Seder help
March 20, 2018 6:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm cooking for seder this year. It's also the first time I'm ever cooking for the in-laws. Side and dessert help needed! Includes bonus question about sobriety and Manischewitz.

I am cooking for seven, no dietary restrictions or food allergies. Kosher level: No pork or shellfish, mixing meat and dairy is okay, must be KfP. Think Conservadox.

The entree is prime rib, assuming it's on sale next week, or lamb shoulder. I have gefilte fish and chopped liver for the break before the meal, matzoh ball soup to start, and Parmesan coated zucchini fries (a family favorite from a local restaurant that I've previously recreated) as a side. I have a good tzimmes recipe, but I associate it with Rosh Hashanah. I could use a good kugel recipe, as noodle kugels are my thing. So, please give me your best seder side dish recipes, and if they can be made ahead of time and reheated, even better! And desserts! I have nothing for dessert! (I may be freaking out just a bit about Passover.)

Bonus question: I have been sober for almost eight months. I don't mind making kiddush with grape juice on Shabbos, but I feel like the wine is important to the seder. I don't find Manischewitz at all enjoyable to drink, and I have a bottle of sparkling cider to drink during dinner itself. I also don't want to be the only one with a bottle of Kedem in front of me. The mister and I have discussed it, and he's okay with it, but I'm still trying to sort out what's best for me. So my question is this: How would you feel if you went to a seder hosted by a recovering alcoholic and everyone got grape juice for the four cups?
posted by Ruki to Food & Drink (37 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
In the spirit of the holiday, if my host told me that we all were drinking grape juice because they didn't feel safe/secure/whatever with wine being on the table, of course I would be okay with it. Presumably your guests care about you, and if this is your reasoning, then it should stand. You might drop a note to people in advance, to hold off any awkward questions during the seder itself. And I'd also have some other beverages at hand. Guests might want to use sparkling water instead of multiple glasses of grape juice. (Or to water down the juice a bit. It can get so sweet.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:44 PM on March 20, 2018 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Berry pavlova is K for P and pretty delicious.

I don't think there's any higher priority than supporting someone's sobriety. I would be more than fine with a non-alcoholic alternative.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:50 PM on March 20, 2018 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh, there's totally alcohol served with the meal. I won't be having any of that. And everyone at the seder is aware of my sobriety - it's my parents, my in-laws, the mister, Kid Ruki, and me. It's either we all drink Manischewitz or we all drink grape juice for the four cups during the seder. I would let them know in advance, either way, so they'd be prepared for the grape juice or to see me drinking wine.
posted by Ruki at 7:03 PM on March 20, 2018

Congrats on hosting your first seder!

For reasons unknown, our family has always had a banana and carrot stir-fry as a seder side dish. Take a bunch of thinly sliced carrots (I like to use a veggie peeler and just keep peeling to get super-thin strips,) and a load of banana coins, and saute in oil, adding sliced ginger, citrus juice, cinnamon and a little brown sugar or honey. Cook until everything is a sweet browned sugary mess.

My philosophy of Passover desserts is that one should never bother making a Passover version of a normal food. Passover baked goods are typically ick and underwhelming at best, unless you're talking macaroons. They're a classic for a reason. In fact since everyone is usually ultra-full by the end of the meal, some fresh berries and a cannister of Gefen's finest makes a great light seder dessert. I've never made my own but perhaps someone else has a good recipe.

About the wine, my family's take is that as long as a drink contains some particle of grape it counts as wine. The best and loveliest thing about hosting is that you and your guy can make your own arbitrary family rules! (Also if it helps, my understanding of Jewish values is that health takes precedence over any ritual obligation such as the four cups - sobriety would absolutely count for me personally as something you are engaging in for your health, be it mental or physical.)
posted by prewar lemonade at 7:13 PM on March 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm not clear on your setup? On my table, there are bottles of juice and various wines out, and when it's time for the next glass, the seder leader yells out "yo yo yo fill er up" (or something along those lines) and people fill up with whatever they want -- white, red, Manishevitz, or juice. It sounds like there's wine on your table too, no? But if not -- it's totally fine to do it with grape juice. Totally fine.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:16 PM on March 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

Oooh one real recipe I almost forgot: Sephardic charoset truffles!
Huge pain in the rear to make, but so worth it. They are literally amazeballs.
posted by prewar lemonade at 7:19 PM on March 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Why wouldn't you just serve yourself something nonalcoholic? I've been doing seders for decades and Mr. BlahLaLa is in sobriety. He has juice, others have wine. But you don't have wine. You're sober now, so you don't drink wine. Even at the seder.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:20 PM on March 20, 2018 [6 favorites]

oh and I also am against novelty on Passover. Give the people what they want. Here's what gets served at my house:

Starter: gefilte fish (buy ahead)
soup: chicken soup with matzah ball (make ahead, but I have someone bring the matzah balls)
meat: brisket in red wine and onions (make ahead) (your meat sounds better!)
starch: roasted little potatoes in olive oil and paprika and onion soup mix (prep ahead, stick in oven when seder starts) OR purchased kugel - Costco often has a good broccoli one
veg: roasted asparagus (prep ahead, stick in oven 10 minutes before serve)
fruit salad: make ahead
cookies/cakes: either have someone bring, or serve cookies. If you're mixing meat + milk then the easiest solution here is "matzah crack" cookies, google the recipe, seriously it's so good.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:22 PM on March 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

At... all of the seders I can recall, there are various bottles on the table and folks choose what they'd like for the first cup and then subsequently they refill as needed, and switch up to different things as desired. There's usually at least one kind of grape juice and one kind of sparkling cider plus different wines. Turn it around - if you had someone attending who was an alcoholic, you wouldn't insist that they have four glasses of wine just because the rest of you were having them, right? What about someone who was sensitive to tanins? Would you insist they have something that makes their throat itch or have some different juices available? Treat yourself with the same kindness that you would treat a guest.

For sides, typically we'd do pot roast with veggies in it, so it'd be an all in one situation. I think with lamb or prime rib some simple roasted root vegetables can't be beat, especially with some meat jus to drizzle over the top. Fancy salad is a great break as well, do tender spring greens with pomegranate aryls, toasted walnuts, and a citrus vinaigrette. It'll kind of read like haroset but be much lighter and help balance the meal.
posted by Mizu at 7:31 PM on March 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

I don't think it's possible to make a noodle kugel KforP, but potato kugel is fairly easy or you could go crazy mixed up like we sometimes do and make latkes...

Kedem makes sparkling grape juices that are pretty good, so you could do all grape juice and still have something nicer than the regular bottled stuff.

Desserts depend on your skill level, but flourless chocolate torte and merengues are both fancy and kosher for Passover. For lower / no skill, these almond cookies are great.
posted by Mchelly at 8:11 PM on March 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you have a springform cake pan and your guests like chocolate, consider serving flourless chocolate cake, my favorite Passover dessert. It’s KFP and, I think, better than traditional cake. I used this recipe last year and the end result was very well received. This recipe is very rich and good with raspberries and whip cream if you want to gild the lily.
posted by reren at 8:31 PM on March 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

It's either we all drink Manischewitz or we all drink grape juice for the four cups during the seder....I would let them know in advance, either way, so they'd be prepared for the grape juice or to see me drinking wine.

This is really worrying to me. These people all know you have problems with alcohol. There's no serious reason to hide your sobriety by drinking with everyone else. I don't get why anything about this scenario would require you to drink. This seems like distorted thinking to me and I suggest that you speak to someone who is trained and neutral who can talk you through what sounds like a challenging "first" for you.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 8:52 PM on March 20, 2018 [7 favorites]

You absolutely do not have to drink wine on Passover if you have a health issue with drinking alcohol. If your health is at stake, then the rabbis give you a pass. The point of wine is that it is a festive and joyous drink, so you should drink what feels festive and joyous to you. If you don't want to feel self-conscious, then just pour whatever you'll be drinking into a small pitcher and then one has to see any label.

As for dessert, I have made Nana Jose's Flourless Chocolate Pecan Cake many years and it is soooooo good. Serve with some berries and fresh whipped cream and your guests will be very impressed. Best of all, to make it you just throw all the ingredients into a blender, then pour it into a springform plan. Voila!
posted by brookeb at 8:59 PM on March 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

So my question is this: How would you feel if you went to a seder hosted by a recovering alcoholic and everyone got grape juice for the four cups?

Absolutely fine. I mean I’m super non-observant so I wouldn’t care if we all got iced tea, but any guest who would insist on wine if you have any doubts about it should 1) go find another Seder and 2) go find some priorities. The best thing about Judaism is its humanism. Eight months is an achievement and if there is a god whose sensibility is at all Jewish, he’d say wine, schmine, abi gezint, and gezint includes sober.
posted by Smearcase at 9:01 PM on March 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

I make Chocolate Idiot Cake (flourless cake, easy name to remember and google) every year, and Matzah Toffee (a.k.a. Matzah Crack) too. Both have dairy so they wouldn't go at an Orthodox seder but it sounds like they would meet your needs nicely. And if the cake doesn't come out of the springiform pan nicely, cut it up and call it brownies.
posted by Lady Li at 9:07 PM on March 20, 2018

Oh and dessert. I hate Passover foods (and sometimes say matzoh was the nail in the coffin of my observance) but matzoh brittle where you cover matzoh in caramel and it hardens is quite delicious. The internet will have a million recipes if it sounds good.
posted by Smearcase at 9:07 PM on March 20, 2018

You can never go wrong with a potato kugel. From a box.

Personally I would prefer grape juice to Manischewitz.
posted by bq at 10:12 PM on March 20, 2018

The first rule of keeping Passover, as far as I'm concerned, is don't do anything that would endanger your health. Also, the most observant seder I've ever been to has (I go most years) Manischewitz brand grape juice on the table, and no one there fully abstains from alcohol otherwise, pretty sure it's there so people can avoid the homemade wine if they wish. Especially if people are driving, I think all grape juice is a fine choice.
posted by wellred at 5:08 AM on March 21, 2018

Ooh dessert: seconding meringues, my my mom makes them often, simple like this with mini chocolate chips in them - they are lovely after such a big meal and have no weird ingredients or funky textures.
posted by wellred at 5:11 AM on March 21, 2018

The Moosewood Cookbook series has a cookbook expressly for seasonal holidays. Their Passover menu includes two dessert options: a hazlenut chocolate torte made with matzoh meal instead of flour, and something they call "Brown Bubbe", a Kosher-for-Passover version of Brown Betty. That sounds super-simple, actually - it's a fruit crisp/cobbler/thing that uses matzo meal on the topping instead of flour. Here's the recipe:

6 cups peeled and sliced pears
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup matzoh meal
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 and butter an 8x10 baking dish. Combine all the "filling" ingredients and dump them into the dish. Combine all the "topping" ingredients and sprinkle that on top of the filling. Bake the whole thing for about 40 minutes, until the fruit is soft and bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

You can of course vary this easily - use apples instead of pears in the filling, leave out the raisins, use dried currants instead of raisins, use almonds in the topping instead of walnuts, etc. I wouldn't try to use something like oranges instead of pears or anything, but as long as the basic proportions are right, you can swap one ingredient for another if they're similar.

Another super-simple dessert option is a fruit fool. I make these all the time and it's more of a formula than a recipe: for four servings, take like 1 and a half to 2 cups of some kind of fruit (softer fruits like berries work best), some sugar, and a cup of heavy cream. If you have yogurt and like it, you can use a couple spoonfuls of that too. To really gild the lily, get a few spoonfuls of chopped nuts or crumbled matzo.

Take the fruit and get it soft somehow - mash it, puree it, stew it, your choice. Stir in about a tablespoon or so of sugar. Let that sit (if you stewed the fruit, then you need to wait until it cools down anyway).

Then whip the cream until soft peaks form, adding a little sugar and vanilla to that. If you have the yogurt, here's where you fold in a couple of spoonfuls; it will help the whipped cream stay fluffy.

And now you dish everything up, and you have your choice: you can simply fold the fruit into the cream so it's all mixed together, and then spoon that into the dessert glasses. Or you can fold the fruit into the cream but leave it only half mixed, so it's all marbled-looking, and spoon it into the dishes like that. Or, you can plop a spoonful of the fruit into the bottom of each glass and fold the rest into the cream before dishing it on top. Or you can do things parfait style - a layer of fruit, a layer of cream, a layer of fruit, a layer of cream...if you do the parfait, try slipping a layer of chopped nuts or crumbled matzo in between the layers too. And you can use chopped nuts or crumbled matzo for the top of the dishes as well, along with maybe some pieces of the fruit (if you make this with blueberries, say, they you'd use a couple blueberries on top). However you dish it up, it needs to rest in your fridge a couple hours before serving. This goes nice with a couple cookies, and I bet meringues would work fantastically.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:23 AM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This may be unnecessary to say, but since I'm seeing so many people saying "in my opinion, using grape juice is fine / fine for health reasons," etc., and in case it's in any way in question, using grape juice is not considered lesser than or in any way different from using wine when it comes to fulfilling the mitzvah of having four cups. Wine is traditional because it's considered a higher quality or more desirable beverage and you're supposed to celebrate so you put out your best. But you make the same blessing on it and it's functionally 100% the same as far as Jewish law is concerned.
posted by Mchelly at 7:12 AM on March 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: I’m at work, but briefly, Mchelly, that’s what I knew but really needed to hear, I think. Thank you. Ok, now that the wine thing is settled, more recipes please! And many thanks to everyone who has responded!
posted by Ruki at 8:14 AM on March 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

I am back with more dessert-type things.

I am all about pudding-y spoonable desserts these days, like the fools; they're lighter (which is a nice thing after a heavy meal), they can usually be done ahead of time (a godsend if you're having a party), and they tend to be pretty easy. And there's a shit-ton of different types at different skill levels.

At the idiot-simple end of the scale is panna cotta - that is a dessert where milk is thickened with gelatin, then chilled, and served, usually with some kind of sauce or stewed fruit. I suspect that combining gelatin and milk may not be Kosher, however; fortunately, there are vegetarian versions that use agar powder instead of the gelatin. This recipe is a decent template; you can flavor the milk differently by adding different extracts instead of the vanilla, or steep some mint in it for a few minutes (if you Google "panna cotta recipes" you will get a ton of ideas). In terms of the process it really is kind of like DIY jello. Or you could settle the no-meat-with-dairy issue by using a nut milk instead of dairy, and keep the gelatin, like with this recipe.

Relatedly, there is malabi, an Israeli take on panna cotta that uses cornflour or rice flour as the thickener; most recipes lace it with rosewater. (A friend and I visited Berlin, and ironically the very best meal we had the whole time was in an Israeli restaurant by our hotel; we split an order of malabi and nearly inhaled the thing.) There is also something called "blancmange", which is very similar to the almond-milk-and-gelatin version; you can find umpty-squillion recipes for that too. The one time I've made blancmange I used almond milk with added ground almonds and had an apricot sauce and it turned out great.

Then there's pots de creme, which is almost always chocolate flavored, and uses eggs as the thickener but often doesn't have dairy. It's still pretty easy; I tend to go with the Pioneer Woman's recipe, which involves nothing more than eggs, chocolate chips, a little vanilla and some hot coffee, whizzed in a blender. Other recipes I've seen involve milk and are a little fussier, where you basically are making a custard; this usually involves baking the custards in a water bath for a while before you chill them, which is a little fussy but still definitely achievable. This recipe, however, is more like the Pioneer Woman's recipe with added milk.

If making custard in a water bath doesn't intimidate you, however, you can go all the way and turn that thing into a creme brulee, simply by doing one final step before serving: Sprinkle a layer of sugar on the surface of each custard, and then either use a small kitchen blowtorch to melt and carmelize the sugar on each (or sling the whole tray of sugared-up custards under your broiler for a couple minutes, watching your oven VERY carefully to take them out before anything burns).

I haven't even gotten into mousses but am fearful of overload right now...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:53 AM on March 21, 2018

Last year I made flan for psssover dessert, and it was awesome.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:07 AM on March 21, 2018

Seconding pavlova! It's what I'm bringing as a guest to a seder. I did a test run with the Cook's Illustrated recipe last week and it was not only simple, it was stunning. (Seriously--I had guests and there were literally gasps when I brought it in.) For some extra punch, I'm topping mine with roasted strawberries.

This is the recipe I used for the egg whites portion. I used a touch less sugar in the whipped cream since I had a sweetened berry sauce on top.

If you want to get fancy on the grape juice front there are non alcoholic grape juices made from wine grapes (like these from Gewürztraminer grapes if you're okay with a non-kosher beverage).
posted by carrioncomfort at 9:11 AM on March 21, 2018

To my mind, it's totally normal to have a range of grape-bearing options on the seder table for those who don't want to (or can't) drink wine as part of the seder. I'd suggest finding nonalcoholic grape things that actually taste good (I'm not a fan of Kedem, personally, having drunk a lot of it over the years). Trader Joe's might be a good place to look for things that aren't wine that taste good (and are grape-based).
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 10:13 AM on March 21, 2018

It seems odd to me to have wine on the table for the meal but not allow others to use it for the blessing but your house, your rules. Just because it seems odd, I would have your husband let guests know ahead of time that is what you are doing just in case anyone needs a chance to get their head around it without blurting out something rude. As noted above the blessing is for "fruit of the vine" and applies equally to wine or grape juice.

By the way, We have two non-drinkers and several others who will switch after dinner - our preference is Martinelli's Sparking Grape which is much more festive (and better tasting than Kedem)

You could do a noodle kugel with KfP noodles (they have them in our grocery store) but personally I would avoid something that is appears to hametz in favor of a potato kugel. We strongly prefer kugel made with grated potatoes (food processor to the rescue) and not ground up potatoes. You pick the ratio of crunchy to soft by the depth of the baking dish. I use a large dish with low sides that gives a thin kugel that is almost like potato latkes
posted by metahawk at 10:22 AM on March 21, 2018

Response by poster: Home now. Last comment, so as not to thread sit, but I wanted to provide some clarification on the wine thing. First, some of the comments about the seder wine are making me really uncomfortable. I am a religious Jew, and the most observant of those attending. I make kiddush with grape juice by myself every week, but I have complicated feelings about fulfilling the mitzvah of the four cups with grape juice by myself when everyone else is drinking wine. It makes me feel like everyone will be doing the mitzvah better than me, which is painful because, again, I'm the most observant. Also, the Manischewitz is solely for the four cups. There is real wine for the meal, which everyone else is more than welcome to. Ok! So that's the wine deal. I'm looking forward to poring over these recipes now.
posted by Ruki at 11:07 AM on March 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

My husband is Jewish; I'm not, but I've been preset for several seders. I really like wine with dinner, and my friends and I always have wine when we eat together. But Maniscewitz is terrible. It gets talked about at every seder, though -- and every Jew I've talked to at any seder would rather have grape juice or sparkling cider. We're in California, so there's plenty of kosher real wine available. But if it weren't, Manischewitz wouldn't be served, except ironically.
posted by wryly at 11:39 AM on March 21, 2018

And for your guests, there are plenty of kosher for Passover wines that are not Manischewitz and are basically the same as a regular bottle of wine. Just ask at your local wine shop.
posted by ShooBoo at 11:40 AM on March 21, 2018

As a Jew, and the wife of a sober alcoholic, I appreciate the difficulties you mention in your last comment. Sounds like this is something to discuss with your rabbi or rebbetzin.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:58 AM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

OP, it sounds like your difficulty here - your desire to perform the mitzvah of the 4 cups correctly - is mainly based on your understanding of the halakha, and this is really not the greatest place to seek halakhic guidance -- most of the folks answering aren't Jewish, much less halakhic authorities.

My understanding of the mitzvah is the same as Mchelly's: it's gotta be grape (and I think that if you're REALLY orthodox, it's also gotta be specifically kosher and kosher for Passover, even for juice; however that's a level I don't think you're at, based on the dairy dessert sitch, and in any case kosher for Passover juice is easy to find.) But you'll feel better if you talk to your rabbi about this. I believe you'll find that there is no basis for feeling that a grape juice blessing is less-than; or that a Manischevitz blessing - as opposed to one over one of the excellent kosher for Passover table wines widely available now - is more-than (unless people like it better!)

Your rabbi WILL however doubtless remind you that hosting a seder for family and friends IS a major mitzvah in itself and that you should be patting yourself on the back.

Hag Sameach.
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:02 PM on March 21, 2018 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: My rabbi, unfortunately, has been out of state for a family emergency for the past three weeks. And my psychiatrist isn't Jewish, so I can't discuss this with her, either. My last psychiatrist was Jewish, but I had to switch because she's on the board of the shul I joined. Ha! But really, I'm totally ok with the wine situation now. More recipes, please?
posted by Ruki at 2:26 PM on March 21, 2018

* crashes through underbrush with cookbooks *

Did you say "more recipes"? Okay! :-)

This comes from a cookbook I bought based on the title alone - "French Desserts". Its schtick is that it isn't the fancy-ass pastry stuff, it's more the simpler home-cooking stuff French people make at home for themselves (or so goes the claim). So they're totally do-able. Papillotes de Fruits Frais et Glace seems like a perfect mix of easy, yet showy, with the fresh fruit lending a nice "spring" sort of element. All it is, is - fresh fruit baked in parchment paper parcels, then when you serve it you plop some ice cream on top.

You need (for 4 servings): a couple spoonfuls each of sugar and brown sugar, a vanilla bean, a little cinnamon, and the fruit: a big orange, 2 kiwis, a peach, 2 bananas, 2 cups of mixed raspberries/blueberries/blackberries, and 12 big strawberries. Plus ice cream.

Dump the sugars into a food processor. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the stuff inside and dump that in the food processor too (save the pod) and then also add the cinnamon (just 1/4 teaspoon). Process that for 10 seconds and then dump that into a big bowl. Zest the orange into the bowl and mix that up a little. Then peel the orange, cut away any of the white pith, and slice the orange and throw that into the bowl. Peel and slice the kiwis and dump them in. Slice the peach and throw that in. Peel and slice the bananas and throw them in. Slice the strawberries in half and throw 'em in. Then throw in the mixed berries. Mix that all up and let it sit for about 20 minutes. (Now's a good time to turn on the oven; prehat to 400 degrees.)

While that's sitting: prepare four 14x14 inch pieces of parchment paper by just laying them out on a big table. Scoop a quarter of the fruit mix onto the center of each piece of paper, then take that vanilla pod, cut it into 4 pieces and plop a piece of pod on top of each pile of fruit.

Now you wrap the fruit - take the top and bottom edge of each paper, bring them together, and fold down to create a little packet (kind of like you're rolling the top of a bag of chips before you put the clip on). Fold and twist the side ends, then tuck them under each package. Lay the packages on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let sit another 15 minutes; then lay each packet on a dessert plate, and either let guests open the packets themselves or pre-open them before you bring them to the table, plopping a scoop of ice cream on top of each one if desired.

....There's also a recipe in here for something called "Chocolate Jelly with berries", but that basically sounds like if you took a full batch of a chocolate panna cotta and instead of dishing it out into little individual dishes (like most recipes tell you), you pour the whole thing into a loaf pan instead, so you have this huge loaf, like, chocolate milk jello, with berries heaped all over it, and everyone gets a slice, so you could go this route with your panna cotta instead.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:11 PM on March 21, 2018

More recipes?


Nigella's clementine cake!

posted by Mchelly at 3:37 PM on March 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

You know what really helps things along, and is 100% KfP, is a bowl of guacamole. My local Chabad rebbetzin serves it at her seders.

In addition to Ashkenazi haroset, I make at least one other one with Sefardi flavors; people gobble it up.

Medjool dates (soak these in hot water first)
apples for moisture & texture
toasted nuts you like - pecan, hazelnut, almond, whatever. Just toast them well
pomegranate concentrate
lemon juice and zest
cinnamon and ginger
optional Silan if you have it, no worries if not
KfP muscat wine if you have (TJ's sells a nice cheap one.) If not, also fine.

Grind it up. Really it's the dates and pom syrup and spices that make this as good as it is. And sometimes I make other combinations too. This year someone gifted me some grapefruits so I'm going to make one with grapefruit zest and see what happens.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:32 PM on March 21, 2018

Response by poster: The prime rib was on sale. I made a potato kugel, a spaghetti squash kugel, Israeli salad, flourless chocolate cake, and berry pavlova. I drank the grape juice.
posted by Ruki at 7:43 AM on March 31, 2018 [9 favorites]

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