Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And the Main Course Is...

There’s always a question of what to serve at our Passover seder. I could always trot out the award-winning brisket, but truthfully I’m tired of it. Roast chicken is safe, but rather pedestrian. Then the Post came today and I knew what we would be eating: lamb shanks with root vegetables.

This dish has the advantage of not being so sensitive to the timing of the meal, which inevitably is later than anyone would like it to be by the time we plow through most of the Hagaddah. I just like the sound of root vegetables; it seems so earthy at a time when we celebrate new life.

The recipe calls for some rather strange things, like date molasses and star anise. Calls to Whole Foods, Balduccis, and Dean & DeLuca failed to turn up any date molasses. A rather comical exchange with someone at Balduccis in Old Town:

Me: I’m looking for date molasses.
Clerk: He ain’t here.
Me: It’s a product, not a person.
Clerk: We still don’t have it.

Fortunately the Mediterranean Bakery in Alexandria has the date molasses. And Whole Foods had the star anise, the adorable little brown stars like the one in the picture.

I ordered the lamb shanks from Whole Foods to be picked up on Friday morning.

This is rather cooking-intensive holiday, so I will be busy on Friday and Saturday making things like gefilte fish, red horseradish, chicken soup with matzoh balls, fruit compote, and now lamb shanks. I will go through lots and lots of eggs, carrots, and onions. Then I will get to sit down with some sweet wine on Saturday night as we once again tell the story of how the Jews came out of Egypt. It’s the same old story, but the main dish will be new this year!


Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

expect you were feeling you were in the middle of an abbott & costello routine with that exchange at balduccis - priceless - thanks for the chuckle!

I have only attended one seder (so far) in my life - even though it was years ago I still treasure the memory of it - I found it very powerful and profound - I love learning about the symbolism and history of the holiday.

hope you have a great seder and passover. I know the food will be wonderful!!

4:34 PM  
Blogger Jamy said...

I've had leg of lamb before and it's a great main course. This year, I'm doing the meat-less Seder, which works fine for a small group. It's so much food, you don't really need the meat. And I make a great, decadent dessert, so it's worth saving room.

Hag Samach!

5:40 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Looks good, but, sadly, Sofia does not like lamb.

The kids will eat it as long as I don't tell them wha tit is, but if Sofia is not eating, then they know something is up.

I would have just substituted regular molasses fir date molasses (mind you, my last experience with molasses and gingerbread cookies, made me question wanting to use it again).

6:56 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Mouse -- At least the person at Balduccis was more honest than the clerk at Giant who told me they had matzoh crackers in aisle 17 (the cracker aisle), when in fact they had NO matzoh crackers at all there or in the kosher-for-pesach aisle. I wasn't all that surprised because in her infinite wisdom our wonderful Rabbi Manewith said Manishevitz didn't make them this year because of a production problem.

Jamy -- Tell me about the decadent dessert because I really suck at making Passover desserts and I need some inspiration!

Richard -- Sorry your family are not lamb fans! The recipe actually says you can substitute honey for date molasses, but I always prefer to use the suggested ingredients.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

I wonder what it would be like with pomegranate molasses, which is something that I am learning to use in my cooking, treasuring the 2 liters that my mother-in-law sent me.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

A Blessed Pesach to you and David. I only wish I were there to join you.

With affection........

3:53 PM  
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