APRIL 14, 1997

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Dining In: Celebrate the Feast of Freedom

recipes The Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins April 22, commemorates the Biblical Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The Exodus story details the ten plagues that were visited on the Egyptians in order to force the Pharaoh to release the Israelites from bondage. During the tenth plague, the Hebrews were "passed over" and only the Egyptian first-born were struck down. The Israelites were released. The Seder, a festive meal with stories, songs, and symbols, is a re-enactment of the Exodus story.
(Information provided by Temple De Hirsch Sinai.)

Egg-Lemon Chicken
   1 2 1/2-lb. chicken
   5 eggs
   Juice of 1 lemon
   1/4 c. margarine (made without meat or milk products)

   Place the chicken in a heavy pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 1/2 hour, or until chicken is cooked. Remove to a separate plate and cool the chicken.
   Preheat oven to 350 F. Bone the chicken and place all the meat and skin in an ovenproof low casserole. Pour off all but 2/3 c. liquid from the original pot. Gradually beat in the eggs, lemon juice, salt, pepper (to taste), and margarine. Pour this sauce over the chicken. Bake about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Passover Roast Lamb
   1 lb. shoulder of lamb
   1 clove garlic, minced
   1/3 c. thinly sliced white onion
   1/2 c. shredded celery leaves
   1/3 c. cubed green pepper
   2 Tbsp. tomato sauce, or to taste

   Preheat oven to 325 F. Season the meat with salt and pepper to taste. Place slivers of garlic in between the bone and the flesh. Place meat on a rack in a roasting pan, surrounded by celery leaves, onion slices, and green pepper.
   Allowing 20 minutes per pound, roast in the oven. About 1 hour before it is done, smooth tomato sauce over the top of the lamb. This will make a crusty skin and add to the flavor of the gravy.
   To make the gravy, first drain off all the fat and remove lamb to a warm place. Add a little water to the gravy in the pan, leaving in the celery leaves, onions, and green pepper, and boil down on the top of the stove. Serve with asparagus, roast new potatoes, and mint jelly.

Apple Blintzes
Pancake Batter:
   6 eggs
   1 c. potato starch
   2 c. water
   Oil for frying
Apple Filling:
   2 lb. apples, peeled, cored, and diced
   1/4 c. sugar
   1 tsp. cinnamon
   1/4 c. chopped walnuts

   Beat the eggs well. Slowly add the potato starch and water, beating well until the batter is pale yellow and foamy. Lightly oil a 6-inch skillet or crepe pan and place over a medium-high flame. Using a ladle, pour in the batter to coat the pan and drain off any excess batter. When the batter seems dry, shake the pancake out onto a cloth placed on a flat surface. Let cool. Continue making blintzes until all the batter is used up. When the blintzes are dry, you can pile them one on top of another.
   Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a large shallow casserole. To the chopped apples, add sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts. Mix well. Taking a blintz, place a heaping tablespoon of apple filling in the center. Fold over each side and then roll up, jelly-roll fashion. Place, seam side down, on a greased cookie sheet. Continue until all blintzes are filled. Brush the tops of each blintz with oil, and heat in the casserole in the oven about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream.

Cheese Strudel
   1 large egg
   8 oz. unsalted dry curd cottage cheese, stirred before measuring
   8 oz. cream cheese
   3 Tbsp. sugar
   2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
   1/2 tsp. each ground cardamom and cinnamon
   1 Tbsp. plain yogurt
   1 Tbsp. honey
   1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
   1/4 tsp. almond extract
   1/3 c. seedless dark raisins
   6 fillo sheets (12x17 inches)
   1 1/2 Tbsp. each melted sweet butter/margarine blend and peanut or corn oil combined

   Preheat oven to 375 F. Put egg, cheeses, and 2 Tbsp. sugar in mixing machine bowl. Beat on medium speed to blend. Combine lemon juice, lemon zest, and spices with mixture and blend. Then beat in yogurt, honey, and extracts. Stir in raisins.
   Unroll fillo sheets. Prepare 2 strudels, using 3 sheets of fillo for each roll. Put a long sheet of plastic wrap on dry work surface. Lift off 1 sheet of fillo and lay it on plastic; smooth out. Using pastry brush, paint fillo lightly with shortening mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sugar. Lay another sheet of fillo over it. Repeat brushing and sprinkling procedure twice more, smoothing out sheets as they're layered.
   Spread half the cheese mixture along the short end of the fillo, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border and a 1/2-inch margin on 2 sides, and manipulating with hands into a compact cylinder. Using extended plastic to assist you, snugly roll up, jelly-roll fashion. Repeat with remaining fillo and cheese mixture.
   Grease a cookie sheet with sweet butter/margarine blend. Arrange strudels, seam sides down, on pan. With a sharpe knife, score each strudel into 4 serving pieces, cutting through about 1/4 inch. Brush with remaining shortening mixture; evenly sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake in center section of oven until golden (about 40 mintues). Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar, if desired.