Monday, April 14, 2014

A Joyous Pesach Recipe 7

Remember to remember. Welcome with open heart. Embrace being welcomed, regardless of the heart. Bring joy. Bring wonder. Forget what you think you know about The Story to discover what still needs discovering. Remember to remember that you do not know this ritual, this night, this time. 

Remember to remember our story. Remember to tell the story as if you were there. Because, you were there. We were there. Alongside each other. Waiting. Hoping. Giggling with anticipation. Prayerful. Awed. We were there. You were there. Remember to remember to tell your piece of Our Story. 

Remember to remember sorrow. Embrace sorrow. Let her comfort you. Let her open your heart to sweetness. Honor what is gone. Mourn what is gone. Grieve what is gone. Let sorrow comfort you. Let the smiling faces, inviting aromas and savory flavors comfort you. Hold them alongside your sorrow. Remember to remember to embrace life.

Remember to remember joy. Cook with joy. Serve with joy. Read with joy. Sing with joy. Laugh with joy. Fill the space whatever space you find yourself with so much joy that it must dance out doors and windows into our neighborhoods, communities, localities, the nation, around the globe and into the universe! Let it touch as many souls as possible along the way so that their joy also increases. Remember to remember to increase joy.

Remember to remember your narrow place. With curiosity, examine your narrow places, your constrictions. Ask them, what do you bring me? Ask them, how do you harm me? Ask them, why did I create you? Ask them, how did I learn you? Ask them, how do you protect me? Ask them, why do you hurt me? Examine, with curiosity, your narrow places. Remember to remember to prepare yourself to move into openness.

Remember to remember you. You are the key ingredient to your joyous Pesach. 
Remember to remember to welcome you and to allow yourself to be welcomed. 
Remember to remember to tell your piece of Our Story. 
Remember to remember to embrace the fullness of your life. 
Remember to remember to expand your joy. 
Remember to remember to prepare to move into openness, no matter how open you currently may be.
Remember to remember your openness. 
Remember to remember you!  

(c) Copyright Sabrina Sojourner 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Joyous and Gluten Free Pesach: Recipe 6 Chicken Liver Pate

Chicken Liver Pate
I first came across this recipe in the Washington Post. At the time, I was keeping an Italian Sephardic kosher kitchen and occasionally cooked poultry with butter. Don’t worry, I never brought it to anybody else’s kosher or kosher-style home.

Thursday, night, I made it for the first time parve. I am thrilled with the results and excited to share with you. The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it early in the process and forget about it as long as it is refrigerated in an airtight container. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. It can last in the frig up to 1 week, if properly covered. 

For Pesach, serve with homemade gluten-free matzah. Of course you can use regular matzah! For homemade, try this Karaite recipe courtesy of the Post.  

3 tablespoons coconut oil, plus ¼ cup, softened
1 pound chicken livers
1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 bunch scallions, white and light-green parts, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 medium clove garlic, mashed
3 Tablespoons fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse crystal sea salt to taste
20 Turns fresh ground pepper to taste

  1. Melt the 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the livers, mushrooms and scallions; cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the livers are browned. Add the wine, garlic, powdered mustard, herbs and lemon juice. Increase the heat to medium-high; bring to a easy boil and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the liquid is gone. Transfer the mixture to the bowl and allow to cool.
  2. When it has cooled completely, but not cold, place in food processor bowl and add the 4 tablespoons of softened coconut oil. Pulse several times, then scrap sides. Process for 15 seconds, then scrap sides. Taste and add salt or pepper to taste. Then process until smooth. Taste again and adjust seasoning, if needed. Transfer to 2 ½ to 3 cup bowl (or mold); cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Can be refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
Cocktails anyone?
I found this great site called The Sipping Seder. The recipes are related to the items on the Seder plate. I only tried the karpas recipe. It was easy and fun. 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Joyous and Gluten Free Pesach: Recipe 5 Leg of Lamb

Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb Recipe

The longer you marinate, the more intense the flavor.


1 butterflied leg of lamb (around 5 lbs)*
2/3 cup lemon juice
2 to 6 minced garlic cloves, chopped (to taste)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard (1½ T dry mustard, 2 T waters, 1 T white wine, ½ pinch kosher salt)
1/4 cup red wine reduction** or 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 section of ginger root, sliced (¾ to 2 inch, to taste)
1/2 cup brown sugar
40 turns fresh ground black pepper or 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
1 kosher teaspoon salt (to taste) 


  1. In a medium large bowl, mix together the chopped garlic, red wine reduction or balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, Dijon-style, ginger, salt and black pepper. Allow to stand while you continue to work. 
  2. Cut excess fat from the lamb, then place the butterflied lamb fat-side down in a flat container deep enough to hold it and the marinade. Stir, then pour the sauce mixture evenly over the lamb. The lamb should now be lightly coated and resting in the marinade sauce. 
  3. Cover with foil or plastic wrap. Leave in the refrigerator to marinate, covered, for 8 hrs or overnight (up to 36 hours). Turn, occasionally.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium heat or oven to 300. 
  5. Brush a small amount of oil on the grate of the grill or grate of a roasting pan.
  6. Drain the marinade from your shallow container into a saucepan and bring to a boil on the stove.
  7. When ready, place the lamb on upper grate of grill so as to cook using indirect heat, and let it grill for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it reaches the minimum internal temperature of about 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). While it grills turn the lamb over occasionally to ensure best results.
  8. If oven roasting, place lamb on middle shelf and allow to slow roast for 1 hour or until it reaches the minimum internal temperature of about 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). 
  9. Allow meat to sit for 10 minutes. Slice to desired serving size and cover with warm marinade sauce. Alternately, you may place the sauce on the table for people to ladle for themselves.
Notes: *If you choose to be adventurous, you can buy a whole leg of lamb and butterfly it yourself. It's not as hard as you might think. There are videos on YouTube!
**I often save that little bit of red wine in the frig, adding more, then simmer on the stove until it is the intensity I want.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Joyous Gluten Free Pesach: Recipe 4 Mitzah Mix

Gluten Free Matzah and Matzah Ball Mix
As often happens with recipes, this one came out of a mistake. My friends and I liked the result. I have doubled each recipe with no difference in the results. However, for the matzahs, cover the dough to keep the dough from drying out.

Mix Ingredients
3 cups Namaste Perfect Flour Blend, or other quality gluten free flour blend
1 cup almond meal
1 cup flaxseed meal
2 cups garbanzo bean flour
2 teaspoons Kosher or 1½ ground sea salt
Mix the dry ingredients together. Then make in small batches.

Matzah Ingredients
makes 3 matzahs
1 cup of mix
2 tablespoon solid coconut oil or palm shortening
3-4 tablespoon warm water

Matzah Preparation
1.    Preheat oven to 450 F. Cover one (two if doubling) cookie sheets with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and place in an air tight container. 
2.    Put one cup of mix in a small to medium mixing bowl. Cut in shortening, then add 3 tablespoons of warm water and mix. If dough is not a ball, add more water one teaspoon at a time. Dough should make a ball and not be too sticky.
3.    On a dry, clean surface spread one heaping tablespoon of the dry mix and knead well, making sure there are no big chunks of shortening. Shape into an oval cylinder approximately 3 inches long. Break into 3 pieces and press flat, turning to keep from sticking. You can use a rolling pin, if you like. Use metal spatula to remove from the surface, then press onto the foil-covered baking sheet until flat and thin. Smooth out edges, if desired, and use a fork to prick rows of holes.
4.    Cook for 9 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don't get overdone. You should under-bake them slightly as opposed to over-baking. Remove from oven as soon as the edges become slightly brown. The top should still be white.

Matzah Ball Ingredients
1 cup of mix
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
3 teaspoons minced fresh dill or basil
1 Tbsp chicken fat, olive oil, or softened palm shortening
Matzah Ball Preparations
1.   Beat egg with salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients, and combine well. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 
2.   Add additional mix, if necessary, until the batter is firm enough to be rolled into balls with your hands - It will still be sticky, but not too wet to handle. Using clean, dry hands roll a tablespoon of dough at a time into balls. Submerge in boiling water or your favorite soup or broth.
3.   Allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until each ball has puffed up a bit and is cooked all the way through.
4.   For Vegetarian do not use Chicken fat.


A Joyous and Gluten Free Pesach: Recipe 3 Coconut Rice with Pistachios and Golden Raisins

Coconut Rice with Pistachios and Golden Raisins

This is a great recipe that can be used any time of year because it is non-dairy (parve) and you can easily make substitutions appropriate for your kitchen or the time of year. Coconut rice recipes are found throughout the Caribbean and the Middle East.

2 Cups brown rice
1 Can coconut milk
1 ¼ Cup vegetable or chicken broth, or enough to make 3 cups of liquid with the coconut milk
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
½ Teaspoon salt
1 Cup golden raisins
¾ Cup roasted salted pistachios, rough chopped recommended but optional
½ Cup mint chopped

Rinse rice and set to side. Place coconut milk, broth and salt in saucepan and stir to blend. Add rice and coconut oil and bring to full boil. Cover and reduce heat, allowing to simmer for 35 minutes or most of the liquid is absorbed. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Place in mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Adjust seasoning as needed.

You absolute can use white rices such as Basmati or Jasmine, or plain white rice. Adjust the liquid accordingly. You can also forego the pistachios to make it completely allergy friendly.

Saute the rice in the 2 tablespoons coconut oil plus 1 T olive oil, then add liquids and continue with the recipe. Will add a toasty, nutty flavor. 

Out of broth? Substitute water and add 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite dried herbs spices such as oregano, Italian blend, parsley, another ½ teaspoon of salt, 20 turns of fresh ground pepper (1/2 teaspoon ground), and 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard. If using fresh herbs, I recommend 1/2 cup of chopped parsley and 3 tablespoons chopped basil.

Substitute chopped dried mangoes, diced dried apricots, or dried cranberries.

If you buy coconut milk by the carton, use 2 cups of the coconut milk with one cup of broth, or 3 cups of coconut milk
Use 3 cups of coconut water for all of your liquid.

Add shredded coconut to any of these variations

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Joyous and Gluten Free Pesach: Recipe 2 Gefilte Fish

Gefilte Fish
An Allergy friendly and gluten-free recipe

This is a variation of a Joan Nathan Recipe
Main ingredients carrot, fennelegg and fish

Yield: about 50 patties, depending upon size and volume

This recipe is easy to reduce according to how many patties you want to make. Traditional gefilte fish recipes call for a series of white meat fish. You can still do that because there are more varieties of white fish. Most sea fish (not seafood) is Kosher. This recipe uses tilapia and wild sockeye salmon. It is a recipe in which touch and taste are essential ingredients. So, “You add a little of this, a little more of that and voila!” 

One caution: once you eat homemade gefilte fish, you’ll never eat that jar stuff again! For a short list of kosher fish, click here.

5 to 5 ½ pounds of tilapia fillets*
2 to 2 ½ pounds of wild salmon fillets*
4 quarts cold water
2 teaspoons of kosher salt or to taste
¼ to ½ teaspoon of peppercorns
1 medium or 2 small fennel bulbs**
4 medium or 8-10 small carrots (not baby), peeled+
2 tablespoons brown sugar or to taste
1-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 to 1¼ cup chopped parsley
½ to ¾ cup chopped dill
4 to 5 large eggs
50 turns, freshly ground pepper to taste
½ to ¾ cup garbanzo bean or other gluten free flour (Namaste Perfect Flour Blend is my favorite) or starch.++

Notes: *If you buy whole fish, add ½ to 1 full pound. You may want your fishmonger to cut and gut for you; however, ask them to reserve the tails, fins, heads, and bones. Unless you know their machinery cleaning practices, or they are a kosher fishmonger, I would not have them grind the fish for you. Be sure s/he gives you the bones and trimmings in a separate package. If you buy fillets from a grocer, you may need to buy ½ pound of an inexpensive bone-in, skin on fish such as shad, perch or trout (not catfish) for your stock. You can also use all white fish such as pike, cod or whitefish. The more white fish you add, the softer your gefilte fish will be. However, if you want a real treat, use your not usual fish. In addition to tilapia and salmon, try a mix of other sustainable species available in your area. Last year, I used wild caught haddock as it was on sale. If you use all wild fish, you may need to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the fish mixture.

**If onions are not an issue for anyone at your table, you can use 1 yellow onion, peeled, and 1 Maya, Vidalia or other large sweet onion peeled. Hold enough onion in reserve for 1/2 cup finely diced or minced.

+If you use garden fresh or organic carrots, clean carrots with brush and remove top of carrot and bottom of stem. If using tops if broth, soak them to remove excess soil and bugs.

++ If using an all rice flour, at your may need to add 1 to 3 teaspoons of xantham or guar gum. You can also use potato starch, if potatoes are not issue.

1. Place the reserved bones, skin, and fish heads, or salmon skins and stock (bone-in) fish, in a wide, very large saucepan, Dutch oven or stock pot with a cover. If using a full recipe, the saucepan or Dutch over needs to be 6 quarts or larger to comfortably accommodate 5 quarts of stuff (1.25 gallons). Add the water and 2 teaspoons of the salt and bring to a boil. Remove the foam that accumulates.
2. Core and slice fennel bulb quarter inch thick or larger (does not have to be perfectly cored), reserving enough for a ¼ cup minced (If you know you and your guests like fennel, you can use up to a ½ cup). Add 3 of the medium or 6 to 7 of the small carrots (plus stems, if you are using fresh - see note about using fresh stems). Add brown sugar and peppercorns, and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes as you prepare the fish mixture (may comfortably simmer longer).
3. In a mini-prep or food processor finely chop the remaining fennel or mince by hand. Saute the fennel in 1 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until nearly translucent, but do not brown. Once cooked, remove from heat and place in ceramic or glass bowl. Cool in refrigerator or freezer, if making a small patch and you want it to coll quickly.
4. Place the ground fish in a large bowl (if you grind it yourself, you can use a food grinder or a food processor. If you use the latter, grind in small batches).
5. In food processor, finely chop carrots and parsley (I prefer to do them separately), and add the chopped vegetables and herbs to the ground fish.
6. Sprinkle ½ cup garbanzo flour (or other gluten free flour or starch) across ingredients.
7. Beat eggs with the remaining teaspoon of salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly.
8. Pour egg mixture across ingredients and stir. (When I make a full recipe, I find it easiest to mix with my hands). Add enough garbanzo bean flour to make a light, soft mixture into oval shapes, about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long.
5. Remove from the stock the fennel, skins, head, and bones and return the stock to a simmer (steamy, very gentle boil). Gently place a few fish patties in the simmering fish stock. Cover loosely and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Taste the liquid while the fish is cooking and adjust seasoning to taste. Shake the pot periodically so the fish patties won't stick. When gefilte fish is cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove from water and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.
6. When all are done, use a slotted spoon to carefully remove and arrange the gefilte fish on a platter. Strain some of the stock over the fish, saving the rest in a bowl.
7. Slice the cooked carrots into rounds cut on a diagonal about 1/4 inch thick. Place a carrot round on top of each gefilte fish patty. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with sprigs of parsley and horseradish.

Gefilte fish can be made up to two days ahead. 

Variations: One year, I added red bell pepper. They added a nice flavor and color. I have also periodically left out the sugar with only a mild change in the results (more savory). Recently, when making a small batch for myself, I made a savory broth with dried oregano and Italian herbs, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, red pepper flakes, died mustard, balsamic vinegar and honey.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Joyous and Gluten Free Pesach: Recipe 1 Parve Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse (Parve for Pesach)
Serves 4

¾ Cup GOOD Cocoa (I use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
1 Cup Superfine Sugar*
½ Cup Coconut oil
1 T Cognac (no more than 2T)
4 Eggs, separated

1.  Put cocoa and sugar in the top half of a double boiler, or a metal or glass bowl that can sit on top of a sauce pan, and whisk together. Add coconut oil (does not need to be melted) and set a bottom half of boiler or sauce pan. Periodically whisk until it blends and it warm, but not burning to touch. It will not be as smooth as you had melted chocolate chips or baking chocolate. Remove from heat and whisk in cognac. If still hot, allow to cool, then whisk in egg yolks.

2.  In a separate bowl, beat or whisk egg whites until stiff. Fold into chocolate.

3.  Scrape into dessert bowls/glasses or a serving bowl. Allow to chill for at least four hours. Decorate each serving with a dusting of cocoa (use strainer), fresh raspberries and mint. this dessert can be made one to 2 days in advance. However, it must be covered after the initial cooling.

Additional Notes: If you are not a dark chocolate fan, this is not the recipe for you. This is an intensely chocolate recipe that is as rich as a 65-70% chocolate bar. Reduce sugar to intensify.

If you do not have superfine sugar, you can grind/pulse 1 Cup granulated sugar plus 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar for 30 seconds or use 1 ¾ Cup powdered sugar.

I have doubled this recipe without a problem. However, if you need more, unless you have a commercial style kitchen, I would make in batches.