Pesach begins this year on Monday night sundown the 25th of March. My mother, Nona, god bless her, made us get up early and have that last little bit of Chametz for breakfast down in her makeshift Chametz kitchen in the basement of our home in Seattle before the cut off time. She always banished all the toasters and such, along with the last of the Chametz once she had completely changed over the kitchen for Pesach. Pesach required incredible cleaning and preparing, the cooking complicated and difficult even though we did not host the Seders at our home we always went to an Auntie’s house. In Ladino this preparing is referred to as the Hechos de Pesach.
As in the past I have been preparing furiously, especially since my husband and I are traveling last minute to Costa Rica for a few days. I thought, I need to publish my menu for both nights before I leave. Did you realize there are around 50 recipes for Passover on my blog under the recipe index? I will have about a dozen guests the first night and twenty for the second.
I refuse to use paper plates and such. If you are young and don’t have Pesach dishes just yet, I understand but if you have a family and have been doing it for years, come on, drag out your good stuff, take it seriously and realize the magnitude of what we are celebrating. Your liberty, your freedom, a revolt for civil rights, and self governance were won at great cost. OK off the soap box
Menu First Night:
Gefilte Fish with Prepared Horseradish
Natural Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls
Mixed Berry and Rhubarb
Filet of Beef
Oven Roasted Carrots
Oven Roasted Red and Purple Potatoes
Marunchinos, Mustachudos, Biscotti, Torrone, Semifreddo with Mango and Raspberries, Passover Mini Brownies, Macaroons, Lemon Pavlova, Chocolate Cake, and Fruit
Menu Second Seder:
The same with the following exceptions,
Fish: Halibut Plaki
Sorbet: Grapefruit and Raspberry
Main Course: Miniature Stuffed Chickens,
Texas Smoked Brisket
Brisket With Prunes and Caramelized Onions
Vegetables: Roasted Asparagus
Roasted Beets and Carrots
Quinoa with Arugula, Pistachios, and Caramelized Onions
Dessert: add in Fresh Berry Crisp
Why this menu? you may ask. Why is this night different than all other nights? A lot of it may be made ahead and either frozen or stored air tight. A lot of it is little lighter than the usual Pesach menu and with a large variety we can please everyone in this Ashkenazi Sephardi mixed family, non beef eaters, beef eaters, vegetarians, vegetables haters, sweet tooth’s, and chocolate lovers and those who don’t eat nuts. Hag Sameach Linda
Dana @ Foodie Goes Healthy says
Wow, Linda. What an amazing menu. Does anyone help you make all the food? I struggle to get such a large meal on the table. How far in advance do you start freezing? What items freeze well? I’d love any tips because clearly you have a great system. Maybe a future post with more details about the “how.” I hope you enjoy these wonderful Passover meals with your family.
Linda Capeloto Sendowski says
Hi Dana, I have help washing and cleaning up and I have someone help wash vegeies some times. I have my system. Many things can be made ahead. SOup, brisket, sorbet can be made ahead and frozen. Poultry can’t be made ahead. It needs to be made day of the dinner. Fish , the kind I serve on Passover can be made the day before or even two days before. Most cookies keep in airtight containers for a week or so. Merringues a week or so airtight. Lemon Curd a day ahead. Pop over rolls the day of but mushroom dumplings and kufte de prassa are alright frozen. Fritada, Megina, can be made a day ahead, haroset a week ahead, bumuelos or anything fried taste better last minute and if you are observant perhaps these dishes that have to fried last minute are better left to the in between days, chol Hamoed PAssover. I hope this helps. Linda
Dana @ Foodie Goes Healthy says
This is fantastic. Thank you Linda. I thinking cooking ahead is key so thank you for the tips.
A Bit of Brooklyn says
What a gorgeous spread! I love the idea of freezing things to time everything right– but I don’t think I have a big enough freezer! 🙂 Thanks for all the great ideas!