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TarteTatin

Passover 2006–

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First off, I'm glad I found this thread, even though Passover is over. For our seder, I was in charge of the brisket, Matzo Ball soup and a mocha roll made with potato starch that's always requested. I did the Matzo Ball soup a little differently than both of my grandmother's and their sisters taught me, this time, and it received raves.

I made a rich, dark roasted chicken stock, caramelized some finely diced onions in the schmaltz, then added that to the matzo ball mixture (matzo meal, eggs, a little ginger ale, salt and pepper), along with fresh chives and parsley. Carrots (cooked in a portion of the finished, defatted stock, then added back to into the original pot), torn roasted chicken and a sprinkle of chives, finish it off. I always keep the cooked, cooled matzo balls in the cold defatted chicken stock the night before it's to be served, so it soaks up some of the chicken flavor, without clouding the soup.

That said, I love sinkers AND floaters, so these Matzo balls have a little of both in them. Still light and fluffy, but just slightly firm enough that they don't break into pieces when digging into them. Also, I ran out of Matzo meal after the second batch, so I just threw some matzo's in the food processor. :)

gallery_59301_5865_49502.jpg

That said, I also watched the Gefilte Fish chronicles, for the third time in 2 years, and as usual, it also made me laugh and cry. My maternal grandmother had 8 sisters, and my paternal grandmother had 5 sisters. It was like watching a movie about my holidays as a child and teenager in the 'kitchen' -- watching, helping and learning from them.. especially at Passover!

Unfortunately, they've all passed within the past 15-20 years, and holidays have never been the same. They really were the glue that held everyone together.


Edited by Lisa2k (log)

Flickr Shtuff -- I can't take a decent photo to save my life, but it all still tastes good.

My new Blog: Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives

"I feel the end approaching. Quick, bring me my dessert, coffee and liqueur."

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's great aunt Pierette (1755-1826)

~Lisa~

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Your soup and matza balls look just delicious! Next year can you post the recipe??

I think the grandmothers' generation was a special one and is almost lost. We are not the same! I remember how my granny used to make a whole meal out of a chicken. How she taught me to use my finger (clean!) to scrape out the bit of egg white left in the shell so as not to waste. The dry bread made fantastic toast until the next loaf was made. Socks were darned not tossed. No haste and no waste and today it seems so unlike that. Them being gone just is not the same- you are so right!

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Your soup and matza balls look just delicious! Next year can you post the recipe??

I think the grandmothers' generation was a special one and is almost lost. We are not the same! I remember how my granny used to make a whole meal out of a chicken. How she taught me to use my finger (clean!) to scrape out the bit of egg white left in the shell so as not to waste. The dry bread made fantastic toast until the next loaf was made. Socks were darned not tossed. No haste and no waste and today it seems so unlike that. Them being gone just is not the same- you are so right!

Oh, I'll definitely post a ton of recipes come next Passover! I only wish I knew this thread was here a week or two ago!

On the grandmother topic, I recall my paternal grandma used to go to the butcher to get fresh chickens, and some of the female chickens had unfertllized eggs in them that the butcher gave her for free. She would make her incredible chicken soup, and add them to it. They looked like hard boiled egg yolks, (but they weren't yet cooked) but firmer and maybe slightly sweeter. Plus, she'd get every part of that chicken, from the feet to the beak (once again..for free), and nothing was ever wasted! Chopped chicken liver, more soups, sauces, schmaltz to be stored etc etc.

Quick, funny story. My grandfather loved her french vanilla pudding, so she would make it for him often. He saw a bowl of 'it' in the fridge, took it out and dug in, eating several heaping spoonfuls, wondering 'Hmm..did this go bad?'. It was schmaltz..LOL He must have washed his mouth out and brushed his teeth a gazillion times, but he maintained for years that it took days to get that taste and greasy feel out of his mouth. :)


Flickr Shtuff -- I can't take a decent photo to save my life, but it all still tastes good.

My new Blog: Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives

"I feel the end approaching. Quick, bring me my dessert, coffee and liqueur."

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's great aunt Pierette (1755-1826)

~Lisa~

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Wow! Unfertilized eggs in the chicken! Oh yes, every part was used! I love the story! It is amazing how people did not waste. I just heard on the news how much food is wasted in western countries and how many children die of starvation in other parts of the globe.

Thanks for sharing the story!

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Wow! Unfertilized eggs in the chicken! Oh yes, every part was used! I love the story! It is amazing how people did not waste. I just heard on the news how much food is wasted in western countries and how many children die of starvation in other parts of the globe.

Thanks for sharing the story!

read arthur schwartz's new book about jewish cooking here in the states. it is a great read and he talks about the unfertilized eggs.

as far as wasting food, sometimes i feel that is because people today are so disassociated from where their food comes from. drought and starvation are one issue but when someone has no idea of what goes into bringing the food they eat to market in terms of money and feed....

having said that i grew up eating tongue but could never, ever wrap my tastebuds around the taste of liver - no matter how it was prepared or of whatever variety. calves, beef soaked in milk, chicken... i have tried them multiple times. i can cook them but have to have someone else taste like my old boss who had to sample the country pate and chopped chicken livers i used to make at the restaurant.


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Wow! Unfertilized eggs in the chicken! Oh yes, every part was used! I love the story! It is amazing how people did not waste. I just heard on the news how much food is wasted in western countries and how many children die of starvation in other parts of the globe.

Thanks for sharing the story!

read arthur schwartz's new book about jewish cooking here in the states. it is a great read and he talks about the unfertilized eggs.

as far as wasting food, sometimes i feel that is because people today are so disassociated from where their food comes from. drought and starvation are one issue but when someone has no idea of what goes into bringing the food they eat to market in terms of money and feed....

having said that i grew up eating tongue but could never, ever wrap my tastebuds around the taste of liver - no matter how it was prepared or of whatever variety. calves, beef soaked in milk, chicken... i have tried them multiple times. i can cook them but have to have someone else taste like my old boss who had to sample the country pate and chopped chicken livers i used to make at the restaurant.

I'm DYING to find a place where I can get some of those unfertilized eggs! I must admit, I haven't looked as hard as I could, but does Arthur mention anywhere in and around NYC where they might be available? I haven't had them since I was a teenager. I can only assume they now just throw them out when processing the chickens *sigh*..which is not only a waste of food, but a waste of something incredibly delicious.

That said, I used LOVE, LOVE, LOVE chopped chicken liver, with the hard boiled eggs, schmaltz etc, when I was a child. There was always tons of it, made from scratch, at holiday or family gatherings. Once I found out it was 'liver', I could never eat it again, as I could 'suddenly' taste the liver. I hate liver..period, unless it comes from a duck or goose! Amazing what your mind can do to your palate!


Flickr Shtuff -- I can't take a decent photo to save my life, but it all still tastes good.

My new Blog: Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives

"I feel the end approaching. Quick, bring me my dessert, coffee and liqueur."

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's great aunt Pierette (1755-1826)

~Lisa~

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A noble first attempt jsmeeker!  And you even got floaters!  Nicely done. :smile:

I've had two different versions of matzoh ball soup over the last two days and both were delicious.  Good strong broth, and light and fluffy knaidlach. Just as it ought to be.

I still want to attempt that dill-horseradish pistou recipe for the matzoh ball soup in the latest edition of Food & Wine.  It looks really interesting and I can never eat too much horseradish or matzoh ball soup.

I too am a horseradish lover, but the pistou from Food & Wine didn't pack the punch I had hoped. It was ok but not the really yummy addition I was looking for. Maybe that was because I make vegetarian matzoh ball soup, and it is already very vegetal.

That sounds right. I think the dill-horseradish pistou needs chicken stock to play against, just like regular soupe au pistou would. The vegetal broth would only seem more so with the addition of dill and horseradish, which is quite vegetal in addition to being hot and a little bitter.

Sorry it didn't work for you. :sad: I might try it later on and report back.

I have the leftover pistou in the freezer, so I may try it again next time I make chicken stock. I am not a vegetarian, but some of our young folks at Seder are, so I learned to make veggie matozh ball soup. Not bad actually - I use a lot of oven-baked carmelized root vegetables. Yum. But I am still irritated that my matzoh balls were like rocks this year. There is always next year, as we say.

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There is always next year, as we say.

Or as Scarlett would say...

[affected Southern accent] "After all...Tomorrow, is another day!!" [/affected Southern accent]

:biggrin:

I'm not sure I could wait a whole year to have matzoh ball soup again. :unsure:


Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
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My kids will only eat rock type matza balls. I have to have my yemenite mother in law (matza balls were not a part of their seder ever) make them as I never seem to get them rocky enough and she always does. But I never fail to comment that in Ashkenazi households a good cook makes them soft!! MIL relations....

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There is always next year, as we say.

Or as Scarlett would say...

[affected Southern accent] "After all...Tomorrow, is another day!!" [/affected Southern accent]

:biggrin:

I'm not sure I could wait a whole year to have matzoh ball soup again. :unsure:

Who says that you have to wait? I'll probably make them at Rosh Hashonah time.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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My kids will only eat rock type matza balls....

Well, then, half of the time your kids would love my matzoh balls! the other half of the time, they would hate them, because they are so soft that they disintegrate. I am the world's worst matzoh ball maker.

I am going to go back and read this thread, but I want to share my first night seder with you all here.

We were invited to a seder at the house of people from our shul, but I was 'toxic' from chemotherapy and became delirious. My daughter wouldn't go to the seder without me, she felt too shy.

Kiddle came to my room at 9:00PM, while I was on the telephone making crazy pain induced 'deals' with the doctors so that I could stay home, and she made us a seder from the items in our kitchen.

She got out one of my books on the seder, and sang every prayer. She brought a pitcher of water to my bed and helped me to wash my hands, she used celery tops for bitter herbs, and made a kind of 'charoset' out of apple sauce and cinnamon. She fed me drops of grape juice, for the wine. We had everything but a roasted egg and a lamb shank.

She made a chicken breast, and even put a tiny bit on a plate for me.

It was the best seder I have experienced in my entire life.

By the way, Kiddle is going to be an international volunteer next year, instead of going straight to university.

My daughter is a good person, she is going to be OK, and I can see that now, so I don't have to be fearful about who she is going to be when I am gone.

There isn't a meal in the world that can top that, but I am sure that 18 years of helping me feed and help people, of having discussions of how to bring light to the world, and of giving tzedekah have been instrumental in forming my child's attitude and heart.

Yay!

The next night Kiddle went to my sister's, and when Kiddle returned home to our front door she spilled the container of matzoh ball soup that my sister had made for us, which served to share our seder leftovers with the birds in the neighborhood. :rolleyes::wacko: Oh, well.


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You did good Rebecca. Your daughter sounds like a wonderful person. Apples don't fall far from the tree you know.

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I think I can just begin to imagine what sort of effort you had to make to tell us about your Passover Becs.....thanks for sharing with us, your daughter is a real star (the shining brightly in the firmament kind)

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Floaters or sinkers?

A few years ago I developed a recipe that allows you to choose exactly where on the spectrum you want your matza balls to be. I turns out that you don’t exactly cook them, only heat the water absorbed by the matza meal.

When I make them, I do the following each 1/3 cup of matza meal I use one egg (to bind them) and 1 T oil beaten together. Season and spice the meal, then add the egg/oil mixture. Then you add water or stock; the amount determines how hard you wish them to be. For my crowd, I add enough for it to have the consistency of apple sauce. The more water you add, the lighter they are. Add any herbs you wish; let them sit at room temperature for at least five minutes. Refrigerate the mixture, then form balls and drop into a large pot of boiling water. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes, depending upon the size.

I don’t boil them in the soup, since I wish to control their flavor and don’t want to add anything to my soup. You have three opportunities to add flavor: to the dry mixture, with the liquid and after the liquid has been added.

Mike

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I can't believe no one's posted in this thread yet about this year's feast preparations. I guess I'll have to be the first....

This year, by dear friend and former college roommate (with whom I've been celebrating Passover for at least 20 years!) is hosting the seder at her home. Her sweet mom isn't feeling up to playing hostess with the mostest this year as she's two weeks out from a hip replacement surgery. My friend is not one who cooks and entertains frequently, so there's been a bit of stressing out about the seder this year. Her last email missive had the subject line "Seder Masochism". :biggrin:

The seder is going to be small, just six of us, and also vegetarian to accomodate her brother's eating habits. In addition to my usual contribution of horseradish and charoset, I'm in charge of the matzoh balls for the soup this time. I made them tonight. In a momentary lapse of reason, I decided to separate the eggs and whip the whites to make for lighter and fluffier matzoh balls. I also got lazy and decided to put a small handful of parsley in the Magic Bullet along with the egg whites to save myself chopping it up by hand. Unfortunately, the egg whites and chopped parsley turned the matzoh ball batter entirely GREEN!! The matzoh balls, however, were indeed light floaters and I had one in some vegetable broth as a little reward for finishing the cooking tonight.

Here's what the final result looked like:

gallery_7409_476_44088.jpg

Doesn't look quite as green in the photo, but it is indeed, a pretty shade of light and speckled green. I guess that works for vegetarian soup. And includes some of the symbolic greens in a lightly salted broth, so that works on another level as well. Not sure I'd ever repeat this mistake, but it worked, so I'm not going to complain. :smile:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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My matzoh balls came out terrible - I'm going to make another batch today. I used "homemade" Mato meal to use up the last of last year's Matzoh - it made a batter that was too dense - even another egg and seltzer couldn't save them.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Katie - My father gave me a gift last year - the book Passover By Design (guess it was a hint :smile: ) - and the book contains recipes for a trio of matzo balls - turmeric - tomato and spinach. And those spinach matzo balls are *really* green. The trio looks pretty.

I am not making matzo balls. My menu is chopped liver as a before meal snack - the recent pot roast recipe from the Wall Street Journal (made with boneless short ribs) - along with carmelized onions and roasted carrots - and a potato kugel.

I have never made a potato kugel before (make a great noodle kugel - but that won't work for Passover). I'm not about ready to hand grate the potatoes (I would like to have my fingers intact on Thursday). One recipe I want to use calls for shredding the potatoes with the shredder disk of a food processor - another calls for using the metal blade. I suspect shredding is a better idea than using the metal blade (unless I want to wind up with the base for potato soup) - but I wonder if anyone has any personal experience with the best way to prepare the potatoes in a food processor. Robyn

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Robyn:

Definitely use the shredder blade. Then squeeze everything through cheesecloth or it'll be too watery. The start up makings for either latkes OR potato kugel. Your choice...


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Robyn:

Definitely use the shredder blade.  Then squeeze everything through cheesecloth or it'll be too watery.  The start up makings for either latkes OR potato kugel.  Your choice...

Will paper towels work instead of cheese cloth? Any other possible substitute? I have cheese cloth garni bags - but not too many potatoes will fit in those :sad: . And I don't want to send my husband out to Williams Sonoma at 10 tomorrow morning to pick up a square yard of cheese cloth (I need him to help me peel potatoes!). Robyn

P.S. Coarse or fine shredder blade?

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Robyn:

Definitely use the shredder blade.  Then squeeze everything through cheesecloth or it'll be too watery.  The start up makings for either latkes OR potato kugel.  Your choice...

Will paper towels work instead of cheese cloth? Any other possible substitute? I have cheese cloth garni bags - but not too many potatoes will fit in those :sad: . And I don't want to send my husband out to Williams Sonoma at 10 tomorrow morning to pick up a square yard of cheese cloth (I need him to help me peel potatoes!). Robyn

P.S. Coarse or fine shredder blade?

I just put my potato shreds into a sieve over a bigger bowl. Then squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Put the shreds back into whatever bowl you are using to mix, pour off the water left in the bowl and, using a rubber spatula, scrape the potato starch left in the bottom of the bowl. If you prefer, you can discard the water and starch and just you the shreds.

The size of shredder blade you use is up to you. Personally, I would choose a medium or coarse one.


So long and thanks for all the fish.

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No shredder blade! If you want a truly creamy kugel - use the cheese grating wheel for the potato (you can use the shredded or the chopper for the onion) - I've written about that upthread, I'm sure. It gives you pudding instead of hash browns. And you don't have to squeeze water out.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Based on no experience - if water is such a problem - why not just bake the potatoes until partially done - and then shred them? The baking would remove a great deal of the water content. Robyn

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Never tried it that way, but what you're saying is certainly logical about the par-baking. Not sure about how it would work. If you try this method, definitely report back.

The water content of the potatoes only matters if the recipe you're using doesn't take it into account. But you could probably do what JFLinLA suggests and just use a colander or big old strainer. I just like cheesechoth because you can SQUEEZE it and really get the water out. And I have some in the house. If you don't, then that's a whole 'nother issue and I can totally understand not wanting to go on a search for some tomorrow.

On a separate note, here a pic of tonight's charoset after preparation:

gallery_7409_476_10028.jpg

The recipe for this is HERE in RecipeGullet. This years version is a little chunkier than the photo in RecipeGullet, that was kindly taken and provided by Jason Perlow. I was lucky to find some untainted pistachio nuts this year, or it wouldn't have tasted the same! I really love this recipe and always make extra because someone wants to take some home.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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