Chag Sameach!

(That basically means “Happy Joyfulness!”)

Passover/Pesach! My favorite Jewish holiday of the year! Maybe it’s because it’s the best and largest Jewish meal of the year (we call it the Seder – pronounced say-der). Maybe it’s because it’s a time for renewal with the welcoming of Spring with some family you don’t get to see too often and friends. Or maybe it’s because we’re supposed to drink like 4 full glasses of wine before we even eat (hey, the Haggadah – the book we tell the story of Passover from – tells us to)! Regardless, it’s a time to come together, tell a good story, have some good times and EAT!

So I’ve thrown together a little list of these wonderful Jewish classics that are essential for any Seder. Oh, and just so you know, we are pretty lenient on the whole “Kosher for Passover” schpiel in our household. So if you’re strict with that, feel free to substitute any ingredients with ones that fit the bill. (Also, I find it so weird how many brands of matzo and even Manischewitz wine AREN’T Kosher for Passover – like, isn’t that the point?)

Enjoy these fabulous recipes for any Jewish gathering or for ANY occasion regardless of your religion (because food knows no religion)!

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Appetizers


Horseradish Deviled Eggs

These babies are DY-NO-MITE!  Such a little crowd pleaser because they aren’t only adorable to look at and pop in your mouth, they also taste absolutely AWESOME!  Maybe it’s that Gold’s horseradish mixed with the creaminess of some fluffy, mayo-infused egg yolks but this is one that will go fast so make plenty and use these awesome egg caddies (especially if traveling and taking them to someone else’s house)!

Chopped Liver

The next time someone asks “What am I, CHOPPED LIVAH?!” tell them “OBVIOUSLY!” and that it’s actually a huge compliment.  If you’ve ever been to a gathering in a Jewish household, chances are you’ve seen this delicious dip-like spread. Not only is this one a staple in my house, but people tend to fight over the last schmear! It also goes perfect with veggies, crackers, matzoh or Tam Tams.

Soups

Chicken Noodle Soup

Oy Gevalt! My chicken noodle soup is one of my most requested dishes by family and friends alike!  It provides a flavor that is so homemade and so comforting, not only will everyone “mmm” and “ahh” while eating it at the table, they’ll also want it when they’re feeling under the weather or curled up on the couch watching Netflix on a chilly evening or snowy day!

Matzoh Balls

How about some Matzoh Balls to go with that Chicken Noodle Soup to give it a Bar Mitzvah?  While there is a debate on the proper way to make a Matzoh Ball (Soft or firm?  Sinkers or floaters?), you cannot go wrong with these as they are a little of everything all rolled into one happy ball!  I guarantee you’ll just love these little additions!

Jewish Wedding Soup

You know the classic Italian Wedding Soup? Well THIS one’s gonna take the best elements of that and MARRY it to a Matzoh Ball Soup so you get a JEWISH WEDDING SOUP! A huge crowd pleaser, definitely check this out for your Seder table. Especially if celebrating within an interfaith family or if you want to think outside the, well, matzoh ball!

Mains

Jewish Brisket

One of my most POPULAR dishes, not only is my Jewish Brisket is so tender and full of such a deep, rich, flavorful and sweet & tangy sauce, but it is also SO EASY TO MAKE!  I guarantee you that if you make this, the entire table will beg you for the recipe, have seconds and have their eyes on the last piece. But make sure you’re a mensch and offer it to Nana or Pop Pop!

Stuffed Cabbage

My Grandma Lil knew what she was doing when she made this one.  Not only is it also one of my most popular recipes because of how incredibly delicious and homemade they taste, but it is a special treat to sit down and make them with a loved one while swapping stories of yore (and maybe a little gossip). A true family legacy, from mine to yours!

Turkey, Stuffing & Gravy

A turkey (or some type of bird) is also very common at a Passover feast and if you have a smaller size family or are only dining for 2-4, then THIS is the recipe for you! Not only does it make some of the most tender, juicy and beautiful turkey ever, but it also makes it with some of the best gravy (and stuffing – but you can leave that out if keeping kosher for Passover OR use my Matzoh Brei for stuffing!)

Sides

Charoset

This signature Seder side signifies the mortar the Jews used to build the pyramids for Pharaoh and to remind us of those rougher times…but in a delicious way, I guess. It’s sweet blend of apples and walnuts mixed together with some honey, sweet spices and, of course, some WINE! And SO easy to make too!

Matzoh Brei

Matzoh Brei is essentially a jewish kugel/stuffing that is both sweet AND savory and you can have it for breakfast or a s a great dinner side. Some like it with some maple syrup and others like sopping up some sauce from a main dish (like my Jewish Brisket) or just on its own. Anyway you choose, THIS recipe is enough to make even Oprah forget about regular bread. Light & fluffy on the inside with a wonderful crisp on the outside!

 

Noodle Pudding

This dish is a real sweet one and not like your traditional kugel! It can be served chilled or taken out to set at room temperature and then eaten. It will make for a sweeter side or a dessert and that graham cracker crust at the top is enough to make you want to fiddle on a roof!

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So there you have it!  Some WONDERFUL goodies to complete any Seder. But I’ll let you in on a little secret – just like I’m a Jewish fella who loves Italian and Chinese, YOU don’t need to claim an ounce of Judaism to enjoy these. In fact, you may smack your lips more than once!

Happy Passover!

-Jeffrey 😘