Magazine article Vegetarian Times

Perfect for Passover

Magazine article Vegetarian Times

Perfect for Passover

Article excerpt

An old-world delight gets a modern twist

This is the time of year when generations of family cooks start creating original dishes to be eaten during the Jewish holy days of Passover. This eight-day celebration, which begins this year on April 19, commemorates the liberation of Jewish slaves from ancient Egypt and, as with any special occasion, delicious food is a big part of the festivities.

The challenge for the home cook is Judaisms strict prohibition against leavening agents (such as baking soda and baking powder) during Passover. Many traditional breads and baked goods are forbidden to symbolize and honor the slav& hasty flight from Egypt, when there was no time to let the bread rise. But crisp, crunchy matzo--an unleavened cracker-- like product-is permitted, as is matzo meal, which is ground matzo with the consistency of coarse flour. This makes an excellent flour replacement in Passover dishes, so it's possible to enjoy fabulous cakes, cookies@ confections and more.

When I was growing up, my mother's recipe for chremsel-a light, fluffy Passover pancake-was a much-loved breakfast dish. We called it bubalah, a term of endearment that means "little doll" in Hebrew and "grandmother" in Yiddish. Bubalah is a cross between a souffle and an omelet, though after it's removed from the skillet, it flattens into more of a pancake. We considered it a treat because it was sprinkled with sugar and eaten only during Passover.

Traditionally, the recipe calls for matzo meal-which gives the pancake body-three or four eggs, whole milk and quite a bit of butter. To make a healthier rendition, I omitted the milk and butter, reduced the eggs and used less than a teaspoon of oil for cooking. …

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