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Passover Made Easy - Cookbook Review

Passover-friendly recipes way beyond matzo balls and brisket
Amy Kritzer, 9:00am, Thu. Mar. 21, 2013

Brisket eggrolls, jalapeƱo lime and ginger salmon, or espresso macarons are hardly the traditional gray and flavorless potato kugel, gefilte fish, and kichel normally associated with the grain free week of Passover. For one of the most important Jewish holidays, which revolves largely around the seder meal, the food is often lackluster. Not anymore.

Passover Made Easy: Favorite Triple-Tested Recipes

By Leah Schapira and Victoria Swek

Mesorah Publications Ltd., $15.99, 128pp

Authors Leah Schapira, co-founder of the website Cook Kosher, and Victoria Dwek, managing editor of the kosher food magazine Whisk set out to make creative recipes that people would want to eat even after Passover is over. In their cookbook Passover Made Easy: Favorite Triple-Tested Recipes, the authors have both transformed traditional Jewish favorites such as Spaghetti Squash Kugel or Roast Chicken and conceptualized unique new recipes like Potato Chip Zucchini Sticks or Banana French Toast.

The book starts with a brief guide on choosing and pairing wines, which is essential for a holiday where it is required to drink four glasses during the seder dinner, and then organizes the recipes by starters, mains, etc. At the end is a replacement guide for those following stricter diets. Though there are only 60 meal ideas, they were chosen out of many other test recipes as the best of the best. The recipes are not overly fancy, but fun combinations of familiar ingredients perfect for the home cook looking to take their Passover culinary repertoire up a notch. The authors offer little tips and family anecdotes along the way, adding to the colloquial feel. As a bonus, all but four of the recipes are gluten free, making the cookbook useful long after the holiday.

Passover Made Easy does assume the reader is familiar with the holiday and the dietary restrictions, so it is not a cookbook for those looking to learn more about Passover customs. But it is a great guide for those tired of the same old butter on matzah, and ready for something a little more whimsical.

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