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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777
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Great Pesach Ideas

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Lots of people think that if you can’t use rice like the Sephardim do on Pesach, nor matza meal like many Ashkenazim do on Pesach, then there’s “nothing left to eat!” This article is being written to dispel all these gloomy forecasts. Baruch Hashem, there is so much you can do if you just turn your creative juices up. Clip this out and save it – it’s also great for those who need to eat gluten-free. Let’s focus now on some delicious dishes that present really beautifully, and then on some easy and refreshing desserts.

Photo by: Sharon Bentov

Tri-Layered Vegetable Kugel (serves 10)

I love this kugel, how beautiful it looks, how different it is, and how much everyone always loves it. It does not freeze well, though, so make it the ay you are serving it, or a day in advance and refrigerate – then reheat for about 30 minutes and serve.

You will need a 9-10 inch springform pan for this recipe

Carrot/Sweet Potato Layer:
4 carrots 1 large sweet potato
Potato Layer:
5 potatoes, peeled
Green Zucchini Layer:
6 firm, large green zucchinis 1 large potato


For each layer, boil the ingredients, drain, and mash them and put them in three separate bowls.

Separately from all of this, you will need: 4 large onions, diced 3 tablespoons olive or walnut oil

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and sauté until golden. Divide these sautéed onions evenly between the three bowls of vegetables you prepared.

Now add to each bowl: 2 eggs 3–4 tablespoons potato starch 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper Mix each combination until all the ingredients are incorporated. Take out a 9-10 inch round spring-form pan and coat it very lightly with a small amount of oil.

Pour in the potato layer, and smooth it around. Add the orange layer and smooth it around. Add the green layer and smooth it down. Bake for 45–55 minutes, in a 350° oven until firm and set.


Potato-Sweet Potato Roll (serves 10)

This is a really nifty new recipe that my Rebbetzin gave me and it is such a great idea I just had to share it! The only drawback I can think of is that it does not freeze in advance, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me…

2 medium sized sweet potatoes
2 onions
2 carrots
2 white potatoes
1 red pepper
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup potato starch, sifted
1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 – 7 additional potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Line a flat jelly roll pan with baking paper. Spray the paper with oil as well. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375°F/ 190°C.

Now pay close attention. Shred the two sweet potatoes, two onions, carrots, two potatoes and red pepper. Squeeze out any excess liquid that comes off of the vegetables. Add in the eggs, oil, salt and pepper. Measure 3/4 cup potato starch; with a little tea strainer, sift it over the vegetable mixture and then mix it all together by hand. If the mixture seems too liquidy, you can add up to 1/4 cup more potato starch but don’t overdo it as it may taste too dry. Lay this orange vegetable layer down on your oiled baking paper and bake it until it is browned on top.

While it is baking, peel the additional 6 or so potatoes, and then boil, drain, and mash them. Add 2 teaspoons salt and a dash of pepper and set aside.

When the orange layer is browned on top, remove it from the oven and flip it out onto another piece of baking parchment paper on a flat surface, immediately. Peel off the layer of paper it was baked with, which should be facing upwards at this point. It may leech a bit of water, this is fine.

Right away spread on the mashed potatoes in an even, thin layer. Now, roll the entire thing up jelly roll style using the paper to help you. As soon as it is rolled, immediately cover with foil. Lay it down flat and refrigerate it for several hours or overnight.

Once cold, slice the “roll” and re-wrap until you are ready to heat it up for use. To heat it up, preheat the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350°F / 180°C. Layer a flat baking tray with a fresh piece of parchment baking paper. Place the slices on the paper, spray with a small bit of oil and slide into the oven. Serve alone or with gravy or mushroom sauce spooned over its center.

People are forever asking me where I get my recipes from. The truth of the matter is that Hashem has mercy on me and is the One who is constantly sending me new ideas and sources. This next salad was created by my mother, Edith Shachter, and I’m sure you will like it as much as we did.


Roasted Beet Salad with Greens (serves 6)

1 large onion, sliced into quarter rings
1-2 leeks, sliced
1 each red, orange, and yellow pepper, sliced
6 medium sized beets, peeled and chunked
1 fennel, chunked, optional
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup of semi-dry white wine
6 cups any mix of greens
1 red onion, sliced into half rings

Prepare the onion, leeks, pepper, beets and fennel as directed. Put them all in a bowl and toss them together with the pepper, garlic powder and olive oil. Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190-200°C.

Layer the vegetable mix onto a lined baking pan. Pour the wine over all. Bake until the beets are softened, about 45 minutes. If the vegetables start to dry out, add a bit more wine. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Place it in a covered plastic container with a lid and refrigerate.

To serve, toss together the greens and the red onion. Divide the greens among the six salad plates; spoon the roasted beet mix on each plate. This dish does not require any additional dressing, however, if you feel it does, drizzle a bit of olive oil and fresh lemon juice on your plate – but it really is wonderful as is.


Now let’s move onto dessert and some refreshing ices.

Kiwi Ices (serves 4-6)

8 ripe kiwis, peeled and washed
3/4 cup seltzer
1 & 2/3 cup sugar syrup (see recipe below)

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a plastic container and freeze flat. After about 4-6 hours, when still partially frozen, blend again and then freeze. When ready to serve, scoop into ball shapes and place in glass dishes.

Recipe for the sugar syrup: 4 cups sugar to 4 cups water Bring sugar and water to a boil, mixing constantly. After it has come to a boil, continue to simmer it for 10 minutes on a low flame. Cool and use as needed.


Applesauce Cranberry Ices

1  1/2 – 2 cups applesauce
2 cans jellied cranberry sauce
1 cup Sprite or soda water
1 cup orange juice
optional (I did not use it): 1–2 tablespoons fruit-flavored liqueur

Mix ingredients by hand or beat with a hand beater for a minute or two until smooth. Pour into a large flat, square plastic container and freeze overnight.

The next day, remove it from the freezer. Cut into it; if you can, and then cut it into four or five pieces and put it into your mixer bowl. Beat slowly with the regular flat beater (i.e., NOT the egg whipping beater!), until it resembles a sherbet consistency. Refreeze. Remove from the freezer about 5 minutes before serving. Scoop into dessert bowls and serve.

Photo credit: Reuven Ansh

The above recipes were excerpted from Tamar Ansh’s Pesach cookbook PESACH- Anything’s Possible! available in Jewish bookstores everywhere or online at www.menuchapublishers.com. It contains over 350 non-gebrochs and gluten-free recipes for Pesach and all year round. Tamar Ansh is a published author, lecturer and food columnist. Among her other published books are: Splitting the Sea; Let’s Say Amen!, A Taste of Challah, and Riding the Waves, available world-wide. Mrs. Ansh can be reached at info@atasteofchallah.com. Visit http://www.jewish-e-books.com/jewish-e-books-2/cookbooks-jewish-e-books/pesach-anything-s-possible.html to download Tamar’s e-book.

Tamar Ansh

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