Tag Archives: Passover

Matzo crack

This is Murphy.

Murphy is my aunt’s partner’s dog. He’s a little canine gentleman through and through–charming and well-mannered, without the intense neediness most dogs his size seem to have. As my aunt says, “He’s a good little Irish boy.” But Murphy has one odd, very un-Irish weakness.


I highly doubt I will ever love anything as much as this dog loves matzo. Where other dogs will do tricks for doggy treats, Murphy will do tricks for matzo. If he sees a matzo box, he’ll start showing off even before he’s asked, because he knows there is salty crunchy goodness in his immediate future.

But whereas Murphy can’t get enough matzo, some of us humans–especially those who have to live on it for a week every spring–aren’t so enamored. So, here is a very un-Murphy-safe way to make matzo irresistible: by smothering it in toffee and then smothering the toffee in chocolate.

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Passover 2011–where’s the beef?

I know, it’s not technically Passover anymore. Time to move on. But I couldn’t let this holiday season pass without talking, ever-so-quickly, about Molly, my Jew-cooking partner in crime.

Or, more specifically, her brisket.

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Passover 2011–the main event

This is a post about balls.

A controversial topic, to be sure. Some people grew up with them; some didn’t. When it comes to taste, some like them soft and giving, others firm and round. Some like them small, compact, easy on the tongue; some want them so big you couldn’t fit them in your mouth even if you tried. There are some people who don’t even like them at all, but–if we’re being truly honest–that’s something I just can’t identify with.

Traditionally, especially in the springtime, these balls are often consumed alongside a hunk of beef–though, again, some folks just don’t swing that way. But at least everyone can agree on how the whole thing gets started: a thick paste of eggs and ground matzo, shaped into spheres and simmered in salted water or broth.

Wait, what did you think I meant?

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So apparently I’m 2-for-2 on delicious gluten-free Passover dishes that might not actually be kosher for Passover.  But nevermind that.  Let’s talk about quinoa.

I’ve been vowing for years to get more quinoa in my diet.  If all those breathless news articles are to be believed, it’s a new superfood.  It’s exotic–all the way from Peru!  It’s ancient–the Inca ate it!  It’s full of protein and wholesome whole-grain goodness!  What’s not to like!

I’ve been making tentative progress.  In college, I would mix red quinoa and ranch dressing into a bowl of mashed potatoes.  Somehow I managed to convince myself that the little extra protein boost from those little scarlet orbs canceled out the giant gummy forkfuls of potato I was stuffing into my face.  As I got more, um…sophisticated, I started encountering quinoa salads, pleasant little pops of grain swarming around beans and green vegetables and even tofu, overwhelming me with texture and freshness and wholesome earnest appeal.

But on its own, as a stand-in for less virtuous starches, quinoa was…lacking.  I’ve never been much a fan of food that pretends to be something it’s not, and when I was faced with tiny hardy orbs, heaped sheepishly in a bowl, almost apologetic for not being rice or couscous, I was understandably nonplussed.

Stand alone, I silently implored the quinoa.  Make something of yourself.  Don’t be shy.

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