Growing up as a kid, I had the experience of having a Jewish Grandmother (Gammy) on my mother’s side and was still Presbyterian. I then went to a Catholic High School!!! Yeah insert all kinds of jokes here!
I looked at it as having the best of both worlds. I know I definitely got the best foods ever. I thought I would share some recipes from both Passover and Easter for y’all to enjoy.
Let’s start with Matzo Ball Soup. As you may or may not know, this is usually served with a chicken broth. My great aunt had a chef and house keeper named Norah. She strained a ton of vegetables to make this incredible vegetable broth as the base for the matzah balls. So here is a family kept recipe that I’ll share with you.
2 leeks trimmed, coarsely chopped and well-washed
5 carrots about 1 pound scrubbed and coarsely chopped
2 large yellow onions chopped (OK to leave skins on)
2 stalks celery including leaves chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Thick peel of 1 scrubbed organic potato see note
Cloves of one bulb of garlic skins on, smashed
1 whole guajillo chile optional (see note)
2 bay leaves
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley coarsely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Real Salt
3 quarts cold water
Heat the oil in a large wide pot over medium-high flame and sauté the leeks, carrots, onions, and celery, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are well browned.
Add the remaining ingredients and the water to the pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered for about 45 minutes.
Place a colander over a bowl and strain the broth. Discard the vegetables. (see note)
Line the colander with cheesecloth or a paper towel (or use a fine sieve), and strain a second time.
3/4 cup matzo meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)
3 large eggs
3 tbsp melted schmaltz (or substitute grapeseed oil)
1 tbsp minced fresh dill (optional)
3-4 quarts soup broth or salted water
In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to mix together the matzo meal, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper.
In another bowl, use another fork to mix together the eggs and schmaltz.
Pour egg mixture into the dry ingredients, and add the minced dill. Mix all ingredients together with a fork till just combined. Do not overmix.
Put the bowl of matzo ball mixture into the refrigerator and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
While your broth or water is warming, form the chilled matzo ball mixture into 1 inch balls. Don’t overwork the mixture when you roll the balls.
When your broth or water boils, lower it to an even bubbling simmer and drop the matzo balls gently into the liquid.
Cover the pot with a lid and let the balls cook for 30-35 minutes till fluffy and soft. Keep the pot covered– no peeking till 30 minutes have gone by! If you’ve followed instructions carefully, the balls should be floating on the surface of the water like billowy clouds of deliciousness.
1.5 – 2 kg / 3 – 4 lb beef brisket (Note 1)
1 tbsp olive oil (or a neutral oil like vegetable, canola)
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves , minced
1/2 cup able cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
2 tsp EACH black pepper , onion powder, mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste re: spiciness)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Place Rub in a bowl and mix to combine.
Rub all over brisket with your hands. If time permits, leave for 30 minutes – 24 hours in the fridge, but I rarely do this.
Combine BBQ Sauce ingredients in a slow cooker. Mix then add the brisket – squish it in if needed, like I did (see video).
Slow cook in slow cooker for 8 hours (1.5 kg / 3 lb) to 10 hours (2 kg / 4 lb). (Note 2 for other methods)
Remove brisket onto a tray.
Pour liquid in slow cooker into a saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium high heat and reduce until it thickens to a syrup consistency (it thickens more as it cools).
Meanwhile, drizzle brisket with oil then roast in a 200C/390F oven for 15 minutes until brown spots appear. Remove then baste generously with Sauce, then return to oven for 5 minutes.
Lobster and Caviar Deviled Eggs
1 dozen organic eggs
3 – 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grated onion
1 tablespoon yellow or dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons sour cream
1 teaspoon chives, chopped
3/4 cup cooked lobster tail meat or lump crabmeat, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh chives and black sturgeon caviar, for garnishing
Place the eggs in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to a full boil. Turn off the heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes; drain and run under cold water until cool enough to handle.
Peel the eggs and halve lengthwise (or trim the tops to expose the yolks, then trim the bottoms to stand the eggs upright). Remove the yolks; transfer to a bowl.
Add the mayo, onion and mustard; season with salt and pepper. Mash until smooth.
Add lemon juice, sour cream and chopped chives. Fold in finely chopped cooked lobster tail meat or lump crabmeat.
Cut a corner off a resealable plastic bag; fill it with the yolk mixture.
Pipe into the egg whites. Garnish with chopped fresh chives and black sturgeon caviar.
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