Matzoh and More: Our Comprehensive Passover Round-Up

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Last night was the first night of Passover, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the Jews' escape from slavery in Egypt, and, for some, marks the beginning of spring. Here at the Lopate Show, we've discussed Passover traditions both serious and light over the past few years. Below, you can find a list of some of our favorite segments, as well as some of our favorite Passover recipes. If you celebrate Pesach, let us know in the comments about some of your traditions!

  • Bruce Feiler literally walked through the Five Books of Moses in the Holy Land. In 2009, he debunked a few parts of Seder lore and offer suggestions on how to be a good Seder guest.
  • Also in 2009, Aaron Gross, great-great-grandson of the founder of Streit's Matzo, joined us to discuss how matzo is made and the history of the family's matzo business on the Lower East Side. They’ve been baking there since 1925 and are still family-owned in their fifth generation. It's America's last family-owned matzo factory.
  • In 2008, Arthur Schwartz shared his recipe for Passover Pareve Apple Cake with us. 
  • Also in 2008, Pulitzer Prize-winner Geraldine Brooks discussed her latest novel about the Sarajevo Haggadah – one of the earliest illuminated Jewish volumes.
  • And finally, in 2007, Joan Nathan led our Matzo Ball Recipe Swap. Her recipe for the traditional soup is below - and you can check out the winners of our contest on this page.

from New American Cooking by Joan Nathan

I suppose that, being who I am, I cannot write a cookbook without a recipe for matzo balls. We have all heard about the properties of chicken soup, but the curative effects of matzo balls are less well known. Whenever friends are suffering from the effects of chemotherapy, one of foods that they ask me to bring is chicken soup with matzo balls.

3 tablespoons chicken fat or vegetable oil
6 large eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger or 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 ¼ cups matzo meal
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 quarts water

1. Mix the chicken fat or vegetable oil with the eggs, salt, ginger, nutmeg, matzo meal and parsley together in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

2. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Take the matzo mix out of the refrigerator and, after dipping your hands into a bowl of cold water, gently form balls the size of large walnuts. Add the salt to the water and drop in the balls. Simmer slowly, covered, for about 20 minutes, remove from water with a slotted spoon, and add to the soup.

Yield: about 12
-Joan Nathan