What to Eat When the Seders are Over
Chol hamoed meal ideas
Chol hamoed meal ideas
There’s no doubt that preparing for our Passover seders is a lot of fuss and hard work. But the recipes and rituals are what our families will deposit into their memory banks, so it’s worth all of the effort.
When the seders are over you still have meals to cook. It’s just another Monday or Thursday, only it’s also Passover, with its special culinary challenges. You’re probably tired too, which means it makes sense to keep dinner simple and easy during the intermediate days.
Here are a few things I’ve learned to cook during chol hamoed:
- Salmon, because it is so quick and easy. Brush filets or steaks with olive oil, give it a little seasoning (such as grated horseradish, chopped fresh dill, finely chopped nuts, and so on), pop it in the oven and you’re done.
- Other fish, also easy. Top filets with chopped tomatoes and celery or olives, a sprinkle of lemon juice, maybe some fresh herbs such as dill, parsley or thyme and, if you like, some matzo meal for crispiness. Roast in the oven for maybe 15 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is, until cooked and lightly browned.
- Salad. Cooking quinoa takes very little time and you can bulk it up with items such as cooked vegetables, tomatoes, leftover meat or cheese, hard-cooked eggs, and toss everything with olive oil and lemon juice or Passover-approved vinegar.
- Burgers. If you’re like me and serve chicken soup, you can mash the soup vegetables (and maybe even some chicken), add an egg or two and some matzo meal, shape the mixture into patties and fry them. Add a fried egg or two for dinner or serve the cakes with a salad.
- Crock-pot friendly dishes. You can set these up quickly and leave them alone to cook for hours. If you don’t have a crock-pot, use a covered casserole dish in a slow oven (275 degrees). Lamb shanks work here.
- Simple roasts such as breast of veal, veal shoulder, plain old chicken or half turkey breast. These dishes are my go-tos during Passover. If you add a vegetable or two and a potato dinner is done. It’s not fancy, but it gives good aromas of home and holiday and doesn’t require much work. The recipe for Veal Roast with Mushrooms is a dish I make over and over. It’s a good fit for Passover. If you don’t have or don’t want to soak dried mushrooms, use fresh mushrooms, cut into chunks, and add them with the onions and garlic. To make this dish a more substantial “one-pot” meal, add peeled, slim carrots and/or “new” potatoes to the pan for the last 45 minutes of cooking.