The holidays for me are all about enjoying time with family and friends – whether that be a large gathering or a casual get to together, what is most important is enjoying the time with the ones you love. So, whether you celebrate Easter or Passover (or neither, and just want to share some delicious food with some loved ones) we have you covered with a few recipes that everyone will love. Take it away Zach.
Passover (and Easter) is here and for me, that brings up fond memories of family gathered around the table to the Seder (the traditional Passover meal). While eight days without bread is never fun, matzo ball soup made it all worth it! Every Jewish kid will tell you their grandma makes the best matzo ball soup and I’m no exception. As I got older and found a passion for cooking I wanted to learn how to make some of my grandma Lilly’s recipes only to find out there were no recipes.
She never wrote anything down and rarely even measured. So I started making the dishes with her and learning hands-on how she did everything. I can’t say this is her exact matzo ball soup recipe (because there isn’t one), but this is my version of her matzo ball soup. If you want to try hers for yourself just go to Florida and she’ll probably invite you in!
For the Broth
- 1 Whole Chicken, quartered
- 1 Yellow Onion, halved
- 1 Stalk Celery, halved
- 5 Medium Carrots, sliced into 1/2” pieces
- 1 Sprig Rosemary
- 1 Bunch Parsley
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Matzo Balls
(makes about 6)
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Schmaltz (chicken fat)
- 1/2 Cup Matzo Meal
- 2 Tablespoons Broth
- 1 teaspoons Salt
1. Preheat oven to 450. While oven is heating, place chicken quarters on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with salt. Bake chicken quarters for 15-18 minutes, until slightly browned.
2. Put chicken in a large pot and add onion, celery, carrot, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Add enough water to cover everything by about an inch.
3. Bring pot to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn down to medium-low heat. Cover and cook for at least 4 hours (a few extra hours is even better).
4. Remove from heat and strain out the solids. Set the carrot pieces aside to add back in at the end. Let the broth cool until the fat rises to the top. Skim the fat off and set aside (this is your schmaltz for later). The broth can me made a day or two ahead of time.
5. To make the matzo balls, whisk eggs and schmaltz in a bowl. Make sure the schmaltz is room temp to soften. Add matzo meal, broth, and salt and continue to whisk. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour.
6. Dampen your hands and roll matzo ball batter into balls about 1 1/2 inches wide. If you’re preparing them ahead of time you can cover and chill them for up to 12 hours.
Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs
As well as it being Passover this weekend, Easter also falls this weekend so we figured that an egg dish was a must. Deviled eggs are a go-to party dish for me. It’s easy to make a lot of them, and every party or potluck I’ve been to they’re always a hit. And to turn them up a notch and make them extra (or should I say egg-stra) eye-catching, you can put them in beet juice first to give them a beautiful pinkish purple color. The longer they soak, the darker they get. These are the perfect Easter brunch appetizer for just about anyone.
- 12 Eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
- 2 Beets, peeled and quartered
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Cane Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Pink Peppercorns (black peppercorns work as well)
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil Mayonnaise
- 1/4 Cup Whole Grain Mustard
- 3 Sprigs Rosemary, 1 chopped and 2 left whole for garnish
- 1 Sprig Tarragon, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 Radishes, sliced thin
1. Hard boil eggs, peel, and set aside for later.
2. In a large pot bring beets, water, vinegar, sugar, and peppercorns to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
3. Place eggs in a bowl and cover with brining liquid from the last step. If the eggs aren’t completely covered add just enough water to cover them.
4. Let the eggs sit in the liquid for 4-12 hours. The longer you leave it in the liquid, the further the pink color will penetrate the egg. (The eggs pictured here were left in the liquid for just under 12 hours.)
5. Remove eggs from the liquid and rinse them. Slice eggs and remove yolks.
6. In a bowl mix the yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, chopped rosemary, tarragon, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well until there are no chunks of yolk left.
7. Place yolk mixture in piping bag and pipe into whites. (If you don’t have piping bags, you can cut the corner of a Ziploc bag and use that instead)
8. Garnish with radish slices and rosemary.
9. Oh, and try to share!
We wish you the very best weekend and whatever you are celebrating (or not celebrating) we hope that you do enjoy a little bit of food and some quality time with family and friends. We will see you next week!