Saturday, April 16, 2011

My First Gluten Free Seder

Passover is almost here, the most food obsessed in a long list list of food obsessed Jewish holidays. And what is the most important Passover food? Why the matzoh of course, the unleavened (but fully glutened) "bread of affliction" as we so fondly call it.

The matzoh is the centerpiece of the ritual part of the meal, symbolizing the haste with which our people left bondage for a life of freedom. I am not so sensitive to gluten that the tiny bit of matzoh mandated for consumption during the seder would do me much harm, but so many of my Passover recipes are for good things to spread on matzoh during the week following the seder and I don't want to give those up. I am too cheap to fork over $30 for a pound of certified gluten free oat matzoh so I decided to make my own following this recipe, using flour I ground from gluten free oats.

My other big worry was matzoh balls. Somehow I didn't see homemade oat matzoh holding up to simmering dumpling style but luckily my friend Ruth found me a recipe for a potato-almond dumpling that should do the trick thought I'll still be making the real thing for my family and guests.

This year Passover won't be much different from the way I now eat all the time. The focus, as ever, will be on nuts, dairy, eggs, meat, fruit, and veggies. I have tons of new recipes which meet the guidelines for Passover food and I think we'll eat quite well.

Our seder menu:

"regular" apple-walnut charosetLink
"Indian" Charoset (made with dates, coconut, almonds, dried apricots, and cardamom)

Mock Chopped Liver
(I hate this name so I call it walnut pate)

Salmon Pate

vegetarian broth/chicken broth + matzoh balls/gf potato knaidlach

Matzo kugel/crustless quiche for our vegetarians (haven't decided yet)

Chicken Marbella

tzimmes (baked sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, with orange and cinnamon)

Asparagus Salad

Fruit Salad

Strawberry Cake Roll

Racines Cake

Iraqi Macaroons

Post Seder Followup: Most of the meal was fantastic. I loved doing the asparagus ahead as a salad so I didn't have to worry about overcooking it.

The chicken marbella was delightful--moist, flavorful, and complex. Loved it!

The potato dumplings were fantastic. They went well in chicken soup but they also met the morning after test. I was able to pan fry them in butter with great success.

The oat matzo, on the other hand, was truly "the bread of affliction" and was just about inedible. Next year, a better gluten free matzo!
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am glad so much worked out for you. The cold asparagus salad sounds perfect for parties. The chicken marbella sounds yummy.

And what I find very funny is that I was just wondering today what Kosher is and I click on one of the links that led me to a site that had the explanation. Funny how it all works.