Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Passover!

Passover is the holiday in which we celebrate the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt after the plagues passed them over.  Since the first night of the eight day holiday was mid-week I was unable to celebrate the Seder with my family in south Florida.  However, last night I celebrated Passover by making a modified version of my grandma's chicken soup with matzo balls and a batch of homemade macaroons.  It was so yummy, here are the recipes:
Chicken Soup
- 1 whole chicken (I get the kind that's already pre-cut into breasts, wings, etc)
- 2 32 oz cartons of chicken broth - I used this organic, low sodium, gluten free kind
- 6 cups of water
- 1 medium diced onion
- 4 parsnips medium diced
- 4 carrots medium diced
- 3 stalks of celery, medium dice
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1 large handful of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 handful chopped fresh dill
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- onion powder
- garlic powder

Rinse the chicken and place in a large stock pot with 6 cups of chicken broth and 6 cups of water.  Start heating this on high while you dice and add the vegetables and herbs.  Add two large pinches of salt and approximately a teaspoon of onion and garlic powder.  Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Once you have started to simmer the soup, mix the ingredients for the matzo balls (I follow the directions on the box but substitute 3 egg whites for the 2 eggs and I add a large pinch of both salt and pepper to mine) and let sit on the counter.  When there is about 40 minutes left on the soup, start the water for the matzo balls.  When it comes to a rolling boil, roll the balls into about 1 inch rounds and drop in and let cook for about 30 minutes.

At this point, remove the chicken from the soup and remove the meat from the bones.  Chop into bite size pieces and return the meat to the soup (I usually only chop about 1/2 of the chicken and leave the rest out for other meals).  Check the seasoning of the soup now as well.  I usually add more salt, more onion and garlic powders, and about a tsp of pepper at this point.  Season to taste then add the matzo balls and serve!
I got the Coconut Macaroon recipe from Ina Garten on the food network.  They are ridiculously easy to make and super delicious.  You can find the recipe here.

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