After eating all the wonderful seder dishes of our families, I find it fun to try dishes that are unusual and not from our backgrounds. Here are some you might want to try.
Egyptian-born Claudia Roden is the master of Middle Eastern food and author of 20 cookbooks. Now 84 years old, she lives in London. I met her in the 1970s when she came to Israel and we had a wonderful visit.
Below is her recipe from the “New York Times Passover Cookbook,” adapted from her book “The Book of Jewish Foods.”
Matzah Meat Pie
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1 large chopped onion
- 3 T. vegetable oil
- 1 ½ pounds ground lamb or beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 t. cinnamon
- ½ t. allspice
- 2 T. raisins
- 2 T. pine nuts or walnuts
- 1 cup warm beef stock
- 5-6 matzot
- 1 small beaten egg
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a pie plate with vegetable spray.
2. Heat 2 T. oil in a frying pan and fry onion over medium heat for 10 minutes until golden. Add ground meat, salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice. Cook, stirring until meat has browned but is still moist, about 10 minutes. Add raisins.
3. In another pan, fry the nuts in 1 T. oil for 1 minute, stirring until nuts are lightly colored. Add to meat mixture and stir.
4. Place beef stock in a large, shallow rectangular pan. Soak matzot one at a time, pressing them gently to absorb the liquid.
5. Press two or three softened matzot into a pie plate. Place meat mixture on top of matzot.
Cover pie with remaining matzot. Brush top with beaten egg. Bake in preheated 375 degree F. oven 30 minutes or until top is golden.
The following recipe comes from “It Tastes Too Good To Be Kosher” by Peter A. Weissenstein and is a Lebanese dish, which is good for using leftover lamb or chicken.
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- salt to taste
- 2 medium, diced onions
- 1 finely diced large tomato
- 2 t. cumin
- 4 T. minced parsley
1. In a bowl combine lamb, chicken, garlic, salt, onions, tomato, cumin and parsley and blend.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan. Spoon mixture into frying pan and fry until well heated.
Serve with Israeli salad.
This Italian-influenced dish was created by Hillary Sterling for Vic’s, her New York City restaurant.
Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, compiler/editor of 9 kosher cookbooks (working on a 10th) and food writer for North American Jewish publications; she lives in Jerusalem where she leads weekly walks of the Jewish food market, Machaneh Yehudah, and writes restaurant features for Janglo.net, the largest website for English-speakers.