Archive for March 4th, 2010


Pam Reiss’ Passover – A Kosher Collection

Pamela Reiss works with her parents catering business and store in Winnipeg, Canada. By her own admission she’s not a trained Chef, yet judging by this book, the lady can cook!!!

I’ve seen quite a few Passover cookbooks over the years, some very good, some mediocre. This one is excellent! It shows imagination, understanding of the subtle nuances of flavor and has so many delicious recipes.

Among my favorites is the Spinach and Zucchini Soup with the Matzo Ball. For the Mains I have a tough time choosing between the Black Currant Miami Ribs, the Old Fashioned Beef Flanken, the Brisket with Onion Gravy, the Slow Cooked Brisket with Tomato Sauce, or the Pineapple Turkey Meatballs. For desserts there are quite a few that could become my new favorites, among them any of the variations of Crème Brûlée

Pineapple Turkey Meatballs

Serves 6 – Meat

To make a lighter version, I’ll often use ground turkey or chicken as a substitute for beef in meatballs. But this recipe was created with turkey in mind — I think the sauce works well with turkey, but don’t let that stop you if you want to try it with chicken or beef!


28 oz. | 796 mL canned whole tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp. | 10 mL fresh ginger, minced
20 oz. | 565 g canned pineapple chunks, with the juice
2 oz. | 55 g brown sugar (¼ cup | 60 mL)
3 Tbsp. | 45 mL tomato paste


1 ½ lbs. | 680 g ground turkey
1 large egg
5 oz. | 140 g yellow onion, peeled and finely minced
(1 small)
1 tsp. | 5 mL fresh ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp. | 5 mL salt
¼ tsp. | 1 mL black pepper
2 ¼ oz. | 65 g matzo meal (½ cup | 120 mL)
2 Tbsp. | 30 mL cold water

Preheat the oven to 350°F | 175°C.

Put the whole tomatoes with the juice into a mixing bowl and use an immersion blender to puree. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir together.

In another mixing bowl, combine the meatball ingredients and mix well.

Ladle some sauce into the bottom of an oven-safe baking dish.

Form the turkey mixture into balls the size of large walnuts — you should get about 24.

Lay as many meatballs as you can on top of the sauce in a single layer and pour some sauce over them.

Add the remaining meatballs in a second layer and add the remaining sauce, spooning it on and making sure that all the meatballs are covered.

Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 1 ½ hours.

Remove from the oven and serve or chill and reheat for serving later.

The book’s title refers to Passover but, frankly, with so many delicious recipes it’s a book for all seasons. Ms. Reiss has taken heimish cooking to new heights.

You can obtain the book directly from her website, or Eichler’s in Brooklyn



Ceres Juices

I like juices, almost all juices. Ceres produces some of the best I ever tasted, I recently picked up their 1 liter cartons of Youngberry, Apricot, Mango, Papaya and Litchi. I was amazed at how close to the fruits’ real flavor they tasted. Turns out they are all 100% fruit juice, they have 0% of either saturated or trans fats. and they are very rich in vitamin C providing 100% of the recommended daily adult requirement per serving. I usually get their Fruit Medley (I didn’t this time) in addition to the Vitamin C, it also supplies 100% of Vitamin A’s recommended daily requirement. Each carton gives 4 8ozs servings, Ceres Fruit Juices use Tetra Brik aseptic cartons; these sealed cartons give the juices a shelf life of 12 months, once opened they must be refrigerated and they taste best if consumed within 5 days of opening.

Ceres Juices: Apricot, Litchi, Mango, Papaya, Youngberry

The Youngberry was first produced in 1905 and released in 1926 in the US. Not much is grown of it on these shores anymore but is cultivated intensively in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. I found it very refreshing.

The Apricot is a fruit that has been known since mankind’s earliest days. Records show that as early as the year 502 of the Current Era apricots were already used in the treatment of tumors, in 17th century England apricot juice was used in the treatment of tumors and ulcers. There are records that as early as the year 502 of the Current Era apricots were already used in the treatment of tumors, in 17th century England apricot juice was used in the treatment of tumors and ulcers. In John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi it is discussed as an inducer of childbirth. When I was a volunteer at Kibbutz Lavi during the Six Day War, in 1967, we spent a lot of time working in the apricot fields and it became one of my favorite summer fruits.

The Mango has been growing in India for thousands of years and from there it spread to other frost-free countries. In some cases the tree can still grow fruits even after 300 years. The fruit is naturally very sweet, its juice is a bit thicker than most, but when served chilled it’s very refreshing.

The Papaya originated in Southern Mexico though it’s now cultivated in tropical countries in every continent. Green Papaya is used a lot in Thai cuisine. Papaya is marketed in tablet form as a cure for digestive problems. Ceres definitely tastes great and together with their Litchi these two are about to become favorite juices.

The Litchi – sometimes spelled lychee – fruit contains, on average, a total 72 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit. About nine litchi fruits would meet an adult’s daily recommend Vitamin C requirement. But above all I find this a delicious fruit… and I’m in good company. During the Tang Dynasty it was the favorite fruit of Emperor Li Longji (Xuanzong). The emperor had the fruit, which was only grown in southern China, delivered by the imperial messenger service’s fast horses, whose riders would take shifts day and night in a Pony Express-like manner, to the capital. I found the juice very refreshing and mildly but pleasantly aromatic.

They are made in South Africa, certified with a Star K and are kosher for Passover as they bear a P, they also carry the kashrus certification of the Capetown Beth Din. All five of these flavors proved superb!


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