The Jewish faith is rich in rituals. We cannot relate religious significance to food, but there are certain days which are underlined by fasting, others which are exalted by feasting. The below recipes will serve as an outline of some of the traditional foods prepared for Passover. We are instructed not to eat anything with leaven (yeast) in it during the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:5-8).

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  Flour Measurements for Passover
1 cup regular flour = ¼ cup matzah cake meal, ¾ cup potato starch
½ cup regular flour = 2 tablespoons matzah cake meal & 6 tablespoons potato starch

Sample menu
Gefilte Fish*
Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls*
Brisket of Beef or Lamb
Roast Chicken or Turkey
Carrot Tzimmes*
Potato Kugel*
Green Salad
Passover Rolls*
Compote of Dried Fruits
Passover Brownies*
Passover Sponge Cake*
Fresh Fruit

* recipes included below








1 cup chopped apples
¼ cup chopped walnuts or almonds
1 tsp sugar or honey

2 tbsp red wine
grated rind of half a lemon (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together well. Add enough wine to bind together. Let set in refrigerator.

The fruit and nuts found in charoset recipes refer to two verses found in the Song of Songs linked with the spring season. “Under the apples tree I awakened thee” (8:5) and “I went down into the garden of nuts”(6”11). The red wine recalls the Red Sea, which the Lord parted for the Jews. Most American Jews are familiar with the mixture of apples, almonds, cinnamon, wine, and ginger. This is by no means the only combination. Pine nuts, peanuts, even chestnuts can be mixed with apricots, coconuts, raisins, dates, figs and even bananas.



Passover Rolls


2/3 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 cup matzo meal

1 tbsp sugar
3 eggs
¼ tsp salt

Bring to a boil, oil, water, sugar, and salt. Stir in matzo meal, boil a second more and remove from fire. Mix thoroughly. When slightly cooled, beat in eggs one at a time. Wet hands and roll dough into balls of about 2 inches in diameter. Place them on a greased sheet. Dip forefinger in water and press holes in center of each ball. Bake at 375 – 400 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.



Gefilte Fish (doctored)


1 jar or canned Gefilte fish w/jelled broth
4 large fresh carrots
2 stalks celery
1-2 tsp pepper to taste

2 onions – save skin
several sprigs parsley


Place fish with jelled broth in soup pot. Cut up in bite size pieces all vegetables and place in pot. Add pepper. Bring to a boil and turn to down to low. Place onion skins on top of mixture and simmer for an hour. Remove fish and cool.

Some people like potatoes served hot with the cold fish. You can place cut up potatoes into soup broth after the fish is removed and cook the potatoes for an additional hour.

Serve fish on a bed of greens with parsley and red or white horseradish. The hot potatoes can serve as a side dish to this. I have known some people to also do this process in the oven at 350 degrees.



Chicken Soup


1 soup chicken and several chicken necks
4 qts. water
1 large onion peeled and left whole
4 carrots sliced lengthwise
3 parsnips sliced lengthwise
dash of garlic

3 ribs celery – halved
3 turnips cut in half
2 sprigs fresh dill
2 sprigs fresh parsley
salt & pepper to taste


Place chicken and necks in a pot in cold water. Heat to boiling. Simmer 5 minutes and skim residue on top. Add rest of the ingredients and simmer, covered partially, on low to medium flame for 1 ½ hours. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken soup should always be made ahead, chilled and all fat removed before reheating to serve. Cheesecloth can be used to remove excess fat by straining it thru the cheesecloth. Some people remove all the vegetables and discard and serve only the broth with matzo balls, while others like to keep the vegetables or add others to replace the ones used for making the soup. Either way this is good Jewish penicillin!



Matzo Balls


6 eggs, separated
1 cup matzo meal
1 tbsp fat or oil

1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tbsp water or seltzer

Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat egg yolks until light. Add salt, pepper, liquid and fat or oil to beaten egg yolks. Fold into egg whites. Fold in matzo meal one spoonful at a time. Refrigerate covered with a dishtowel for at least one hour. Wet your hands and form batter into balls the size of a walnut and drop into rapidly boiling water. Reduce heat and cook slowly covered for about 30 minutes. Serves 12. Any left over Matzo balls can be placed in a fry pan with a bit of oil to brown them, serve as a side dish. The children love them.



Glazed Chicken with Matzo Nut Stuffing


1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup minced onion
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1 tsp grated orange rind

1 cup orange juice
¼ cup honey

½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 egg
4 matzos, broken
4-4½ lbs chicken

2 tsp grated orange rind
¼ cup oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sauté onion, celery and nuts in shortening until tender. Add matzo and sauté lightly. Combine salt, pepper, egg, soup, orange rind in a bowl. Add matzo and mix well. Fill chicken. Combine glaze ingredients and brush on chicken, saving some to continue to brush over chicken while baking. Place bird on a rack in open pan, breast side down ½ hour. Turn chicken. Bake 2-2½ hours longer.



Matzoh Farfel Pudding


1 lb. Matzoh farfel
7 eggs
¾ lb. Margarine
1 large can peaches in syrup

1 tsp. Vanilla or almond or lemon flavoring
1 cup sugar
¾ tsp salt
Cinnamon and sugar mixture (for topping)

Put farfel in strainer and pour hot water over it; drain. Beat eggs and add to farfel. Melt margarine and add to farfel. Add syrup from peaches and all the other ingredients except the fruit. Pour ½ of the mixture into a 9x13 inch greased baking pan and top with ½ the peaches. Add remaining farfel and cover with rest of the fruit. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour.



Carrot Tzimmes


8 large carrots
2 large sweet potatoes
1 cup pitted prunes
3 tbsp. Butter or margarine

½ tsp. Salt
¾ cup honey
1 tbsp. Lemon juice
3 tbsp. Flour

Slice carrots and sweet potatoes ¼” thick. Put in saucepan with enough water to cover. Cook until almost tender. Drain off most of the liquid. Add salt, honey and lemon juice. Simmer 10 minutes. Melt butter in skillet and blend in flour. Add to pot and blend. Pour into greased casserole and brown under broiler.



Potato Kugel


2 lbs potatoes
1 medium onion
1 large carrot
¼ cup matzo meal

1 tsp salt
¾ tsp pepper
2 eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel all vegetables and grate in a food processor. Add eggs, matzo meal, salt, pepper, and oil. Mix well. Grease a 9 by 5 by 2 inch baking dish. Put the mixture in and bake uncovered for 90 minutes. The Kugel is done when it is nicely browned and its edges look crisp.



Spinach Kugel


2 eggs
1 small onion, minced
1/3 cup matzo meal
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

½ tsp salt, dash pepper, dash nutmeg
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
2 tbsp. melted margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs, stir in spinach, onion, matzo meal, salt, pepper, nutmeg and margarine. Turn into a greased 9 inch loaf pan. Bake in oven for 40 minutes. Slice. Serves 4-8.



Sweet Potatoes with Fruit


6 sweet potatoes (or yams)
1½-2 cups apples, thinly sliced & peeled
½ cup brown sugar

lemon juice
lemon rind

Parboil potatoes and peel. After peeling, cut into ½” slices. Cook until nearly done. Add apples and if not tart then sprinkle with lemon juice. Grease baking dish and place alternate layers of sweet potatoes and apples. Sprinkle layers with brown sugar and dash cinnamon and grated lemon rind. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.



Kasha with Almonds


2 cups whole grouts (Buckwheat)
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
4 tbsp chopped green pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

4 tbsp chopped onion
½ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Saute almonds in olive oil until brown. Remove and save almonds. Add garlic, onion and green pepper to oil remaining in sauce pan and sauté until onion is golden brown, stirring frequently. Add groats and broth and mix well. Pour into casserole and bake in slow oven (325 degrees) for 30 minutes. Stir in almonds. Bake for 15 minutes.

There is also a dish called Kasha Varnishkes (also know as Kasha and bow-ties) It would be made similar to this, leaving out the almonds and adding cooked bow-ties. (pasta)





Sponge Cake


12 eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
2 lemons (juice & rind)

1 cup flour or cake meal
1 tsp potato starch


Beat egg whites to form peaks. Beat egg yolks and add sugar gradually. Add lemon juice and rinds, cake meal and potato starch. Fold the egg whites. Put into a tube pan (ungreased). Bake in a 325-degree oven for 50 minutes or until done. Turn pan over to sit on a funnel or bottle to cool thoroughly.





4 oz. Bittersweet chocolate
¼ cup margarine
2 eggs
¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

2/3 cup sugar
½ cup cake meal
dash salt


Melt chocolate and margarine. Cool. Beat eggs and salt until thick and lemon colored. Beat in sugar. Add chocolate mixture. Gradually add cake meal. Beat until well blended. Stir in nuts. Spread evenly in greased 9- inch pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Cut while hot. Cool in pan.