Caterer Abigail Kirsch offers a seder meal of updated classics, plus do-ahead tips
Even for premier New York City caterer Abigail Kirsch, Passover is both a delight and a challenge. It's a delight because of the quality time she spends with family. And it's a challenge because the holiday's rituals have an impact on what and when everyone eats. But as tricky as it may seem to orchestrate a major meal with dietary restrictions-no yeast products, no pasta, etc.-around an ages-old ceremony, it can be done. And beautifully. Kirsch, the doyenne of memorable feasts, has crafted this modern, make-ahead, kid-friendly menu featuring a few favorites adapted from her book Invitation to Dinner. The menu works wonderfully for either the first or second night of Passover. Kirsch is preparing it for her second seder; her family will enjoy traditional dishes including chicken soup, matzoh balls, and gefilte fish for the first seder.
Kirsch has also included step-by-step guidance for busy cooks, so that by the time your family gathers around the table the only thing left to do will be to celebrate.
ELEGANT SEDER FOR TWELVE
Kids' Matzoh Pizza (see full recipe below)
Leek and Potato Soup
For soup: crisp Sauvignon Blanc
Veal, Wild Mushrooms, and Red Wine
Balsamic Mixed Vegetable Roast
For entrées: bold Cabernet Sauvignon or rich Zinfandel
Citrus Sponge Cake with Strawberries
KIDS' MATZOH PIZZA
Epicurious | April 2001
Yield: Makes 4 (appetizer) servings
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups matzoh farfel
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2/3 cups seasoned tomato sauce
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl. Add the farfel and salt; blend well.
3. Heat the oil in a 9-inch nonstick skillet, over medium heat. Add the egg mixture and cook until the eggs have set and the bottom of the crust is golden brown. Slip the crust onto a large plate and invert back into the skillet onto the uncooked side. Brown side for about 1 1/2 minutes.
4. Spoon the tomato sauce over the top of the crust and cover well with the mozzarella cheese.
5. Bake the pizza in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Remove the pizza from the oven and cut into wedges.
Cook's Tip: The pizza will serve 4 as an appetizer. When preparing the pizza for adults, add 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano to the egg and farfel mixture before cooking. Add sautéed diced vegetables such as mushrooms or bell peppers to the tomato sauce.
Three Days Ahead
Stock up on items for the seder plate and seder: kosher juice, kosher wine, parsley, horseradish root with bright green leaves, lamb or veal shank bone, eggs, ingredients for Charoset (chopped nuts, apples, spices, and wine), and matzoh. Make sure you have enough Haggadahs on hand.
Two Days Ahead
1. Prepare Leek and Potato Soup through step 3; cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate soup and marrow separately.
2. Heat oven to 350°F; prepare Veal, Wild Mushrooms, and Red Wine; cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.
3. While veal is cooking, roast shank bone and egg for seder plate on another rack in oven; cover and refrigerate separately.
4. Hard-boil one egg for each guest, plus one for the seder plate. "Roast" or scorch the seder plate egg by placing it briefly on a lit stove burner with its shell still on. Peel the guests' eggs. Cool all eggs to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.
5. Peel and cut horseradish root into individual pieces for each guest; reserve one 2-inch piece with greens for seder plate; cover and refrigerate.
One Day Ahead
1. Heat oven to 350°F; prepare Apple Matzoh Kugel; cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.
2. Prepare Citrus Sponge Cake; bake in 350°F oven after kugel is finished.
3. Increase oven temperature to 450°F; prepare Balsamic Mixed Vegetable Roast; cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate.
1. Prepare Charoset; cover and keep at room temperature.
2. Set table, including matzoh on each plate; chill kosher juices for kids and have kosher wines ready; set out the Haggadahs; set the Afikoman matzoh plate (the Afikoman is a piece of matzoh drawn from the middle of the matzoh stack that will be hidden as part of the seder ceremony).
3. Fill each guest's individual dishes with Charoset, horseradish, parsley, a hard-boiled egg, and a few drops of salt water; refrigerate and cover until serving.
Two Hours Ahead
1. Remove Balsamic Mixed Vegetable Roast from refrigerator; let come to room temperature before serving.
2. Remove the soup and reserved bone marrow, veal, kugel, and shank bone from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
3. Prepare crust for Kids' Matzoh Pizza; let cool and keep at room temperature.
One Hour Ahead
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Assemble and bake pizza.
2. When pizza is finished, reduce heat to 350°F and reheat kugel and veal (reserve chopped parsley to garnish veal at serving time).
3. Assemble seder plate: roasted shank bone (Zeroa); horseradish root (Maror); Charoset; fresh parsley (Karpas); roasted, hard-boiled egg (Beitzah); and a dish of salt water.
1/2 Hour Ahead
1. Prepare strawberries for the Citrus Sponge Cake; cover and refrigerate. (Arrange strawberries on cake at serving time.)
2. Whip cream for cake (optional) and refrigerate; prepare coffee and tea service.
3. Place ceremonial wineglass in front of ceremony leader's place. Fill adult wineglasses with first glass of wine, and set wine bottles on table. Fill children's glasses with juice. Fill water glasses.
15 Minutes Ahead
Arrange all dishes and ceremonial foods on table with seder plate; lower oven temperature to keep warmed kugel and veal from drying out.
At the Conclusion of the Seder Ceremony
Bring soup to simmer and complete recipe with marrow, ladle into individual bowls, and serve.
Garnish veal with chopped parsley and set it on the table along with vegetables, kugel, and pizzas.
Photo by Lara Ferroni
MORE FOR PASSOVER FROM EPICURIOUS.COM