Passover 2018: What to Cook & Prepare for Your Seder

Passover

Getty Images Lighting candles on Passover.

Here are some tried and true recipes for you and your loved ones to enjoy this Passover, along with a list of what you need to prepare and have available to make your seder complete. The various Passover dishes and food rituals are integral parts of the holiday, and are considered to be as important as the reading of the Haggadah itself. Here are some fool-proof, ultra-delicious, grandmother-approved seder guides for Passover 2018.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Prepare The Seder Plate

Seder plate

WikipediaTraditional seder plate.

The Seder plate is the focal point of the first part of the meal when the food rituals take place during the first two nights of Passover. You can use an ornate silver dish (as seen below), a ceramic platter or even a napkin. The Seder plate holds the ceremonial foods around which the Seder is based: matzo, the zeroa (shankbone), bitter herbs, egg, the charoset paste and karpas (vegetable).

Seder plate.

Getty ImagesSeder plate.

Ornate Seder plates such as these are beautiful, but not necessary. What is important are the foods on the plate, not the plate itself.

For more information on the Seder plate, check out chabad.org.


2. Have The Matzo Ball Soup Ready

Matzoh ball soup

Getty ImagesMatzoh ball soup being served at a Jewish deli.

Matzo balls are easy to make, and you really have to choice but to make them in advance. Matzo balls need to be refrigerated for several hours before being boiled and added to your chicken soup broth. You can find a great, easy to make and absolutely delicious recipe for matzo ball soup here.

You will also need to make the broth well in advance which involves boiling the chicken, rendering the fat, chopping the carrots (optional) and so forth. While it takes a little bit of organization to get matzo ball soup done in advance, it’s not a particularly difficult dish to make, and it’s always a crowd pleaser.


3. Have The Prayer Wine Set Up & Ready To Go

Kosher wine

Getty ImagesKosher wine

Here is one thing you want to avoid at all costs: waiting until the last minute to buy the wine for your seder. Depending on where you live, if you wait until Passover is about to begin, you may find the shelves are empty. The last thing you want to do is go on a wild goose chase hunting down wine for Passover. You need to have a good supply of it ready for the rituals involving wine, not to mention to keep your guests’ glasses full during the meal.

Kosher wine

Getty imagesKosher wine for Passover

There is still time to secure a good amount of Kosher wine for Passover. It is highly recommended that you take a trip to the store now and stock up. When the evening of the 30th rolls around and you are ready to begin, you do not want to be stuck with grape juice.


4. Make Roast Chicken, Brisket or Both

passover

Getty ImagesScott Ian of Anthrax (L) and J.J. French of Twisted Sister enjoy Passover.

You do not necessarily need to make roast chicken AND brisket, although if you plan your Seder far enough in time, and you have enough guests coming, you may choose to. Do not be intimidated by the prospect of making multiple entrees. Stress-free, delicious cooking does exist, and you can successfully prepare both dishes with no problem.

A delicious, easy to make recipe for roast chicken can be found here. Your kitchen will smell warm, inviting and comforting, and the aroma alone will give your guests something to look forward to.

As far as brisket goes, the only difficulty you may encounter is getting the right, lean cut of meat from the deli if you wait until the last minute. Brisket should be lean, but not tough. As long as you get to the deli or the butcher in time, you should have no problems whatsoever. If you have been going to Passover Seders for long enough, you have probably encountered your fair share of tough briskets. Briskets that you could sand your floor with.

Not to fear. There are several foolproof recipes out there that will help you to ensure your brisket is cooked to perfection. A personal favorite is this recipe from Tori Avey. Do not be intimidated by the length of the article. The instructions are detailed to make them easier to understand; the recipe itself is simple and easy to follow.

The result? A tender, flavorful brisket that your guests will love. Do not be surprised if you do not wind up with much in the way of leftovers.


5. Have A Selection of Passover-Friendly Desserts

Flourless chocolate cake.

Getty ImagesFlourless chocolate cake.

Do not be intimidated by the idea of flourless desserts. First of all, you are allowed to bake with almond flour, which opens up a multitude of delicious options. For example, Martha Stewart makes a fabulous apple cake that is completely acceptable to serve at the conclusion of your Seder.

Another favorite is rich, incredibly decadent flourless chocolate cake. This recipe from Jewish Boston is getting rave reviews. The recipe is easy to follow, uses simple ingredients and will undoubtedly give your guests something to look forward to.

A full list of Passover desserts that will delight both you and your guests is available here. This year, surprise your guests with more than just fruit and macaroons. Present them with a gorgeous display of Passover-friendly options that are deceptively easy to make. If you are looking for some fantastic recipe inspiration, check out this article from saveur.com with a list of delectable, easy to make recipes that you (and your guests) will love.