hors d'oeuvres

Matbucha

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Spring has sprung and for me, that means more salad.

So I got to thinking about that word salad, which I realize means so many things that I was never able to fit all of my salad recipes into a file folder simply marked “salad.” I had to sub-categorize them into files such as “grain salads,” “tomato salads,” “fruit salads” and so on.

Over the years I’ve made salads of all sorts. Some based mostly on greens and some that had no greens at all.

I’ve made beet salads, dinner salads, fish salads and quinoa salads.

I could go on. But really, there is no one way to describe “salad,” even though a dictionary might say something like “a mixture or raw and cooked vegetables served with dressing.”

No.

Because recently I prepared some Matbucha, which is in an entirely different salad category.

Matbucha is a “salade cuit” — that is, “cooked salad.” In fact the word Matbucha, is an Arabic word that means “cooked salad".”

Cooked salad may seem odd to Western thinking except for the fact that most of us actually eat lots of cooked salads, such as potato salad and egg salad too. We just don’t think of them as “cooked salads,” but that’s what they are.

Matbucha is a Moroccan dish, especially popular in the Moroccan Jewish community, which was once large and thriving in North Africa. When good numbers of Moroccan Jews migrated to Israel, they brought their love of this dish with them and it is now wildly popular in Israel too.

For good reason: Matbucha is vibrantly tasty, easy to cook and is ideal for Shabbat because, even though it’s cooked, you can serve it at room temperature. Use it as a salad course or as a side dish with dinner. I’ve always served it with hors d’oeuvre, as a topping for crackers or pita wedges (it works well with other Middle Eastern nibbles and dips such as hummus, raheb, baba ghanoush and so on).

You can make Matbucha 3-4 days ahead. That’s handy isn’t it?

Matbucha

  • 2 large red bell peppers

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped

  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 6 medium tomatoes peeled and finely chopped

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

Preheat the broiler. Place the peppers under the broiler, about 4-6" away from the heat, and broil for 2-3 minutes, until the skin has blistered. Turn the peppers and repeat this process until the entire surface is blistered and lightly charred. Remove the peppers and place them in a paper bag. Let rest at least 10 minutes. Remove the peppers from the bag, peel off the skin and discard the stem and the seeds. Cut the peppers into pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the peppers, serrano pepper and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, paprika, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook for 30-35 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick.

 Makes 1-1/2 to 2 cups

 

Beet Tarte Tatin

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Every New Year’s Eve my brother and sister-in-law come over for the day, my cousins sleep over for a couple of days. We start our celebration early with a round of drinks and hors d’oeuvre. A few hours later we have another round of drinks and hors d’oeuvre.

No dinner.

We have dessert much later, near midnight. The anticipation of something sweet helps keep us up so we can watch the ball drop and then go to bed.

Some of the hors d’oeuvre I serve are fancy, some plain; some homemade, some from a package (like the Spring Valley or Hebrew National franks-in-blankets that everyone loves).

A while ago I read a blog post about Beet tarte tatins and was inspired to make some because they looked and sounded so appealing. I made up my own recipe, tried it a few times and decided that they would be perfect as one of the fancies at this year’s New Year get-together.

I wrote down whose blog it was, so I could credit her with the inspiration, but I can’t find the paper and forgot the name.

But — to that wonderfully creative person who alerted me to beet tarte tatin —- thank you.

Here’s my recipe.

Beet Tarte Tatins

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large beet (8-10 ounces)

  • 2 small chopped shallots or 1/3 cup chopped red onion

  • 1 teaspoon Mirin (rice vinegar)

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon crushed, dried rosemary (or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary)

  • salt to taste

  • 1/2 pound puff pastry

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a small amount of the olive oil to brush the insides of 6 muffin tins. Peel the beet and cut it into thin slices, then cut the slice to make them small enough to fit inside the muffin tins. Place the cut beet slices in a bowl. Add the shallots and toss the ingredients. In another small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, Mirin and brown sugar and pour the dressing over the beet mixture. Sprinkle with the rosemary and salt and spoon equal amounts of the beet mixture inside the muffin tins. Cover the filled tins with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the tin from the oven. Raise the oven heat to 400 degrees. Cut out 6 circles from the puff pastry to cover the top of the muffin tins. Place over the beets. Bake for another 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Carefully spoon each beet mixture from the bottom and turn it over onto a dish so that the pastry is at the bottom. Spoon any remaining beets that do not come up and place them on the tarte tatins. Garnish with the orange peel and serve (may be served hot or at room temperature).

Makes 6

Tropical Salsa

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In our family, Mother's Day involves a cookoff. Everyone participates in some way. We pick a theme, some people cook, some set the table, some help clean up and so on. Then we all eat what we have cooked and everyone wins a prize for something, like: best looking; most delicious; most unusual.....

It's been so much fun over the years and we all believe it beats going to a restaurant which, because it's a holiday, is usually crowded and noisy and the service awful.

This year's theme was "dips."

My son-in-law and one of the grandkids made a hot French Onion Dip; one daughter and granddaughter made a spicy Red Pepper Dip; another daughter and child made a chocolate dip for dessert.

It was all awesome.

This was my entry, which got the award for "most refreshing" and "most attractive" as well as "most perfect for summer" awards.

It's so easy to make too.

Also, it really is perfect for summer.

And it is actually refreshing and attractive.

So -- for summer company or just for yourself, try my award-winning Tropical Salsa. Serve it on Father's Day. Or July 4th!

By the way, this is also a good side dish with grilled meat, poultry or fish and can be used to top a hamburger.

Tropical Salsa

  • 2 cups diced fresh papaya
  • 2 large mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lime peel
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt
  • corn chips or other favorite chips

Place the papaya, mango and avocado dice in a bowl. Add the jalapeno pepper, lime peel, lime juice and cilantro and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Taste and add salt as needed. Serve with chips.

Makes about 3 cups

Herbed Feta Cheese with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives

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A few weeks ago I took a quickie trip to Berlin with my daughter. We took a stroll through the Turkish outdoor market, where I saw someone selling a gorgeous hunk of feta cheese, scattered with sundried tomatoes and olives, seasoned with herbs and sprinkled with a drizzle of olive oil.

I noted the ingredients and took a photo. 

It looked so delicious that the moment I saw this cheese thing I knew I had to make it at home.

I did.

It is as good as I thought it would be. I served it to guests last weekend.

They raved.

Here's the recipe. 

Herbed Feta Cheese with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives

  • 1/2 pound feta cheese
  • 3 sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 8-10 imported black pitted olives
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Aleppo pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Cut the feta cheese into thick slices and place on a serving dish. Chop the sundried tomatoes and scatter them over the cheese. Scatter the olives around the cheese and dish. Scatter the parsley over the ingredients and sprinkle with the oregano and some Aleppo pepper to taste. Drizzle the olive oil on top.

Makes 8-10 servings

 

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Toasts

At the end of each year food professionals discuss fads and popular trends in the culinary world and often make predictions about what's to come.

I don't know what's coming but I can say that as far as I know, one food trend this year was: avocado toast. Which is basically guacamole sandwich. Which is basically mashed avocado with some lime or lemon juice and anything else you might want in your guacamole, like tomatoes or chili pepper and so on.

I also know this: there's a good reason that avocado toasts became a thing. They're scrumptious. They're easy to prepare. They are incredibly versatile, as in you can use them as a base for a whole host of hors d'oeuvre, which might come in handy for New Year's get togethers.

For example: these avocado toasts on melba rounds topped with chopped salmon and some seasonings. 

Honestly, it couldn't get much easier than this and they do look pretty don't they?

They're on my menu for my New Year pre-dinner cocktail hour.

And btw, I buy salmon "scraps" that (fortunately) my local supermarket sells -- the leftover but still good pieces of salmon that the lox cutter cuts away to get those perfect slices. Because you chop this salmon up, so why not buy the cheap stuff?

 

SMOKED SALMON AND AVOCADO TOASTS

  • 24 toast rounds (or packaged Melba rounds)
  • 2 small avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion
  • 2-3 tablespoons lime juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 pound smoked salmon pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • pinch or two of cayenne pepper

If using bread, cut out small circles with a cookie cutter, or use packaged Melba rounds. In a bowl, mash the avocados. Add one tablespoon olive oil, the scallion, 2 tablespoons lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and add more lime juice if desired. Spread the avocado mixture evenly over the bread. Chop the smoked salmon, add the remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil, the chives and some cayenne pepper and mix ingredients thoroughly. Spread equal amounts of the salmon mixture on top of the avocado mixture.

Makes 24

 

Salmon Spread for Easy Summer Entertaining

My mother was one of those women who always had too much food in the house. Just in case.

Just in case company came. You can't just let them sit there and not eat.

Just in case you needed a little something extra for supper. Or as a snack over the weekend.

Just in case you had some leftovers and you didn't want to throw them out.

If you ever took a look in my freezer, my fridge and my kitchen cabinets you would know, like mother, like daughter.

I have a ton of food things.

Just in case.

This past weekend when my cousins came for a sleepover, I discussed this with my cousin Leslie, whose mother was my Mom's sister. She was bemoaning her overstuffed freezer, refrig, pantry. With all the "just-in-case" stuff. 

We are who we are, products of our upbringing, including our need for just-in-case food.

But I did point out to her that with the leftover salmon I made the other day, the dill, lemons, celery and cream cheese I always have on hand, I made this spread. Which is a perfectly easy-to-make, quick-as-a-wink to make hors d'oeuvre to be served with chips or crudites. And I served it over the weekend.

Easy. 

You can do it too. And if you don't have leftover salmon, you can used canned salmon, tuna or sardines. It's also delicious with leftover cooked bluefish.

 

Salmon Spread

  • 8 ounces cooked salmon, crumbled
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Place the salmon, scallions, celery, cream cheese, lemon juice, dill and Dijon mustard in the workbowl of a food processor and process until thoroughly blended. 

Makes about 1-1/2 cups

Easy Guacamole

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Recently I posted a recipe for an Avocado, Egg and Tomato Sandwich with Pesto Mayonnaise, in which I mentioned that I eat a lot of avocados. In fact there are always 4-5 avocados in my house, some in the crisper bin of the fridge, others ripening on the counter top.

Besides eating avocados as a snack, I find that when I am at a loss for a vegetable side dish or when I am rushed, stressed or busy, an avocado comes in really handy (not to mention delicious and also healthy). Just peel and cut it up and serve with anything: chicken, beef, eggs, whatever. Maybe sprinkle a little lime juice on top.

But of course, as I mentioned in that previous post, there's always Guacamole! One of the tastiest, easiest, well-loved dips there ever was.

Here are some ideas for guacamole in addition to serving it with chips:

1. spread on top of toast for a sandwich (by itself or with tomato slices, chicken or turkey)

2. use instead of ketchup for burgers

3. use to replace the butter on a baked potato

4. tuck inside eggs within an omelet 

5. stuff inside hollowed tomatoes

Here's my easy recipe for guacamole. It will take you far.

Guacamole

  • 2 medium avocados
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 small serrano chili pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  • 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • chips

Peel the avocado and scoop the flesh into a food processor (or bowl or molcajete). Chop the tomato and add the tomato pieces, chili pepper, garlic, cilantro, if used, juice and salt to taste to the food processor. Process to desired texture using pulse feature (or mash with a fork or tejolete). 

Serve with corn chips.

Makes about 2 cups

Hummus with Dried Chick Peas and Tahini

My dad, who was in the fabric business, always had to be thinking six months ahead. In June, for example, he asked himself what sort of material women would want to buy to sew a dress or skirt the following December.   It’s the same in my business, food writing. I’m already testing recipes for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, even though the sun is brilliant, the leaves are still green and it’s 90 degrees outside.  All this means that I decided on my Break-the-fast menu several weeks ago, even though Yom Yippur doesn’t end until sunset October 4, 2014.  I always serve a new hummus version for this occasion. Hummus is usually the first bite that people eat when they come to my house. And because I work ahead, I’ve already completed all my hummus experiments for the year.  The recipe below, made with dried chick peas, is the winner for this year’s get-together. Dried chick peas give hummus a rounder, richer, nuttier flavor than the kind made with canned beans. The hummus tends to be drier too, so I keep some of the cooking liquid available to stir in at the last minute, just in case.  Don’t be surprised by the addition of a tiny amount of baking soda. It helps soften the chick peas and make the hummus smooth and creamy.        And by the way, you don’t have to wait until October to make this. Hummus is a treat any old time as a snack, sandwich spread, party dip.  You know.                                                                                                                                        Hummus with Dried Chick Peas and Tahini   1 cup dried chick peas  1/2 teaspoon baking soda  1/3 cup tahini  6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice  2 tablespoons olive oil  3 cloves garlic  1/2 teaspoon ground cumin  1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste  1/2 teaspoon salt  1/2 cup cooking liquid from chick peas, approximately  zatar  cut up pita wedges  Place the chick peas in a bowl, cover them with water and let soak overnight or about 10 hours. Or, place the chick peas in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer the peas for 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover the pot and let the chick peas soak for 1 hour. Drain the chick peas. Place them in a pot, cover with water (by about one inch), stir in the baking soda, bring the water to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about one hour or until the chick peas are tender. Drain the chick peas but reserve some of the water. Place the chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, cayenne and salt in a food processor. Add about 1/4 cup reserved bean liquid and process until well blended. Add more bean liquid depending on desired consistency. Place the hummus in a serving dish and sprinkle with zatar. Serve with cut up pita wedges.  Makes about 1-1/2 cups      

My dad, who was in the fabric business, always had to be thinking six months ahead. In June, for example, he asked himself what sort of material women would want to buy to sew a dress or skirt the following December. 

It’s the same in my business, food writing. I’m already testing recipes for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, even though the sun is brilliant, the leaves are still green and it’s 90 degrees outside.

All this means that I decided on my Break-the-fast menu several weeks ago, even though Yom Yippur doesn’t end until sunset October 4, 2014.

I always serve a new hummus version for this occasion. Hummus is usually the first bite that people eat when they come to my house. And because I work ahead, I’ve already completed all my hummus experiments for the year.

The recipe below, made with dried chick peas, is the winner for this year’s get-together. Dried chick peas give hummus a rounder, richer, nuttier flavor than the kind made with canned beans. The hummus tends to be drier too, so I keep some of the cooking liquid available to stir in at the last minute, just in case.

Don’t be surprised by the addition of a tiny amount of baking soda. It helps soften the chick peas and make the hummus smooth and creamy.      

And by the way, you don’t have to wait until October to make this. Hummus is a treat any old time as a snack, sandwich spread, party dip.

You know.                                                                                                                                  

 

Hummus with Dried Chick Peas and Tahini

1 cup dried chick peas

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup tahini

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cooking liquid from chick peas, approximately

zatar

cut up pita wedges

Place the chick peas in a bowl, cover them with water and let soak overnight or about 10 hours. Or, place the chick peas in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer the peas for 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover the pot and let the chick peas soak for 1 hour. Drain the chick peas. Place them in a pot, cover with water (by about one inch), stir in the baking soda, bring the water to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about one hour or until the chick peas are tender. Drain the chick peas but reserve some of the water. Place the chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, cayenne and salt in a food processor. Add about 1/4 cup reserved bean liquid and process until well blended. Add more bean liquid depending on desired consistency. Place the hummus in a serving dish and sprinkle with zatar. Serve with cut up pita wedges.

Makes about 1-1/2 cups

 

 

Spinach Vichyssoise

I had a fancy dinner planned for Saturday evening, meaning drinks and hors d’oeuvres and a few courses, mostly experiment recipes, for our good friends Susan and Richard. They are among my “regular” tasters and every once in a while I invite them to “review” some of the latest creations. 
 They are good sports. 
 I cooked a couple of the do-ahead items, including Spinach Vichyssoise intended to be served as “shots” with our cocktails, and was ready to get in my car to shop for the other ingredients when, unfortunately, I realized I had done something to my knee and it felt weird and I had trouble walking. When I looked down at it, it was three times its usual size and my leg looked like there was a boulder attached. 
 So much for working out. 
 After a half day on the couch, ice-on, ice-off it wasn’t any better so Ed took me to the ER, where an orthopedist told me to stay on the couch, ice-on, ice-off for a few more days. 
 Dinner was cancelled, naturally.  
 But Susan and Richard told us to come on over for dinner, which we did, me hobbling into the car with my ice pack wrapped in a towel and with my father’s cane, which Ed and I bought for him once, a long time ago in London, and has a cobra head for a handle. 
 Susan and Richard are good people. I am grateful to have them as friends. 
 I’ll do that dinner some other time, with different recipes. As for the food I prepared, my daughter Gillian, son-in-law Jesse and their three kids came for a visit Sunday and became the tasters. They ate the frittata that I was going to cut up and serve on baguette slices — more on that in a few days. They ate some  carrot soup  and also the Spinach Vichyssoise, not in aperitif glasses, but in bowls, like regular soup, because it’s good that way too. 
 It’s a good make-ahead dish and equally wonderful whether you serve it cold or hot. 

 Spinach Vichyssoise 

 2 tablespoons olive oil 
 3 large all-purpose potatoes, peeled and chopped 
 1 large yellow onion, chopped 
 2 large leeks, cleaned and chopped 
 2 carrots, chopped 
 1 small Serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped (or other chili pepper) 
 5 cups vegetable stock 
 1 medium bunch spinach, wash, drained and coarsely chopped 
 salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
 1 cup coconut milk 

 Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the potatoes, onion, leeks, carrots and Serrano pepper and cook them over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened. Add the stock. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the spinach, season to taste with salt and pepper, cover the pan and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor and return the soup to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk and heat through. OR, refrigerate and serve chilled. 
 Makes 8 servings

I had a fancy dinner planned for Saturday evening, meaning drinks and hors d’oeuvres and a few courses, mostly experiment recipes, for our good friends Susan and Richard. They are among my “regular” tasters and every once in a while I invite them to “review” some of the latest creations.

They are good sports.

I cooked a couple of the do-ahead items, including Spinach Vichyssoise intended to be served as “shots” with our cocktails, and was ready to get in my car to shop for the other ingredients when, unfortunately, I realized I had done something to my knee and it felt weird and I had trouble walking. When I looked down at it, it was three times its usual size and my leg looked like there was a boulder attached.

So much for working out.

After a half day on the couch, ice-on, ice-off it wasn’t any better so Ed took me to the ER, where an orthopedist told me to stay on the couch, ice-on, ice-off for a few more days.

Dinner was cancelled, naturally. 

But Susan and Richard told us to come on over for dinner, which we did, me hobbling into the car with my ice pack wrapped in a towel and with my father’s cane, which Ed and I bought for him once, a long time ago in London, and has a cobra head for a handle.

Susan and Richard are good people. I am grateful to have them as friends.

I’ll do that dinner some other time, with different recipes. As for the food I prepared, my daughter Gillian, son-in-law Jesse and their three kids came for a visit Sunday and became the tasters. They ate the frittata that I was going to cut up and serve on baguette slices — more on that in a few days. They ate some carrot soup and also the Spinach Vichyssoise, not in aperitif glasses, but in bowls, like regular soup, because it’s good that way too.

It’s a good make-ahead dish and equally wonderful whether you serve it cold or hot.

Spinach Vichyssoise

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 large all-purpose potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 large leeks, cleaned and chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 small Serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped (or other chili pepper)

5 cups vegetable stock

1 medium bunch spinach, wash, drained and coarsely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup coconut milk

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the potatoes, onion, leeks, carrots and Serrano pepper and cook them over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened. Add the stock. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the spinach, season to taste with salt and pepper, cover the pan and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor and return the soup to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk and heat through. OR, refrigerate and serve chilled.

Makes 8 servings

Crispy Potato Bites

Need a quick nosh during Passover? 
 These crispy potato bites do the trick. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like them. In fact they remind me of franks-in-blankets, the kind of tidbit people don’t want to admit they love, but they actually love them so much they eat more of them than they would ever guess. 
  I make these potato bites ahead and reheat them when needed (defrosted, 400 degree preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes) — although I have seen members of my clan eat them cold, saving me the trouble of washing a baking sheet.  
  They’re not just for Passover, btw. I serve them for sports events (like Superbowl) and other times that I’ve got a small crowd coming over.                     

  Crispy Potato Bites  
     
  12 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks   
  1/4 cup chopped fresh chives  
  1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary  
  1 large egg  
  2 tablespoons vegetable oil  
  2 tablespoons matzo meal  
  1/2 teaspoon Passover baking powder  
  salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste  
     
  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 16-18 mini muffin tin cups (or use cooking spray). Shred the potatoes in a food processor, scoop the shreds, replace the shredding disk with the S-blade and return the shredded potatoes to the workbowl. Chop the potatoes until they are small pieces. Squeeze excess liquid out of the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a bowl. Add the chives, rosemary, egg, vegetable oil, matzo meal, baking powder and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the ingredients thoroughly to blend them completely. Spoon equal amounts of the potato mixture into the mini muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.   
     

  Makes 16-18

Need a quick nosh during Passover?

These crispy potato bites do the trick. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like them. In fact they remind me of franks-in-blankets, the kind of tidbit people don’t want to admit they love, but they actually love them so much they eat more of them than they would ever guess.

I make these potato bites ahead and reheat them when needed (defrosted, 400 degree preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes) — although I have seen members of my clan eat them cold, saving me the trouble of washing a baking sheet.

They’re not just for Passover, btw. I serve them for sports events (like Superbowl) and other times that I’ve got a small crowd coming over.                   

Crispy Potato Bites

 

12 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 large egg

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons matzo meal

1/2 teaspoon Passover baking powder

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 16-18 mini muffin tin cups (or use cooking spray). Shred the potatoes in a food processor, scoop the shreds, replace the shredding disk with the S-blade and return the shredded potatoes to the workbowl. Chop the potatoes until they are small pieces. Squeeze excess liquid out of the potatoes. Place the potatoes in a bowl. Add the chives, rosemary, egg, vegetable oil, matzo meal, baking powder and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the ingredients thoroughly to blend them completely. Spoon equal amounts of the potato mixture into the mini muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.

 

Makes 16-18