Thursday, April 12, 2012

Passover Savories

Typically during Passover we eat the same things we eat when it's not Passover - we just cut out the starch portion of the meal.  Most of our meals consist of protein and veggies.  Like the grilled chicken and bok choy we had Monday night.  Or tonight's steak and salad.

But this year I've decided to branch out and try some different Passover recipes.  Tonight I'll hit up the main courses, and tomorrow I'll tell you a little about dessert.

When I first saw this Honey and Pecan Crusted Chicken on Bookcase Foodie I knew it would go over well in our home.  When Thatbrother and I were younger we were in charge of dinners on Tuesday nights, and baked chicken with honey and yogurt made a frequent appearance.  And baked "fried" chicken is a common visitor in our home now.

Fried chicken doesn't usually make it onto a Passover table - not with that flour breading!  But this potato starch and pecan coating is a nice substitute.

To go with the chicken I decided to forgo our usually veggie accompaniment and turn to our friend the potato.  One of my favorite Italian dishes is gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce.  This is not gnocchi.  It's much, much easier.  I call it - Potato Balls with Gorgonzola.

 Potato Balls with Gorgonzola
2 large yukon gold potatoes
2 Tbsp grated parmesean
2 Tbsp matzo meal
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
1 Tbsp melted butter
  1. Peel and quarter potatoes.  Place them in a pot with water to cover.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and let cool slightly.
  2. Preheat oven to 375.  Mash the potatoes and add in 1 Tbsp parmesean and 1 Tbsp matzo meal.
  3. Form the mashed potatoes into small balls and place them in a greased baking dish.
  4. Pour half and half over the potatoes.
  5. Sprinkle the gorgonzola over the potatoes in cream.
  6. Combine the remaining parmesean, matzo meal, and melted butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over the top of the dish.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Every year I end up buying a bag of "Passover Pasta" to have on hand just in case.  For a quick meal, or a side.  Half the time we never end up eating it.  The other half, Thatboy complains about how much he hates it.  This year I decided to use it in a more creative way - making pastisio: a Greek lasagna-type dish that calls for round, hollow noodles instead of flat ones.

I couldn't find any Passover Pastisio recipes, so I decided to take a normal recipe and Passover-ize it.  I went with one I trust - Elly's.  (I pretty much trust anything she makes, but especially Greek dishes.)

Holy MOLY peoples.  This is going to become a Passover tradition in our house.  It would probably be good even not during Passover, but this is my new favorite Passover dish.  SO delicious.  And enough to have some for lunches throughout the week.  Thatboy even had seconds - not bad for someone who doesn't like Passover pasta.  He claims that the rest of it disguises the weird taste/consistency of the pasta.  Thatbaby's favorite part was the meat sauce - but I already mentioned he's quite a carnivore.

Passover Pastisio (Adapted from Elly Says Opa)

1 bag of Passover ziti, cooked
1 egg white
1 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup grated myzithra cheese
1 batch Greek meatsauce (recipe follows)
1 batch bechamel sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Mix the ziti with the egg white, butter, and myzithra.
  2. Pour half the pasta into a greased baking dish.
  3. Place the meatsauce on top of the pasta.
  4. Place the rest of the pasta over the meatsauce and pour the bechamel over all of it.
  5. Top with the parmesan and bake for 45 minutes.  Let sit 15 minutes before slicing.
Greek Meatsauce 1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Add onions and saute until translucent.
  2. Add the beef and garlic and cook until the beef is browned.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute, stirring.
  4. Add the water, cinnamon, cloves, parsley, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer, partially covered for an hour.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
3 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup matzo meal
2 cups warm milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup parmesan
1 egg
1 egg yolk
  1. Melt butter a saucepan.  
  2. Slowly stir in the matzo meal, continue cooking until a bubbly paste forms.
  3. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and continue cooking until the sauce thickens.
  4. Add nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper.  
  5. Remove from heat and whisk in the parmesan, egg, and egg yolk.


  1. I might roll over and do tricks if those potato balls were served at my house!!! Looks fantastic!

  2. I trust elly for all things Greek and tex-mex (since it's her specialty)...and this looks just amazing! If it could get you to eat passover pasta, it must be damn good.