photo: courtesy of ISH

photo: courtesy of ISH

Katy Morris

Didn’t get your horseradish fix over Passover this year? Neither did we!

So we’re spicing up Spring with two products that have stories rooted in familial tradition. And we dug up more reasons to love this stuff in addition to using it as a recipe changer. Trust us, this versatile condiment goes way beyond gefilte fish.

Quit horsing around with standard hot sauce – horseradish boasts tons of health benefits that other condiments simply can’t compete with. Did you know it is loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants and has more vitamin C than oranges?

Spring hayfever getting to you yet? The roots’ mustard oil, which is responsible for the tear-inducing pungency, can help clear your sinuses. In fact, try grating up raw roots at home and it’ll be so pungent that you’d better wear a mask! Lucky for you, you won’t have to.

We found two unique artisanal products with big flavors, including a few that were totally unexpected.  And we love them both so much that we couldn’t chose which one to profile.


Photo: courtesy of ISH

Photo: courtesy of ISH

ISH Premium Horseradish


ISH sources their horseradish roots from California and Illinois- areas with soil chockfull of potassium (ideal for growing). With unique flavor add-ins, their product goes “beyond horseradish”; it makes the perfect garnish (they suggest the beet-flavored horseradish with fresh cucumber yogurt dip) or a full-bodied game-changer for mains (try their citrus version atop grilled fish). And it’s all made in the Hudson Valley!

The company’s roots are just as likable as the product itself. Carolyn Sherman Gutierrez’ father casually played around with recipes over 30 years ago to make the freshest, most delicious Passover horseradish for family and friends. They went wild over the taste and before he knew it, he was whipping up hundreds of jars for hungry fans. Today, Carolyn’s taken over, launching a booming business selling four distinctive flavors nationwide in stores and online.


photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Liz got her hands on each of the flavors for some afternoon taste testing with Carolyn in NYC last week. She reported being thoroughly wow’ed by the imaginative flavors and Carolyn’s willingness to shlep a generous tasting set-up in a cooler bag across Central Park. NICE!

Beet: Their original and most popular flavor had the expected horseradish kick with distinctive flavor of earthy beets. This was the mildest and most traditional of the four flavors. We alternated bites of rich, creamy brie  layered with thin slices of cucumber for a gluten-free treat. Serve this hot fuchsia puree atop slices of roasted chicken or whipped into deviled eggs for a little extra heat.

photo: courtesy of ISH

photo: courtesy of ISH

Citrus: Made with freshly squeezed oranges & lemons with the zest of both used to heighten the bright sunny notes, the citrus flavor makes an exciting accompaniment to grilled fish or stir-fry veggies. This flavor was the hottest of the four but with citrus notes at the front, Carolyn told Liz that kids love this one the best when they taste test at Smorgasburg, the Brooklyn Flea outdoor food paradise (plenty of veg options, yes!). Liz has plans to add this citrusy heat to her guacamole ASAP.

Scroll down for ISH’s recipe for Smoked Salmon Mousse-ISH- the perfect summer spread for crackers, chips, and any and all raw veggies. Chill the vino and you’ll be all set.

photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Garlic: This flavor surprised Liz as the most subtle. The horseradish flavor is up front with mild, delicious garlic notes at the finish. Dab this onto baked potatoes or mix with sour cream or mayo and dip fries into a ramekin full. Liz  plans on testing it out in a marinade for grilled chicken as she’s getting ready for BBQ season. Stir this flavor or citrus into a tall glass of Bloody Mary and you’ll know summer has arrived with a wink and a twist.

Ginger: The Asian cooking connection was irresistible. This flavor makes a great addition to your marinade for any protein heading to the wok or grill. Or slather it on straight up. Carolyn adds this boldly ginger flavored horseradish to her morning smoothies.


Have a taste for yourself and tell us what you think. Check them out at their various market and tasting events or just purchase the products in stores or online today  – you will not be disappointed!

ISH is made with all kosher ingredients but does not have a kosher cert.


Holy Schmitt’s

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

One taste of their horseradish can elicit a reaction sounding similar to their name – in a good way. Holy Schmitt’s homegrown horseradish is made from fresh roots grown right on their fourth-generation farm on Long Island’s East End.

Co-owner Matt Schmitt stays true to his great-grandfather’s secret family recipe and washes, peels, grates and mixes the root all by hand (again, sparing us the masks!). The result: a fresh, hot sensory punch that comes in seven unique flavors.

Liz bought them all at the Union Square Market, NYC, and enlisted the whole family to taste with her.

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

Barbeque: The BBQ horseradish was nice and smoky and would make a great addition to anything you throw on the grill. But you’ve gotta like smokey flavors. Not our favorite.

Beet: This flavor offers the same jolt of spice balanced with pleasant sweetness from the beets. It’s bold flavor would take a simple goat cheese salad or classic latkes to a new level. Grab this one when you want traditional flavor.

Mustard: Perfect to swap in for an invigorating sandwich spread.  Add it to mayo or use it straight up (it even has a mustard-like consistency) on turkey or meatloaf sandwiches, or toss it into egg or chicken salad for mustardy heat. Flecks of mustard seed were visible. One of Liz’ kids packed the open jar and shlepped it back to the city with her. This was one of the two group favorites.

Hot pepper: Curiously, this was not as spicy as we anticipated. Flecks of jalepeno pepper added an interesting juxtaposition to the horseradish. Add it to plain salsa or alongside scrambled eggs. Paint a stripe of this one along your tortilla, add chicken or cheese, thinly sliced onions and chopped tomatoes and you’ll be set.

Photo: Liz Rueven-Holy Schmitt! It's loaded with jalapeno!

Photo: Liz Rueven-Holy Schmitt! It’s loaded with jalapeno!

Cranberry: Visible flecks of ruby red cranberry bits were at the root of this one being the sweetest of the bunch. Surprise your Thanksgiving guests with this unexpected condiment or pair it with a creamy cheese and chilled cuke slices on the beach this summer.

Original: They’ve got the classic, pungent pure horseradish down. Blend it into hummus or pair with almost any protein you’re serving for Shabbat dinner.

Cocktail Sauce horseradish : We loved this one and oooh’ed over it’s orange cocktail sauce hue. Throw it into Bloody Mary’s or top any fish- any way- with this one. This was our other favorite.

Photo: Liz Rueven- Cocktail Sauce Horseradish

Photo: Liz Rueven- Cocktail Sauce Horseradish

Don’t just take our word for it – head over to their farm yourself for some free sampling or purchase directly via their website.  You can also pick some up at the Union Square Farmers’ Markets – stay connected with them via social media to check out when!

We can’t wait to try their new seasonal flavors including strawberry this summer and apple and/or pumpkin for the fall. And be sure to check out their pickles and pickled beets to add some tangy crunch in your springtime recipes.

Holy Schmitt is certified kosher- K

So tell us- Do you eat horseradish all year or just on Passover?  Which of these flavors are you most likely to try out in your own kitchen?


photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Smoked Salmon Mousse-ISH

approximately 3 cups

This recipe comes from Carolyn Sherman Gutierrez, creator and owner of ISH Horseradishes.

Here's what she had to say about this spread, " Smoked salmon with ISH is delicious on its own. But if you want to dress it up or create a different type of appetizer, you'll wow them with this."

Best to make this 10-12 hours before serving, if possible.

This recipe is dairy.


  • 8 oz. smoked salmon- cut into pieces (not necessary to cut too small)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (brick)
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 3-4 Tb. ginger or citrus ISH horseradish
  • 2 1/2 Tb. minced scallion
  • 4 Tb. fresh dill (rough chopped)
  • fresh lemon juice (3/4 of a lemon or more, to taste)


  1. Place smoked salmon in food processor and chop until it appears minced.
  2. Add cream cheese and process further.
  3. When thoroughly blended, add mascarpone and process again.
  4. Add ISH horseradish, scallion and dill and blend until combined.
  5. Add fresh lemon juice and blend until smooth.


Serve this spread at room temperature with crackers, sliced French bread, thick cut potato chips or on sliced cukes.









This Friday night will be all the sweeter when we bake and serve challah again after a two week hiatus. Was anyone else yearning for sweet, yeasty, pull apart challah instead of flat, crumbly, dry matzah?

For regular challah bakers, it will be a delicious reunion with an ancient tradition and one your family and friends are lucky to share in. For future challah bakers, here is an opportunity to learn all about this highly symbolic act that results in the most primary and recognizable component on every Shabbat and festive table, world-wide.

When Dahlia Abraham-Klein’s brilliant manual, Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months; Building the Sacred through Challah, landed on my desk I realized that in my three plus years of looking for inspiration to share here, I have only posted one other challah recipe.

Considering the 50 weeks a year that we serve challah, that doesn’t seem quite right.

So I dug into Abraham-Klein’s beautifully written, deeply researched exploration of challah and found myself transported by this spiritual guide book.

Dahlia kneading

Dahlia kneading

The author leads us through month by month celebrations via a group she formed for women’s Torah study and challah baking. Through challah baking “Spiritual Kneaders” explore themes of the month. In her group, the women chat, knead, meditate and study as they connect ingredients with a higher meaning.

While Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months can be used simply as a challah cookbook with 18 recipes ranging from Basic Challah with Fresh Yeast,  Round Pull-Apart Challah with Silan and Olive Oil (below) to Wheat Stalk Challah with Parmesan Topping,  it would be a wasted opportunity to NOT allow this brilliant author to take you along on a much deeper journey.

Wheat Stalk with Parmesan for the month of Sivan

Wheat Stalk with Parmesan for the month of Sivan

Abraham- Klein implores the reader to slow down, knead with intention, access the connection between spirituality and weekly baking. She explained it this way to me, “I want people to see and learn the sacredness of the process. It’s about accessing the intention of the month, slowing down and bringing that intention into the challah. Nothing is rushed, but savored.”

In addition to learning through Torah text, Abraham-Klein teaches all practical aspects of challah baking including kneading, braiding, shaping and separating dough for blessings.

three strands round

three strands round

Additional basic recipes for low gluten Spelt Challah, Whole Wheat Challah, and Gluten-Free Oat Challah are valuable additions.

With the new month of IYAR beginning this Sunday, April 19, we chose to share this highly symbolic recipe for Pull-Apart Challah with Silan and Olive Oil. 

Here’s what Dahlia Abraham- Klein had to say about her recipe:

This month’s challah comprised of twelve balls (yud-bet) represents the twelve tribes of Israel who left Egypt. The heavenly bread that sustained Israel during the desert was manna, and it made it’s first appearance in the month of Iyar. The Torah describes the manna as tasting like wafers with honey, and like oil cake. To commemorate the taste of manna, this month’s challahs uses olive oil and date honey (silan).

Additional notes: Silan is an ancient condiment that may be used in place of honey or maple syrup in some recipes although the flavor is distinctive and different from those sweeteners.  I use this Israeli brand in a squeezable bottle (kosher and just dates- the way it’s supposed to be). Or you can go for the challenge and make it yourself with this easy recipe from blogger pal, Tori Avey.

This volume would make an inspiring addition to anyone’s cookbook collection. I can imagine it as a great engagement or wedding gift along with a handmade challah board.

Watch for our GIVE-AWAY on Thursday. You can win this volume right here!

All photos are courtesy of Dahlia Abraham-Klein, Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months; Building the Sacred through Challah.

3 strands braided

3 strands braided

Pull Apart Challah with Olive Oil & Silan

8 medium challot

This recipe was shared by Dahlia Abraham-Klein via "Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months; Building the Sacred through Challah" 2015.

The ingredients have special meaning during the Hebrew month of Iyar when the Jewish exodus from Egypt began.

This recipe is pareve (non-dairy).


  • 4 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ cups (1.1 liters) warm water
  • 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) container of date honey (silan)
  • 5 pounds (2.25 kg) organic white flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 cup (230 ml) olive oil
  • Topping
  • 2 cage-free organic eggs, beaten
  • Barley flakes
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Poppy seeds (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the warm water. Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to start activating. Yeast activation should take about 10 minutes; it will be bubbling and foamy.
  2. Set 1 cup (125 g) of flour aside. Sift the remaining flour, silan honey and salt into the bowl.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture and oil onto the flour. Combine all the ingredients, using a spatula. When it begins to form a dough, it is time to knead. At this point, you can remove the dough from the bowl and knead on the kitchen counter if it’s easier for you, or directly in the bowl.
  4. To knead the dough: grab the side of the dough furthest away from you and fold it toward yourself. Fold the dough in half and use your body weight to push the dough into itself. If you find that the dough is sticking too much to the surface and preventing you from kneading properly, dust the dough with flour. Give the dough a quarter turn (90 degrees). Grab the other side and fold it in half. Again, with a lot of weight behind it, push the newly folded half into itself. Repeat this process for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, silky, elastic and the dough does not stick to the surface.
  5. After the dough is thoroughly prepared, lay it on the countertop while you grease the bowl with a fine layer of oil. Next, turn the dough in the oil several times so that the dough is greased lightly on all sides.
  6. Cover the bowl with a large plastic garbage bag or kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 1 hour.
  7. Make the blessing on hafrashat challah.
  8. Knead the dough again for a few more minutes. Use the remaining flour for the surface area and hands to prevent sticking.
  9. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and then further divide each part into 12 separate balls by rolling each one in the palms of your hands to the size of a golf ball.
  10. Place a larger ball in the center of the foil cake pan and the remaining balls around the center. The balls do not need to touch, as they will grow together as they rise.
  11. Cover the loaves again and let them rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in volume from its original size. If you cannot bake the challahs immediately, then this is the time to wrap the shaped dough in plastic wrap to prevent drying. You can store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. On the day of baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand on the kitchen counter until it comes to room temperature, about one hour.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Prepare your egg wash and decorate the top of the challah with barley flakes or other optional toppings.
  13. Bake in your preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until loaves turn golden brown and shiny. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
  14. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Wait at least one hour before serving.


If you are freezing the challah, wrap in waxed paper and foil. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.




photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

This matzah lasagna goes beyond the ordinary matzah/cheese/ jarred tomato sauce Passover mish mash.  You’ll love the way the creamy bechamel sauce keeps the lasagna moist and adds depth and nuance while keeping it kid- friendly.

It is a few extra steps but well worth it.

I throw in a few bunches of raw, organic spinach to ensure the lasagna is loaded with vitamins. The greens virtually disappear and nobody will notice.

Of course, you can leave it out entirely if you have picky eaters who shy away from all things green.

Cheesy Spinach Matzah Lasagna

Melted Cheese on Matzah is a natural. Adding a few more layers of flavor makes this Passover Lasagna really special.

I first published this recipe in our e-book, "4 Bloggers Dish: Passover", with co-authors Amy Kritzer, Whitney Fisch and Sarah Lasry.

This recipe is dairy and gebrokts.


    Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 Tb. butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 16 oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • a pinch of sugar
  • Lasagna:
  • 4 sheets plain matzah
  • ½ cup lowfat milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ cup Parmesan or other hard cheese (or 3-4 Tb. extra shredded mozzarella)
  • 4 cups raw, organic spinach, washed and spun dry
  • Bechamel Sauce:
  • 1 Tb. butter
  • 1 Tb. potato starch
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • ground nutmeg to taste (1/2-1 tsp.)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
  2. Butter 8x8 baking dish and put aside.
  3. Make the tomato sauce
  4. Heat butter in a medium saucepan.
  5. Add onions and simmer until soft, approximately 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  6. Add canned tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar. Simmer actively, uncovered for about one hour. You want the sauce to thicken and reduce.
  7. Construct the lasagna:
  8. Set up 2 shallow bowls. Place ½ cup milk in one and beaten egg in the other.
  9. Dip one sheet of matzah into milk, then egg. Place moistened matzah sheet in buttered pan and gently top with 4 Tb. tomato sauce. If matzah breaks, don’t fret. Just piece it back together in the pan as best you can.
  10. Place 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella on top of sauce.
  11. Repeat twice more, in same order and finish with 4th matzah on top.
  12. Set aside.
  13. Béchamel sauce:
  14. Heat butter in a heavy saucepan and whisk in potato starch. Work quickly over medium heat until roux is slightly browned, giving it time to cook the starch.
  15. Whisk in milk, and continue whisking until all lumps have dissolved and mixture has thickened.
  16. Remove from heat.
  17. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and cream together until smooth. Pour into pot with roux.
  18. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and taste.
  19. Pour bechamel sauce over the top layer of lasagna, sprinkle with grated parmesan or additional mozzarella.
  20. Bake, uncovered at 425F, 20 minutes, or until golden.
  21. Allow to cool 15 minutes before cutting.


Tips: Jarred tomato sauce may be used instead of simmering your own.

Prep Ahead: Lasagna may be made in advance and reheated at 325F for about 15 minutes or until warmed through.

Take To Go: Squares may be packed in silver foil or to-go containers and enjoyed on day trips or for school lunch. Eating this at room temp is also delicious.



Originally Posted in “Matzah Lasagna all Grown Up (or Not)
photo: Whitney Fisch

photo: Whitney Fisch

Yearning for something pasta-like with a savory kick just about now? Of course, you are! We’re mid-way through Passover! 

And while vegan may not be your thang, these “meatballs” may just change your mind.

Whitney Fisch, blogger at JewHungry dreamt up this Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Tomato Sauce and Quinoa Meatballs for a gluten-free, meat-free spaghetti like treat. Be sure to visit her blog to see what else she’s whipping up.

Note: In her header notes for this recipe, Whit refers to cashew cream as an alternative or addition to tomato sauce. For that recipe click here and scroll ALL the way down through her drool worthy round-up of decadent mac n’ cheese recipes. It’s there, promise!

This recipe was created for our collaborative e-book, 4 Bloggers Dish: Passover; Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors, 2014.

Spaghetti Squash with Quinoa Meatballs

4 servings

My family has adopted this recipe during the non-Passover days as we continue to lessen the amount of pasta we consume. Plus, this is another one of those sneaky recipes where I trick my toddler into eating vegetables. I like to add the cashew cream sauce that I make to the marinara sauce sometimes just to spice things up. Or, if you’re not a tomato fan, you can add the cashew pesto sauce to the spaghetti squash and omit the marinara altogether. Finally, I like to add honey to my recipe because I prefer a sweeter sauce, but feel free to omit it per your taste preference. Whitney Fisch

This recipe is kosher for Passover, pareve (dairy-free), vegan and gluten-free


    for Spaghetti Squash and Sauce:
  • 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half and roasted
  • 2 lbs. of Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 5 tbsp of oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • for Quinoa Meatballs:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper


    for Roasting Spaghetti Squash:
  1. Cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Be careful, go slow, and cautiously slice the squash in half.
  2. Scoop out and discard the seeds.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Place squash halves cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a fork punctures the flesh of the squash easily. If the squash seems to be drying out while baking, brush with an additional tablespoon oil.
  6. Remove squash from the oven and allow it to cool just enough so you can handle it, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Scrape the flesh from the squash into wonderful, stringy “noodles” with a sturdy fork and place in a small serving bowl. If some of the strands clump or gather together, simply separate them using your hands.
  8. for Quinoa Meatballs:
  9. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the bag
  10. Once quinoa is cooked, let cool for 10 minutes or until room temperature
  11. Combine cooked quinoa, tomato paste, egg, almond flour and spices into a mixing bowl and stir until equally mixed.
  12. Using wet hands, form quinoa mixture into 1 inch balls.
  13. Arrange meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet sprayed with oil, and bake about 15 to 20 minutes.
  14. for Marinara Sauce:
  15. Using a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic to the skillet and sauté until onions are translucent.
  16. Next, add the tomatoes to the pan and sauté for another 5 minutes or until tomatoes have begun to break down.
  17. Add the spices and tomato paste to the skill and stir to combine.
  18. Reduce heat to low, cover and let sauce simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  19. With roughly 5 minutes left to simmer, taste the sauce and adjust the spices according to your preference.
  20. Add the honey
  21. Once the sauce has broken down, turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce together until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.


Do- ahead:

Meatballs can be frozen for up to a week. Again, rewarm in a 350 degree oven. Sauce may be kept in an air-tight container for up to a week.



Originally Posted in “Spaghetti Squash with Quinoa Meatballs
photo: Amy Krtizer

photo: Amy Krtizer

We don’t think it’s possible or even imaginable to make it through Passover without a few kugels on the holiday table.

And why not?

 They serve a crowd and can be assembled in advance. They can lean sweet and creamy or savory and sassy.  And they’re a perfect vehicle for tossing in extra vitamin packed veggies and fresh flavors with snipped herbs of most any kind.

Thanks, Amy Kritzer, blogger at What Jew Wanna Eat, for sharing this recipe with our readers. We’re thoroughly charmed by these little darlings.

Here’s Amy’s perspective on their adorable size: “Why are mini things so much better? Cupcakes are better than cake; sliders beat out big burgers. And these individual kugels dominate normal, big kugels. Plus, there is some zucchini sneaked in there for a healthy kick.”

When it was time to chose a cover image for “4 Bloggers Dish: Passover” we all agreed to use this gorgeous photo from Amy. You may remember it from all of our shameless PR but you may not have tried this recipe yet. DO!

Are you serving kugel at your Passover Seder or during the holiday week? Tell us what your family favorites are!



Individual Potato and Zucchini Kugels

12 servings

Amy Kritzer first published this recipe in our e-book, "4 Bloggers Dish: Passover". We loved it so much that we graced our book cover with the image.

This recipe is Passover ready. It is non-dairy (pareve) and gebrokts


  • 2 medium potatoes, washed well
  • 2 medium zucchini, washed well
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 3 tablespoons matzo meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Grease one muffin tin or line it with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  3. Grate the peeled potatoes, unpeeled zucchini, garlic, and onions by hand or with a food processor. Squeeze out any liquid with cheesecloth or paper towels.
  4. In a bowl, mix together oil, eggs, matzo meal, salt, pepper, and sugar.
  5. Add the potato mixture to the egg mixture and combine.
  6. Scoop into greased muffin tins and cook 40 minutes or until golden brown.


Freezer Instructions: Once kugels have cooled, wrap tightly and freeze for up to 2 months.

Prep Ahead Guide: Can be made 3 days in advance.

Originally Posted in “Kugelettes Are More Fun
Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

I’ve been feeling all warm and fuzzy as we wind our way towards Passover this year.

It was only a year ago that I met three like-minded bloggers and we had the crazy idea of pooling our very different viewpoints and co-authoring a Passover cookbook together. We bonded over countless hours of recipe brainstorming, strategizing, and late night laughter, ditzy from too many hours of Google Chat.

In just four intensely focused months, we created the e-book, 4 Bloggers Dish: Passover, Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors.

The beauty of it is, that we are now true friends, despite the fact that we have never all been in the same room.  If any of us were to need something, food related or not, I believe we would be right there for each other. Talk about the beauty of technology!

I finally met Whitney Fisch in L. A. this fall, and we fell into breathless conversation over kosher Mexican tacos as if we were old pals.  Sarah Lasry and I are lucky enough to live on the same coast and try to make the time to meet in the city. I recently introduced her to my community in CT where she taught an awesome class in hamantaschen making for Purim. Amy Kritzer is coming up from Austin to check out the NYC scene this week and to celebrate with family. We have an early morning breakfast date to eat too much chocolate laced babke and shoot pics of early spring veggies at the Union Sq. Greenmarket.

I encourage you to check out their blogs (click on their names, above). I know you’ll love them as much as I do.

In the spirit of our one year anniversary I’ll be posting some of our favorite recipes from our e-book. Of course, we would love for you to click on over to AMAZON and buy it here. Shameless plug,  I know.

Wishing you all an inspired week of preparation and happy cooking.

Dilly Leek Croquettes for Passover

16 croquettes, 2 inches each

Leeks are often used as a symbol of Spring on the Passover Seder plate. Their bright green color and gradation of tone from white to wintery dark green, reminds us of our transition to a new season and rebirth as the earth awakens.

If you use leeks on your Seder plate, buy extra so that you will have them handy for this easy side dish. If you don’t, pick them up when stocking your vegetable bin so you can enjoy the mellow onion flavor of these delicious croquettes (a latke by another name, I know).

This recipe is pareve (non-dairy) and gebrokts


  • 4 medium leeks, dark green tops (1-2 inches) removed and discarded. Clean very well under running water to remove the trapped dirt. Rough chop.
  • 2 medium-large Idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered.
  • 3 eggs (1 set aside)
  • ¼ cup matzah meal
  • 2 Tb. fresh dill, washed, dried and chopped (must be fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • canola oil for frying


  1. Place chopped leeks and potatoes in large pot of water. Fill water to 1 inch over the vegetables. Simmer 35-40 minutes or until fork pierces through potatoes.
  2. Drain vegetables in mesh strainer. When cool enough, use hands to press as much water as possible out of the veggies. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Place cooked leeks and potatoes in a large mixing bowl and use an egg masher to smash the veggies.
  4. Beat 2 eggs and add to the mixture. Add matzah meal , salt and pepper and fresh dill.
  5. Heat ¼ inch of oil in large, non-stick pan until hot but not smoking.
  6. Beat last egg. Arrange bowl of mixture and egg near frying pan.
  7. Form 2 inch patties with your hands and flatten slightly. Carefully dip into egg and allow excess to drip back into the egg bowl.
  8. Gently place the patties in frying pan and cook until lightly browned. Flip and cook second side.
  9. Remove from pan and place croquettes on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve hot.


Tip: These tasty croquettes may be served with a squeeze of lemon alongside any chicken, fish or meat dish. For a dairy meal, consider serving them topped with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.

Prep Ahead Guide: They may be made 1-2 days in advance and re-heated on a foil lined tray in a 350 degree oven.

Freezer Instructions: Flash freeze these tasty croquettes by placing them in a single layer on a foil lined tray on an even surface in the freezer. After 2 hours, place them in a Ziploc bag and seal well. Flash freezing prevents them from sticking to each other, allowing you to remove a few at a time. Re-heat in 350 degree oven on a foil lined tray.


Originally Posted in “Dilly Leek Croquettes for Passover
photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Macaroons for Passover are as ubiquitous as rain in springtime. And why not? Gluten-free, dairy-free and super easy to make, you can march yourself right by those packaged goods and whip these up in no time.

Here’s the easiest and most basic recipe for this Passover classic. Consider it a starting point. Add mix-in’s that catch your fancy. Consider chopped pistachios or almonds, chocolate chips, orange or lemon zest or poppy seeeds. Dip into melted chocolate (or drizzle) and they become gourmet. Bake your own and you’ll relish these moist mounds in a whole new way.

Thank you, Tova’s All Natural, for this recipe.

And no guilt, please, if you’re not up for baking. Click here for all you need to know about where to order your Passover desserts.

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons

18 macaroons

Passover macaroons are a great basic to keep on hand because they store well and stay moist.

Here's a super easy, basic recipe. Get creative with mix in's and they will look and taste gourmet.

This recipe is kosher for Passover, gluten-free and dairy free (pareve)


  • 1 1/3 Cup of sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of potato starch
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3-4 ounces of fine kosher for Passover chocolate melted (to dip baked and cooled macaroons)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Combine ingredients in a mixer then scoop or shape into 1 ounce rounds
  3. Place on lined or sprayed baking sheet
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until browned
  5. When cooled, dip in chocolate and let them cool to form a thin shell


Thank you, Tova's All Natural, for this recipe


Originally Posted in “Chocolate Dipped Macaroons
Thai Coconut Tilapia courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering

Thai Coconut Tilapia courtesy of Marcia Selden Catering

Contributed by Marcia Selden Catering

We all know someone (heck it could be us) who says they don’t like fish.  Most likely it’s because they say it smells, well… fishy.  These dishes will convert even the staunchest non-fish eaters with these mild and delicious recipes.

Tilapia is a great intro fish because not only does it not smell like anything, it has a very mild taste and texture.  It’s readily available, the texture is very similar to chicken, and the best part?  Tilapia cooks very quickly, so you’ll have dinner ready in NO time! Also, while we don’t normally love frozen fish, tilapia is fine to buy frozen.  It defrosts in a few minutes in a bowl of warm water.

Haddock, scrod or cod are your next best bet, still very mild but a little thicker in texture.  Any of these recipes can be made with any of these fishes.

Thai Coconut Tilapia

4 servings

Coconut milk lends creaminess to this spicy fish dish. Control the heat by adjusting the amount of red curry paste and sriracha.

This dish is non-dairy (pareve) and fish.


  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil (or any cooking oil)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 bunch of green beans
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 3 Tbs. Thai red curry paste
  • 4 tilapia fillets- 4 oz. each
  • ½ C. diced cilantro
  • ¼ C. thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • Kosher salt
  • Sriracha (optional)


  1. Heat a large pan to medium heat. Melt coconut oil in the pan, and sauté onion until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add carrots and cook for about 5 minutes. Add green beans and red pepper.
  3. Add curry paste and coconut milk to the pan. Stir until the curry paste is fully dissolved into the coconut milk, cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add fish and cook on medium high heat for 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with salt and garnish with cilantro, green onion, and a wedge of lime before serving.

Mediterranean Tilapia Saute

4 servings

This easy one-pan dish sings with the basic flavors of the Mediterranean.

Serve over any whole grain and your meal is complete.

This recipe is non-dairy (pareve) and fish.


  • 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ C. white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 (4-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 1 C. canned petit Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, with juice
  • ½ C. chopped pitted green or black Greek olives
  • 2 Tbs. capers
  • 1/4 Tsp. dried crushed red pepper, optional
  • 2 C. packed fresh baby spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large nonstick skillet heat 2 teaspoons of oil over a medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the wine, garlic, fish, tomatoes, olives and capers and crushed red pepper.
  4. Cover and cook until fish is opaque in the center, about 2½ minutes per side.
  5. Remove lid, add spinach and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.

Coconut Panko Crusted Tilapia

4 servings

For anyone who loves their fish with a crispy coating, here's a great solution without frying in an abundance of oil.

This recipe is non-dairy (pareve) and fish.


  • 1 C. flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ C. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 C. Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil


  1. Place flour in a shallow bowl or dish. In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs until combined.
  2. On a plate, mix coconut, Panko, chili powder, and salt with a fork.
  3. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  4. Dip tilapia first into flour, then into egg and lastly into coconut-Panko mixture.
  5. Place breaded fish in pan, increase heat to medium and cook on first side for 1½-2 minutes.
  6. Flip fillets and cook on other side until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, about 3 more minutes.

Originally Posted in “Three Fish Recipes for Non- Fish Lovers

Photo: Michael Bennett Kress

The New Passover Menu by Paula Shoyer enticed me from the first moment I flipped through it’s fifty plus recipes. And for fans of Shoyer’s previous baking cookbooks,  you’ll be thrilled to find 16 mostly gluten-free, kosher for Passover desserts.

Paula’s straight forward approach and sense of humor infuse these pages with easy to follow and mostly health conscious recipes. She begins with an overview called “Freedom from Passover Food Oppression”, reminding home cooks about how stringent Passover food restrictions can be. And then she offers solutions.

Shoyer breaks it all down with simple instructions on preparing for the holiday, planing your Seder table and arranging your Seder plate.

Once the foundations and rules are set (great reminders even for experienced celebrants and useful for newcomers) she launches eight menus, each with 4-6 dishes, including longer sections for an “Updated Ashkenazic Seder Menu” and an “International Seder Menu“. These eight menus are supplemented with a Breakfast section (gluten- free waffles and pancakes? yes, please) and a decadent dessert section, the area that Shoyer is best known for.

Starting at the beginning, I jumped into her chapter on new ideas for the Ashkenazic menu to see what she would illuminate as NEW.

I found it in her recipe for  Chicken Soup with Chicken Meatballs and Zucchini Spaghetti (scroll down for recipe).

Her soup is a traditional and basic chicken soup, much like mine. The twist is in the lovely rendition of protein rich chicken dumplings floating in broth. For those who don’t want the calories of matzah balls, this is a great solution. And for those who love ‘em, she confesses freely to using the packaged mix (ok, I do too) and shares ideas on how to fancy them up with additions like chopped cilantro, parsley or ginger.

What’s really new here is a reliance on fresh ingredients and much less filler like matzah meal and other starches. Take her Asparagus, Zucchini and Leek Kugel (seasonal!) which only includes a 1/4 cup of matzah meal and is sans potatoes. Here’s a great way to lighten up, include a load of spring greens and honor culinary traditions. For those of you who  can’t imagine a kugel-less Seder, this one’s for you.

The International Seder Menu includes eight recipes influenced by the flavors of Turkey, Morocco, France and the U.S. You’ll find the requisite Middle Eastern Charoset, chunky with textures of chopped dates and figs and seasoned with nutmeg and ginger. Consider serving an array of different Charoset renditions at your Seder and get the conversation going about where they originated and why certain ingredients were used in different countries.

photo: Michael Bennett Kress

I love the Sephardic Poached Fish in Pepper Sauce loaded with garlic, onions, fresh cilantro and plenty of chili powder. Shoyer suggests serving it as a main course for lunch. I see it as a lighter and spicier alternative to heavier meats or braised chicken for a weeknight dinner.

The chapters called Italian Vegetarian Menu and BBQ Dinner Menu feel particularly fresh, with the former including a touching tribute to Shoyer’s father, Reubin Marcus, when he was stationed in Northern Italy during WWII. She lovingly tells the story of how he and his army buddies organized two Seders with plenty of moxie and out-of-the-box creativity and planning, while stationed there.

With that, Shoyer includes four straightforward Italian dishes including a handy and easy Gnocchi with tomato and light cream sauce and this do-ahead crowd pleaser, Eggplant Parmesan.

photo: Michael Bennett Kress

The BBQ Diner Menu reminds us that Passover is a celebration of the emerging spring season. Shoyer reminds us to fire up the BBQ if weather permits. Basic recipes for Garlic Marinated Steak with Onion Jam and Roasted Eggplant with Bell Pepper Vinaigrette will have me reaching for this volume long after the holiday ends.

photo: Michael Bennett Kress

Shoyer is a renowned kosher baker so her fans will turn to the final section of this cookbook  with much anticipation. They will be pleased.

photo: Michael Bennett Kress


She includes 15 new desserts, many of which are gluten-free. Like her prior baking books, she presents a broad range of baked goods here including Fully Loaded Cookie Bars (jammed with pistachios, pecans, shredded coconut, ground almonds,chocolate chips, raisins and dried cranberries- whew!), easy-to-make Triple Chocolate Biscotti and this elegant  hazelnut, coffee infused Opera Cake, filled and topped with chocolate ganache.

The New Passover Menu would make a great holiday gift or a handy all-in-one Passover addition to your own library.  We’re giving one copy away so be sure to click back in tomorrow to enter. It will be easy, promise!

To read more about why we love Paula’s The Kosher Baker click here.

All photos and recipe reprinted with permission from New Passover Menu © 2015 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Michael Bennett Kress

Chicken Soup with Chicken Meatballs & Zucchini Spaghetti

14-16 servings

This recipe is from The New Passover Menu by Paula Shoyer. All photos and recipe reprinted with permission from New Passover Menu © 2015 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Michael Bennett Kress.

Advance prep: Soup may be made 3 days in advance or frozen; meatballs may be made 1 day in advance.

Equipment: Measuring cups and spoons • Large soup pot • Cutting board • Knives • Vegetable peeler • 2 medium bowls • Large sieve or strainer • Garlic press • Food processor

From Paula Shoyer: "Like most people, I love matzoh balls. Although everyone knows me as a from-scratch baker, I am admitting here that I always make matzoh balls from the mix. After eating my mother’s matzoh balls for years, which alternated from year to year between light and fluffy and something else (I think because of variations in egg sizes), once I tried the balls from the mix, I never went back. Constant dieting has forced me to avoid them, so I developed chicken meatballs as an alternative. They even look like matzoh balls. But the traditionalists out there need not worry, as I have also provided ideas below for updating traditional matzoh balls."


    For the Soup
  • 2 whole medium chickens, cut into pieces
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut lengthwise in half
  • 6 stalks celery with leaves, cut crosswise in half
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut in thirds
  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered
  • 1 turnip, peeled and quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 gallon (3.8L) water
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • ½ bunch dill
  • Salt and black pepper
  • For the Chicken Meatballs
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (about 5–6 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds or matzoh meal
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • for the GARNISH
  • 2 medium zucchini, not peeled


    To make the soup
  1. PLACE the chicken pieces in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, leek, celery, garlic, parsnips, fennel, turnip, bay leaves, and salt.
  2. Add the water and bring to a boil.
  3. Use a large spoon to skim the scum off the top of the soup. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let the soup simmer, checking after 5 minutes and skimming off any additional scum.
  4. Add the parsley and dill, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Let cool.
  5. Strain through a large sieve, reserving the carrots to return to the soup when serving.
  6. Taste the soup and add more salt or pepper if necessary.
  7. To make the meatballs
  8. WHILE the soup is cooking, prepare the meatball mixture.
  9. In the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade attachment, mix together the chicken, stock, ground almonds, garlic, and egg until a paste forms.
  10. Add the scallions, salt, and pepper and pulse a few times to mix.
  11. Transfer the meatball mixture to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for up to 1 day, until ready to shape and cook the meatballs.
  12. USE a spoon to scoop up the meatball batter and wet hands to shape it into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) balls. Bring the strained soup to a simmer, add the meatballs, cover, and cook for 8 minutes.
  13. To make the garnish
  14. MEANWHILE, prepare the zucchini “spaghetti” for the garnish.
  15. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick (6-mm) slices.
  16. Keeping the stack together, use a vegetable peeler to shave the zucchini into long strips.
  17. Slice the reserved cooked carrots into rounds and return them to the soup.
  18. Top each serving of soup and meatballs with some of the zucchini spaghetti.


Matzoh Ball Variations (gebrokts)

Combine your choice of any one of the following with one packet from a 5-ounce (142g) package of matzoh ball mix to make 13 matzoh balls. Plan on 2 matzoh balls per person:

• 1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped ginger plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro

• ½ teaspoon black pepper

• 1 carrot peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch (6 mm) pieces

• 1½ teaspoons mixed finely chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and basil

Originally Posted in “Chicken Soup-Hold the Matzah Balls
photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Contributed by Melissa Roberts

By now, winter feels endless. Had enough heavy stews and soups already? Even when stuck in winter’s grip, you can bring the warmth of sunnier climes to the table with this one dish fish entree that combines the flavors of Provence.

Thick cod fillets are nestled in a rustic tomato based sauce with fennel, bell pepper, plenty of sliced garlic, onions and olives. The vegetables are cooked down to their essential richness, then finished with a hit of orange zest. The ease of this dish is perfect for a weekday meal rotation, and even better, the sauce’s flavors deepen if made a day or two ahead. Just reheat in the baking dish or bring to room temperature before adding the cod.

photo: Liz Rueven

photo: Liz Rueven

Cod in Provencal Fennel-Tomato Sauce

4 servings

Recipe: Melissa Roberts

A deglaze of Pernod or Pastis, an anise flavored liquor (and distant cousin of absinthe) complements the licorice flavor of the fennel in the sauce. In fact, it’s an essential ingredient in bouillabaise, a Provencal classic. If you don’t have Pernod on hand and prefer not to add it to your bar collection, white wine can easily be substituted without sacrificing flavor. Butter is added at the end to enrich the sauce, but can be also be omitted if making the dish dairy free. Flexibility is key to rustic cooking.

This recipe is dairy with pareve (non-dairy) option


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb with tops, tough outer layer trimmed and bulb chopped (reserve fronds)
  • 1 medium bell pepper (any color), chopped
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Pastis or Pernod*
  • 1 (32 ounce) can peeled plum tomatoes, drained of juice
  • 1/3 cup pitted picholine or kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter**
  • 4 (6 ounce) center cut Atlantic cod fillets
  • 1 orange


  1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, fennel, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are completely softened, 8 to 10 minutes more.
  4. Add Pastis and cook, stirring until half of liquor is evaporated. Add tomatoes, crushing them with your hands or with the back of a spoon, then olives and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer sauce 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Transfer to a 2-quart shallow baking dish.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle.
  7. Arrange cod fillets over sauce. Drizzle top of fish with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until fish is opaque and just cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes.
  8. Chop ¼ cup’s worth of fennel fronds. Zest some orange over cod fillets (best done with a microplane) and sprinkle fish with chopped fronds.


*A equivalent amount of dry white wine may be substituted.

**Butter enriches the sauce at the end, but omit it if you wish to make the dish dairy free.

Cook’s note: Sauce (without fish) can be made and kept chilled in an airtight container up to 3 days ahead. Bring to room temperature or reheat in baking dish before adding fish.

Originally Posted in “Cod Provencal & Dreams of Warmer Days