Timely tips for the fraught fam­ily chef

The Jewish Chronicle - - PASSOVER SPECIAL -

AT A time of year when home cooks have to make so much from scratch, we need all the time-savers we can get. “We will have frozen, pre-made pie crusts and tart­let shells from Ge­fen,” says Rivki Rokach of Kosher King­dom, in Gold­ers Green, north west Lon­don. “They are good for savoury or sweet tarts, so you could make a quiche or a pud­ding. We will be sell­ing them in in­di­vid­ual sizes for din­ner par­ties or larger ones for a fam­ily.”

Ready-to-cook ingredients are a help when you have many mouths to feed and Kosher King­dom and Hen­don­based Ta­puach both of­fer pre­pared fruits, herbs and veg­eta­bles.

“We have peeled and chopped but­ter­nut squash; pump­kin; cour­gettes; beet­root; cele­riac; onions; gar­lic and lots of herbs and fruits,” says Rokach.

Josh Lenef of Ta­puach says: “We have a huge range of pre­pared and checked fruits and veg­eta­bles all year round but this time of year it is par­tic­u­larly use­ful as more cus­tomers cook from scratch for Pe­sach.”

An­other bril­liant time saver is Quick Lemon — real lemon juice (not from con­cen­trate) sourced from Spain and in­stantly avail­able for sauces and dress­ings.

Pe­sach can be a bat­tle for those avoid­ing re­fined sugar. Syl­vain Klein of Me­hadrin has good news on that front, as his com­pany will be dis­tribut­ing King Solomon med­jool dates and date syrup — both from Is­rael. Great for snacks and for health­ier sweet­en­ing. “We will also be bring­ing in St Dal­four jam, which has no added sugar, only the fruit sug­ars,” he says.

Prov­i­dence Deli’s gourmet sauces and condi­ments will be avail­able in kosher-for-Pe­sach form and are ex­cel­lent for a quick sup­per. Its pesto, sun­dried toma­toes and fiery harissa add colour and flavour to grilled and roasted meats, fish, sal­ads and roasted veg­eta­bles and this year will be joined by dairy-free black pep­per sauce, “which is fan­tas­tic for mak­ing steak au poivre,” says founder, Adam Bass.

Dairy was al­ways a big gap in the Pe­sach menu but at B Kosher, which has stores across north west Lon­don and in Bore­ham­wood, you will find Camem­bert, Brie, blue cheese, moz­zarella and oth­ers.

Also in stores is au­then­tic Parme­san from Italy, grated, flaked or in blocks and, for snack­ing, Chev­ing­ton cheese slices and Baby Chevs. Break­fast can be a prob­lem with­out chametz. Danni Scheller of Ha­tov rec­om­mends his com­pany’s gra­nola. “It’s made from matzah far­fel and comes in two flavours — clas­sic and with cran­ber­ries.” His sec­ond pick (not for break­fast) is a milky pizza, gluten-free and nonge­brochts. A treat for the car­bophile weath­er­ing the sea­son of low carbs.

Fish makes a healthy week-night sup­per and a change from pota­toes and eggs.

Do­minic Cor­ney, north west Lon­don fish­mon­ger, says: “Sea bass has be­come ex­tremely pop­u­lar and the good price has meant it is now more of an ev­ery­day fish. Sea bream is sim­i­lar to sea bass and red snap­per is also a good choice. Lemon sole and Dover sole are still very pop­u­lar and are not a bad price at the mo­ment.”

He also has rec­om­men­da­tions for Seder suppers: “The Scotch hal­ibut we cur­rently stock is ex­tremely de­li­cious but the ris­ing price has made it into a spe­cial-oc­ca­sion dish.

“We do a few vari­ants of smoked salmon — nor­mal sliced, hot smoked por­tions and tsar smoked salmon, a cold smoked loin of salmon which we then slice to your de­sired thick­ness, which has a sushi tex­ture with a great smoky flavour.”

For car­ni­vores, Ephi Ray­mond of Kosher Deli says you will find spe­cial prices on turkey breast roll (great roasted with veg­gies) and prime bola — both lovely Seder choices. For mid­week meals, lamb chops are also on spe­cial, while beef mince and goulash will make great-value crock­pot suppers.

An­other fish­mon­ger — Nat Ja­cobs — rec­om­mends tra­di­tional carp.

If you need help cater­ing for a huge Seder, look at the Pe­sach De­lights range from Stam­ford Hill-based Dagim. It has ev­ery­thing from fried fish, fish­balls, chrain, all sorts of her­ring and sal­ads to frozen knei­d­lach and even charoset.

Kit­niot eaters look­ing for a sweet treat can find choco­late-cov­ered rice cakes (in bit­ter sweet or milk choco­late va­ri­eties) in handy snack-sized packs at Kosher King­dom, where an­other high­light is rice sticks — a pasta-like prod­uct. Snack­ers avoid­ing kit­niot could opt for gluten-free cros­tini, made from potato flour and avail­able in bar­be­cue or onion flavours.

Most un­usual snack sug­ges­tion might well be Kosher King­dom’s toasted co­conut chips, from Ge­fen, in three flavours — orig­i­nal, choco­late or honey. An­other al­ter­na­tive is Ge­fen’s potato pops. “These are also gluten-free and come in orig­i­nal, spicy or onion flavour,” says Rokach.

To min­imise time in the kitchen, grab some Passover-friendly piz­zas, bagels and pasta. Pop­u­lar with all ages, speedy to pre­pare and kit­niot-free.

New black-pep­per steak sauce from Prov­i­dence Deli

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