A tagine is a North African, slow-cooked savory stew, named after the earthenware clay pot in which it is cooked. (photo by Iron Bishop via commons.wikimedia.org)
After the sedarim, by midweek, you may be looking for some creative ideas for Passover dinners. Here are three dishes I frequently serve.
A mina is a traditional Sephardi savory layered pie, which is a great way to use up leftover chicken. In Spain and Turkey, it is called mina; in Egypt, maiena or mayena; in Algeria, meguena; and, in Italy, scacchi. The pie is also popular among Jews from the island of Rhodes and Yugoslavia.
A tagine is a North African, slow-cooked savory stew, named after the earthenware clay cooking pot, whose base is flat and circular with low sides. The cover is cone or dome shaped, which traps the steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, thus requiring very little liquid when cooking. In a chicken tagine, vegetables or dried fruit, nuts and spices are added.
Finally, leek patties known as kyeftes de prasa in Ladino, kifte in Turkish, keftas or keftes in Greek, are popular among Mediterranean Jews for Passover. I like to add chicken to mine.
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a rectangular or oval baking dish.
- In a bowl, combine chicken, scallions, parsley, mint and dill. Add two eggs and blend.
- In another bowl, combine three eggs, tomato sauce and nutmeg.
- Place matzot in bottom of a deep dish. Pour enough chicken soup to soften, about three minutes.
- Place two matzot in greased baking dish. Brush with olive oil. Spread half the chicken filling on top. Add two more matzot, brush with oil and spread rest of chicken filling on top. Top with remaining two matzot.
- Pour tomato sauce on top. Bake for 45 minutes. Cut into squares to serve.
1 cup matza meal
8 pieces of chicken
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups chicken soup
1 1/2 – 3 cups prunes, apricots or other dried fruit
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp lemon peel
1 cup slivered almonds
- Place matza meal in a shallow dish. Dip chicken pieces in the meal.
- Heat oil in a soup pot. Add chicken and brown. Add onions, chicken soup and dried fruit and simmer until chicken is cooked.
- Add cinnamon, ginger, lemon juice, lemon peel, and almonds. Simmer another 20 minutes.
1 cup chopped onions
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup matza meal, plus extra
salt and pepper to taste
1 beaten egg
- Place cut-up leeks and onions in a saucepan with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
- Drain and chop. Add chicken, eggs, 1/2 cup matza meal, mashed potato, salt and pepper and blend.
- Place egg in one shallow bowl and additional matza meal in the second bowl. Take chicken mixture and make into patties. Dip into beaten egg then in matza meal for coating.
- Refrigerate for awhile at this point if serving later. Before serving, heat oil in a frying pan and fry until patties are brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, foreign correspondent, lecturer, food writer and book reviewer who lives in Jerusalem. She also does the restaurant features for janglo.net and leads weekly shuk walks in English in Jerusalem’s Jewish food market.