Although I love a good, crunchy-crusted hunk of bread and could happily spend my life feasting on pasta, I don’t eat much of either, because going nearly carb-free is the only way I’ve found to keep my weight down to a reasonable number.
So not-eating bread and pasta during Passover is not a big deal for me.
What I miss most during the holiday is popcorn, which at all other times throughout the year I make or buy (plain) and nibble on in the belief that it is a healthier snack snack than most. Popcorn is also filling and besides I absolutely LOVE how it tastes and feels in my mouth.
Unfortunately when it comes to popcorn, I am like a chicken. Just keep putting more in front of me and I will keep pecking at it. I keep a bagful in my car trunk so it isn’t as easy to grab as, say, anything in my kitchen cabinets.
I always resume my popcorn habits after passover. And, for good measure, on a home night-at-the-movies, I sometimes indulge in the glorified caramel corn in the photo, because, hey, I haven’t had popcorn in a while and besides, I am generally carb-free.
That makes it okay, don’t you think?
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup popping corn
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
12 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts or raisins or chopped dried fruit (r a mixture of these)
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the corn kernels, cover the pan and pop the corn. When the kernels have all popped, place the popped corn in a large bowl. Place the brown sugar, honey, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and baking soda. Pour over the popped corn. Add the nuts and/or fruit if desired. Mix the ingredients to coat the kernels completely. Place the popcorn on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring the ingredients a few times. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Makes about 10 cups
Need a quick nosh during Passover?
These crispy potato bites do the trick. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like them. In fact they remind me of franks-in-blankets, the kind of tidbit people don’t want to admit they love, but they actually love them so much they eat more of them than they would ever guess.
I make these potato bites ahead and reheat them when needed (defrosted, 400 degree preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes) — although I have seen members of my clan eat them cold, saving me the trouble of washing a baking sheet.
They’re not just for Passover, btw. I serve them for sports events (like Superbowl) and other times that I’ve got a small crowd coming over.
Crispy Potato Bites
12 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons matzo meal
1/2 teaspoon Passover baking powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 16-18 mini muffin tin cups (or use cooking spray). Shred the potatoes in a food processor, scoop the shreds, replace the shredding disk with the S-blade and return the shredded potatoes to the workbowl. Chop the potatoes until they are small pieces. Squeeze excess liquid out of the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a bowl. Add the chives, rosemary, egg, vegetable oil, matzo meal, baking powder and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the ingredients thoroughly to blend them completely. Spoon equal amounts of the potato mixture into the mini muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
Dear Ms Fein, i recently made your new and improved sponge cake that was on the Jewish Week email blog last week. It was really delicious, but I had some problems with folding in the sifted cake meal and potato starch as the last step of the mixing. It left clumps in the batter and I had a hard time breaking them up. Is that the order of mixing and if so, how do you avoid the clumps. Thanks so much. The entire family loved this cake!Thanks, Connie Putterman, Toronto
This can be a problem with sponge batter. First use a whisk to completely blend the matzo meal/potato starch. Add that mix in small amounts and use a very large rubber spatula to fold it in. Don’t add more until the first batch is blended in. Fold means to use the spatula and turn the moist egg mixture and meal/starch mixture over and over onto itself until the batter looks uniform. Good luck! Glad you liked the cake. So did we!