As we were finishing up our move (ha! like that work will ever be done), I was attempting to make arrangements to have one of our amazing helper elves over for a thank you supper and found myself saying “but perhaps after Passover” to which he responded “yes…please?”
I’ve thought about this exchange quite a lot since then. I know full well that it comes from my own internalized and rather silly notions about what Passover food is about, namely: boring. The thing is, we’re not hunched over an ongoing pot of cholent for eight whole days or anything. It’s not often that something made without a lot of thought, care and love makes it our table and, when it does, it’s typically soggy, take-away fries from a pizza joint. We eat pretty healthy, varied and flavourful meals over Passover and do better and better with that each year and, this year, in spite of all of the other pressures in our lives and thanks to the bits of planning we afforded ourselves, we did really, really well.
Before I get into the break down of what we did, I have a few words to say about how our lifestyle affected the menu.
First thing is that we are leftover fiends. I almost always cook in such a way that there will be enough for us to each (the whole two of us) get another meal out of that cooking sesh. Sometimes, I even do it on purpose! Mostly, it’s because I still just don’t know how to not cook for a small army. As such, all of the below are recipes we created for suppers, but so many make excellent lunches and brunches and breakfasts, too!
Second thing is that we both work from home for the most part, so time-intensive meals are NBD for the most part.
Third thing is that we deal with almost-zero food allergies. I’m allergic to…tea…silliest food allergy ever and totally easy to avoid, mostly. And very, very few food aversions.
All of that to say that working with a few dietary limitations here and there may be a bit of a sacrifice (and lemme tell you that I’ve been dying for a cheeseburger for over a week simply because I cannot have one), but not that difficult and maybe a bit fun.
Here’s what we did:
That night, I made our kick-off turkey dinner with a quinoa stuffing, kugel cups (now known and Jewkshires in our household), roasted veg and oodles of middle eastern flavours:
All of the recipes can be found in this post.
Rob made a gorgeous salmon and roast root veg one-pan dish with an amazing horseradish cream sauce:
Check out the recipe here.
I also made matzoh crack that evening:
I altered the recipe a bit by using dark instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips, demerera sugar instead of brown, omitting the white chocolate and adding a sprinkling of kosher salt. Soooooo good.
Rob’s night to cook again and he was determined to make his traditional Passover meatloaf. So determined, in fact, that he forgot to think of sides to serve with it. Luckily foraging in our fridge for vegetables is almost always a fruitful undertaking and he came up with a side of roast non-root veg to go with:
Rob’s Passover meatloaf recipe is in Rob’s Passover head (you know, the one that only comes out once each year), but he promises that this recipe is a reasonable facsimile.
Thursday was all about making that delicious, but oh-so-frustrating matzo ball soup that I pissed and moaned about:
The only time the handy kitchen robot that I thought we would use all through Passover came out!
Rob put together a super-melty not-brisket and gravy:
With a huge helping of horseradish, of course.
He also made these dreamy chocolate meringue cookies, but we didn’t get a pic of those because they were just gone before I even thought about it. Not me, you guys. My man is a sweets fiend. They were pretty much gone by the time I got home from my shopping adventures on Saturday. Fiend, I say!
I was SO excited for the meal I had planned for Saturday evening – a quinoa and multi-mushroom “risotto” – because it involved mushrooms and cheese and quinoa and was the closest thing I was going to get to a cheeseburger all week.
I was working from this recipe and decided to actually follow it to a T, including the bit where you treat the quinoa like the rice you would use for risotto. My intuition screamed to me that quinoa was just not going to have any of it because quinoa needs to kind of bloom before it will allow itself to be permeated by liquids, but I let my curiosity get in the way and we didn’t eat until 10:30, tho what we ate was really, really good:
I am going to reverse engineer the recipe because the outcome was delicious, but it should not take almost three hours to make and needs a lot of adjustment for quinoa.
The kugel-based quiche thing I made Sunday still needs a name:
I continue to reject “fluffel”. I’m still pretty impressed that I pulled that recipe out of my ass/imagination (assination? imaginass? imassination?) in the face of dissapparated matzoh. I get into all of that here.
I chose to cop out Monday and simply serve the rest of the matzoh ball soup for that meal. It does make for delightful leftovers if you store the matzoh balls outside the soup so they don’t get all mushy and gross.
One word: pizza.
I am promised pizza with oodles of cheese + meat + bready bits.
I am so glad we never eat until after sun down.
But we did good. Next year, I want to work on bringing more colour to our Passover. There was a lot of brown food, but there doesn’t have to be so much brown food.
I’d also like to follow the diet with intent throughout the year. We often do so accidentally, but I feel doing it intentionally will help me learn more…and learn better.
I’m also going to work on that self-consciousness bit as I wouldn’t hesitate to serve any of what we made this past week to lovely loves.