Start Passover with two recipes that are sure to make your family beg for more this holiday.
Tonight marks the start of Passover, and for those who celebrate this means cooking, lots and lots of cooking. We’ve found two recipes to incorporate in Seder and beyond, adding flair with a Seared Tuna recipe from Paula Shoyer and keeping it simple and delicious with Zaidy’s Deli. But first, we talked to Jewish cookbook author and mother of four, Paula Shoyer (author of “The Holiday Kosher Baker” and “The Kosher Baker”) to see how she spices it up in her newest book, “The New Passover Menu.”
Shoyer’s book places an emphasis on adding a fresh, lighter taste to typically heavy holiday dishes while supporting the traditions that make this holiday so special. “I feel like people want something interesting but also want that connection to the past,” Shoyer says. “It has to have enough of the tradition that you can recognize it. Meals are more enjoyable and delicious when they’re creative.”
Her tips for making this holiday easier? Preparation. In her cookbook, Shoyer says she puts herself in the shoes of the person in the kitchen. “I try to use as few steps as possible,” she adds. “Whoever is cooking a side dish is also cooking a main dish and other dishes. Passover is about liberation, so I’m not going to make the recipes more complicated.” “The New Passover Menu” lists preparation time, the number of people the recipe serves, equipment and hints for advance prep for each dish.
Her final tip: Spend the last few hours before the dinner relaxing so you can truly enjoy the Seder meal.
Seared Tuna with Olive and Capers
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 6–8 minutes
Advance prep: May be made 1 day in advance
Equipment: Measuring cups and spoons, cutting board, knives, large frying pan, silicone spatula
4 tuna steaks, 6 ounces each
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons Passover-certified capers, drained, or green olives, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
⅓ cup green or black olives (or a combination), cut into long slivers
½ teaspoon sugar
Sprinkle both sides of the tuna steaks with the basil, thyme and pepper to taste. Heat a large skillet over high heat (do not add any oil). When the pan is hot, add the tuna steaks and cook for 1 to 1 ½ minutes on each side, just long enough to sear the outside. Leave the center raw, unless fully cooked tuna is preferred. Remove from pan and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the oil. Add red onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Next, add the capers, olives, sugar and pepper to taste and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
Place the tuna steaks on a cutting board and slice into ⅓- to ½-inch-thick slices.Place the slices on a platter and sprinkle the caper and olive mixture on top, or serve it alongside in a small bowl.
(Recipe from “The New Passover Menu” by Paula Shoyer
121 Adams St.
This second generation family-owned business is nestled in Cherry Creek and serves up hearty comfort food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Zaidy’s also offers a Passover menu for those of you might prefer a break from cooking. Owner, Gerard Rudofsky, says these matzo meal pancakes are best served at anytime of day, with jelly and butter in the morning, or with sour cream and salmon for dinner.
Matzo Meal Pancakes
3 eggs (well beaten)
½ cup matzo meal
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup water
Combine all ingredients after the eggs have been well beaten. Pour pancakes to ½ dollar size and cook with your preferred method.