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Do you have a cooking or baking question? Would you like to have Sheilah do a cooking demonstration for your group? Write her at .

For the past 36 years, under the banner of "Fearless, Fussless," Sheilah Kaufman has crisscrossed the country demystifying cooking and teaching "fearless, fussless, easy ways to elegant cooking" to all ages. Her recipes are simple, unique and user-friendly. Everything can be made ahead or frozen and takes about 20 minutes' preparation time. Sheilah is the author of 24 cookbooks, including Taste of Turkish Cuisine; Sephardic/Israeli Cuisine; Simply Irresistible: Easy, Elegant, Fearless, Fussless Cooking; and Vegetable Magic. You can learn more about Sheilah at

Why Is Matzoh Hard to Digest?

Matzoh can be hard to digest for some of us. I consulted both Rabbi Gil Marks and Dr. Robert Wolke, author of What Einstein Told His Cook, Kitchen Science Explained (W.W. Norton) for an answer to this question. Here is what I learned:

All grains contain starch, whose molecules are made up of many smaller sugar molecules bonded together. Some of the bigger-molecule starches in raw flour are indigestible by humans. They're part of what we call fiber. When raw flour is mixed with water, the yeasts and bacteria that are all around us begin to break down some of the starch molecules into simpler starches or even sugars, which they can then feed upon, giving off carbon dioxide bubbles in the process. That process is called fermentation or leavening. But matzoh cannot be fermented. (Chametz, the food we cannot eat at Passover, in fact, means fermented or soured in Hebrew.) So matzoh dough must be baked quickly (within 18 minutes), before any yeast or bacteria can begin to break down the big, indigestible

Pesach Food Humor

Since getting ready for Passover can be quite daunting, a little humor comes in handy. Thanks to Eileen Goltz, Eileen Goltze is a food writer, cookbook author from Indiana for this delightful quiz.

What kind of cheese do you eat on Pesach?
a) Any permissible cheese with a proper hechsher (kosher certification).
b) Matzo-rella.

Which tastes better?
a) Whole Wheat Matzo.
b) The box it came in.

Pesach in Australia is called
a) Passover.
b) Passunder.

Pesach ends a day earlier in Israel because
a) Israelis can't wait that long for fresh pita.
b) It provides incentive for the rest of us to move there.

Immediately after repurchasing the chometz, one should
a) Check to see that all the Pesach dishes and utensils are put away.
b) Go out for pizza.

Pesach cake recipes taste like a mouth full of sand
a) Because it's the best we can manage, given the limitations.
b) To remind us of 40 years in the desert.

© 2006 Eileen Goltz

Matzoh History

The original matzoh, according to food historian Rabbi Gil Marks, author of the James Beard Award-winning book, Olive Trees and Hone: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World (Wiley) was made from a softer dough (similar to pita bread) and baked fresh. Except for the Sabbath, people prepared it every day. Before the advent of the rotary mill stone 2,500 years ago, the flour also had to be ground fresh every morning. This meant that women (this was only done by women) had to get up 4 to 5 hours before everyone and grind the grain. For family of 5 it took a minimum of 3–5 hours just to grind flour. The procedure was repeated every day except on the Sabbath, which meant doing a double amount on Friday. Every morning, bread still had to be prepared fresh. To this day, many Yemenites still make "soft" matzoh.

Don't Let the Matzoh Blues Get You Down...
Making Imaginative Dishes for Passover
By Sheilah Kaufman

While Passover is my favorite holiday, I am ashamed to admit that matzoh isn't one of my favorite foods. Not only do I find it hard to digest, I get bored eating it and long for variety. That's why I've done my best to gather recipes that will keep you and your family from succumbing to matzoh monotony. With a little imagination, Passover meals—including breakfast—can be as varied and interesting as the meals we eat the rest of the year. The recipes that follow are so good, you may want to include them in your menu planning during the rest of the year.

Breakfast Foods for Passover

My friend Eileen Goltz, a food writer and cookbook author from Indiana, told me that "since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it stands to reason that it's doubly important to make sure that breakfast during Pesach doesn't default to butter and matzoh every day." Forget the boxed cereals and making 27 batches of matzoh popovers. The following recipes are EASY, FAST and DELICIOUS and will kick start your early morning energy level. Most of them will also work for lunches or light suppers.

Poached Pears with Almonds

Make this recipe ahead of time and serve it all week.

4 to 6 red-skinned pears (may be underripe)
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup sliced almonds
whipped cream

Peel pears and scoop out core from bottom end with a melon baller. Don't remove the stem. In saucepan, mix sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, lemon rind, and ginger. Bring to a boil. Place pears in syrup. Bring to a second boil. Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, depending on ripeness of pears, until barely fork tender. Remove, cover surface with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Serve one pear with sauce and garnish with a bit of flavored whipped cream and sliced almonds or any tasty fruit sauce.

© 2005 Eileen Goltz

Pesach Breakfast Cookies

1 cup ground almonds
2 cups ground walnuts
3/4 cup raisins
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of salt

Preheat oven at 350° F. In a bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well. Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes. Drop by large teaspoonfuls on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool a bit before removing to a baking rack. Makes 2 dozen.

© 2005 Eileen Goltz

Apple Pancakes

4 pieces matzoh, broken up
2 to 3 eggs beaten
1 Granny Smith Apple; chopped
2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
butter or margarine for cooking
boiling water for soaking the matzo

Soak the matzoh in boiling water until softened. Squeeze dry. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs with the apple, sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in the matzo. Form into 8 pancakes. Heat the butter or margarine in a skillet and place 4 pancakes at a time in the skillet. Brown pancakes on both sides. Serve immediately with honey, preserves or syrup. Serves 2. This recipe can be doubled.

© 2005 Eileen Goltz

Artichoke and Potato Frittata

2 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoon chopped onion
4 tablespoon olive oil, divided 3 plus 1 tablespoon
1 package frozen artichoke hearts, cooked
4 eggs, beaten
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon thyme or oregano

Rinse the potatoes in water and pat them dry. Place them in a bowl and add the onions. Mix to combine. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the potatoes and onions and cook, turning often, until the mixture is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan and place it in a large bowl and let cool a little. Add the artichokes, eggs, and thyme. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet, add the mixture and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Slide out onto a plate, reverse back into the pan and let brown for another 5 minutes. Serve lukewarm or cold, cut in wedges.

© 2005 Eileen Goltz

Banana Pancakes

3 large eggs
1/3 cup matzoh meal
2 tablespoons matzoh cake meal
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup sour cream (can be low fat)
1/4 cup cottage cheese, small curd (can be low fat)
Dash salt
1 ripe banana, mashed

In a bowl combine the eggs, matzoh meal, matzoh cake meal, sugar, sour cream, cottage cheese, and salt. Mix well. Add the banana and mix well. Heat oil in a skillet and spoon the batter into the pan 3 pancakes at a time (the batter will spread). Turn when sides are cooked and the middle is bubbly. Serve with syrup. Serves 3 to 4.

© 2005 Eileen Goltz

Mushroom Crust Quiche

5 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup matzoh meal
3/4 cup chopped green onions
2 cups shredded Jack cheese (or Cheddar)
1 cup cottage cheese
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms until they are tender. Remove them from the heat. Stir in the matzoh meal. Let cool slightly and then press into bottom and sides of greased 9-inch pie plate. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet. Add and saute the green onions for 1 minute. Spread the green onions over the crust. Sprinkle the Jack or Cheddar cheese over the onions. In blender or food processor, combine the cottage cheese, eggs, and cayenne pepper. Blend well. Pour the mixture over the green onions in the prepared mushroom crust. Sprinkle the top with paprika. Bake for 35–45 minutes or until done. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4 to 6. This recipe can be made up the night before and reheated.

© 2005 Eileen Goltz

Mixed Fruit Smoothie

1/2 cup orange juice (or grapefruit or apple juice)
1 large banana
1 cup peaches, drained
1 cup whole frozen strawberries
1/2 cup canned pineapple, drained

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Makes two big servings. You can add your own variations, such as fresh peaches, papaya, or coconut for a tropical taste. Just make sure you keep the banana, the whole frozen strawberries, and the juice.

© 2005 Eileen Goltz

Breakfast Fruit Salad with Ginger and Mint

How about something else new for a Passover breakfast or as an accompaniment to a chicken breast or tuna salad for lunch? In her newest book The New American Cooking (Knopf), author Joan Nathan offers up a fabulous feast of new American recipes that demonstrate why this is one of the most innovative times in our culinary history. The fascinating recipes-and accompanying stories-that she gathered in her travels across the U.S., tap into the diverse cultures that have contributed to the evolution of American cuisine over the last 40 years. This recipe is from Prune, a tiny, homey restaurant on New York's lower East Side. The fruits used can change with the season, and if you don't want to bother with ginger syrup, just sprinkle crystallized ginger over the fruit.

Ginger Syrup:
1 cup water
1/ 2 cup sugar
one 2-inch piece of fresh gingerroot, peeled

1 apple, diced
1 pint blueberries
1 cup diced honeydew melon
1 cup diced cantaloupe
1 cup red or green grapes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Prepare syrup: place the water, sugar, and gingerroot in a pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered to reduce the liquid by half (about 20 minutes). Set aside. In a large bowl, toss the apples, blueberries, honeydew, cantaloupe, and grapes together. Add a few tablespoons of the syrup and sprinkle the mint on top. Serves 8.

© 2005 Joan Nathan


Last year I had the extreme pleasure of going to a Mexican Seder at Rosa Mexicana, a restaurant in Washington, D.C. It was both a fascinating and educational experience. Chef Roberto Santibanez outdid himself. Several of his recipes follow.

Tropical Haroset

An unusual haroset in that it is cooked. If possible, use Mexican cinnamon (available in many supermarkets and Latino markets), which has a completely different taste). The color changes in cooking so don't worry, just enjoy.

1 Bartlett pear, peeled, cored, diced
3 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, chopped
3 bananas, peeled and mashed
1 lb. pitted dates
1/2 lb. blanched almonds
2 tablespoons ground Mexican cinnamon
1 cup sweet wine

Place everything in the food processor and puree. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, adding wine or water as needed. Stir and mix well. Remove from heat and let cool. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to chill. Makes 5 to 6 cups.

Tiritas de Salmon Al Jocoque
(Salmon Sushi)

This is a real fusion recipe that is as beautiful as it is tasty! The plates should be kept cold before serving. You can buy the salmon already cut at a sushi bar or any good market. Or if you would like to slice the fish yourself, make sure you have a very sharp knife since fish has to be cut very thin, about 4 inches long and 1/2-inch wide.

12 oz. raw king salmon cut like a sushi log, sliced in sashimi style to make 18 slices
3/4 cup chipotle marinade for ceviche de atun (recipe follows)
1/ 2 cup cucumber yogurt sauce (recipe follows)
1/ 2 cup beet salsa (recipe follows)

Place the slices of salmon onto 4 plates, 7 pieces per plate that have been refrigerated. Spoon the beet salsa on one side of the salmon and the cucumber relish on the other. Top with a sprig of cilantro or decorate as desired. Before serving put marinade on salmon and let plate sit 10 minutes.

Marinada de Chipotle Para Ceviche

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 small jalapeno (mildly hot), finely chopped, or 1 small red pepper (hotter), finely chopped [After Passover you can use 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo puree; puree canned chilies and sauce in a blender.]
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar

Mix all ingredients, check seasoning, and strain. Makes 1 cup.

Passover Salsa de Betabel con Habanero
(Beet salsa with habanero)

You will not burn your tummy with this and it won't upset your stomach, but it may burn your mouth a little. Wear gloves to chop chilies and don't touch your face or body! This would be a great substitute for bitter herbs!

2 cups diced (1/8-inch) boiled beets/or roasted with skin on
(to test for doneness, knife should go in very easily; boil 25 to 30 minutes or roast at 350° F–375° F for 35 minutes)
2 scallions finely sliced
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper diced (same size as beets)
1 jalapeno (fresh only, no seeds no veins), chopped
1 lime, juice only
1 orange, juice only
1/4 cup firmly packed cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix all ingredients together and let sit at room temperature 20 minutes before using. Place on one side of salmon, place yogurt/cucumber on the other.

Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce

1 cup plain yogurt, after draining, or leben (available many kosher markets)
1/2 cup cucumber with skin on, chopped very fine
2 teaspoons lime juice, strained
1/4 teaspoon chili de arbol powder or chili powder (toast or dry chili on griddle then chop in spice grinder or fast blender like a Vitamix)

Combine all ingredients together and season with salt.

Main Courses

Lamb Shanks in Pomegranate Sauce

"Bones without meat are possible; meat without bones is not possible"...Yiddish saying

Good cooks know that meat cooked on the bone has more flavor and is probably healthier. That realization motivated chef, food stylist and cookbook author Jennifer McLagan to write her marvelous new book, Bones: Recipes, History, & Lore. She shows the home cook how to select and prepare different kinds of fish, meat and poultry in a variety of interesting and flavorful ways. Since some families have the tradition of serving lamb on Passover, I thought this recipe would come in handy. "In this recipe, lamb shanks are braised slowly in their own juices, making a rich concentrated sauce that is offset by the acidity of the pomegranate juice," McLagan writes. While bottled pomegranate juice is widely available, she still prefers using fresh juice and you'll see below her simple strategy for extracting the juice. "If pomegranates are not in season she suggests either using bottled juice or "substituting 1 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup lemon juice, both freshly squeezed, for the pomegranate juice."

4 lamb shanks, about 12 ounces each
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large rosemary sprig
1-1/4 cups pomegranate juice*
1/3 to 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds for garnish

Preheat the oven to 300° F. Pat the lamb shanks dry and season them with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or flameproof casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat and brown the shanks on all sides. Remove the pot from the heat, and add the garlic cloves.

Cover the lamb with a damp piece of parchment paper and then the lid, place the pot in the oven and braise for 1 hour, turning the shanks 2 or 3 times and checking to make sure that there is always a little liquid in the pot. There should be enough lamb juices to coat the bottom of the pot but, if necessary, add a couple of spoonfuls of water.

After 1 hour, add the rosemary, and check that there is still some liquid in the bottom of the pan, adding a little more water if necessary. Cook the shanks, covered for another 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender and almost falling off the bone. Carefully transfer the shanks to a platter and keep them warm, loosely covered with aluminum foil.

Discard the rosemary, and pour the juices and garlic into a glass measuring cup or small bowl; set the pot aside. Let the juices stand for a few minutes to allow the fat to rise to the top, then skim off the fat and discard. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve back into the pot, pressing the cooked garlic through the sieve. Add 1 cup of the pomegranate juice to the pot and place over medium heat, and bring to a boil, deglazing the pot by scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Continue to a boil until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Check the seasoning.

Return the shanks to the pot and reheat gently, turning to coat with the sauce. Add enough of the remaining pomegranate juice to sharpen the flavor. Serve the shanks coated with the sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. Serves 4

* To juice a pomegranate, cut out the crown end, cut fruit into four sections, put in bowl of cold water, and while holding it underwater break it into 4 sections, press hard, push the seeds out. To juice it, take the seeds and put them in a blender. Blend until liquid, strain through a fine sieve, pressing well to extract all the juice. A cup of seeds will yield about 1/2 cup juice.

Note: This recipe can be made up to 3 days ahead. Reheat the shanks in the sauce in a 300° F oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Stir in the extra pomegranate juice and garnish with the seeds just before serving.

© 2006 Jennifer McLagan

Sea Bass Baked in a Salt Crust with Fresh Tomato Sauce

This recipe is also from Bones: Recipes, History, & Lore by Jennifer McLagan (Morrow). McLagan adapted it from the recipe that she saw famous chef Renato Piccolotto prepare when she visited Venice's Hotel Cipriani. She recommends mixing oneself an Americano (pour 1 ounce each Campari and sweet vermouth into a glass over ice, and add a splash of sparkling Italian mineral water and an orange slice) and "pinning a postcard of Venice to the kitchen wall before beginning this recipe."

3 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and diced
6 large basil leaves, shredded
1 garlic clove, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole sea bass, about 3 pounds, cleaned but scales left on
1 sprig each, rosemary, basil, and sage
3-1/2 pounds kosher salt
1 pound fine sea salt
12 large egg whites (1-1/2 cups)

Begin by making the tomato sauce: mix the tomatoes with the shredded basil and garlic in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and let marinate at room temperature for at least 2 or up to 4 hours. Remove the garlic before serving.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Remove the fish from the refrigerator. Select a baking sheet, with a lip, large enough to hold the fish with 2 inches space all around. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil and then with parchment paper. Pat the fish dry and place the herbs in its stomach cavity. In a very large mixing bowl, mix the two salts and egg whites very well for about 5 minutes; your hand is the best tool for this. The more you mix, the easier the crust will be to cut when it is baked.

Put about half the salt mixture on the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out to create a bed for the fish. Lay the fish on top and cover with the remaining salt mixture, making sure that the fish is entirely buried under a blanket of salt from head to tail.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the fish registers 130° F (If you have a thermometer with a probe, insert it when encasing the fish or use a metal skewer to make a hole in the crust to insert the instant-read thermometer.) The fish will take about 10 minutes per pound to cook. Remove the fish from the oven, break open the crust with a sharp knife, and lift off the pieces of crust to reveal the fish. Remove the skin, and any remaining scales, and cut the fish into portions. Serve with the tomato sauce. Serves 4

© 2006 Jennifer McLagan

Sure Success Moist Turkey

This recipe is for people who are tired of dry, tasteless turkey. It will be a favorite any time of year. After Passover, you can switch to crackers instead of matzoh.

20-23 lb turkey, cleaned, with bag removed from the inside
5 Tablespoons paprika
3 Tablespoons salt
3 Tablespoons pepper
3 Tablespoons garlic powder
1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 cup white wine
1 cup cold water
1 stick melted margarine
l lb. matzoh, crushed
1 to 1-1/2 lbs. fresh mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
2 large onions, chopped
l bunch celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled into strips
margarine for sauteing

The day before cooking, combine the paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning in a bowl with enough hot water to make "mud." Rub mixture on the inside and outside of the turkey, and in both cavities. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt the margarine, and mix together with the wine and water to baste the turkey. In a large skillet, melt some margarine and saute the onions and celery, and place in a very large bowl with the crushed matzoh. Melt more margarine as needed, and saute the mushrooms, then add to the matzoh mixture. Peel in the carrots and mix well. Stuff both cavities of the turkey with the stuffing. Place turkey in roasting pan, pour the basting over the turkey and make a tent cover with 2 pieces of aluminum foil. Bake at 350° F according to the cooking chart on the turkey wrapper. A 20 lb. stuffed turkey takes about 6 hours, if not a little more.

Side Dishes

Sauteed Baby Artichokes with Fresh Herbs

This is from Joan Nathan's new book The New American Cooking (Knopf). She journeyed to Castroville, California, in mid-Mid March, when artichoke season was in full swing. She learned that "each plant grows four different sizes of artichoke: jumbo, large, medium and baby." The latter, however, "aren't really babies; they're fully grown. What makes them special is that the stem is an extension of the heart, the most flavorful part of the vegetable." Since artichokes are readily available in the spring, they would make a wonderful addition to your Passover meals. If you've never cooked them before, don't be nervous. Joan gives great directions.

8 baby artichokes
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 3 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or fresh Italian parsley
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Snap off the outer leaves of the artichokes, leaving only the pale inner leaves. Trim the stems and cut off the thorny tops about 3/4 of an inch down. Cut the artichokes vertically in halves or quarters, depending on their size. Put them in a bowl and cover with cold water and the lemon juice (the juice keeps them from turning brown).

Bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add about 1 teaspoon of sea salt, then the artichokes. Turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the artichokes are almost but not completely tender, about 5–8 minutes. Drain and pat them dry.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and artichokes, sautéing for a few minutes, then cover and cook until tender, about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with parsley or mint and salt and pepper. Place on a plate and serve immediately. Yield: 4-6 servings

© 2005 Joan Nathan

Italian Fried Artichokes

A second artichoke recipe from Joan Nathan's new book The New American Cooking (Knopf). Joan learned this recipe from Michelle Bernstein, the talented young chef at Azul Restaurant in Miami and one of the Melting Pot chefs on the Food Network. "This recipe is one of Michelle's specialties, her interpretation of the Roman carciofi alla Giudaia," reports Nathan. Get everything ready ahead of time, Nathan advises, and fry the artichokes just before serving. Since they tend to be messy, she recommends eating them with your fingers.

Juice of 1 lemon
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
Handful of peppercorns
3 large artichokes (about 1 pound each
) Grapeseed or canola oil for deep frying

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot with the lemon juice, bay leaves, a teaspoon or so of sea salt, and the peppercorns. Drop in the artichokes. If necessary, add more water to just cover them. Cook them until they are tender but still a little firm to the touch when pierced with a fork at the stem, about 15 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the heat with cooking tongs and let them cool slightly.

Remove the outer leaves from the artichoke, cut off 1/ 4 inch from the stem and the tip ends, then cut each heart into 4 vertical pieces. Scoop out the choke and the feathery fibers embedded in the center and refrigerate the heart.

Fill a wok or frying pan with about 3 inches of oil and heat to sizzling. Deep-fry 2-3 artichoke pieces at a time for a few minutes; they will puff up as they cook. Serve hot, sprinkled with additional sea salt. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

© 2005 Joan Nathan

Fruited Quinoa Primavera

This recipe and the two that follow come from my friends Barbara Wasser and Risé Routenberg's fabulous new book, Divine Kosher Cuisine. The book is a project to benefit education programs at Congregation Agudat Achim in Niskayuna, New York, and reflects the dedicated teamwork of many members of the congregation. The book, which is illustrated with gorgeous photos, can be ordered from or by calling 518-344-1190. The included recipes reflect contemporary food trends, yet still honor the Jewish culinary traditions. There's a wonderful Cooking for Passover section, as well as sections on kid-friendly food and cooking for a crowd. The "spring style" Italian dish that follows uses quinoa (pronounced keenwa), a South American grain, that is considered a superfood because it has a high protein content, and is a good source of fiber, essential amino acids and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Even better, since quinoa is not really a grain, but a distant relative of spinach, it is permissible to use it on Passover.

2 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quinoa
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 small yellow squash, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring broth, bay leaf and salt to boil in soup pot. Add quinoa and return to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until quinoa absorbs liquid. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf and cool. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet and saute vegetables until lightly browned. Add to quinoa. Drizzle remaining oil and juice over mixture. Stir in fruit, herbs, salt and pepper. Serves 4 to 6.

© 2006 Barbara Wasser and Risé Routenberg.

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 9 x 13-inch pan. Prepare Fruited Quinoa Primavera. Cut 1/2-inch off bottoms of squash. Brush inside with oil. Stuff each half generously with quinoa mixture and place in pan. Cover and bake 45 minutes or until squash is tender. Serves 4.

© 2006 Barbara Wasser and Risé Routenberg.

Broccoli-Feta Cheese Pie

This is another recipe from Barbara Wasser and Risé Routenberg's fabulous new book Divine Kosher Cuisine.

1-1/2 matzohs, broken into small pieces
3 large eggs, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1 head broccoli, broken into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 green onions, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried dill
7 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 10-inch pie pan. Soak matzohs in boiling water 1 minute and drain. Beat 1 egg with salt and pepper and combine with matzohs. Press into pan, to form crust and bake 10 minutes. Steam broccoli 4 minutes. Heat oil in large skillet and saute onions and garlic until soft. Mix in parsley, dill, and broccoli. Combine with feta, eggs and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Spread mixture over crust and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until filling is bubbly. Serves 4 as main course or 6 to 8 as a side dish.

Hint: For a double recipe, use 9x13-inch pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes.

© 2006 Barbara Wasser and Risé Routenberg.


Chocolate Chocolate Chip Macaroons (Pareve)

This recipe for moist, chewy and chocolatey macaroons also appears in Divine Kosher Cuisine by Barbara Wasser and Risé Routenberg.

16 ounces chocolate chips, divided
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment or brown paper. Melt 12 ounces chocolate chips and cool. Beat egg whites at high speed with electric mixer until foamy. Add sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks form. Add salt and vanilla. Fold in melted chocolate, remaining chocolate chips and coconut. Drop by teaspoons on sheets and bake 15 to 20 minutes. Cookies may look soft but will get firm. Do not overbake! Makes 24.

© 2006 Barbara Wasser and Risé Routenberg.

Passover Macaroons

Another version of the Passover mainstay, this one from cooking teacher Phyllis Frucht.

1/2 lb. almond paste
1/3 cup sugar
1 extra large egg white
1/2 cup pine nuts

Preheat oven to 325° F. Crumble the almond paste into a large bowl and add the sugar. Beat until well blended. Add the egg white gradually and beat until smooth. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on lined cookie sheets, 1-1/2-inch apart. Sprinkle with pine nuts, patting them lightly into the dough.

Bake 20 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Let cool on a rack. Just before serving, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Makes 2 dozen macaroons.

Creamsicle Shakes

This light-hearted recipe is from Kosher by Design—Kids in the Kitchen by Susie Fishbein. Order from

4 cups vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
2 cups orange juice
4 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the ice cream, orange juice, milk, sugar, and vanilla into a blender. Place the cover on the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into 6 tall glasses.

© 2006 Susie Fishbein

Blueberry Sorbet

This easy recipe is courtesy of the North American Blueberry Council (

4 cups fresh blueberries
1 6-ounce can frozen apple juice concentrate

In the container of a food processor or blender, combine blueberries and apple juice concentrate; whirl until liquefied. Pour into an 11 x 7-inch baking pan. Cover and freeze until firm around the edges, about 2 hours. With a heavy spoon, break frozen mixture into pieces. Place mixture in a processor or blender container; whirl until smooth but not completely melted.

Spoon into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan; cover and freeze until firm. Serve within a few days. Serves 6.