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Passover Made Easy

by Matthew Wexler
Contributor
Monday Mar 11, 2013
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Cookbook authors Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek have put the "wow factor" into the Passover Seder - a meal that I remember from my childhood as being interminably long and heavier than a sack of bricks.

These two experienced food writers set out to make cooking for Passover fun, delicious and relaxed with more than 60 recipes that are easy to prepare and delicious to eat. Most of the recipes are gluten-free and can be enjoyed all year long. Signature dishes include Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup, Vegetable Lo Mein, Jalapeño Lime and Ginger Salmon and Espresso Macarons with Chocolate-Hazelnut Cream.

In addition to easy-to-follow recipes, "Passover Made Easy" also offers food history tidbits, plating and food styling secrets and a special Seder wine guide. The authors have shared two special recipes with EDGE readers:


Eggplant Wrapped Chicken

4-6 servings
Wine Pairing: Domaine Netofa Red

Tidbit:
Sephardic Jews re-enact the Exodus from Egypt following the Seder step of Yachatz. They take turns slinging the afikomon bag over their shoulder and responding to questions.
Q: "Where are you coming from?"
A: "From Egypt."
Q: "Where are you going?"
A: "To Yerushalayim."
Q: "What are you carrying?"
A: "Matzah and marror."





Ingredients

Eggplant:
1 tall eggplant
½ cup oil
¼ tsp salt
Pinch coarse black pepper

Meat Mixture:
3 tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ lb ground meat
½ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder

Chicken:
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
¼ tsp salt
Pinch course black pepper

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to broil. Grease a baking sheet. Cut eggplant lengthwise, .-inch thick, to get 6 or 7 slices. Reserve remaining eggplant scraps. Place eggplant slices on prepared baking sheet. Brush slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil 5 minutes per side, until second side is beginning to brown. The slices should appear as if they were fried. Remove and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Peel and finely dice remaining eggplant to obtain ½ cup diced eggplant. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium
heat. Add onion, garlic, and diced eggplant and sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, combine onion mixture with ground meat. Season with salt and garlic powder.
5. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture into each thigh and roll up to close. Roll an eggplant slice around each stuffed chicken thigh. Place, seam side down and close together, in a baking pan. Cover and bake for 2. hours.


Matzaroni and Cheese

6-8 servings
This is an easy dinner that will get all the troops running to the table when the hot, cheesy, and bubbling dish emerges from the oven.

Ingredients
5 matzahs, broken into small pieces
5 eggs
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
1 (16 oz) container cottage cheese
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella or Muenster cheese, divided

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In an 8 x 8-inch baking dish, arrange 1⁄3 of the broken matzah pieces.
2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Add sour cream, cottage cheese, butter, salt, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Pour 1⁄3 of the cheese mixture over the matzah. Repeat with two additional layers of matzah and cheese. Top with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese. Bake for 40 minutes. The cheese on top should be brown and bubbling.

About the Authors
Leah Schapira is the co-founder of CookKosher.com, a popular online kosher recipe exchange, and the author of the bestselling "Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking". Leah expresses her love of cooking through her food articles, her busy food website, and her exciting cooking demos and classes. Leah resides in New Jersey with her husband and family. 



Victoria Dwek is the managing editor of "Whisk," a popular kosher food magazine published weekly by "Ami Magazine." Her feature articles take readers behind the scenes to learn from chefs and other professionals in the kosher food world. An experienced journalist and avid hostess, Victoria’s work combines her passions for good food and good writing. She lives in Deal, New Jersey with her husband and children.


Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Style and Travel Editor. More of his writing can be found at www.roodeloo.com. He is also a trained chef and currently writing a food memoir.

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