Showing posts with label Passover recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Passover recipe. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Passover Ravioli – How to make Italian Malfatti using Matzo Meal by Cleo Coyle


Malfatti, which translates to "badly made," are fun little Italian dumplings. They're also known as "gnudi" because they look and taste like "naked" ravioli—ravioli filling without the pasta pillow. 

There are many popular recipes for malfatti out there, some of which use flour. My family prefers bread crumbs, which is why I was easily able to turn my malfatti recipe into a Passover dish. To my happy surprise, I found the matzo meal worked even better than bread crumbs. Perhaps it’s the unleavened nature of the crumbled matzo that does the trick. It gives the malfatti a great structure, helping the dumplings stay together while cooking.   




Malfatti are also a great deal of fun to form, and I'll show you how to do this using a simple wine glass. I even made a little video to help illustrate the step.


As for finishing the dish, malfatti can be served with many kinds of sauces, just like ravioli. In my photos, you see a simple marinara sauce with a sprinkling of grated Pecorino Romano. The sauce is a big part of the taste of this dish so use a good quality jarred sauce or make your own from a favorite recipe. If you’re not a fan of red sauce, try a cream sauce, or simply sauté slices of garlic in butter and olive oil. Throw in some chopped basil and thyme and pour the buttery herb sauce over the malfatti. It’s absolutely delightful!

Gluten Free Note: Thanks to Avery/Daryl for sharing the info that gluten-free eaters can now get gluten-free matzos, as well.


Cleo Coyle, fan of naked
ravioli, is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Happy Passover!











Cleo Coyle's
Matzo Malfatti 

Free Recipe PDF!
To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.



Makes about 16 pieces – 4 servings of 4 each

Ingredients:

For the Malfatti:

2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning mix
   (*or your own mix of herbs,
     see my note at the end of this recipe)
1 cup whole milk ricotta (pour off any visible liquid)
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan or aged Asiago)
1/2 cup matzo meal + about 1/2 cup more for finishing

(optional) A few cloves of garlic and more salt for the boiling water


Variation: For Spinach Malfatti,
see my note at the end of this recipe.



Step 1 – Make the dough: In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs well. Add oil, salt, white pepper, and Italian seasoning mix. Add the ricotta and whisk vigorously until the mixture is completely smooth (no lumps!). Stir in the grated hard cheese. (If creating the spinach or kale version, add the pureed spinach onion and garlic mixture now.) Finally, stir in the 1/2 cup of matzo meal.



Step 2 – Chill the dough: Cover the bowl with plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. Do not skip this step. Chilling the dough makes it easier to work with and gives the matzo meal time to absorb the liquid in the dough.

Step 3 – Form the naked ravioli: Watch the video below to see exactly how to do this. Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of dough into a bowl of matzo meal and lightly coat. Drop the dough ball into a large wine glass. Hold the glass by the stem and spin it vigorously in your hand as if you were swirling wine. The dough ball will knock against the sides of the glass, forming a smooth elongated oval, like a little football. Gently slide the finished dumpling onto a plate. Repeat with a new lump of dough. 



My 30-Second Video:
How to Form Malfatti with a Wine Glass




-------------------------

FREEZE (or not): If you have time, and for the very best results, freeze the dumplings before cooking. Otherwise, move to the next step and cook without freezing. 




Step 4 – To cook: Fill a deep pan with water, generously sprinkle with kosher salt and add a few cloves of garlic. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Gently add the malfatti to the water. Do not crowd, be sure the dumplings have room to expand while cooking. Boil for about 12 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove. Place them on plates covered with paper towels to remove excess water.





Step 5 – Cool: Allow the hot malfatti to cool to room temperature. As they cool, the texture changes, becoming more dense. To serve, move gently to plates, cover with well-heated marinara sauce, sprinkle with grated Pecorino, Parmesan, or aged Asiago cheese and…eat with joy!






*NOTE ON HERBS: In the recipe, I suggest using a standard "Italian mix" of dried seasonings to save time, but you can certainly create your own combination of dried or fresh herbs. I suggest oregano, rosemary, parsley, and basil, perhaps some garlic and/or onion powder. The final mix is to your own taste.

**NOTE ON SAUCE: If you’re not a fan of red sauce to finish the malfatti, try a cream sauce, or simply sauté slices of garlic in butter and olive oil. Throw in some chopped basil and thyme and pour the buttery herb sauce over the malfatti. It’s absolutely delightful!


SPINACH MALFATTI
(pictured below..)


This is a delicious and highly nutritious variation. To make it, simply dice up 1 large onion (3 cups roughly chopped) and 4 cloves of garlic. Warm a bit of olive oil in a skillet and sauté the onions and garlic. After the onions have caramelized into a light brown color, add no more than 2 cups of chopped frozen spinach (or kale). Stir and cook the spinach for a good ten minutes (see more on this below). 




You're watching for steam to rise from the spinach, which means the liquid is evaporating. That's your goal here--to dry out the spinach. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree. This spinach-onion-garlic mix should measure about 1 cup packed. If you have more than that, do not use the extra. Use only 1 cup packed. Pop the mixture into the fridge or freezer to cool it quickly to room temperature and add where indicated in Step 1 of the recipe. Then proceed as directed and...


Happy 
Passover!

Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle 

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



Friend me on facebook here
Follow me on twitter here.
Visit my online coffeehouse here.






The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 

 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Passover Chocolate Matzo Buttercrunch and Mocha-Dipped Macaroons from Cleo Coyle




Last Friday evening marked the first night of Passover, one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays of the year. An important food custom that’s followed during this week is to eat no yeasted bread, only unleavened bread (aka Maztos!).

MATZOS + CHOCOLATE 
AN AMAZING TREAT 


Over the last few years, the basic recipe for Matzo Caramel Buttercrunch has been posted all over the Internet, but it was originally created by Marcy Goldman, author of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. You can see Marcy's famous, original version at her website here. David Lebovitz also adapted her recipe hereToday it’s my turn! I hope you enjoy my version, posted below.

Love and peace to you. Happy Passover, Happy Easter, Happy Spring! And may God bless us, every one.

~ Cleo Coyle, author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries,
a culinary mystery series set in New York City



P.S. If you missed my Spring Newsletter
last week, click here to read it in your browser!

Cleo Coyle and her partner in crime writing
(husband Marc). Authors of the national
bestselling
Coffeehouse Mysteries.

"MURDER 203"
Q&A with Cleo



"What do you consider to be literary caffeine – the ingredients that give your readers that extra jolt of adrenaline?"


For Cleo's Answer: Click Here

Quick reminder: This Saturday, April 14, Marc and I will be appearing at Murder 203, a mystery conference for writers and readers in Connecticut. Lucy Burdette (Roberta Isleib) will be there, too!




No need to register ahead.
Walk-ins are welcome.

To learn more click here.

To see the events and
panels scheduled, click here.


If you stop by, say hi! We're very much looking forward to meeting our readers and Mystery Lovers' Kitchen audience. 



Cleo's Black-and-White
Chocolate-Covered
Matzo Buttercrunch


Adapted from Marcy Goldman's
Matzo Caramel Buttercrunch


To download a PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here. 



YOU WILL NEED:

1 half-sheet pan, jelly roll pan, or large cookie sheet
   + Aluminum foil
   + Parchment paper
1 saucepan (nonstick if possible, and a silicone spatula is helpful, too)
2 tablespoons (for spreading the melted chocolate chips)

INGREDIENTS:

5 boards of unsalted matzos (see my matzo note below)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine (see my butter note below)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (nuts are optional)
1/2 cup dry roasted, unsalted pistachios (measure after removing shells)

(a) Matzo note: If you're not observing Passover and you can't find matzos, try Saltines or another cracker.

(b) Butter note: I've done this recipe with butter and margarine. Both work just fine as long as you boil the mixture for the length of time noted in the recipe. I've also used salted and unsalted butter, both taste great.

(c) Sugar note: I prefer the dark brown sugar, but if all you have on hand is light brown, that's fine, too.

(d) Chocolate note: If you don't like white chocolate, simply double the amount of mini chocolate chips. I find the mini chips melt much faster and easier than regular chips. If you prefer chopped block chocolate, that's certainly an option, too.

 
DIRECTIONS:

Step 1 - Prepare pan: This recipe is easy but can be messy so cover your baking pan with aluminum foil first and then a sheet of parchment paper; otherwise, the caramel will stick to the foil.  
 




Step 2 - Prep oven and nuts: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. If you're topping your chocolate buttercrunch with sliced almonds (or walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts), then toast the nuts for better flavor. To save time, I'll throw my sliced almonds onto a cookie sheet and toast them in the already preheating oven. Nuts generally toast up in 8 to 10 minutes. Stir them once to prevent scorching. When you can smell the scent of toasting nuts, you know they're done or very close to done.

You'll also want to finely chop the shelled pistachios. To finely chop any nut, simply place it in a resealable plastic bag and bang it with a hammer, rolling pin, or back of a heavy spoon.

Step 3 - Lay out matzo boards:  In the half-sheet pan you see in my photos (13 x 18 inches), I fit 5, full matzo boards. You can break the boards into pieces to fit them into the pan.




Step 4 - Make a quick caramel: In a medium saucepan (nonstick is best), melt the butter or margarine and add your brown sugar (dark or light), stirring to combine ingredients. Because the mixture is sticky, I use a nonstick (silicone) spatula. When the mixture begins to boil, start your timer for three (3) full minutes. Keep stirring to prevent scorching and continue boiling. The mixture will foam up as it boils, just keep stirring.


Step 5 - Cover: Pour the caramel mixture over the matzo boards. Work quickly with your nonstick spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the caramel as evenly as you can. As the mixture cools, it will be difficult to work with so spread fast!


Step 6 - Bake: Place the pan in the oven for 12 to 13 minutes. Rotate the pan once in the middle of this baking process to prevent hot spots from burning your candy. The cooking is done when you see bubbles have formed over the entire pan.




TIP: For a delicious buttercrunch (without chocolate)
you can simply stop at this stage and slide the pan into
the refrigerator for thirty minutes. Break the matzos
into pieces and you have Caramel Matzo Buttercrunch.
(See photo below . . . )





Step 7 - Sprinkle chocolate chips and melt: As you can see below, my black-and-white version of this buttercrunch covers half the caramel-topped matzos with semi-sweet chocolate and half with white chocolate. Sprinkle the chips as you see in the photos then place the pan back in the oven for another minute or two. Take care not to allow the chocolate to burn but make sure it's melted enough to easily spread . . .





TIP: Larger chocolate chips may appear
to keep their shape, but if you gently press
down with the back of your tablespoon, you will likely
see they've melted. Once you press them flat, begin to
work them with your spoon, spreading the chocolate as
you would cake frosting. Keep extra chips on hand, ready to
cover any bald spots or you may have trouble getting
an even layer of chocolate.



Step 8 - Finish and chill: Toss your nuts onto the melted chocolate.





Now slide the pan into the refrigerator for thirty minutes. That should harden up the chocolate nicely. When the candy is firm, use your hands to gently break up the big pieces into smaller shapes, and . . . 

Eat with joy!


White Chocolate-Pistachio Buttercrunch




Chocolate-Almond 
Buttercrunch



Another quickie
Passover recipe....


To get this recipe in an
illustrated PDF that you can
print save or share, 

NOTE: If you're observing Passover, replace the flour in this recipe with Matzah Cake Meal, use pareve ingredients, of course, and...


Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of






To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or 
learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse: CoffeehouseMystery.com



The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 
 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Killer Kugel - to die for!


Please welcome guest blogger Barbara Fradkin, author of the award-winning Inspector Green mysteries, set in Canada's capital, Ottawa. Barbara will be giving us a taste treat from her Inspector Green's own traditions.

Green's many fans know him to be a bit hard to manage (maybe that's what we love about him) and we all have sympathy for his lovely and strong-minded wife, Sharon. He does care about his family, even if he's often home late. So what a thrill to find the renegade in the kitchen!



A new take on a traditional dish

Ottawa police Inspector Michael Green had a lonely childhood. His parents were Holocaust survivors who lost their entire families in the camps, and while he was growing up, Passover Seders were low-key, secretive affairs haunted by the presence of unacknowledged ghosts. Eastern European Jewish food is peasant food under the best circumstances – cheap, unflavored cuts of meat boiled forever and supplemented by mounds of potatoes. In the Green household, food was a survival tool, not a joy, and his mother’s traditional potato kugel was a heavy potato pie salvaged from glue only by the hint of onion

With Passover just around the corner, Green’s wife Sharon is determined to inject new life and flavor into the old Passover mainstays. Zucchini and parsnip promise to add zest and lightness to the kugel, and because the recipe is so easy, Green himself is entrusted to make it while Sharon works on the more difficult dishes. All he needs is a food processor, a colander, a big bowl and a baking dish. What could go wrong?

Where Green and the kitchen stove are concerned, a lot. But here, under Sharon’s careful eye, is the kugel he will attempt.

Ingredients

5 Yukon potatoes, peeled

1 medium carrot, peeled

2 parsnips, peeled

2 zucchini

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup chopped parsley

4 eggs

½ cup oil

3 tbsp. matzoh meal (if used for Passover; otherwise flour works too)

1 tsp. Kosher (or sea) salt

½ tsp. black pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. In the food processor, grate the potatoes, parsnips, carrot and zucchini, then transfer to the colander and squeeze out the excess liquid.

In a big mixing bowl, mix eggs and oil until frothy. Add the grated vegetables, onions, parsley, salt and pepper and sprinkle the matzoh meal on top. Fold into the egg mixture until well combined.

Spread into the baking dish and bake for 30 min. Remove and brush the top with vegetable oil. Bake until the top is golden, about 30 min. more. Only under-cooking (soggy) or over-cooking (dry) can ruin this dish, and Sharon will nip these disasters in the bud.

The Greens will serve this with brisket, carrots, and salad, with perhaps a side order of smoked turkey in the tradition of Sharon's family. But it can liven up just about any meal.








And now a bit more about our guest!


Barbara Fradkin is an award-winning author and retired psychologist with a fascination for how we turn bad. She's also a former Crime Writers of Canada President. Beautiful Lie the Dead is the latest in her gritty detective series featuring the quixotic, exasperating Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green, which has won two Arthur Ellis Best Novel Awards. In a new venture, her first Rapid Reads novel, The Fall Guy, has just been released.











Learn more about Barbara and both her series at www.barbarafradkin.com or find her on Facebook where you can also check out the pix of her Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.