Passover Recipes to Destress the Chef


By Jamie Geller | JTA

Pesah celebration concept (jewish Passover holiday)/Getty Images by tomertu

Passover may be the mother of all kitchen yuntifs, but stay cool and don’t stress. Here are some of my favorite recipes from prior Passovers that you will love this Passover and all year.

Last year, 99% of what I made for Passover weren’t actually Passover recipes. Of course they were kosher for Passover, but they didn’t require any major Passover ingredient tweaks. These recipes were developed with Passover in mind and have become staples in my year-round repertoire because they were super easy and got the most oohs and ahhs.

salmon cakes
ClarkandCompany/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Salmon Cakes With Tropical Fruit Salsa

Servings: 10 cakes

Croquettes are cute and elegant for your starter course. They’re also wonderfully light and refreshing. The tropical salsa is a combination of fresh pineapple, mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice — the perfect complement to the richness of the salmon. The balance of sweet and savory flavors instantly pleases the palate. This is a starter with zing.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Ready: 60 minutes

For cakes:

  • 1 (2-pound) side of salmon, skin on
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons matzah meal
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

For salsa:

  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • ½ cup diced mango
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and
  • finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and lightly grease a large baking sheet. Bake the salmon skin side down for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Let it
cool completely.

Once the salmon is cooled, gently flake away from the skin and break it into large chunks.

Place it in a large bowl and combine it with the eggs, red onion, matzah meal, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix well. Scoop about ⅓ cup at a time into your hands and form into a round patty about ¼-inch thick. Place it on a sheet pan and repeat with the remaining mixture until you have formed 10 cakes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the pineapple, mango, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry five cakes at a time for about five to eight minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy. Drain them on a paper towel-lined plate while frying the remaining cakes.
To serve, top each cake with a few tablespoons of salsa.

Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper Saute

Servings: 8
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Ready: 25 minutes

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium zucchini, sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 roasted red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini ribbons and saute them for six to eight minutes or until slightly softened. Add the garlic and saute three minutes more. Add the bell pepper and saute five more minutes or until warmed. Stir in the paprika; salt and toss to coat.

Pomegranate- Braised Brisket

Servings: 8
Preparation: five minutes
Cooking: four hours
Ready: four hours, five minutes

  • 1 four-pound first cut beef brisket
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and cut into eighths
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the brisket with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large roasting pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the brisket about four minutes per side or until browned. Remove and set aside.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onions and garlic for five minutes over medium-low heat until softened. Return the brisket to the pan and add the pomegranate juice, broth, honey, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Transfer the plan to a preheated oven and roast for two hours.

Flip the brisket and continue roasting it for one hour to 90 minutes more or until tender. Let the brisket rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing it against the grain. Strain the liquid and serve it on the side as au jus.

Jamie Geller is the author of the bestselling “Quick & Kosher” cookbook series and creator of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine. This article was first published by JTA in 2012.


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