The Jewish holiday of Passover is coming closer. For me, this is the most demanding holiday, as well as the most rewarding. We clean our homes not just for dust and spills but for every bit of leavening, in the house. This means, no regular cakes, cookies, breads, pasta, rice (unless one is Sefardic) and lots of prepared items.
The kitchen is transformed. The Passover dishes come out as do the Passover pots and pans, flatware and baking tins. I love my dishes and since they are used only once a year, they are particularly special.
Some people feel deprived on Passover but I don’t understand this. I love our food and the challenge of cooking and baking without leavening. Some recipes fail and some are fabulous. We eat well and that is what counts. I will share some of the really good recipes with you, if I can find time. I would like to get them here before Passover comes so others can make them, if they choose. These are recipes, you can use all year. I keep them for the holiday.
This is something I made, last year. The photo is not great but the recipe was.
The last two days of the eight days of Passover are also holidays. That means four festive meals with matzah, fish, soup, salads, meat or poultry, sides and desserts and whatever else, I may be forgetting. I have decided to stay up tonight and get as much cooking done so I can rest tomorrow (ha!) and enjoy the holidays. Let’s see how I do. I also, want to make different recipes than I had for the first two days and Sabbath.
I use a lot of apples during this holiday. It is a versatile fruit. I wanted to try banana fritters but the majority wants apples and even I like apples better than bananas.
Apple Fritters – Passover Style
4 apples, sliced, chopped or shredded (My preference is chopped.)
1/2 cup of sugar (I am not sure what you can use in place of sugar on Passover, if you do not use it, normally.)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup potato starch
oil to fry in
Place oil in large skillet (12 inch).
I tried slicing the apples first because I like the fritters to be chunky but they would not fry consistently so I changed over to putting them in the food processor with the eggs, beating the eggs and chopping the apples, at the same time. I am going to try cutting them into chunks, again, this year. They will look bumpy but you get the bite into the apple and the flavor spreads throughout your mouth.
Add sugar, potato starch and cinnamon to to egg mix. Mix well.
Drop by tablespoons or if you have a cookie scoop (small) use that and drop batter into hot skillet. Brown on both sides.
Remove onto paper towels to drain.
Eat or place into baking pan for later use.
Serve with apple sauce, cinnamon sugar or sour cream.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set asi
In a large bowl, mix ricotta cheese, milk, egg yolks and vanilla.
In a third bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Fold these into batter.
Pour Canola oil on griddle over a medium flame and drop slightly smaller than a quarter cup of batter for each hot cake. Cook until golden (1 – 2 minutes) and then flip over and cook for another minute.
Put oil into large skillet over medium flame. Add apples and cook
until golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Do not cook until mushy. Add remaining ingredients and cook for two additional minutes, stirring.
My husband usually turns down pancakes for breakfast and happily has his cereal. He surprised me, this time, when he heartily agreed to pancakes. I am, always happy, when we have pancakes so there were two enthusiastic participants, awaiting breakfast. I debated adding apples to this recipe. What are apples without cinnamon, what is cinnamon without apples. Actually cinnamon is just fine without the apples so I stuck to what I expected to be a plain pancake.
Actually, the cinnamon really enhanced the pancakes. My husband ate them plain and I added a little syrup. We both left the table, satisfied.
I was browsing through recipes that interested me and hit upon Bittman’s vegetable pancakes. I am always interested in Mark Bittman’s recipes. I find the flexibility he gives to almost any recipe makes cooking a joy. Since, I tend to change recipes, as a matter of habit, he is giving permission and ideas as to how to do just that. He is also down to earth in his approach to cooking and I need that.
These looked great and I thought of them as a side to the salmon until a light bulb went on and I decided to add the baked salmon into the pancakes.
Vegetable Pancakes, adapted from Mark Bittman
About 1 1/2 pounds grated vegetables, peeled first if necessary (3 cups packed), and squeezed dry
1/2 small onion
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 slice salmon, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup corn meal
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive or vegetable oil or butter for greasing the pan
Grate the vegetable or vegetables with the grating disk of a food processor. (I love my food processor.)
Squeeze out the liquid. Save for soups or other dishes.
Mix together the vegetables, onion, egg, salmon and 1/4 cup of the corn meal.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a little more flour if the mixture isn’t holding together.
Put oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, drop in spoonfuls of the batter, using a fork to spread the vegetables into an even layer, press down a bit. Work in batches to prevent overcrowding.
Cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. (I used my cookie scoop to get the same size pancakes.)
I was reading the latest Cooking Light (August 2011) . Their reader recipe caught my interest; a zucchini angel hair pancake. I already envision this, using spinach in place of the zucchini. That is for the next time.
I learned a lot, making this recipe. I, basically started off, following directions, until I ran into a problem, I could not solve. I could not turn the large pancake in the pan, whole. I had to resort to dividing in, into 4 sections and cooking a piece at a time, in a smaller skillet. This meant, a recipe, I chose for the short cooking time became one that took, what seemed, forever. I, purposely took a quick recipe because of the abusive heat. I had no desire to stay in the kitchen with the stove on for more than I had to. That did not work out. Next time, I would use two smaller skillets.
I sat in front of an air conditioner and shredded the zucchini and sliced the onions. If you are cooking in the heat, my advice to you, is be organized. I had everything lined up, ready to be used. I had pre-measured. When push came to shove, I had little left to do besides stand over the hot stove, watching my huge pancake.
Zucchini Angel Hair Pancake (adapted)
4 servings (serving size: 2 wedges and 2 tablespoons marinara)
3 cups shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (8-ounce) package angel hair pasta, broken into 3-inch pieces
1/2 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce (I served this without the sauce – I think the sauce would add to the pancake)
1 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 onion, sliced and then halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1. Place zucchini in a colander, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss well. Drain for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally. Press zucchini between paper towels until barely moist. (I am always amazed at the liquid that comes from the zucchini.)
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Don’t forget to break the spaghetti into smaller pieces, first.
4. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, flour, and the next 9 ingredients in a large bowl. Add zucchini and pasta to bowl; toss well.
5. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini mixture to pan, pressing down. Cook for 5 minutes or until bottom is lightly browned. Carefully turn pancake over; cook 5 minutes or until bottom is lightly browned. Cut into 8 wedges. Serve with marinara.
*The last step is the one, I had to change. I had some difficulty cutting the wedges and moving them to the smaller pan. They kept falling apart and I kept reshaping them, the best I could. My best was not good enough.