As a chef, when I begin my Passover Seder planning, I always start with the Seder plate. I look at it as the foundation of traditional Passover food: matzah (unleavened bread), zeroa (lamb shankbone), beitzah (egg), maror (bitter herbs), hazeret (2nd bitter herb), charoset (mixture of apples, nuts and wine) and karpas (green vegetable).
The variety of ingredients remind me of the cooking show “Chopped.” I think, what can be created using these particular ingredients to compose a delicious dish? This year, how about Lollipop Lamb Chops with Sauteed Spinach and Apple Walnut Chutney?
These recipes are scaled for 4 people.
Grilled Lollipop Lamb Chops
Traditionally, the Seder plate calls for lamb bone. I like to grill Lollipop Lamb Chops so I can use the bone for the plate and have a delicious meal at the same time!
1 rack of lamb cut into individual chops
2 tablespoons rosemary
¼ cup butter
1 cup beef stock
1 bottle red wine
2x sprinkle of salt
2x sprinkle of pepper
Sprinkle lamb with salt, pepper and rosemary. Marinate overnight in ½ the bottle of red wine. Reserve the remaining ½ bottle for later.
Drain marinade from lamb and discard liquid. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Grill lamb on both sides until medium rare (approximately 2 minutes per side). Avoid overcooking lamb. If it is not cooked enough after grilling, feel free to put it in a preheated 350° oven for a few more minutes.
Simmer the remaining wine on the stove until it reduces by ½. Add the beef broth and reduce the mixture by ½ again. Wisk in the butter just before serving over the lamb.
When I think of bitter herbs at Passover, I always think of parsley. However, there are many greens that fall into the “bitter” category. Spinach is one!
2 pounds fresh baby spinach
1 quart boiling water
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely diced onions
1 tablespoons minced garlic
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt and pepper
Boil the water in a large enough pot to add the spinach. Once the water is boiling, remove the pot from heat, add the spinach and cover with a lid. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes then stir spinach until it is all wilted. Strain all the water from the spinach squeezing out remaining water.
Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the spinach and stir constantly. Wisk eggs together and add to the center of the pan. Stir spinach until egg is fully incorporated and cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Apple Walnut Chutney
Apple walnut chutney is a chef’s way of saying Charoset!
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup cider vinegar
2 cups brown sugar
1 ½ pounds Granny Smith apples diced into small cubes
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried walnuts
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Heat garlic, ginger, cider vinegar, brown sugar, apples, and raisins to a non-aluminum saucepan until sugar is melted, stirring frequently. Add walnuts and if you like spice, add the cayenne. Continue stirring until apples are soft and the chutney is the desired thickness. Taste and add salt if needed.