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eG Foodblog: Pam R - I dare you to PASSOVER this one

Pam R

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I wonder what Korean or Indian Jews eat during passover?

I found this article on Passover customs among Jews "from Portugal to Persia," also including India. The website from which it comes looks really fascinating--it belongs to a woman whose family came from one of the traditionally Jewish communities in India, and who has published a whole bunch of pieces on those communities as well as other topics related to Jewish culture.

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For the keichal (I've never heard them called "nothings" before, but that is really a perfect name since they are so light and airy and ... nothing-ish): can you give us a recipe with amounts? For a "regular" batch, that is. (I also love the way your recipe instructions are written.) Do you bake them after they're scooped onto the baking tray and they flatten out by themselves? Or do you shape them into the bowtie shapes?

My two-year old cousin got very upset when we kept telling her it was a 'nothing' we had to start calling it a cookie to stop her from crying.

Before baking, roll the dough in sugar - pick it up and roll it into a log, then twist once or twice in the middle. I think that my recipe for these is in 'regular' quantities.. let me check.

3 eggs ½ C. oil

½ C. cake meal 3 tsp. potato starch

3 tsp. sugar

(the passover dough is much less 'snotty' :unsure: than the regular dough)

Komisch in German is an adjective meaning "funny", more as in "a little strange" rather than "ha, ha".

That makes sense - Yiddish is closely related to German. In fact, kugel is a German word that means ball or sphere - go figure.

I'm getting cravings for chicken soup, matzo balls and horseradish. Speaking of which, I'm really looking forward to seeing your preparation of gefilte fish. I must admit that I've never, ever eaten it (I've been a bit scared to) but now I want to try it, and I'd like to try a "good" version, if there is such a thing. I'm hoping that you'll have tips so I can either make it myself, or get some good stuff from a respectable deli. Of course, in Atlanta, good delis are hard to come by.

The whole darn place was smelling like Gefilte Fish this morning. I took pictures but I'm having trouble uploading them on my dial-up, but I will definately share them with you in the next day or two... I believe we're making 460 gefilte fish balls.

I wonder what Korean or Indian Jews eat during passover?

I only know a few Jews from India and they are Sephardim (as I assume most are) which means that at Passover they are allowed to eat more than me. I believe they enjoy legumes, rice, sesame and other things that the Ashkenazie (Eastern European Jews) consider to be 'kitniot' or not allowed.

While I have not read any of her cookbooks yet, I was recently contacted by Rahel Musleah who writes about Jewish Indian food. You can check out her webpage here - she has some interesting articles on Jewish India there.

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I knew the topic of gefilte fish would rear it's head eventually. :biggrin:

Behold the power of the search function:

The deed is done :biggrin:

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics of the messiest stages (kinda forgot about the camera in those moments) but here are a few pics that more or less document what went on over here today...


The gigantic halibut carcass (with head), cut into pieces, thawing in the sink.


The carcass, etc. now transfered into the pot.  The pot was brought to a boil and held at low simmer for several hours.  After that, we strained it and used the resulting liquid as the cooking medium for the gefilte fish.


The fileted meat from hamachi and halibut.


Preparing for a moderately course grind...(which you will not see :sad:)


Finely-ground carrot and onion for the mixture.


:angry: **Missing images of pureed fish, eggs, minced veggies, soaked matzohs and matzoh meal being added together and formed into logs.** :angry:



Gefilte Fish in pot of reduced fish stock.  We simmered them for about 1 hour, splitting the entire mixture into 2 batches and cooking simultaneously in 2 pots.


A closer look at the fish while cooking.  The top layer tended to float, so we kept flipping them during the cooking so they hydrated evenly.


The finished gefilte fish, complete with cloud of steam.

It was a great experience and they turned out fantastically.  That said, as delicious as they are, I'm honestly not sure it was worth all the work because excellent gefilte fish is available at more than a few delis around here.  Still, I'm really pumped that I got this cooking experience under my belt.  Guajolote, of course, did most of the work--including sourcing the fish--and I tip my cap to him yet again for being such a great facilitator. :biggrin:

I'll try to take a few more pictures tomorrow, after the fish and the (hopefully gelatinized) stock have chilled and I get the horseradish ready.


Ronnie's gefilte fish thread


I can't imagine what gefilte fish for 100+ would smell like though. :blink:


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I knew the topic of gefilte fish would rear its head eventually.   :biggrin:

Ronnie's gefilte fish thread


I can't imagine what gefilte fish for 100+ would smell like though.   :blink:


It smells like gefilte fish. I worked at a restaurant in the Catskills called Rudy's Big Indian. (I bet some of you ate there -- I worked there in 1986 when I lived in Phoenicia.) Mark, the owner, was a Jewish guy who often catered. I once had to stick my bare hand/arm into a cold vat of gefilte fish to stir it up. My arm broke out into a nasty rash all the way to the shoulder. I never want to see or smell that stuff again. I don't know if it was the fish that caused it, but given that my only other food allergy is to a kind of fish, I wouldn't be surprised. Edited by tanabutler (log)
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Just checking in to let you know I'm still alive. It's 9:15 PM here - been at work since about 7:45. I figure I'll be here for another 3 hours or so, then back by (hopefully) 6:45 - 7 am tomorrow.

At 10 AM, approximately 120 people will be here to pick up their food - or, if it's like most years, they'll start knocking on the door at 8. We won't let people in before 10 because it takes a few hours in the morning to get things organized and we can't do that if we're getting people's orders together.

I have lots and lots of pictures to show you and things to share - but most likely I won't be on much before tomorrow late afternoon or early evening.

For those of you who observe Shabbat and Yom Tovim, this is probably close to the end of it for you until Monday night, when I'll be finishing up. Thanks so much for your input and sharing this crazy week with me. I will be happy to continue discussing Passover and Kashrut issues with you in all of the other threads that we already discuss these things in. Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach. (L'Shana Tova B'Yerushalayim!)

For those of you who didn't understand the last couple of sentances, you'll be around for me to explain them later :smile:

(If I can grab a few minutes of downtime I will, of course, post :wink: )

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I'm just about ready to head home for a few hours of shut-eye, but I wanted to leave you with something new. Since only 1/2 of my pictures uploaded today, here you go:

Some raw fish (I don't think it's Sushi grade :wink: )


And some ground raw fish


Looks tasty doesn't it?

Tomorrow I'll show you the finished product.

I'll also tell you what I had to eat, because I want you to see the pictures too.

I have a couple of questions:

1. Are there any 'Jewish' foods people would like to see? (We have to take into account that some may not fall into this week's dietary rules)

2. Matzoh Balls - floaters or sinkers? Preferances please.



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I'm just about ready to head home for a few hours of shut-eye, but I wanted to leave you with something new.  Since only 1/2 of my pictures uploaded today, here you go:

Some raw fish (I don't think it's Sushi grade  :wink: )


And some ground raw fish


Looks tasty doesn't it?

Tomorrow I'll show you the finished product.

I'll also tell you what I had to eat, because I want you to see the pictures too.

I have a couple of questions:

1. Are there any 'Jewish' foods people would like to see?  (We have to take into account that some may not fall into this week's dietary rules)

2. Matzoh Balls - floaters or sinkers?  Preferances please.



Looks great! Give it a French name and it's a pricey delicacy.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles


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OK - here's what we need to do  today.

Roast Turkeys, chickens and brisket (my father is in charge of the brisket, but as soon as it comes out of the oven I'll be tasting it, as I do every year  :wub: )

Bake plum kuchen

bake more kugels

make more mousse

Ice brownies and tortes

Count and make labels for most items

package all dry baking

fill cream puffs (after making strawbeerry filling)

carve turkeys

package meatballs

wrap blintzes, kugels, ets.

sell chicken

tell hundreds of people that no, they can't pick up their food today

I know I'm missing stuff  :angry:

I'll try to get online throughout the day - because unlike yesterday I doubt I'll be home before 11 pm

(oh, I'm taking a gala apple, nuts and bottled water with me for breakfast)

By all means, talk amongst yourselves  :wink:

I'm getting a headache just READING this list, and you had to DO it.

You know "bake more kugels" is one of those random phrases people throw out that would make a good band name.

Matzoh Balls - floaters or sinkers? Preferances please

I'm strange in that I've had excellent examples of both and never really dismissed one or the other because of that.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Well I know we're supposed to be done with the cleaning already, but I just cleaned my keyboard and there was enough chametz in there to start a bakery! :hmmm:

Cream puffs with strawberry filling, you say? For Pesach, no less? I would love to see a photo of those if you've got one.

Chag sameach to you all.

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Shabbat Shalom!

I hope you've all had a great day. Mine was busy, but let me tell you about yesterday first. I started the day with an apple, water and some nuts in the car on the way to work again. It's my M.O.

I don't really remember much of what happened in the early AM, but I got a picture of my father Ed and one of his briskets on Wednesday, and it went into the oven first thing Thurs. morn:


It's about 20 pounds - he cooked 2... and they were all gone today :sad:

The beast was done at about 10 am. In the introduction of my cookbook I talk a lot about food and smell memories. I think everybody has a few food aromas that bring them back to another place. I've experiencing this a lot over the last week and a half. The weather has been unusually warm here and the smells of nature and cottonseed oil have thrown me right back to a bus station in Tel Aviv. I can't tell you WHY, I can just tell you that it does. In the same way, my father's garlic brisket takes me back to almost every family holiday celebration I can remember. It smells like me Baba's (grandmother's) house. I can taste it - my mouth waters as I imagine the first bite of juicy, tender, garlic-infused beef. So at 10 am, I was hankering for a taste:




Then it was back to work for me. I didn't stop again until about 4 PM or so and I actually made myself a salad! In normal times, I try to eat salad at least once a day. Mostly because I love it. The problem is I'm often busy and salad takes time to prep. So I made myself a litre of Balsamic Vin. and bought some prewashed baby greens so that I could make an easy salad. I had this a few times last week, but only once this week:


I (and everybody else) also snacked on some komish ends throughout the day:


Edited by Pam R (log)
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So yesterday, the smells of mouth-watering garlic brisket were mingling with the... well... not-so-mouth-watering smells of gefilte fish. Last we left the GF, it had gone from a bucket of Lake Winnipeg's finest fish to a bucket of gound fish. Then some onions and other importants (and secret) herbs and spices were added:


Then they are scooped, rolled into balls and placed in a small pot:


After simmering for hours, out they come:


That little pot holds about 120 pieces... four batches later the fish was all done.

The thing to know about making gefilte fish at home - everything will smell like it for 3 days. You can learn more about what others thing of GF here. I'll be honest, I'm not a fan. :shock: But many people are - so it must be made... and enjoyed... I'm sure... by many.

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Here's one wall of the smaller, baking freezer last night:


And here's a look at the larger chicken/meat freezer.... that the bakers (me and mom) were slowly taking over this week:


It's almost all gone today :blink:

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Some random baking shots from last night and this morning:

Lemon filled Chiffon Cake -


The 'not-so-good' chiffon cakes cut into chunks and suspended in chocolate mousse -


And the same cake ready to go -


Strawberry/Blackberry Pavlova -


...and fruit flans with a lemon chiffon base and lemon curd filling -


Individual Pavlovas that had a chocolate ganache layer, whipped topping and strawberries:


The previously mentioned Shmoo -


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Now I was trying something different with the brownies - trimmed up after I took the photo it looked great:


And I put it out on a table for people to snack on (in addition to me, mom, dad and Hazel - my sister came out to help as did an aunt and uncles and a cousin - you need to feed them!). This is what they left -


A variety of meringues I baked for the Symphony-


And the Strawberry Passover Cream Puffs -



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As I mentioned before, there was a lot of non-baking stuff going on too. I couldn't take a lot of pictures because I was kind of busy, but I did get a few shots for you.

First of all, I don't believe it's a Jewish foodblog without a gratuitous garlic shot -


Nor is it a Jewish foodblog without a gratuitous shot of 50 lbs. of onions browned in shmaltz -


Now, to be honest with you, we don't usually use shmaltz - there are too many vegitarians out there and those people who go on about health and whatnot - but, for chopped liver, why not?? Nu?


(I was going to get a picture of the un-chopped livers but I wasn't fast enough :angry: )

I haven't yet mentioned another star of Passover, the blintz!

Making the bletlach:


And an almost-full tray. These are filled with potatoes and onions - but we also make them filled with a meat mixture (from the chicken in the chicken soup)


They get browned on both sides before the customer gets them. We sole 100 dz. this year.

Edited by Pam R (log)
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I almost forgot the kugel!!


This shows you 2 of the three types we made this year. The majority of the ones in the picture are a sweet kugle (pudding). It's made with matzoh meal, eggs, sugar, juice, secret ingredients :wink: and dried fruits. There are also a few vegetable kugels in the picture and they are made with matzoh meal, eggs, spinach, peppers, carrots, onions... and spices?

Missing is a cheddar/vegetable kugel. Matzoh meal, eggs, carrots, cauli. broc. onions, cheddar and spices.

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I can't imagine what gefilte fish for 100+ would smell like though.  :blink:


Oy... The day after making a large batch not long ago, I had a doctor's appointment. I woke up, took a nice long shower, left the house and not until I was in a tightly-packed elevator did I realize that my coat reeked of GF. Nobody said anything but you KNOW they were all thinking about it :angry:

I've just made the Pasover Rolls. Fantastic!  Thankyou.  A great addition to the repertoire.

A bit more like thick choux buns than bread, but fills a hole...

I'm glad you like them. They are exactly like a choux... which is why I thought cream puffs might work :smile:

Matzoh Balls - floaters or sinkers? Preferances please

I'm strange in that I've had excellent examples of both and never really dismissed one or the other because of that.

I agree with you (almost) completely! I do also like them in-between though.

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After getting to bed just after 1 AM last night, I was back at work by 7 this morning (and I have a 1/2 hour drive!). The last thing that I wanted to do this morning was to eat - but I did force myself to eat a Spartan apple and drink some water on the way to work.

When I got to work I had to roast about 40 lbs. or Garlic roasted potatoes - then I had to wrap and box cakes and get organized for the onslaught. Although they aren't supposed to come until 10 am, customers started arriving at about 8:45 - and they didn't slow down until about 1:30.. the last pickup was at 3:30. It was so busy I didn't eat anything other than a few squared of a Passover chocolate bar:


These are my favorites - my father and I shared a Strawberry cream-filled.

At about 4:15 all of the deliveries were packed into my Jeep and mom's van and we were off. I was with dad for deliveries and was really thirsty, so insisted on going through a drive through for a drink -


Diet A&W root beer. How do they get it so cold?? Why don't other places do this?

Umm.. also had some onion rings. No pictures.

Everything got to where it was going, then my sister and I got dinner together for the four of us.

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So dinner tonight. Chicken soup came from work (remember that small pot we made a few posts ago?). I didn't show you any matzoh ball prep... and I kind of lost steam here and only got the beginning and the end. Also pictured are bletlach-noodles that my grandmother used to make and I don't think I've had since she passes away. I really wanted them tonight, so made them for the first time ever. You make a blintz wrapper, cut it into strips and then dry it a little. Yummy.

Matzoh Ball batter on the left, blintz wrapper batter on the right:





Main course -

Roasted Cauliflower, Lemon Potatoes, Rib-Eye Roast and Roma Tomatoes (sprinkled with salt - not the best, but wanted a fresh veggie and was too tired to make a salad). We were all thankful to have what we consider a 'real' meal after what we've eaten the last few days.


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Coming up tomorrow:

If I wake up, nothing much will happen during the day.

But the evening will include -

Questions and answers, tears and joy, plagues and wine, bitters and sweets, unleavened bread, lots and lots of food (which I'm not cooking!!), perhaps a cute kid and I'll hopefully get some pictures.


- Pam

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