The New Passover Menu

61aQDQeKbhL._AA160_Where does the time go? Passover is only a month and a half away. My suggestion is run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of Paula Shoyer’s latest cookbook The New Passover Menu. Paula is most well known for her book The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-Free Recipes form Traditional to Trendy which I gave rave reviews to when it came out. In her latest book she mixes tradition with contemporary to create new menus that are sure to delight even the pickiest eaters during the holiday of Passover.

Passover celebrates freedom and the Jews escape from the slavery imposed upon them by the Pharaoh. In Paula’s latest book she celebrates culinary freedom while still staying true to the holiday’s strict religious dietary rules. Her 65 delicious recipes will set you free in the kitchen by combining the nostalgic pleasure of family favorites with an updated and global menu. To tickle your tastebuds are recipes for Banana Charoset, Peruvian Roast Chicken with Salsa Verde (recipe below), Moroccan Spiced Short Ribs, Sweet Potato Tzimmis. But desserts are certainly not neglected either. Many of them are gluten-free and include the likes of Opera Cake and Pear Frangipane Tarts. There are eight complete menus in all and Paula encourages you to either use them as is or mix and match to your heart’s content. So whether you love feeding your family and friends traditional meals at Passover or innovative ones be sure to get Paula Shoyer’s The New Passover Menu before you start your holiday preparations.

Chicken Soup with Chicken Meatballs and Zucchini Spaghetti
Serves 14
Soup may be made 3 days in advance or frozen; meatballs may be made 1 day in advance
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
2 hr 8 min
Total Time
2 hr 33 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
2 hr 8 min
Total Time
2 hr 33 min
For the Soup
2 whole medium chickens, cut into pieces
2 large onions, quartered
6 carrots, peeled and cut in half
1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut lengthwise in half
6 stalks celery with leaves, cut crosswise in half
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 parsnips, peeled and cut in thirds
1 fennel bulb, quartered
1 turnip, peeled and quartered
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 gallon (3.8L) water
½ bunch parsley
½ bunch dill
Salt and black pepper
For the Chicken Meatballs
2 boneless chicken breasts (about 5–6 ounces each)
1/4 cup (60ml) chicken stock
2 tablespoons ground almonds or matzoh meal
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large egg
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
for the GARNISH
2 medium zucchini, not peeled
To make the soup
PLACE the chicken pieces in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, leek, celery, garlic, parsnips, fennel, turnip, bay leaves, and salt. Add the water and bring to a boil. Use a large spoon to skim the scum off the top of the soup. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let the soup simmer, checking after 5 minutes and skimming off any additional scum. Add the parsley and dill, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Let cool. Strain through a large sieve, reserving the carrots to return to the soup when serving. Taste the soup and add more
salt or pepper if necessary.
To make the meatballs
WHILE the soup is cooking, prepare the meatball mixture. In the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade attachment, mix together the chicken, stock, ground almonds, garlic, and egg until a paste forms. Add the scallions, salt, and pepper and pulse a few times to mix. Transfer the meatball mixture to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for up to 1 day, until ready to shape and cook the meatballs.
USE a spoon to scoop up the meatball batter and wet hands to shape it into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) balls. Bring the strained soup to a simmer, add the meatballs, cover, and cook for 8 minutes.
To make the garnish
MEANWHILE, prepare the zucchini “spaghetti” for the garnish. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick (6-mm) slices. Keeping the stack together, use a vegetable peeler to shave the zucchini into long strips. Slice the reserved cooked carrots into rounds and return them to the soup. Top each serving of soup and meatballs with some of the zucchini spaghetti.
Matzoh Ball Variations
Combine your choice of any one of the following with one packet from a 5-ounce
(142g) package of matzoh ball mix to make 13 matzoh balls. Plan on 2 matzoh
balls per person
• 1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped ginger plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• 1 carrot peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch (6 mm) pieces
• 1½ teaspoons mixed finely chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and basil
Like most people, I love matzoh balls. Although everyone knows me as a from-scratch baker, I am admitting here that I always make matzoh balls from the mix. After eating my mother’s matzoh balls for years, which alternated from year to year between light and fluffy and something else (I think because of variations in egg sizes), once I tried the balls from the mix, I never went back. Constant dieting has forced me to avoid them, so I developed chicken meatballs as an alternative. They even look like matzoh balls. But the
traditionalists out there need not worry, as I have also provided ideas below for updating traditional matzoh balls.
Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde
Serves 4
For many years, our family has been blessed with Betty Supo, a wonderful do-it-all nanny. Among her many talents, she is a terrific cook and has introduced our family to flavorful Peruvian dishes. Her best is Arroz con Pollo with Salsa Verde (chicken with rice and a luscious green chili sauce). Here is the version that Betty and I cooked up so the world could enjoy a taste of Peru during Passover. If you like really spicy food, include the jalapeño pepper seeds in the frying pan along with the peppers.
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Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
1 large whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 head garlic, cloves separated, not peeled
for the SA LSA VERDE
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced
2 jalapeño peppers, halved (remove seeds for a mild flavor; keep seeds for more heat)
Leaves from 1 large or 2 small bunches fresh cilantro
1/2 cup (120ml) water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
PREHEAT oven to 400°F (200°C).
To make the chicken
PLACE the chicken pieces in a large roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over the chicken and rub to coat. Shake the spice mixture onto the chicken and rub all over.
PLACE the garlic cloves in a small bowl and add the remaining 2 tablespoons (45ml) of oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Scatter the garlic cloves and drizzle the oil over the chicken pieces. Bake, uncovered, for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until well browned and the juices run clear.
To make the salsa verde
HEAT the oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for
1 minute. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or just until they soften. Add the jalapeño halves, open side down, and cook for 1 minute.
Turn over and cook for another 4 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the jalapeños are fork-tender.
LET COOL for 20 minutes. Place the jalapeño mixture in a food processor, add the cilantro
leaves, water, and salt, and process until pureed and smooth. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Serve the chicken on a platter and the salsa verde in a bowl alongside.
Chicken may be made 1 day in advance; sauce may be made 1 week in advance
Have a delicious day,


Disclaimer: This book was sent to me to review but the opinions are 100% my own.

Peruvian Chicken with Salsa Verde

Peruvian Chicken with Salsa Verde

Chicken Soup with Chicken Meatballs and Zucchini Spaghetti

Chicken Soup with Chicken Meatballs and Zucchini Spaghetti

Exciting News!

Club SunFest

Club SunFest

I know I have not posted in over a month but this time I have an amazing reason! A long time ago I mentioned that I was working on a memoir/cookbook about my catering business Affairs to Remember Catering. Well I took a leap of faith and sent it to a publisher in December. And guess what? Okay I will tell you. It will be published. I have signed a contract with Motivational Press to publish my book which at this juncture is called Affairs to Remember: Catering with love. I am beyond excited but it still feels surreal. I am now hard at work to finish the book by my deadline. I have lots of recipes to test and pictures to take. And I am going to need a lot of hand holding but from what I can see the publisher is very good at that! Having my book published is something I had only dreamed about and now it is going to be a reality!

Catering 026

21st Birthday Party for the grandson of Secretariat


Brain Injury 003

Charity banquet for Brain Injury Foundation 2003


Food Truck Road Trip

FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP—A COOKBOOK by Kim Pham, Philip Shen, Terri Phillips. Page Street Publishing/November 2014

FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP—A COOKBOOK by Kim Pham, Philip Shen, Terri Phillips.
Page Street Publishing/November 2014

Crab a Hold of Me

Crab a Hold of Me

Way back in 1989 my husband and I started our catering business Affairs to Remember Catering in West Palm Beach, Florida. When we were researching the name that we wanted to use we looked up ever caterer’s name in South Florida. The competition seemed daunting until we found out that the term catering was used to describe those lunch wagons that came around to construction sites and office complexes. At the time they were referred to as “roach coaches” which tells you something about the quality of their food. Pre-made sandwiches were the norm and they weren’t fresh or even very tasty. Fast forward about twenty five years and oh how things have changed. The roach coach of yesteryear is now the very gourmet food truck of today. Everything is prepared fresh and on board in these very tiny mobile kitchens. Now there are food truck parks and invasions in most cities across the country. In my small town of Wellington, Florida we are invaded every Thursday evening with a variety of very high end food trucks. And the food is spectacular.

Food Truck Road Trip is a new book by bloggers Kim Pham and Phil Shen along with Terri Phillips. Kim and Phil did their research by setting out on a twelve city journey to meet the owners and eat the food from food trucks across the country. They visited sixty three carts in Portland, Oregon; San Francisco and Los Angeles, California; Austin, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Minnesota and New York City. And they did it all in two weeks! That’s a lot of driving and eating.

“No one decides to run a food cart for the glamour. Running a food cart means standing in a borderline claustrophobic space, sometimes with up to four other people, with a hot grill or oven for hours. It’s sweating it out on hot days with temperatures soaring up to 12o degrees F (49 degrees C) and watching the clouds for rain. It means dealing with equipment failure, limited storage and competition for parking spots. It’s figuring out how to challenge preconceived notions of the “roach coach” and serve high-end, restaurant-quality dishes out of a small box.”

The recipes they have collected are so fabulous that I had to hold back from eating the book. Which is a good thing because the actual dishes are easy enough to prepare when you have a real kitchen. I have cooked on boats and RVs and know how difficult it is to manage to prepare an amazing meal in a small space. If the owners of these popular food trucks can make these amazing recipes in their minuscule kitchens then you can certainly do it in your own home! To tickle your taste buds here is one of the many yummy recipes from the book.

Yields 1
Owner Brian Aflague’s love of grilled cheese came from homemade childhood meals in his grandfather’s kitchen. It was a nostalgic meal that never quite gave up its spot as his #1 favorite food. At Melts My Heart, Brian pays tribute to the classic grilled cheese by constantly looking for new ways to offer up the cheese and- bread combo. His favorite place of inspiration is his own crew, often putting their ideas into practice and creating instant favorites. One such favorite is the signature crab melt made with fresh crab, mild Cheddar cheese and a touch of Old Bay.
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1 (16-oz [454g]) can premium quality super or jumbo lump crabmeat (not imitation)
1 stalk celery, diced
¼ red onion, diced
1 scallion, chopped
Old Bay seasoning to taste
Black pepper to taste
2 to 3 tbsp (28 to 41g) mayonnaise
2 slices fresh sourdough bread
3 slices mild Cheddar cheese
2 slices tomatoes
Combine the crab, celery, red onion, scallion, Old Bay and black pepper in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly again.
Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place both slices of bread buttered-side down onto the skillet. Add the cheese to both slices of bread. Scoop 4 ounces (112g) of the crab mix on top of the cheese on one slice of bread.
Place 2 slices of tomatoes directly on the pan and grill for a few seconds on each side. Place the tomatoes on the other slice of bread and toast for 3 minutes. Flip the slice of bread with the tomatoes onto the other slice of bread with the crab mix. Press down firmly and toast both sides for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
Recipe from FOOD TRUCK ROAD TRIP—A COOKBOOK by Kim Pham, Philip Shen, Terri Phillips.
Page Street Publishing/November 2014