The Jewish holiday of Passover highlights some delicious dishes for not only the main course but for desserts and appetizers. The meal is preceded by a ceremony commemorating the release of Jewish slaves from Egypt. The ceremony is conducted on the first two nights of the eight-day holiday and tells the story of Passover for remembrance and reflection. A great thanks to Ms. Rosalie Miller and the sisters of the Women’s League of Conservative Judaism who cater meals for the Congregation Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom in Kendall for the following recipes that you and your family can enjoy on the holiday.
Sisterhood of the Florida Region of Women’s League of Conservative Judaism
Congregation Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom
9400 S.W. 87th Ave.
Miami, FL 33176
Mrs. Miller has contributed two Sephardic Passover recipes that she prepares. Note the use of string beans in the stew would not be included in a recipe for Jewish people that follow Ashkenazi traditions. All ingredients are kosher and marked for use at Passover.
Sephardic Charoset (used for the Passover ceremony or seder)
- 2 lbs of raisins
- 2 lbs of currant
- 2 lbs of dates
- 1 piece of fruit such as apple, orange, pear or peach
- 2 cups of raw peanuts
Directions: Use a grinder or food processor to grind the peanuts, dried fruit and fresh fruit with some wine to moisten until the mix becomes a paste. Scoop the mix by teaspoon to roll into a ball and then roll the balls in cinnamon to coat. Place the balls on a sheet of wax paper and refrigerate them so they set properly. The balls can be made days ahead of time.
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Sephardic String Bean and Meat Stew (part of the meal, after the ceremony)
- 2 lbs of fresh string beans
- 2 large onions
- 4 tablespoons of oil
- 2 lbs of cubed beef or lamb
- Cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg (optional)
Directions: Season the meat with garlic powder and salt, then set aside. Fry the onions in the oil in a large thick-bottomed pot until transparent and golden. Add the meat into the pot until brown, then seal it. Add the beans to the pot to fry for a short while until softened. Stir in the tomato sauce until well blended, add some water and then cover the stew. Add salt and pepper as needed to taste. Simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender and the sauce is thick. Add more water if necessary during the cooking time. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cumin can also be added to taste for additional flavor. Chicken can be substituted for beef in the dish.
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Ashkenazi Matzo Kugel (side dish during the meal)
- 4 matzos
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup of sugar
- 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
- 1 cup apples, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 3 tablespoons of melted chicken fat (or margarine)
Directions: Soak matzos in water, then squeeze until nearly dry. Beat the yolks slightly, then add and mix. Add the chicken fat or margarine, the cup of sugar along with a pinch of salt together with the apples and raisins. Mix well. Fold stiffly beaten egg whites into the mix and pour into a well-greased pudding dish. Bake a 350 degrees for one hour.
Eric L Labrador is a freelance writer covering all things Miami. His work can be found on Examiner.com.