Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today's Kool Idea: Passover Matza 101 Cookbook

Okay, by now our fans should all be aware of The Daily Kool's obsession with food. If not, you haven't been reading our stuff! Call us crazy, but we particularly like the challenge of cooking for the Passover holiday. It's not as easy as you would expect, especially since many traditional ingredients (bread, flour, legumes, etc.) in our recipes are forbidden during Passover. After all, how creative can we really get with matzoh?

That's just the question neighbors Jenny Kdoshim and Debbie Bevans asked when they wrote Matza 101. This innovative cookbook takes an original approach to Passover recipes, with matzoh as the main ingredient. We like that this hardcover book has a spiral binding, making it easy to stay on the right page. We also appreciate how detailed the directions are, making each recipe virtually foolproof. In Matza 101, the authors demonstrate an simple process which enables the home cook to manipulate matzoh, resulting in endless possibilities in the kitchen. The procedure is to basically dampen the matzoh until it reaches an al-dente, lasagna noodle-type texture. Please be aware that it may take a little practice to perfect, but when you do...watch out! Can you imagine the possiblities now?

Passover is a particularly difficult holiday for many children with finicky pallettes. Matza 101 has truly guided us in creating delectable dishes that even our kids love. A particular favorite were the Matza Mini Franks...simple, but oh so yummy! Another winner in our household is the recipe for Matza Veggie Calzones. We have sampled many recipes from this amazing cookbook. This year, we are going to try our hand at Chicken Pot Pie. From baklava and cannolies to knishes and gefilte fish enchiladas, Matza 101 has given our family a smorgasbord of delicious recipes that have to be tasted to be believed. We have given you a recipe to try out, courtesy of Matza 101...the only modification that we have made is to use jarred pasta sauce as a time-saver. Though it doesn't compare to homemade, it does simplify the recipe for the beginning Passover cook. Enjoy, and have a wonderful holiday!

Matza Cheese Lasagna

1-2 jars of pasta sauce (3-4 cups, depending on preference)
6 sheets of matzoh
2 cups of cottage cheese
2 cups of ricotta cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
1/4 cup chopped fresh italian parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Set aside 1/2 cup EACH of the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
  3. Mix all of the other above ingredients in a bowl, except the matzoh and sauce.
  4. Grease a lasagna pan (with a little oil or cooking spray) and place some of the pasta sauce in the bottom.
  5. Cover the bottom of the pan with two sheets of matzoh side by side.
  6. Top the matzoh with 1/3 cup ofthe cheese mixture, and top with about 1 cup of sauce.
  7. Repeat the layering and end with the sauce.
  8. Top with the reserved mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
  9. Place in oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until melted and bubbly.

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