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Monday, September 22, 2014

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More delicious food for youngsters

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No doubt about it, Passover is a difficult time to feed kids, many of whom subsist on eight days of stomach-wrenching matzah. For my kids, the Pesach menu is matzah with jam, matzah with cheese and a few reluctant bites of fish and meat at my insistence. Like many parents anxious to ensure that kids have nutritious meals, I try to turn the other cheek during Passover and resolve to get them back on schedule as soon as the last matzah box has hit the recycling bin.

In an effort to do better this year, I asked a couple of kosher chefs for recipes and tips on the Passover feeding of smaller humans. “Stay away from almost all the fake stuff in boxes and mixes,” cautions Susie Fishbein, author of the Kosher By Design series of cookbooks. She’s referring to the just-add-water, ready-to-go mixes that are a pantry staple for many of us during Passover. “I’m talking about things that are completely fake, like mustard, soy sauce and pasta,” she adds. “The flavours are so off, they’re not worth working with.”

Fishbein says Parmesan Quinoa was a huge hit with her kids last year, a recipe her daughter made for a dairy Passover meal. “We loved it so much, we started making it all year ’round,” she says. “Quinoa is a seed, not a grain, and know what a great favour you are doing your body by eating it, as it contains all essential amino acids, something few meatless proteins contain.” The Passover Popovers she served with strawberry butter were also a popular dish.

Toronto cookbook author Norene Gilletz is another woman with experience feeding fussy kids. She suggests a healthier version of ice cream for breakfast. “Combine yogurt with frozen chunks of banana and strawberries in the food processor to make an extra-thick smoothie,” she says. Her go-to recipes for kids’ Passover meals include Cheese Latkes, Soup Dumplings and Wacky Franks.

SUSIE FISHBEIN’S PARMESAN QUINOA

 

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1 tbsp. butter

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Rinse quinoa in a medium bowl, covering with water, swishing it around and then draining it in a strainer.

Place drained quinoa in a medium pot, adding water, butter and salt. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and allow the quinoa to bubble and cook for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. The outer germ layer will separate and the grains will look shiny. Stir in the Parmesan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

From Kosher By Design: Teens and 20-Somethings

 

SUSIE FISHBEIN’S PASSOVER POPOVERS

 

nonstick cooking spray

1 cup water

1/3 cup unsalted butter or margarine

1/2 cup matzah meal

1/2 cup matzah cake meal

1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

2 tbsp. sugar

6 large eggs

 

Preheat oven to 450. Grease the top and inside cups of a nonstick popover tin with cooking spray.

In a medium pot bring water and butter or margarine to a boil over medium heat. Add matzah meal, matzah cake meal, salt and sugar. Continue cooking, stirring until the batter no longer sticks to the sides of the pot.

Remove pot from stove and transfer dough to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at high speed for one minute, adding eggs one at a time and continuing to beat after each addition. Beat another 1-2 minutes, then transfer batter to a large measuring cup for easy pouring.

Divide batter among popover compartments and bake for 20 minutes. Without opening oven door, reduce heat to 325 and bake another 30 minutes or until puffed and golden. Remove from pan and serve with butter, honey or jam.

From Passover By Design

 

NORENE GILLETZ’S QUICK SOUP DUMPLINGS

 

These are an easy alternative to matzah balls. Kids love these!

 

2 eggs

2/3 cup matzah meal

1/2 tsp salt

dash freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup water

Using a food processor with a steel blade, process all ingredients until smooth, about 10 seconds. Drop from a teaspoon into simmering soup. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Yield: 8 to 10 servings. Do not freeze.

From The New Food Processor Bible

 

NORENE GILLETZ’S PASSOVER WACKY FRANKS

 

Hot dog and bun, all baked in one!

 

1/2 cup oil

1 cup water

2 cups matzah or cake meal

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 to 1 tsp. salt (to taste)

4 eggs

12 hot dogs, frozen (beef, chicken or veal)

12 wooden skewers

 

Preheat oven to 375. Combine oil and water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Add matzah or cake meal, sugar and salt and mix well, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan. Transfer mixture into processor bowl.

Using the steel blade, process mixture for 5 seconds. Add eggs one at a time through feed tube while machine is running. Process 30 to 40 seconds longer, until smooth.

Mould mixture around frozen hot dogs, oiling hands slightly for easier handling. Place on sprayed foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and insert wooden skewers. Yield: 12 hot dogs.

Keeps 2 days in the refrigerator. Reheats and/or freezes well.

From The New Food Processor Bible

 

NORENE GILLETZ’S PASSOVER CHEESE LATKES

 

1 cup dry or pressed cottage cheese

3 eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tbsp. melted butter or oil

1/2 cup matzah or cake meal

2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. butter or oil for frying

 

Using a food processor with a steel blade, combine all ingredients except butter or oil for frying and process until smooth and blended, approx. 25 seconds. Heat butter or oil in large nonstick skillet. When bubbling drop cheese mixture from large spoon into skillet.

Brown on medium heat on both sides until golden. Repeat with remaining cheese mixture, adding more butter or oil to skillet as necessary. Yield: approx. 12 latkes.

Keeps 2-3 days in refrigerator. Reheats and freezes well.

From The New Food Processor Bible

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