Seder is the traditional meal that marks the beginning of Passover. This Jewish holiday centers around the story in the Book of Exodus where God released 10 plagues upon Egypt. The 10th plague, the death of every firstborn child, is where this holiday receives its name, as God passed over the houses of his believers to spare their children. For the Passover seder, several generations get together to retell the story of the freeing of the Israelites from slavery and share the Passover seder plate comprised of six items symbolizing the struggle of the Israelites, with the seventh item placed on the seder table. As the first meal of Passover is already taken care of, local chef Stacie Shoob has a few menu ideas to keep your holiday delicious and kosher.
Bubbie’s Love Bistro
7800 Sunrise Blvd., Suite 11
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
www.bubbieslove.comInspired by her grandmother’s love of cooking, Stacie Shoob-Allen opened Bubbie’s Love Bistro in order to bring her family’s recipes to Sacramento residents. Stacie started as a home cook, working her way through her family cookbooks to save her family from the takeout menu. Over the years, Stacie began to notice that there was a lack of Jewish cuisine in the Sacramento area, outside of the occasional deli sandwich, so she partnered with a friend and began to sell homemade, traditional pastries, sandwiches and treats. Though she has gone through many heartaches in the past few years, Stacie has continued to turn to Bubbie’s Love Bistro where she can lovingly and meticulously create every ingredient for her friends, family and customers.
Beef Brisket (serves 6-8)
- 5 lbs beef brisket
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 4 tsp dry mustard
- 2 envelopes onion soup mix
- 2 cups water
- 1 can crushed pineapple
- Roasting pan with a tight-fitting lid
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix oil and mustard to make a paste. Coat the entire roast with the mixture.
- Mix the onion soup mix and the water in a roasting pan until free of lumps.
- Place brisket in roasting pan fat side up, cover and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, basting and turning occasionally.
- Add crushed pineapple and cook for another 30 minutes, basting and turning occasionally.
- Allow to cool, and slice thinly against the grain for tender pieces of meat.
Tip: Some like to prepare their brisket in advance as they believe it gives the brisket time to fully develop its flavor. If you prepare your brisket the day before you serve it, then cover it in the fridge overnight and reheat before serving. Some individuals will make their brisket up to a week in advance, slice and freeze the brisket before thawing and reheating.
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Easy Potato Kugel (serves 6-7)
- 1/4 cup oil or schmaltz (melted chicken fat)
- 6 oz package of potato pancake mix (Kosher brands include Manischewitz, Streits and Gefen)
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup matzo meal
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and grease an 8″ x 8″ baking pan.
- Beat eggs and water together and add the oil or schmaltz. Mix well.
- Add matzo meal and pancake mix and continue to mix well.
- Allow batter to thicken for 3-5 minutes before placing in your well-greased baking pan.
- Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown on top.
- Allow to cool before slicing into squares and serving.
Tip: Kugel comes in many variations and can be sweet or savory, potato or noodle based. In order to keep kosher for Passover, skip the noodle Kugel and stay with a potato-based mixture. If you prefer your kugel to have a kick, add spices like cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper to taste.
Passover Frozen Strawberry Meringue Torte (serves 12)
Macaroon Nut Crust:
- 5 oz. almond or chocolate flavored macaroons (approx 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted margarine or butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 10″ x 3″ spring form pan.
- Place macaroons and butter in a food processor with a metal blade, and mix until coarsely ground.
- Add nuts and process until the mixture begins to hold together.
- Press mixture into your pan and bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before adding filling.
- 2 egg whites (at room temperature)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (kosher)
- Place all ingredients in a mixer or mixing bowl, and beat on low until blended.
- Increase speed to high and beat until firm peaks form when beaters are removed (10-15 minutes).
- Pour mixture in cooled pie crust and freeze for a minimum of 6 hours, or until firm. The mixture will not become completely solid.
- Slice and serve torte directly from freezer.
- The torte can be frozen for up to 3 weeks.
Tip: If you cannot find kosher vanilla extract, then you can either use the insides of 1 vanilla bean or make your own vanilla sugar. In order to replace the vanilla extract in this recipe, place 1 vanilla bean in a jar with two cups of sugar, seal and let sit for approximately 5 days. Then remove the vanilla bean and use 1 cup of vanilla-scented sugar in place of the regular sugar in this recipe.
- 10 oz. package frozen sliced strawberries
- 3 Tbsp frozen undiluted orange juice or 2 Tbsp orange marmalade
- 1 Tbsp currant jelly
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- Slightly defrost berries and concentrate (or marmalade) and puree in food processor with a metal blade.
- Mix in currant jelly.
- Remove to a bowl and stir in sliced berries.
- Serve cold.
Tip: Sauce may be refrigerated overnight, so the entire torte can be prepared ahead.
Megan Bowyer is a freelance writer in search of the best food and drinks that Sacramento has to offer. You can find her at any number of dive bars or trendy restaurants; just look for the short blonde feeding the jukebox. Her work can be found at “Examiner.com“