together until all the ingredients are evenly combined.

3) Heat the oil on the stovetop to approximately 325ºF to 350ºF. With a big spoon, form large madeleine-shaped spoonfuls of the mixture. Carefully insert them into the oil, one by one.

4) Fry the cookies for about 5 minutes, flipping half way through.

5) Place the cookies on paper towels to drain the excess oil.

6) Meanwhile, heat the honey, with the lemon juice and a few teaspoons of water in a saucepan over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes. The honey should bubble but not burn.

7) Once the cookies have been drained of oil, individually dunk them in and out of the honey pot. Let set. Serve at room temperature.

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4 Cocktails for the 4 Sons

By Pamela Wiznitzer

While the story of Passover may be the reason for having the seder, the real stars of the event are the food and drinks served throughout the evening. Carefully planned, perfected all day for all to enjoy while listening to the hours long story of Moses and the exodus.

Like most kids growing up, the reading of the “4 sons” was a significant part of the evening. But what if those sons were a bit older (lets say over the age of 21) and could order a drink alongside their question. What would these guys imbibe based upon their personalities?
Pamela Wiznitzer

The Wise Son: Aperitif Cocktail

The wise son knows that the key to enjoying the seder and making it to the end is by pacing. With one glass of wine already consumed and three more to go, there is no way he will survive the night unless it sticks with something a bit more low proof. And it never hurts to start the evening with an aperitif style drink. This refreshing and slightly citrusy sipper is the perfect way to ease into the nighttime festivities.

• 1.5 oz fresh grapefruit juice
• .5 oz fresh lemon juice
• 1 oz Bartenura Etrog Liqueur
• 3 oz Bartenura Moscato d’asti
• Combine ingredients into a glass, stir lightly and garnish with the oils of a lemon peel.

The Wicked Son: Tequila Shot

The wicked son is always up to no good and is not one to stick to the conventional methods of drinking. Known for making the night a bit more crazy and perhaps putting some people over the edge, the Wicked son opts to drink a shot of straight tequila (no chaser) to awaken his inner mischievous self.

• 1 oz 99 Agave Blanco

The Simple Son: Tom Collins

Sometimes the best cocktails are the least fussy, and this classic from the father of cocktails, Jerry Thomas, will fit the bill for the Simple son. Herbaceous notes from the gin, the bright citrus from the lemon a sweetness of the syrup combine together beautifully in this cocktail. And this guy knows that limes are too overpriced to use this year for the seder, so sticking with lemon juice will alleviate the burden of the holiday tab.

• 2 oz Distillery 209 Gin
• .75 oz fresh lemon Juice
• .75 oz simple syrup (**1 cup water and 1 cup sugar dissolved)
Pamela Wiznitzer

• Soda Water
• Combine gin, lelom and sugar into a highball glass with ice. Stir and top with soda water. Garnish with a lemon wedge. For a fun alternative, use Dr. Brown’s Celery Soda in place of soda water for a fun twist on this classic.

The One who does not know how to ask: Vodka Soda
It worked in college….you can barely taste it….and it’s safe.

• 2 oz Vodka (we recommend Distillery 209 vodka or L’chaim Vodka)
• Soda water
• Combine in a highball glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon or lime wedge.

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Passover Sweets — The Best Recipes on the Web

By Devra Ferst

Food52/James Ransom

Making a delectable Passover dessert is a challenge worthy of appearing on Iron Chef — no leavening, no flour, and if your Seder has meat, no butter. Fortunately, our favorite food sites and cookbook authors have suggestions and recipes for sorbets, toffees and an irresistible sweet matzo brei that can double as dessert. What’s your favorite Passover dessert? Share it with us in the comments.

To get you started, here are 10, incredible recipes for pareve Passover desserts like chocolate balsamic macaroons, pear vanilla sorbet and roasted strawberries with rhubarb. [Food 52]

And several more like matzo toffee with candied ginger, chocolate caramel macarons and hazelnut citrus torte from cookbook author Melissa Clark. [New York Times]

Food52/James Ransom

Matzo brei will never be the same. Introducing: Cinnamon sugar matzo brei with roasted apple charoset. [Tasting Table]

Chocolate-covered matzo is one of the true pleasures of Passover. Here’s an easy way to make it at home. [Food 52]

Imagine this: a macaroon filled with molten chocolate. It’s a reality. [Fork in the Road]

Chocolate. Caramel. Matzo. Brittle. ‘Nuff said. [The Kitchn]

And if you still need ideas, the New York Times has an entire Pinterest board dedicated to Passover recipes [Pinterest]

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Cook the Book: Let My Children Cook

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Don’t worry if you are too tired to cook again after the Seders this Passover. Thanks to a new cookbook by Tamar Ansh, you can let the kids take over the kitchen for the rest of the weeklong holiday. They won’t necessarily prepare fancy dishes made with organic and locally sourced ingredients, but with the guidance of “Let My Children Cook!,” they’ll be able to put together some substantial meals that they — and maybe you too — will want to eat.

“As a mother, I know what kids like to eat,” Ansh, cooking instructor and author of several cookbooks, including “A Taste of Challah,” told the Jew and the Carrot from her home in Jerusalem. “It doesn’t have to be a full-blown recipe. Chicken cacciatore braised in wine sauce is not for kids.” Although she had never written a cookbook for kids before, she knew she had to keep the recipes clear and short, with as few ingredients and steps as possible.

Officially, “Let My Children Cook!” (Judaica Press, 2014) is for children 8-years-old and up, but kids even younger can easily tackle these recipes with the help of a parent or older sibling.

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Fair Trade Chocolate Charoset

By Ilana Schatz

Philip Gelb

SHEHECHIYANU! We can finally eat chocolate on Passover that’s been certified not to have been made with trafficked child labor! Why is this so important?

Every Passover we gather as family and community, to celebrate our people’s freedom. We are obligated to tell the story of the Exodus, our journey from slavery to liberation. As we celebrate this freedom during Passover, we are compelled to reflect on how freedom continues to be elusive for other people. Our history of slavery awakens us to the plight of the stranger, and to the alarming occurrence of modern day trafficking and slavery. For how can we celebrate our freedom, without recognizing that so many individuals still have not obtained theirs?

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Red Velvet Macaroon Cake Is for Lovers

By Molly Yeh

There is a sad truth about Passover: Its dessert always falls short. Hanukkah has donuts, Purim has hamantaschen and Rosh Hashanah has honey cake. Poor Passover has no signature sweet.

Perhaps you’ve put in the extra effort to make a kosher for Passover cake for your Seders past, but if you’re like me, you’ve never found one you love enough to sacrifice sweet brisket-braising time to make it each year. But as Julia Child said, “A party without cake is just a meeting.” So, this spring I set out to create a kosher for Passover cake that wouldn’t compromise even a crumb’s worth of quality.

I pulled my copy of Dan Cohen’s cookbook, “The Macaroon Bible,” down from my shelf and got started. Cohen’s recipes call for small batches that produce rich and chewy macaroons that come in flavors like rice pudding and salted caramel. Each recipe highlights the thick coconut shreds and sweet condensed milk that make up its base. His recipes have made macaroons a year-round treat in my home — passing the test of something that’s conveniently kosher for Passover but not designed for it.

This cake batter borrows from Cohen’s recipe and enhances the celebratory qualities of a macaroon. It takes a traditional Passover dessert and morphs it into a beautiful, festive and delicious centerpiece. It’s a Passover cake for all seasons.

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Mitchell Davis's Master Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

By Mitchell Davis

James Beard Foundation

This recipe is reprinted with permission from “The Mensch Chef: Or Why Delicious Jewish Food Isn’t an Oxymoron.

This is an approximation of the matzo ball recipe my mother always used. It is based on the one on the matzo meal box, but with a few important modifications to account for my mother’s heavy hand with the schmaltz and her inexact measuring technique. When it comes to making fluffy floaters instead of sodden sinkers, I’ve tried all of the tricks: seltzer, baking soda, and others. But the only thing that seems to make a difference in the finished texture is how you handle them. For floaters, it’s best not to let the mixture sit in the refrigerator more than 30 minutes before shaping. Whatever you do, don’t work too hard to the mixture into balls — rolling the matzo balls around for too long in the palm of your hands compacts and toughens them up. Instead, coax them into a spherical shape, and don’t be too OCD about it. Also, be sure to have the chicken soup simmering when the matzo balls are ready, so you can put them straight into the hot soup. That way they retain their texture after cooling.

Mitchell’s Chicken Soup

Makes 4 quarts, enough for 10 to 12 servings
1, 4 1/2 pound stewing hen or soup chicken, or 5 pounds chicken bones
3 chicken feet, claws removed (optional)
2 pounds yellow onions, about 4, roughly chopped
Top half of a bunch of celery, with leaves
5 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 small turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 point of star anise
1 whole clove
2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 sprigs fresh dill, plus extra for garnish

In a 12-quart stockpot, place the chicken, chicken feet, if using, onions, celery, carrots, parsley, turnip, parsnip, peppercorns, star anise, clove, and salt. Add 5 quarts cold water. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, skim off any scum that floats to the top. Set the cover ajar, turn down the heat to low so the liquid simmers, and cook about 2 hours, skimming occasionally, as necessary. Add the dill, if using, and simmer an additional 45 minutes or so. Turn off the heat and let cool.

Stain the soup through a fine mesh strainer into a clean pot. Remove the cooked chicken meat and reserve for a chicken salad or something. Discard the other solids. Chill the soup and then remove any fat that coagulates on the surface. You can also freeze the soup. If you’d like, you can freeze the soup at this point. To serve, reheat until boiling and add some chopped fresh dill, if you’d like. If you want to add vegetables for garnish, cook carrots, parsnips, turnips and other vegetables separately in a little bit of the soup, and pour it all back into the pot before serving.

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The Oldest Matzo Maker in France

By Toni L. Kamins

wikicommons

(JTA) — For most Jews, matzah season comes once a year. But for Jean-Claude Neymann, matzah, or “pain azyme” in French, is a defining family tradition.

Neymann runs the oldest matzah bakery in France, located in the town of Wasselonne near the German border. The family company, Etablissements Rene Neymann, traces its matzah-making tradition to 1850.

“I’m the fifth generation of my family to bake matzah here in Wasselonne,” Neymann said.

Walking along the steep, cobblestoned streets of Wasselonne, a city of nearly 6,000 people at the foot of the Vosges Mountains in northeastern France, is like stepping into a Grimm’s fairy tale. Timbered facades look more German than French, a reminder that Alsace and Lorraine have been shunted back and forth between two countries that regularly warred with each other in the not-so- distant past.

Salomon Neymann, a peddler and the father of this unleavened-bread dynasty, set up his first bakery in nearby Odratzheim, where he began to bake Passover matzah for his family and the local Jewish community. His matzah became popular, and by 1870 he and his son Benoit moved the factory to larger quarters in Wasselonne, a market city with an industrial district that also had the advantage of being the site of a flour mill.

Between 1870 and 1919 the Neymann family manufactured regular and shmura matzah in their factory, but Benoit Neymann’s youngest son, Rene, had bigger ideas for the company. In 1919 he industrialized production, changed the company name to Etablissements Rene Neymann and in 1930 began to market the wonders of unleavened bread to the non-Jewish public. It was a hit and sales grew.

After France fell to the Nazis in 1940, the bakery was shuttered and the Neymann family was forced into exile in southern France. Liberation came in November 1944 with the army of Gen. Phillipe Leclerc, and in 1948 Rene Neymann restarted the business.

The decades following World War II saw many changes in how people ate and shopped all over the world.

“Supermarkets started to replace traditional food markets, and eating a low-fat diet became fashionable,” Jean-Claude Neymann noted.

Robert Neymann, Rene’s son, seized the opportunities – he modernized and automated production, expanded the product lines and secured new distribution outlets.

With Robert Neymann at the helm, Etablissements Rene Neymann continued to extend its products and brands by manufacturing other types of matzah for different tastes and appetites: matzah made from rye and whole-wheat flours; bran matzah; spelt matzah; certified organic matzah. Even Neymann’s kosher for Passover matzah, under the supervision of the chief rabbi of Strasbourg, is made from an array of flours.

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The Complete Guide To Hosting a Seder

By Devra Ferst

Hosting a Passover Seder combines the culinary expectations of Thanksgiving with an Iron Chef like challenge: Cook an entire multi-course meal without leavening. It’s pretty daunting. But, with a bit of planning, it makes a great cooking project for a family or a group of friends, the results are delicious and it gives you culinary bragging rights for a full year.

At 28, I’ve helped cook Seders for almost 20 years and hosted several entirely on my own. Along the way, I’ve picked up wisdom from my ultimate Seder hero (my father, who can whip up a tender brisket with his eyes closed) and some master cooking tips from chefs like Mark Spangethal at Kutsher’s Tribeca, Bill Telepan and Yotam Ottolenghi. If you still have questions about your Seder or recipes, leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to help any way I can.

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