Pesach brings me to new levels of creative crazy when I’m trying to find recipes that don’t contain any matz. I don’t, or rather my tummy doesn’t like matz and it doesn’t like me. I’ve found that a great way to “avoid” having to utilize matz or matz meal as a binder or filler is to create dishes that stand on their own as works of art along with tasting good. I am, of course, talking about stacking my ingredients vertically.
Simply put, creating a stack is a basic cooking technique that consists of layering food so that it becomes two or three inches high, often utilizing a mold to create the structure then removing it for the big reveal on the plate. Lots of foodie magazines and online web sites will tell you that you have to have special molds or rings to create these culinary masterpieces. Truly you don’t have spend beaucoup bucks to buy these pricey moulds. You can utilizes an empty large tuna fish can (wash it very very well) and remove both ends of the can. Voila! A perfect mold to make your stacks. If you lack the time (or ambition) to create individual stacks for your guest or family you can always create a one dish strada or utilize a spring form pan.
Stacks can be served hot or cold and are perfect for an appetizer or main course depending on when (seder and chole chomde are good) where (you can take these to a party and dress them there) and how (cold or hot) you want to serve them even if it’s not yontif.
(pareve or dairy)
(Cut the vegetables about 1/4 inch thick for uniform stacking)
4 small Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup sliced red onion
2 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled goat cheese or herbed cream cheese (optional)
In a self sealing plastic bag combine the mushrooms, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, basil and pepper. Shake gently to coat and let sit at room temperature for 25 to 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425. Remove the mushrooms from the bag (save the marinade) and place it in a 9X9 baking dish. Pour the wine over the top of the mushrooms and set them aside. Place the zucchini, yellow squash, and onion on a baking sheet and drizzle the marinade over the top. Bake the mushrooms and the vegetables for about 10 minutes or until slightly soft.
Place 2 mushrooms, gill sides up, on a baking sheet, layer the vegetables any way you like, top with cheese (you can omit it if you want to) and top with the remaining mushroom gill side down. If you use the cheese bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve immediately. Makes two. This recipe can be doubled or tripled. My files, source unknown.
POTATO TOMATO SALMON STACKS
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon mince garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz smoked salmon
2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and boiled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 to 2 avocados diced
1/2 red onion diced
1/2 cup chopped black olives
Extra parsley if desired
In a bowl combine the tomatoes, parsley, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Mix to combine and set aside. (you will need to repeat this 8 times) Using a mold placed on a salad plate, place one slice of potato on the bottom then layer the salmon on top. Place the onion on top of the salmon then the avocado on top of the onion. Spoon some of the tomato vinaigrette over the top and decorate with the black olive and any additional parsley. Serves 8. This recipe can be doubled and made ahead of time up until you top with the tomatoes. Do that just before you serve.
ROASTED VEGGIE STRADA
1 eggplant, cut lengthwise into 6 slices
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 4 slices
1 yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 4 slices
1 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 425. Grease 2 baking sheets with vegetable spray or olive oil. Place the sliced vegetables on the baking sheets in a single layer and spray then lightly brush with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper and bake 15 to 20 until tender. Let cool for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350, coat an 8 inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, place 3 slices of the roasted eggplant in the bottom of the baking dish, spread half of the ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese, half of the chopped basil, and 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese over that. Continue to layer with zucchini slices, yellow squash slices, and strips of red peppers, spread the remaining half of the ricotta cheese and basil, and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese on top. Place the remaining 3 slices of eggplant over that and top with tomato sauce and the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese amd 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted, cut into 4 squares and serve.
From about.com submitted by Rita Restorie Indianapolis, IN
At some point during Pesach preparations we’ve all tried to convert a mainstream recipe into a Pesach one only to discover that we don’t have a clue as to what to substitute for a chometz ingredient. This panic moment is why I started compiling my COMPLETE LIST OF PESACH SUBSTITUTES.
• 1 oz. baking chocolate (unsweetened chocolate) = 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon oil or melted margarine
• 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate = 6 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1/4 cup oil and 7 tablespoon granulated sugar
• 14 oz. sweet chocolate (German-type) = 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder plus 2 2/3 tablespoon oil and 4 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar minus 1 tablespoon sugar plus 1 tablespoon potato starch pulsed in a food processor or blender
• 1 cup sour milk or buttermilk for dairy baking = 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a 1 cup measure, then fill to 1 cup with Passover nondairy creamer. Stir and steep 5 minutes
• Butter in baking or cooking use pareve Passover margarine in equal amounts. Use a bit less salt
• 1 cup honey = 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water
• 1 cup corn syrup = 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup water, boiled until syrupy
• 1 cup vanilla sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 split vanilla bean left for at least 24 hours in a tightly covered jar
• 1 cup of flour, substitute 5/8 cup matzo cake meal or potato starch, or a combination sifted together
• 1 tablespoon flour = 1/2 tablespoon potato starch
• 1 cup corn starch = 7/8 cup potato starch
• 1 teaspoon cream of tarter = 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
• 1 cup graham cracker crumbs = 1 cup ground cookies or soup nuts plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 cup bread crumbs = 1 cup matzo meal
• 1 cup matzo meal = 3 matzoth ground in a food processor
• 1 cup matzoth cake meal = 1 cup plus 2 tablespoon matzo meal finely ground in a blender or food processor and sifted
• 3 crumbled matzo = 2 cups matzo farfel
• 1 cup (8 oz.) cream cheese = 1 cup cottage cheese pureed with 1/2 stick butter or margarine
• 1 cup milk (for baking) = 1 cup water plus 2 tablespoon margarine, or 1/2 cup fruit juice plus 1/2 cup water
• 1 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk = 1 cup instant nonfat dry milk, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup boiling water and 3 tablespoons margarine. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. To thicken, let set in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
• For frying: Instead of chicken fat, use combination of olive oil or vegetable oil and 1 to 2 tablespoons pareve Passover margarine.
• Italian Seasoning = 1/4 teaspoon EACH dried oregano leaves, dried marjoram leaves and dried basil leaves plus 1/8 teaspoon rubbed dried sage. This can be substituted for 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning.
• Curry Powder = 2 tablespoons ground coriander, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 2 tablespoons red pepper, 2 tablespoons turmeric, 2 tablespoons ground ginger. Makes 2/3 cup.
• Pancake syrup = use fruit jelly, not jam and add a little water to thin. I always like to combine the jelly and water in a microwave safe bowl and heat it gently before I serve it.
• Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar = 3 table-spoons white vinegar, 1 tablespoon white wine, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix to combine. Makes 1/4 cup
• Flavored Vinegar = lemon juice in cooking or salad, grapefruit juice in salads, wine in marinades.
• Water Chestnuts = substitute raw jicama
• Orange liqueur = substitute an equal amount of frozen orange juice concentrate
• You can mince the tops of green onions and use them in recipes that call for chives or use celery tops instead of parsley (who are we kidding, we always have parsley during Pesach)