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Passover 5781

Paula Shoyer’s gift this Passover: ‘Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook’

(JNS) Just in time for Passover, kosher cooking maven/author Paula Shoyer’s Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook is now in print from Sterling Epicure. With 46 kosher-for-Passover recipes alone, from soups and salads to appetizers, sides to main courses and desserts—a number of which are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free—this is the time to pull out that Instant Pot you received as a gift and were afraid to use.

A pastry chef who trained in France, Shoyer is the author of The Kosher Baker, The Holiday Kosher Baker, The Healthy Jewish Kitchen and The New Passover Menu. 

She calls the Instant Pot revolutionary—“ideal for anyone who wants food fast with less cleanup.” Shoyer adds that it’s especially helpful “when you already have every burner going and three more pots waiting to take their turn. Now I can check off items on my cooking ‘To Do’ list much faster with equally fast cleanup in between.” Recipes that used to take hours, she says, now take a fraction of the time.

Whole Peruvian Spiced Chicken (Meat)

Serves 4-6
Hands-on time: 17 minutes
Time to pressure: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Release type: Natural Release for 15 Minutes
Buttons to use: Sauté and Pressure Cook
Advance prep: May be made two days in advance

Ingredients:
4 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 whole chicken, about 3-4 lbs.
1 Tbsp. potato starch 

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Drizzle one tablespoon of the oil over the chicken and rub to coat. Shake the spice mixture onto the chicken and rub all over.

Press Sauté and when the display reads “Hot,” add the remaining oil. Place the chicken into the inner pot, breast-side down, and cook for four minutes or until browned. Turn over and brown for another 4 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.

Add the boiling water to the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot clean. Place the steam rack into the pot and place the chicken on the rack, breast-side up. Secure the lid, ensuring that the steam release handle is in the Sealing position. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the cooking time for 25 minutes.

When the cooking time is complete, let the pot sit for another 15 minutes to naturally release the pressure. Turn the steam release handle to the Venting position to release any remaining pressure. Press Cancel.

Remove the lid, take out the chicken and place onto a serving platter. Press Sauté and cook the drippings for 4 minutes or more to reduce the sauce.

To thicken the sauce further, you can scoop up about ¼ cup of the drippings into a small bowl, add the potato starch, mix and return to the pot and stir.

Cut the chicken into serving pieces. Pour some sauce over the chicken and serve the remaining sauce in a bowl alongside. If you make this the day before you are serving it, you can remove the fat from the reserved sauce before reheating.

Spaghetti Squash With Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce (Vegan/Pareve)

Serves 6-8
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to pressure: 6 minutes
Cooking time: 9 minutes
Button to use: Pressure Cook
Release type: Quick Release
Advance prep: May be made two days in advance

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 spaghetti squash, about 2½ lbs., cut in half horizontally and seeds scooped out
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 lbs. cherry tomatoes, different colors preferably, halved the long way
¼ tsp. kosher salt
generous pinch Aleppo pepper or freshly ground black pepper 

Directions:
Place the water into the inner pot and insert the steam rack. Place the squash halves on top of the rack.

Secure the lid, ensuring that the steam release handle is in the Sealing position. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the cooking time for 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute or until a few pieces start to color. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking for 7 to 9 minutes or until most of the tomatoes break down and you have a sauce.

Stir occasionally. The mixture should bubble the entire time. Add the salt and pepper, and turn off the heat.

When the squash cooking time is complete, turn the steam release handle to the Venting position to quickly release the pressure. Press Cancel and remove the lid.

Use a large fork to lift up the squash halves into a colander and let cool for 2 minutes, or until you can handle them; I lift them with a dishtowel. Use the fork to scrape the threads of the squash into the frying pan. Turn the sauce back on to medium heat. Use a fork to mix the squash into the sauce.

When it is all mixed in, cook for 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

Mocha Lava Cakes (Dairy or Pareve)

Serves 6
Hands-on time: 12 minutes to cook in batches, plus 30 minutes to cool
Time to pressure: 7 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes
Button to use: Pressure Cook
Release type: Quick Release
Advance prep: May be made 4 hours in advance

Ingredients:
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup coconut oil, margarine or butter
2 Tbsp., plus 1 tsp., instant coffee granules
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
2 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup potato starch
spray oil
1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. water, divided

Directions:
You will need six 6-ounce ramekins. Place the chocolate and coconut oil into a heatproof bowl and microwave for 1 minute, stir and then melt for another 45 seconds, stir and then melt for 30 seconds, if needed. Add the instant coffee, vanilla and cocoa and whisk in.

Place the eggs, egg yolks and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to mix at low speed to combine and then turn the speed up to high and beat for 3 minutes. Add the potato starch and beat at low speed to just combine. Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk gently until combined.

Spray the ramekins with spray oil. Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins, a heaping half-cup for each mold.

Place the water into the inner pot and insert the steam rack. Place three of the ramekins in a circle around the rack.

Secure the lid, ensuring that the steam release handle is in the Sealing position. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the cooking time for seven minutes. When the cooking time is complete, press Cancel. Turn the steam release handle to the Venting position to quickly release the pressure.

Carefully remove the ramekins from the pot. Add another two tablespoons of water to the pot and cook the remaining three cakes as you did the first batch. It will take about 2 minutes for the Instant Pot to return to pressure.

Let the cakes cool for at least 30 minutes before unmolding. To unmold, run a thin knife or small metal spatula around the edge of the cake, place a plate on top and turn the cake onto the plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired and serve with fruit.

Melting the chocolate:
Place chocolate chopped into half-inch pieces into a microwave-safe bowl, such as a large glass bowl. Make sure you have discarded every tiny piece of foil that wrapped the chocolate. Heat for 1 minute at high power for 45 seconds to start if you have less than 10 ounces of chocolate. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir well, mixing the melted pieces into the unmelted ones for about 30 seconds. Heat for another 45 or 30 seconds and stir again for about 1 minute. If the chocolate is not fully melted, heat for another 30 seconds and stir. Repeat for 15 seconds, if necessary. Be sure to use oven mitts to hold the bowl when you stir it.

This article first appeared in The Dayton Jewish Observer. Photos by Bill Milne.

 

For Pandemic Passover 2021, hundreds turn to OneTable for resource & guidance on safe, meaningful Seders

(JNS) OneTable, an organization that empowers people to envision new rituals and build community through Shabbat dinner experiences, is helping make the 2021 Passover Seder possible. At a time when people are feeling isolated and in need of meaningful connection, OneTable is supporting people of all ages interested in hosting or attending virtual, household-based, or outdoor socially-distanced Passover gatherings.

“Passover is such a communal holiday experience filled with meaning and memories,” says Al Rosenberg, chief strategy officer of OneTable. “We learned a lot last year about the ways people can be creative and adapt ritual to make meaning in these times of distance. People may not gather together this year, but we can help create those personal connections and interactions that make Passover special, memorable, and resonant today.”

Young adults (20s-30s) can turn to OneTable.org/passover if they’re interested in hosting or attending virtual, household-based, or outdoor socially-distanced Passover gatherings. Through Herefor.com, OneTable extends this support to people of all ages interested in finding new ways of making the holidays feel holy this year. These platforms offer financial and creative support for Passover gatherings, a way to connect with others interested in hosting or attending a seder (the Passover meal), and a place to share photos of and reflect on celebration.  Passover resources include guides to group, solo, and Shabbat seders, Haggadot (prayer guides), recipes, playlists, and inspiration boards. 

The Seder 2021 Guide reminds users that, although Passover is traditionally associated with performance and participation, “meaning can be made virtually and in small groups with the right intention and the right tools.”

“To move half the country away from my family and friends, to start to build a community for ourselves from scratch, it hasn’t always been easy or fun,” says Eli Cohn-Wein, who hosted a Seder with the support of OneTable in 2020. “But as I looked over our seder table to see friends new and old, I felt nothing but unyielding gratitude for all of these people in this community…During a holiday that commands us to study our history and act to improve our future, I can’t help but see where we’ve been and feel incredibly excited about where we are heading.”

In the second year of pandemic the need for meaningful connection and ritual is greater than ever. Last year, OneTable and Seder2020 (now Herefor.org) supported over 38,000 virtual Passover participants, building on a long history of facilitating meaningful engagements through its Shabbat dinner program. A recent impact study on how the OneTable young adult community is coping during this crisis showed that participants are feeling anxious, lonely, and stressed; they miss their communities and routines. In response, they are celebrating Shabbat more than before the pandemic – OneTable’s resource usage increased by 52 percent from 2019 to 2020 – to connect to their communities, rituals, and Jewish identities. 

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