Monday, April 2, 2007

the first seder: east meets west

Passover: simply put, it's eight days without breads, rice or legumes. You may think this limits what you can eat throughout the week, but the meal possibilities are truly unlimited. We (well, Dina mostly) spent hours this past weekend preparing for the holiday by cooking up a storm.

We started with a unique version of matzah ball soup. We added scallions and mint to the matzah balls in a rosemary-thyme infused chicken broth. It was a perfect balance of both our cultures coming together and creating something better than the sum of its parts. It was a delectable example of east meets west.

Year after year, I look forward to having matzah farfel for Passover and Dina's version doesn't disappoint. She combines whole wheat matzah farfel with caramelized onions, mushrooms and chopped parsley. Chicken broth helps keep the farfel moist and adds flavour to the dish.

The main attraction was the brisket..done 2 ways.
We purchased a fairly large brisket this weekend and thought it would be a good idea to make it 2 different ways. One, a traditional way and the other with an Indian twist. The traditional version was braised in red wine, garlic, carrots, and fresh thyme. The non-traditional one was made with Indian influences such as cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and peppercorns. The braising liquid in this version was a sweet red vermouth to offset the spiciness of the seasonings.

Both briskets were cooked for over 3 hours and came out fork tender and juicy. The braising liquids for both were then reduced and used as a sauce to pour over the brisket.

Traditionally, charoset is a mixture of apples, honey, and walnuts, but once again keeping with the theme of the night, we decided to put our own spin on it. We used tart granny smith apples with sweet mangoes, along with lime zest and lemon juice to add a crisp tartness. Topped with coarsely chopped pistachios, it was the perfect balance of both cultures.


mom said...

I am speechless and very....very impressed with your Seder menu...
I am sure it tasted as good as it looks........

mike said...

This makes me want to be Jewish

Mary said...

I want to come to your Seder next year!!! Can I be invited? I can even sing that Dayenou thing :)