Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Night Different From All Others!

A different kind of holiday dinner:
When thinking about a holiday dinner, slave wondered what did they eat in the time of Jesus? Many today do not understand the kind of “Kosher” meal the Last Supper was.
Here is the saga of the different kind of holiday meal slave put together for his neighbors.

If you have never cooked lamb, let me urge you to try it sometime as a treat. Be warned it is expensive meat that needs to be roasted low and slow. It is appropriate to serve lamb for Passover, but rules govern the preparation, and are subject to various interpretations.

Here are the recipes used for this event. It gives an idea how to plan and put one of these together!

Slowly Braised Lamb Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 5 1/2 Hours 

1 boned shoulder of spring lamb, about 4½ pounds, rolled and tied
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
½ cup finely chopped leeks
¼ cup scallions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup beef stock low sodium
1 cup wine, kosher for Passover
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1.Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

2.Heat the oil in a large skillet. Brown the lamb on all sides over medium heat; it should take at least 15 minutes. Remove the lamb from the pan and set aside.

3.Add the onions and leeks to the pan and saute over medium-low heat until they are tender and just turning golden. Stir in the garlic.

Add the stock, wine, lemon juice, and scallions. Bring to a simmer.

Place lamb on a rack in a large roasting pan that has been sprayed. Pour the stock mixture over the meat and lay a couple of sprigs of rosemary on top. Cover and place in oven for about 5 hours. By then it should be extremely tender. Remove the lamb from the roaster and cover with foil.

6.Strain the sauce into a heavy saucepan. Skim off as much fat as possible. Place the solids in a blender or food processor or just use an immersion bleeder. Puree, adding a little of the sauce if necessary. Heat and check seasonings.

7.Remove the strings from the lamb. Slice the roast down the middle the long way, then cut it into chunks. Layer the meat into a bowl or loaf pan that holds 5 to 6 cups, then un-mold onto a warm serving platter. Sprinkle the remaining minced parsley over the top, garnish the platter with parsley sprigs and serve, with the sauce on the side.

Deviled Eggs

While there are many ways to hard cook an egg, cooks usually find one and swear by it! Wither you prefer to put eggs in water, heat to boiling then cover and let sit off the heat for 10 minutes or let boil what ever length of time, here is an idea that helps with appearance.

The night before: slip a rubber band around the carton and sit it on its side overnight. This positions the yolk into the center of the egg. It gives more of a “wall” around the yolk mixture and looks prettier. Also as soon as the eggs are cooked, put them in cold water and bring down the temperature quickly. When the eggs cool slowly, the sulfur in the yolks form a green “skin”. Doesn't affect the taste, just the appearance.

Slave found a small tool that lets the microwave boil water while protecting the egg. This lets the steam do the cooking. Most of the time (maybe 10 out of 12 eggs) this makes them easier to peel for me.
Hillel sandwiches

The leading rabbi of the day, Hillel mixed elements of the ritual food. So that celebrants could eat several parts in a single bite. Since he died in 10 AD we know that his guidelines would have been followed by Jesus.

flat bread
Horsey sauce ( courtesy of local Arby's)
Romaine lettuce
Salt water


(Hillel of course used Matzah an un-leavend bread. (Israelites had no time to wait for the bread to “rise”). We substituted a flat bread for our meal.

He spread it with a horseradish (bitter herb – symbol of slavery) 

Next was the Karpas (a flat green vegetable dipped into saltwater) This symbolized the lowly origins of the Jewish people and the tears of slavery. Here we used Romaine lettuce.

Then a fruit compote is added (charoset - symbolizing the mortar the slaves used to build the Egyptian pyramids) thus making a kind of sandwich.

These are the appetizers! I made them small in case you don't care for the blend of flavors. Still you will have the taste behind the symbolism.

Warm Cherry Tomato Salad


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, rinsed and stems removed
  • 6 scallions, sliced on an angle
  • 2 tablespoons kosher for Passover red wine vinegar, a generous splash
  • Salt and pepper


Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and garlic and cook 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes and scallions and cook until skins begin to burst. Add vinegar and remove from heat.
Add salt and pepper, toss and serve.

My neighbors enjoyed a unique experience. But most of all it was fun!
Slave read some notes about what had been learned. The whole building was talking about it as the event of the year!

The meal was topped off by Chef Rodney's signature dish - a decadent New York Style cheesecake made with 18 eggs, 1.5 cups heavy cream, sugar, etc!

Now you might think this kind of meal is to much for you to try. Slave says: “Believe in yourself”. There will be mistakes, so what, as long as you make your mind up to have FUN!

Serving is what we love to do!


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes 


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