Monthly Archives: April 2014

Passover French Toast

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After day 4 or 5 of Passover, the novelty of having matzoh for breakfast starts to wear off. My boys have had their fill of Tam Tam crackers with cream cheese, cream cheese and jelly on matzoh, matzoh pizza, matzoh rolls, and matzoh brei. Sometimes we have cheese blintzes for breakfast or even left over farfel mac and cheese to take a break. While I love matzoh, it doesn’t really love me so I’m a fruit and eggs girl in the mornings. If you keep Passover, you know what I’m talking about. The first couple of days, you can’t get enough because it’s so good. But then, you start to miss whatever your usual breakfast is.

A few years ago I had a lot of sponge cake in my house. My sister bought me 2 loaves and I bought 2 loaves so there was an abundance in my house. During the holiday I use the sponge cake as if it were bread for sandwiches and wondered how it would hold up as French toast. So I tried it and it held up great! It’s a little bit more delicate then using regular bread, it is cake after all so handle it carefully. Here you have it, Passover French toast… Enjoy! I’d love it if you would let me know how it turned out.

This recipe is for 2 servings

4 slices of sponge cake cut into 1″ slices
2/3 cup fat free milk
1 extra large egg
1 teaspoon kosher for Passover vanilla or almond extract
butter for the pan
Put a medium size frying pan on the stove. Set the heat to medium/high and place about 2 teaspoons of butter in the pan. Slice the sponge cake and set aside.

While the pan is heating up, whisk the egg, milk and extract in a medium size bowl. Dip the slices of sponge cake into the egg mixture. Don’t let it soak, just dip one side, then flip to the other and place in the pan. The sponge cake (hence it’s name) is like a sponge and will soak up the mixture pretty quickly. It’s much more delicate then a regular slice of bread so handle it gingerly. Cover the frying pan and cook for about 3 -5 minutes on each side. When a little darker then golden brown, flip it to the other side.

Serve with fruit, cinnamon sugar or eat it plain. It’s so good!

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Matzo Brei

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What’s Passover without matzo brei? I don’t think there has been a year when I didn’t have it growing up or make it for my own family. If you live in New York, you can sometimes find matzo brei on the menu year round in some diners. It’s pretty much a staple during the holiday. When it comes to this delicious crispy fried matzo and egg mixture, everyone has their own way of making it and eating it. Some people like it more eggy, some crispier, some people make it more like a scramble, while others leave it whole in the pan and flip it so it comes out like a beautiful crisp round pancake. I have even seen recipes that fry it with onions. I’m not sure that qualifies as a true matzo brie, but does sound very good and maybe worth a try one day.

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Then there are the toppings. I’m a cinnamon and sugar girl, my sister Francine is the jelly girl, and sister Rochelle likes it plain. Today I my son decided it tasted kind of bland! “Well, did you put jelly on it” I asked? No. “Did you put cinnamon sugar on it.” No. “What about maple syrup” I inquired. When I turned around, he put two of the three toppings on and said “wow! this is delicious!” So as you can see, there are definitely different ways to cook and eat this crispy fried matzo so… Enjoy!

4 boards of matzo
4 large eggs
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup water
2 or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (today I used avocado oil)
Cinnamon sugar, jelly or maple syrup*

In a mixing bowl, break the matzo into small pieces about 2” or so. Bring the water to a boil and pour over the matzos. Quickly toss the matzo then drain thoroughly and put in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, add the salt. Pour over the matzo and mix.

Heat the oil in a 10” frying pan. Put in enough oil just to coat the bottom of the pan, about 2 or 3 tablespoons. When the oil is hot, add the matzo. Today I used avocado oil.**  Don’t stir, brown on one side and then turn, breaking into pieces as it cooks. Makes about 3 to 4 servings.

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*As for the maple syrup, it has to be real maple syrup to be used during Passover. I don’t know why anyone would use the fake stuff anyway. While I know the price is considerably different, a little goes a long way and there are so many stores now that sell a larger and more economical size. The taste is completely different; there is no comparison at all. So go with the real at all times! If there was anywhere you should splurge on an ingredient, this is the place!

** Avocado oil is my new favorite oil to cook with. It has a higher burning point, the taste is very mild, and it’s one of the oils that is really good for you. On Passover, the type of oil used becomes important since most people use corn, canola and soybean oils year round. These are not kosher for Passover. The more familiar to Passover are cottonseed oil, grape-seed, olive, walnut or safflower oil. More recently coconut oil, and avocado oil have been quickly rising as the healthier oils to use next to olive oil. I like them both because of the purity and taste. As with everything, check with your rabbi, and only use what you feel comfortable using.

Passover Apple Kugel

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There’s nothing like being with family for the holidays. On most years my sister Francine comes to Ohio with her 2 children and we celebrate together. This year is a special year for our family. My niece Brette, my oldest sister’s daughter, is getting married this spring and her bridal shower was this past weekend. While it has nothing to do with apple kugel or Passover, it was because of the shower that we ended up staying in New York to share the holiday with my family. I must say the party was amazing! My niece was beautiful, her friends adorable, there was so much love in the room it was contagious and the restaurant fantastic. As I watched her open gifts, my younger niece Amanda sat beside her handing her presents. I became teary at the sight as I remembered Brette sitting beside me 23 years ago this very same weekend. My mother would say the ball is round and she would be right!

So off we went to New York to spend the holiday with both of my sisters and their families. I have to be honest, I feel like a bee without a hive, as I’m usually the one making a large Seder in my home. However, celebrating a Jewish Holiday in New York is really the best! Not only is most of our family there, but my sister Rochelle is an amazing cook. In addition, the food that is available for the holiday is expansive.

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So there we were, all 18 of us sitting around her very long table; all happy to be together. We were there to share in the traditional  reading from the Hagaddah, share a special Seder, and reflect on what freedom really means to us as people and to the Jewish people specifically. This year included for the first time my great niece Arielle she is 10 months old and just the cutest! There she sat at the head of the table enjoying her chicken soup along with the rest of us. My sister did most of the cooking but had a couple of kugels on the side which she purchased from her kosher butcher. There was broccoli kugel, spinach kugel and an apple kugel. Ahh, finally a mention of the apple kugel! I have been on a mission since I came home to find a recipe close to what I ate there. I searched cookbooks, websites and magazines to try and find something close to what it tasted like. This apple kugel comes very close and is absolutely delicious. A friend of mine sent her version to me a few years ago but I never tried it. Now I felt I had to. Of course, I had to put my own spin on it and cut the sugar down by almost 1/2. When I make it again, I will try it with less sugar and if it’s a success, I’ll update this one. In any case, I hope you enjoy it! Now if I only had a recipe for their broccoli kugel or spinach kugel, I’d be all set!  If you have one to share, please do.

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4 large granny smith apples cored and diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice, or pineapple juice
6 boards of matzoh
8 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup extra light olive oil, butter or margarine melted
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried apricots diced
1  1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon almond extract (kosher for Passover)
1/2 to 1 cup walnuts finely chopped and 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a 9 x 13 casserole dish or 1/2 steamer tray sprayed or rubbed with oil.

In medium size bowl, mix the diced apples, brown sugar and orange juice then set aside.

Break the matzoh into 2 to 3 inch pieces and soak in warm water until soft but not mushy.

While the matzoh is soaking, beat the eggs, salt, sugar, cinnamon, oil or melted margarine, and almond extract in a large bowl. Add the raisins, apricots and matzoh (squeeze out the water before adding). Mix together well and if using, sprinkle with the walnut mixture. I used cinnamon sugar only on the one above.

Bake for one hour uncovered. Check on it after 45 minutes and if the top is becoming brown too early, place aluminum foil on top. Remove when done and let cool. Place in refrigerator if not using right away.

 

With 6 You Get Eggroll!

It’s no surprise after reading my eating out section that this would be one of my favorite movies. However, it’s not because of the eggroll at all! Happy Birthday Doris Day! Born April 3, 1924, you are 90 years old today and I wish you a very happy birthday! You are one of my all time favorite actresses. I have watched almost everyone of your movies more than once. And, when I was a little girl I made my mother cry because I told her I wished you were my mother! It seems ironic that you were born in Cincinnati, Ohio and here I am in Columbus! It is time I head back to bed to continue the Turner Classic Movie marathon that is on television today in your honor today. Move Over Darling!

Stop a Sticky Mess

First favorite thing of my new blog…

1.  When measuring honey, corn syrup, molasses or other sticky ingredient lightly spray the measuring cup or spoon with oil. The ingredients will slide right out and cleanup will be a breeze!