With Passover soon upon us, many Jews are dreading a week (or eight days for Conservative and Orthodox Jews) of making matzo, the staple of their diet. Matzo is also known as "the bread of affliction," and I'm pretty sure it's because by day three or so you're convinced that matzo is the 11th plague.
With a little creativity and these truly delicious recipes, you can actually enjoy matzo (or matzah) for the entirety of Passover. In fact, most of these dishes are so good that I'm betting you'll find yourself making them throughout the rest of the year—not just when leavened products are taboo.
Matzo and butter. Matzo and cream cheese. Matzo and jelly. Matzo and… AAAARGH! After a few Passover mornings like this, you're probably tempted to just skip breakfast altogether.
Don't! Try these delicious matzo bagels and you will be greeting the day with a smile. Bonus: they make a great base for sandwiches that are far less likely to end up on your shirt than those made with matzo.
I make this year 'round for my (now grown) kids. Eggy and satisfying, matzo brei can be made in one big scramble and divided or portioned into individual pancakes. Simply top it with jam, syrup, or—like our family—just a little salt and pepper.
If you're not a purist, you can pump up your matzo brei game by adding spinach, onions, carrots, or even lox; go the sweet route with cinnamon and sugar, fruit, or chocolate chips.
Blintzes are the ultimate in Jewish comfort food, so there's no reason you should go without during Passover. These are made with matzo cake meal (the most flour-like of matzo products); for a savory variation, omit the sugar in the filling.
Let's be honest—nobody has the time to make a hot breakfast every single morning of Passover. I'm lucky if I have time to schmear some cream cheese on a sheet of matzo and eat it as I'm running out the door!
So this make-ahead, Passover-friendly granola from that shiksa goddess Martha Stewart can give you a weekday break from hectic breakfast prep.
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This is quite possibly the easiest Passover dish—and one of the most palate-pleasing!
You can go as simple as just slathering some pizza sauce onto matzo and sprinkling it with some grated cheese before putting it under the broiler.... or you can try this gorgeous Margarita version from Amy of What Jew Wanna Eat (best blog name ever).
If chicken nuggets are the center of your child's culinary universe, you may worry that she will starve during Passover when the breading on the little poultry packets makes them verboten.
Fear not! Here is a simple and delicious recipe for matzo meal-crusted chicken cutlets that will satisfy even the pickiest toddler. You can even use a cookie cutter to make the cutlets into nugget-like shapes (do this before you dip them into the egg).
Matkonation has two variations on the layered Italian favorite: one with meat and one with spinach. Yum!
This dessert is, without question, the most requested matzo recipe on the Internet: a Passover miracle gifted to us from (among others) David Lebovitz via Marcy Goldman.
It is also called matzo crunch and matzo brittle, but I think that calling it "matzo crack" is the most appropriate moniker. You can't stop eating it—the minute you're done, you want more! Warning: you may find yourself offering up your first-born in order to get another fix.
This is my go-to Passover dessert because I can pop it in the oven when the Seder starts, and it comes out right about the time we finish dinner. By the time we're done with the Seder, the crisp has had time to cool and everyone has had a little time to digest.
This version from HottyToddy uses apples, pears, and cranberries, which are technically fall fruits; however, you can substitute berries, peaches, or any sturdy seasonal fruit that holds up well to baking. (Frozen fruits, if prepared correctly beforehand, can be used as well.)
Note that tapioca, vanilla, and brown sugar are not kosher for Passover if you are strictly observing.
Okay, so this dessert technically doesn't contain any matzo products... but it does use potato starch, the other common Passover substitute for flour/cornstarch. And it is, without question, the best chocolate cake I have ever had—kosher for Passover or otherwise!
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You may think I am a bit biased because it's my mother's recipe, but make it and tell me that you wouldn't have it every day of the year.
There's no question that having to survive a week without bread, pasta, or even legumes can drive you meshugenah (crazy). But these recipes can help break up your matzo monotony and bring some variation and downright delicious flavor to your Passover week.
B'tayavon (Hebrew for bon appètit), and Happy Passover!
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