Passover Seder, Four Cups of wine, Matzoh, meatballs, Qinuoa, and kugel

This past week was Passover, which started on Monday night. We always enjoy Passover with a few of our friends, with each of us trading off for who hosts the Seder, this year we did the hosting and it was a lovely party! We opened some wines, some nice, some OK, and some close to being duds. In the end it was a true joy and was enjoyed by all who attended, at least that is what they told me 🙂 We started the Seder off with some nice wines, listed below, and then moved on to whole-wheat hand shmurah Matzoh! This was the first year that we were lucky to get our hands on whole-wheat hand shmurah matzoh. It is very easy to get whole-wheat, spelt, or other cool versions of the five grains matzoh. However, this is the first year that I could easily get our hands on whole-wheat hand shmurah matzoh. The matzoh was thin and lovely but a bit stale, so we had to reheat the matzoh for 10 or so minutes in the oven to revive them and get them nice and crispy.

After that we had some lovely herb encrusted Gefilte fish loaf along with eggplant, onion, and mushroom salad. For the main course we had some lovely meatballs, kugel, quinoa, and a fresh green salad.

Now before you call me a heretic, yes I eat Quinoa on Passover, as does the CRC and the Star-K, while the OU has backed away from this whole mess and let people decide for themselves. We have been eating Quinoa for sometime on Passover and though others have an issue, we feel fine about it, though it is best to contact your own local area Rabbi. The New York Times heard about the tumult and wrote an article all about it.

Kosher for Passover Meatball Recipe (modified from the Early Show recipe):
3 tablespoons of Olive oil
2 coarsely chopped Onions
8 ounces of tomato sauce
4 tablespoons of  Parsley
3 broken up square Matzohs
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 eggs

Tomato Sauce for Braising the meatballs:
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 finely chopped Onions
1 28 oz can of Tomato Puree or Tomato Sauce
2 cups of red wine

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and sauté over a high flame stirring constantly until soft. Add the tomato sauce and parsley and continue to cook for three minutes. Remove the onions from the heat and set aside and cool. Once cool, add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix thoroughly by hand and roll the meatballs into golf ball sized meatballs.

Now we need to create the braising sauce. Chop the two onions and saute them in the olive oil. Once browned nicely throw in the tomato sauce and wait for the sauce to thicken by a quarter. Then add in the wine and mix thoroughly. Then add in the meatballs one at a time into the hot braising sauce and cook the meatballs for 20 to 30 minutes.

The funny thing about the Early Show recipe was that it had liver in it, which is not for me. Also, they were roasting the meatballs and that is a no-no for the first two nights, as one cannot eat any type of roasted meat for the first two nights of passover, as it may look like the Passover Sacrifice which we do not have today. Yes, meatballs do NOT look like a sacrifice! Still, the law is: any meat braised is fine, any meat roasted (cooked without a sauce) is NOT. You can eat roasted vegetables.

For the four cups (arba kosos) and beyond we enjoyed the wines listed here in the order they were served:

2004 Golan Heights Winery Pinot Noir Yarden Kosher – Score: B++ to A-
This wine is really hitting its stride and may well be time to drink up! The nose on this dark garnet colored wine opened with black fruit that lays deep within this wine’s veins, but hidden initially under a blanket of oak. This wine opens with sweet oak, blackberry, raspberry, plum, and classic Pinot cherries along with coffee, dirt, and a hint of herbaceous mint. The mouth on this full bodied wine was velvety and mouth coating. The tannins are now well integrated and not mouth puckering and give a richness to the wine. The mouth starts with blackberry, raspberry, plum, and cherry, and flows into a mid palate of more oak, coffee, dirt, and some middling acidity. The finish is long with rich fruit, oak, chocolate, vanilla, and a bit of chocolate that rounds out the wine. This is a nice wine that is showing well but is time to drink up!!!

2007 Alexander Cabernet-Merlot Sandro – Score: B++ to A-
The nose on this lovely purple colored wine screams with chocolate, rich cedarwood, rich black fruit, plum, cassis, crushed herbs, and blackberry. The mouth on this rich full bodied wine is mouth coating with lovely integrated tannin, rich and ripe blackberry, cassis, and plum. The mid palate was balanced with nice acid, chocolate, licorice, and rich cedar. The finish is super long and extra spicy with crushed herbs, blackberry, chocolate, more cedar planks, black fruit, with a hint of vanilla. This is a nice wine that I would drink anytime I have access to it.

2010 Backsberg Estate Chardonnay – Score: B to B+
The nose on this straw colored wine is its strongest attribute with an exploding nose that is crazy reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc more than Chardonnay. The nose explodes with guava, lychee, lemon citrus, cut grass, dirt, peach, grapefruit, and light creme. The mouth on this light to medium bodied wine is bright, dirty, and flinty, with guava, lychee, peach, and grapefruit. The mid palate has more dirt and cut grass, and crazy acid. The finish is super long with more acid, light creme, guava, grapefruit, lychee, dirt, and cut grass.

2006 Galil Mountain Barbera – Score: B++
The nose on this purple colored wine is filled with fig, rich super ripe black plum, coffee, vanilla, cherry, raspberry, black fruit, black pepper, mineral, and oak. The palate on this medium to full bodied wine is lush and ripe with black plum, cherry, and raspberry. The mid palate is nicely balanced with acidity, oak, and coffee. The finish is long and spicy with more coffee, black fruit, cherry, plum, black pepper, dirt, acid, and spice. Drink UP!!!

2006 Carmel Mizrachi Carignan, Appellation series – Score: B++
The nose on this purple to black colored wine is exploding with chocolate, tar, dirt, oak leading to cedar, vanilla, roasted meats, raspberry, blackberry, cassis, plum, and crushed herbs. The mouth on this full bodied is rich and velvety with mouth coating tannins that are just about integrated, with blackberry, cassis, raspberry, plum, and sweet oak. The mid palate is balanced with rich acid, chocolate, sweet oak/almost cedar, plum, and cassis. The finish is rich and spicy with chocolate, roasted meats, cedar, black fruit, crushed herbs, rich leather, and a large dollop of vanilla.

Posted on April 24, 2011, in Food and drink, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Uncategorized, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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