Healthier Passover Favorites
Great recipes for holiday staples
-Courtesy of EatingWell Comfort Foods Made Healthy by Jessie Price and the Editors of EatingWell, countrymanpress.com (copyright 2009)
CRISPY POTATO LATKES
It is a holiday tradition to fry latkes in hot oil, but there’s no reason they can’t be delicious with a little less oil. We give our shredded potato-and-onion pancakes a coating of matzo crumbs, pan-fry them in a small amount of oil and finish them in a hot oven for a few minutes. The golden-crisp results have only 4 grams of fat and 100 calories per serving – truly a miracle.
1 1⁄2 pounds russet potatoes (about 2), shredded
1 medium white onion, shredded
2 medium shallots, minced (about 1⁄4 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 pieces whole-wheat matzo (6-by-6-inch), broken into pieces
1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons peanut oil or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1. Toss shredded potato, onion, shallots and salt in a medium bowl. Transfer to a sieve set over a large bowl; let drain for about 15 minutes. Squeeze the potato mixture, a handful at a time, over the bowl to release excess moisture (don’t oversqueeze-some moisture should remain). Transfer the squeezed potato mixture to another large bowl. Carefully pour off the liquid, leaving a pasty white sediment-potato starch-in the bottom of the bowl. Add the starch to the potato mixture. Stir in egg.
2. Put matzo pieces in a sealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin into coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs and pepper over the potato mixture and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until the matzo is softened, 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir the potato mixture. Cook 4 latkes per batch: place 1⁄4 cup potato mixture in a little of the oil and press with the back of a spatula to flatten into a 31⁄2-inch cake. Cook until crispy and golden, 11⁄2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the latkes to the prepared baking sheet. Continue with 2 more batches, using 1 tablespoon oil per batch and reducing the heat as needed to prevent scorching. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until heated through, about 10 minutes.
MAKES 12 LATKES
MATZO BALL SOUP
Matzo balls are traditionally made with chicken fat-lots of flavor and lots of saturated fat. Floating in a flavorful broth, our matzo balls are light and fluffy but bound together with whisked eggs and only a small amount of canola oil rather than chicken fat. Plus, this version of Jewish penicillin has plenty of added vegetables, making it a good source for vitamins A and C. Now that’s what Doctor Mom ordered!
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup matzo meal
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons cold water
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or parsley
1. Whisk eggs, egg white and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in matzo meal, oil and water. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
2. Bring broth to a boil in a large pot. Add parsnips, carrot and onion; reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Gently roll level teaspoonfuls of the chilled matzo dough into balls, dropping them into the simmering broth as you work. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid: the broth must simmer rapidly to allow the matzo balls to expand properly.
4. Add broccoli and mushrooms and simmer, uncovered, until the broccoli is just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with dill (or parsley) and serve.
MAKES 8 SERVINGS, 1 1⁄4 CUPS EACH