How are your Passover preparations going?

cloud_swiftApril 6, 2012

If there has been a Pesach thread this year, I've missed it. Wondering how it's going.

We had a rough start on cooking this morning with a Pavlova. It started out well - I separated the 8 eggs for two meringues without losing one. Then instead of dumping the last white into the whites, I dumped the 8 yolks in. Argh! Put that aside to make scrambled eggs for lunch.

Separate another 8 eggs and start beating the whites - putting the collar on the mixer bowl to start adding the sugar, notice something wrong with the mixer. The planetary that holds the mixer blade is sitting 1/2 an inch below where it should be so there is a gap where I can see the gears. Dumb Whirlpool Kitchenaid - my Hobart KA mixer lasted 30 years before dying. This one is just 6 years old (and we usually use a bread machine for bread).

Dear son who is helping with preparations runs home to get his KA - fortunately we have the same model so my bowls and blades will work. By the time it has arrived the eggs are deflated (actually by the time I start thinking about trying to use my hand mixer). 16 eggs and no progress!

I made a leek, potato, cheese cassarole with some of the eggs and the rest were scrambled for lunch so they didn't go to waste. The third set of eggs got successfully made into meringues for the Pavlovas. It was my first time making big meringues - had a lot of cracking getting them off the parchment but I guess they will be fine under the whipped cream and berry sauce.

We will be having a dairy seder because my other son's family is vegetarian. I made a minestrone soup with whole wheat matzah balls substituting olive oil for chicken fat and tomato puree thinned a bit for chicken soup in the matzah ball recipe. Also put some chopped basil, parsley and garlic in the matzah balls.

Then matzah lasagna - all the components are ready to assemble that.

One of my sponge cakes fell too - just not my year for eggs - I haven't lost a sponge cake in ages.

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I didn't see a Passover thread either. Today I made my usual chicken soup with matzoh balls and homemade egg noodles. We had brisket and turkey and mashed potatoes. Matzoh stuffing was accompanied by gravy. My DDIL made a delicious carrot souffle and my DD made mandelbread.

I experimented with cantaloupe ices...they were delicious! (and easy...cantaloupe, lemon and sugar....done!)

Have to repeat again tomorrow night...

Care to share your recipe for the leek, potato and cheese casserole? I have some beautiful leeks sitting in the fridge and was thinking of leek and potato soup, but I think we'll be souped out ;-)


    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 12:02AM
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Yum, I love the Passover food thread, and I missed it too. I'm going to expect that everyone reports in as to what was on the menu.

I was thinking of you this morning, cloud swift, as I separated eggs for strawberry cupcakes, and I made darned sure that I knew where each part of those eggs was going!

Happy Everything to Everyone.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 7:37PM
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Thanks for starting this thread, cloud, and you showed great perserverance in spite of the obstacles in preparing your egg dishes. I hope that all are enjoying this festive time of year.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 11:27PM
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Cantaloupe ices sound good. How do you make them?

The leek-potato-cheese casserole is based on a recipe from Olive Trees and Honey for Sephardic Leek and Cheese Casserole (Quajado de Puerro con Queso). The original recipe has a variation with Potato instead of the cheese and another variant with zucchini in place of some of the leeks. I usually merge the variants putting in some cheese, some potato and an additional vegetable. The base is pretty flexible. It also has a step where one simmers the leeks (and potatoes if using) after sauteing but we find the results the same without that step.

The something very close to the original recipe is on except it has a bit more cheese. I've put the link below. The original recipe has:

5 ounces of feta or 8 ounces of farmer or pot cheese or 3 ounces kefalotyri or Parmesean cheese or a combination.


4 ounces kashkaval, gouda, muenster or cheddar

I usually use just one cheese or a two cheeses in smaller amounts, about 3 to 8 leeks depending on size, some potato - often a thin skinned variety that I don't peel - and another vegetable. Zucchini, yellow summer squash or broccoli work well. I find carrots a bit too sweet in this.

I skip the part of step 2 where it says to add water, simmer and drain. Since I don't do that, I add less salt to the saute and don't add salt or oil to the eggs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sephardic leek cheese casserole

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 11:40PM
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The casserole is better, IMO, made in two 9" pie plates than in a 9" square dish. It's a better ratio of toasty outside to inside.

I figured out why the sponge cake fell. The yolks and sugar were beaten and the sifter was too far back on the shelf for short me to reach so I paused to ask someone else to grab it for me, but the phone rang and my son or husband or grandbaby needed something. When I came back, I added in the lemon juice and zest and went on to whipping the egg whites. The matzah cake meal never got added in!

It is pretty flat looking but people ate some this morning calling it pudding cake before I was up. I guess it is sort of a fallen lemon souffle. It's really lemony - has me thinking about amping up the lemon in the sponge cake recipe.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 11:52PM
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I hope you are all enjoying Passover, especially the children.

I set the table for Easter, but my son's friend is still a "maybe." I said that is fine, there's plenty of food. I was looking at her place setting and I thought, "Oh well, if she doesn't make it, it can be the chair for Elijah."

Hope Elijah won't be too offended by ham for dinner! Not exactly appropriate, huh? Maybe he can just have dessert.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 11:00AM
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[still recovering and taxes loom]

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Elijah usually just has a sip of wine so he should be okay, Dedtired.

Jessy, you had to remind me? I'm about half way through the taxes. I'll be trying to finish up tonight after the grandkids leave.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Jessy -- you or Elijah?

Nyah, nyah, mine were filed last week.

I'll be sure he gets a sip of wine. I hope he likes Pinot Grigio.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 2:16PM
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Thanks for the recipe. I'll try it out later this week after we use up our leftovers. I know we're in trouble - we didn't even use up a single box of matzoh with big dinners on 2 nights! Fortunately, we had gotten 5 lbs. for free....

The ices were a hit and really easy to make. I only used 1 large cantaloupe and cut down the sugar, but kept the lemon juice quantity. Next time I might experiment with even less sugar - I guess it would depend on the cantaloupe. If it was overripe, you might need much less sugar. This cantaloupe was ripe, but not very sweet - which is why I looked to turn it into something else. ;-)


Cantaloupe ices

3 Tbs. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Sugar
2 md Cantaloupes, peeled and chunked

In a covered blender or food processor at medium speed, blend cantaloupe chunks and remaining ingredients half at a time until smooth.

Pour into a 9" baking pan. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and freeze until firm.

Before serving, let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving. Stir mixture till mushy. Spoon into chilled cups or dessert dishes and serve immediately.

Yields 10 1/2 cup servings.

Any number of fruits can be used individually or in combination, such as melons, peaches, kiwis, grapefruits, mangoes and oranges to name a few.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 2:32PM
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I haven't been posting much lately but I did look for a Passover thread last week and didn't see one. My menu was pretty much the usual thing, matzo ball soup, brisket, potatoes, asparagus. I added dilled carrots this year and since they were oh so easy, added color, and were quite lovely tasting, they'll be a permanent addition.

Also, since my son insists on three meats, I always make lamb meatballs as well. Dessert was just choco-matzo as I decided not to go to the additional effort of making a second dessert. Everyone's usually too full anyway, although quite a lot of the choco-matzo disappeared.

I make a vegetarian matzo ball soup and a spinach matzo lasagne for my vegetarion son.

So all told, a lot of cooking. I spent all day Thursday and most of Friday cooking. It was fun though, as I've quit cooking on a regular basis for the past year or so (just been eating lots of salads) and I sort of miss it.

Happy Passover everyone!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 12:27PM
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