Matzoh balls are never salty enough…

The eight-day springtime holiday of Passover commemorates the ancient Hebrews’ liberation from Egyptian slavery. The Passover Seder, a ritual-filled Jewish feast, takes place on the first night of the holiday. My family has convinced me to come home this year for the first time in ages…because Passover (the first night anyway) falls on a Saturday.

We had a pre-Seder Seder hosted by Jonah, Stacy and Amanda last Sunday, and as soon as I get photos uploaded..ill share. I called this one the trial run, because it was Mick’s first, and now the second in a week gets to be the one with the family. My family isn’t scary on Jewish holidays. Just Jewish.

On the Passover table, matzo is served instead of bread, as a reminder of the slaves’ hurried escape. The Torah relates that the fleeing Hebrews did not have time to let their bread rise. To identify with their ancestors’ flight and deliverance, the Jews eat matzo, flat, unleavened cracker-like bread.

I think I’m going to try to follow the rules of passover this year. Matzoh isn’t as carb heavy as bread, and you can make all sorts of fun shit with it. Turkey or tuna on matzoh is one of my personal favorites…and I honestly don’t think it will be that hard to go a week without bread.

During the Seder, Passover meals are intentionally different from those of the rest of the year. Besides bread, several other foods are avoided. Yet, even with the limitations, most people look forward to Passover as a food holiday. Inventive cooks throughout the ages contributed to the holiday flavors and have produced a popular Passover repertoire. They developed tasty, out-of-the-ordinary dishes. The result is that Passover meals are not only the most festive of the year but the most interesting as well. I want to find some amazing recipes and indulge over the course of the next week.

I came across this one on About.com

Asparagus with Lemon Matzo Crumble

Ingredients
Asparagus
4 pounds asparagus
4 tablespoons melted pareve margarine
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Matzo Crumble
4 tablespoons pareve margarine
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 cups matzo meal
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions
To cook asparagus: Cut off the woody stems of asparagus, leaving spears about 6-inches long. If stalks are thick, peel with a vegetable peeler, pulling from stem end toward tip. (Thin spears do not need peeling.) Separate into bundles of 6 to 8 spears each with tips pointing in the same direction. Tie with string.

In a large skillet, bring 1-inch salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until tender, 3 to 6 minutes after water comes to a boil. Timing depends on size and age of spears. Remove bundles, cut string and run asparagus until cold water to stop the cooking. Blot with paper towels. (Asparagus may be refrigerated overnight wrapped in paper towels. Bring to room temperature before reheating.

To make crumble: In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat margarine and oil on HIGH (100 percent) one minute or until margarine is melted. Stir in garlic, lemon juice, green onions, matzo meal, and salt. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH (100 percent) 6 to 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until dry and crisp. (Crumble may be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature.)

Before serving: Arrange cooked asparagus on microwave-safe platter. Sprinkle with salt. Cover with waxed paper and microwave on HIGH (100 percent) 2 to 4 minutes or until heated through. Heat margarine and lemon juice until melted. Drizzle over asparagus. Sprinkle crumble across the center.

Um…YUM? Ill let you know. I will probably NOT be cooking 4 pounds…but who knows, it might be awesome.

I will of course post pictures of seders past and future…with possible culinary photos as well. Ill let you know how my meals turn out. Suggestions are welcome of course.

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2 responses to “Matzoh balls are never salty enough…

  1. I was so glad to see this, since I was desperately in need of some edu-ma-cation about Passover and the Seder.

    And, I happened to come upon this blog today about favorite Passover recipe books – maybe you can find something tasty in one of them!

    http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/18/cookbooks-that-are-different-from-all-other-cookbooks/

    Have a good trip home …

    dk

  2. Thats awesome Diana! There is much more to know about seder…and the story behind it. This is just the matzoh portion! Its actually one of the more interesting stories.

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