Even when everything has seemingly come to a halt, life marches on, right? Tonight is the start of Passover. I feel like the story of Passover will resonate more than usual this year, as we are experiencing a modern day plague with COVID-19. While it won't be like most years with our extended family around the table, I still want to make the holiday special for our family. The plagues, an evil Pharo and a big 'ol ocean didn't stop our ancestors from fleeing Egypt, so I feel like the least I can do it pull off this holiday meal while we are #socialdistancing.
As I am cooking, I can't help but think of my grandmothers and great grandmothers who lived through many difficult times in our nations history, when food, money, and hope were scarce. I am grateful that they kept our holiday traditions alive despite their hardships, so that we can enjoy them today. I find that traditional cooking or home cooking in general brings me a sense of comfort and gratitude during this difficult time.
I am working with the ingredients I have on hand today, and it actually feels good to have something to accomplish! You know, aside from proctoring my remote learners and all of the other things :) Here's what I'm cooking up....I looked for simple, flavorful recipes that can keep us in the tradition, without too much work. Let's face it, we all have our hands full at home right now! Aside from the soup, these are all new-to-me recipes (I like a challenge!), so hopefully they come out great! If you are looking for a little inspiration - check these out!
I am looking forward to our Zoom Seder with family tonight!
1. Matzah Ball Soup in the Instapot. Make soup according to instructions (leave out the noodles).
I use #Streits Gluten Free Matzo Ball mix that THANKFULLY came in my Instacart order last week. Follow package instructions and add to soup when ready to serve.
2. For my main course I really wanted to do fish, but I just don't want to risk going out to the fish store so, chicken it is! I would typically roast the chicken, but with a hectic household today, I am going to cut myself some slack and cook a whole chicken in the crockpot. How liberating!
Here's what you need:
1 whole chicken
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika
5-6 red potatoes (or whatever type you have)
2 large carrots (or any other root veggie)
Here's what you do:
Spray the crockpot with cooking spray
Add cut potatoes on one side ( I used red potatoes) and an handful of cut carrots on the other side. I also had a parsnip so I added that too - you can use ANY root veggie. I also threw in a few cloves of crushed fresh garlic. Season the potatoes and veggies with salt and pepper and top with any fresh herbs you have. I had dill - so dill it is!
Season the chicken liberally inside and out with Himalayan salt and pepper.
Sprinkle front and back with the garlic powder. onion powder and paprika and give your chicken a massage to rub it all together.
Quarter a small onion ans stuff it inside the chicken. You can also add any fresh herbs.
Place the seasoned chicken on top of the potatoes and veggies. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. That's it!
When it's done, carefully remove the chicken from the crockpot to a platter. It will be falling off the bone so use caution.
Transfer the veggies to a separate platter, discarding any chicken skin and herb sprigs
Carve the chicken. Separate the gravy and serve with the chicken and veggies
3. Potato Kugel
I have not made this before, but it looks super easy and good! I REALLY wanted to make this as Kugel cups, but I don't have enough ramekins and those I do have are too small. SO - I am following the authors notes around making it into a kugel pie, using a 9 inch glass pie dish.
All you need here are Idaho potatoes, onion, olive oil, eggs, salt & pepper AND a food processor. Fingers crossed on this one!
4. Don't forget the Charoset! I made this version last year. It's GF, DF, nut free. Here's what you need:
6 cups peeled, cored, and grated Granny Smith apples
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup honey
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp brown sugar
Find the recipe here:
5. Last but CERTAINLY no least: DESSERT! It's no secret that Passover is not know for it's desserts. Last year I made this ah-mazing flourless chocolate cake that I was planning to make again this year, until I realized that the main ingredient is dates and nope - don't have those!
Soooo I quickly regrouped and found this simple recipe (4 ingredients!) for homemade chocolate chip macaroons,
So that's our Passover menu during this crazy time in our lives. I will add a green veggie to the mix - probably green beans.
I hope you and your family are staying well and are able to spend this Passover seder or upcoming Easter Sunday together in any way that works for you - even if its take-out!
~Eat Well and stay home & healthy,
Last year's seder plate....I may print it out and put it on our table tonight!