This week, Marcelle, Elaine and Melissa M explained the festival of Passover and shared their family recipes and traditions. At Passovereach year, we celebrate the story of the exodus in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.
The Passover plate rests in the middle of the Seder (Hebrew word for 'order') table and is the centre point of both the table and the service. The plate consists of karpas, a green vegetable; charoset, a fruit wine nut mix; maror, a biter herb; zroa, a roasted lamb shank bone; beitza, a roasted egg; and hazeret, second bitter leaf. During this meal, the story of the Exodus from Egypt is retold using a special text called the Haggadah. Four cups of wine are consumed at various stages in the narrative.
A symbol of the Passover holiday is matzo, an unleavened flat bread made solely from flour and water which is continually worked from mixing through baking, so that it is not allowed to rise. The Torah says that it is because the Hebrews left Egypt with such haste that there was no time to allow baked bread to rise; thus flat, unleavened bread, matzo, is a reminder of the rapid departure of the Exodus.
Traditional foods eaten on Passover include Gefilte Fish, Charoset, Chicken Soup and Matzo balls (Kneidlach, matzo meal dumplings), andKugel (pudding).
Charoset is one of the symbolic foods that Jews eat during their Passover seder every year. It represents the mortar that the Israelites used to make bricks while they were slaves in Egypt.
5 cups peeled, cored and grated Granny Smith apples
1½ cups roughly chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins, optional
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup kosher for Passover sweet red wine
In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients. Serve.
Lilly’s Chicken Soup
14 chicken wings
1 large onion, halved
Half bunch of celery cut in large chunks, with some leaves
8 peeled carrots cut in large chunks
Half a cup of parsley, optional
3 tbs chicken stock powder
Salt and pepper
Wash the chicken well, and in a large pan, cover with water and bring slowly to the boil. Skim off any discolouration from the top of the soup, leaving it clear. Add all the other ingredients, except stock powder.
Bring to boil and simmer slowly for 45 mins. Add the stock powder, salt and pepper. Cook slowly for another 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Leave to cool and remove all the fat from the top of the soup.
Fennel & Orange Salad
2 large heads of fennel
4 large blood oranges if available, peeled
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
3 tbs honey, microwave 6 secs
1 tbs finely chopped parsley
Freshly ground salt & pepper
Mache (lambs lettuce) or baby spinach leaves to garnish
Shave or cut the fennel into very fine thin strips. Combine the dressing and toss through fennel. Arrange on the centre of a large platter. Cut oranges into thin round slices. Arrange the oranges around the edge of the plate. Sprinkle with walnuts and garnish with Mache.
Israeli Flourless Chocolate Mousse Dessert Cake
6 eggs extra large and separated
6 Tablespoons sugar
200g dark chocolate
80g butter or nuttalex or butter
250ml fresh cream or Haddar (non dairy cream replacement)
Grease shallow pie or flan dish (oven proof, any shape) with the butter or Nuttalex. Melt the dark chocolate and butter or Nuttalex together and set aside, but keep a little of the chocolate to grate at the end for decoration.
Beat egg yolks with 3 Tablespoons of sugar until creamy, thick and lighter coloured. Pour melted butter and chocolate mixture into egg yolks and mix with a spoon until combined.
Place egg whites in another bowl with 3 Tablespoons of sugar. Beat well until very stiff. Add this to the chocolate and butter/Nuttalex mixture and fold in with a spoon until all combined. Pour two thirds of this mixture into the ready greased pie or flan dish.
Bake in the oven at 175 degrees C for 25 mins. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature. The centre of this baked mixture will crack and fall in. It is supposed to do this creating the well into which you will pour the following mixture;
Whip the cream or Haddar until thick and add to the remaining one third of the chocolate mixture that you had set aside.
Pour this into the centre of the cake. Decorate with grated dark chocolate.
Cover with cling film and refrigerate for a few hours until ready to serve.
Passover Cinnamon Ball
1 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup castor sugar
2 cups ground almonds
2 -3 egg whites
Sieve dry ingredients. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into dry ingredients a little at a time. Wet hands, and roll into about 24 small balls. Place on lined baking sheet. Bake at 180'C for 20-25 minutes. Cool on tray and dust with icing sugar. Makes 24.
Passover Almond Macaroons
2 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 cup castor sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract
2 cups ground almonds
30 whole almonds
Preheat oven to 180'C. Line greased baking sheet. Beat egg whites until foamy, add salt. Beat until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add almond extract. Fold in ground almonds. Place tablespoonfuls on baking sheet, leaving space between each macaroon. Press almond on top.
Bake 20 minutes till firm. Let cool on tray. Makes 30.
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