Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Passover Dinner

The seders are fun and engaging but the reality is that it doesn't take too long before matzoh gets old, along with eating Passover style. Knowing that by the weekend my family would be kvetching I made a big hunk of meat. This is very rare in our house. None of us are big meat eaters and a couple of us generally can't stand the stuff. But brisket, prepared in the style of my grandmother, is something we all love. So I spent an extraordinary amount of money on 4 pounds of kosher brisket, cooked it up and served it with new potatoes, carrot salad, and asparagus for Shabbat dinner.

I had the meal composed in my head well in advance except for dessert. Finding a good dairy-free dessert to serve with meat is challenging enough. I'm all for butter and cream whenever possible, really. But I also needed something without flour to make it kosher for Passover. I looked to The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden where I came across a whole section of Passover cakes. The Almond Cake in Orange Syrup caught my eye since I'm already crazy for orange cake. I was thinking that a syrup cake would make up for the lack of butter. The cake is simple, made only of eggs, ground almonds, sugar, oranges, and cinnamon. Unfortunately because my Passover bakeware is limited, I had another notable lesson in using the proper size pan. The cake ballooned out of the pan I had, but I trimmed it up, plopped it into its syrup bath and it was quite delicious: sticky, moist, nutty, and tasting very strongly of oranges which I found a perfect combination. It's not particularly elegant but it is a simple and lovely cake. Try it and see.

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