The Complete Passover Cookbook
The Complete Passover Cookbook, by Frances R. AvRutnick, is not a new book. In fact, my copy was published in 1981.
And though I have newer Passover books, with color pictures and recipes by brand name chefs, this oldie but goodie is still my favorite. Ms. AvRutnick’s recipes are consistently tasty, don’t require hard to find ingredients, and are quick to throw together. That’s all I ask for from a cookbook.
So far, I’ve made seven recipes.
The Matzo Brei recipe was the first thing I tried. It’s a classic Matzo Brei recipe, available in almost any cookbook. I just added shredded cheese at the end (per my son’s request) and we loved it.
A few days after I made the Matzo Brei, I tried the Matzo Brei Variation. This recipe is similar to the original, with the difference being that only one egg is used instead of four. The result is a lot healthier, without any loss of taste. Btw, I changed out the water for vegan/parve chicken broth.
The Basic Farfel Stuffing is the best Passover stuffing I have ever had. It combines chopped and fried onions and celery with matzoh, broth and seasonings. I followed the basic recipe pretty closely, just reducing the oil, skipping the parsley and using chicken broth instead of water. The only major adjustment I made was to bake the stuffing in a covered pan instead of inside a bird.
The Potato Pancakes recipe was actually turned into a very low fat kugel. I used the exact ingredients listed, but instead of frying the resulting mixture, I baked it. I ate the kugel as soon as it came out of the oven and it was GOOD.
Next was Farfel Pudding, a combination of matzo farfel, nuts, fruits and a little sugar, baked into a sweet side dish or not so sweet dessert. I made this dish several years ago, so I don’t remember much about it, but I have a large notation saying “very good!” next to the recipe.
Another winner was the Apple Cake 1. This delicious dessert used cake meal, sugar, oil and apples. It’s covered with a streusel topping (minus the flour, of course).
The only recipe that wasn’t enjoyed much was the Hamburger Popovers. The popovers were bits of dough, shaped into a muffin tin and stuffed with seasoned meat. I didn’t taste this dish, since I’m a vegetarian, but the other diners said there was too little meat for the ratio of dough. I believe the problems with the dish were my fault, since I did use slightly less meat than was called for.
Even though The Complete Passover Cookbook is out of print, it is still available used at Amazon.
By the way, I loved this book so much, I immediately decided to get the other cookbook written by Frances R. AvRutnick. It’s called Kosher Cookery, Classic & Contemporary.