TOP News

Food & Drink: Here’s Your Complete Passover Meal Plan

This Is What's Actually in McDonald's Cult-Favorite Szechuan Sauce

  This Is What's Actually in McDonald's Cult-Favorite Szechuan Sauce The secret sauce returns for a 4th time.In true McDonald's fashion, the fast food brand dropped the news almost unassumingly, simply dropping a tweet stating "hi from Szechuan Sauce, say it back," to nearly 3,000 retweets and over 2,000 replies glorifying the fan-favorite sauce.

Mazel Tov! You’ve been invited to a Passover seder. For many Jews (including me), Passover, or Pesach, which retells and celebrates the story of the Israelites being freed from slavery in Egypt, is a favorite holiday. At its heart is the seder, an intricate ritual and meal filled with songs, specialized food (don’t miss the matzo ball soup!), and Big Springtime Energy. Generally observed on the first and second nights of Passover, the seder is woven together with countless rules and a lot of audience participation—all part of the fun, but potentially intimidating for a newbie. If you are looking to impress your host and feel seder-ready this year, here are five tips to keep in mind.

10 Best Snacks to Buy at Costco for Weight Loss

  10 Best Snacks to Buy at Costco for Weight Loss From granola bars to guacamole, we've rounded up the best snacks for weight loss at Costco, according to a dietitian.

Do some light research

Doing a little reading ahead of time will allow you to understand more about the significance of Passover and what to expect at a seder. No need to spend hours at the library schooling yourself, but some basic knowledge will help you feel more confident in taking on an interactive role throughout. (Which you will be expected to do!)

Try everything (allergies permitting)

Leah Koenig, the author of six cookbooks, including The Jewish Cookbook and Modern Jewish Cooking, advises that the best thing you can bring is your interest. “Like with any meal where there might be new-to-you foods, arrive with an open mind and an adventurous spirit,” she says. “And if there is something that really doesn't look appetizing to you, it is totally okay to politely decline.”

Salad Freaks Unite—Our Cookbook Is Finally Here

  Salad Freaks Unite—Our Cookbook Is Finally Here Too often, salads are the “sad” meal option: limp lettuce, tasteless dressing, underripe vegetables. And sometimes they’re those giant fast-casual salads, buckets of kale chopped within an inch of its life, topped with a scoop of quinoa, barely more appealing than the former. Jess Damuck, a food stylist and recipe developer, is out to change our perception of salad. Her new cookbook, Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession, is all about, as she writes in the introduction, salad becoming “something of its own art form.” She explains that, in many ways, anything can be a salad.

Whenever I have non-Jewish guests over, I try to coax them into trying the gefilte fish—a poached mixture of deboned and ground fish. In my experience, despite its appearance, most seafood-loving guests end up enjoying it. So slap some horseradish on that fish patty and take a bite. (Also, you will win major brownie points from Bubbe for trying this one.)

  Going to a Passover Seder? Here’s What You Need to Keep in Mind © Provided by Bon Appétit

The Jewish Cookbook

$35.00, Amazon

Ask all of your questions

Jews have been celebrating Passover for at least 3,000 years, which is to say it is a holiday rich with historical and family traditions. That being said, Koenig reminds us that “Passover is also a night dedicated to question-asking”—so no need to hold back. Her favorite way to connect with guests is via food. “The seder plate is my favorite Passover conversation starter,” Koenig says. “It is filled with foods meant to symbolize various aspects of the Passover story, so it offers a perfect jumping off point for table talk.” During the seder, feel free to share what aspects feel similar to your own traditions and which are new to you.

A Stunning Citrus Cake in One Bowl & One-ish Step

  A Stunning Citrus Cake in One Bowl & One-ish Step Every week in Genius Recipes—often with your help!—Food52 Founding Editor and lifelong Genius-hunter Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook. This cake will stun you—with its sunshiny looks, the burst of citrus in every swirl and crumb, but, maybe most of all, for what it doesn’t ask of you. There are, of course, all sorts of ways to make a great cake, but when I see “softened butter,” I’m conditioned to expect a certain rhythm. I’ll probably cream that butter with sugar until it pales and swells, I’ll blop eggs in one by one, mixing and scraping. I’ll whisk a few powders, adding them judiciously, in intervals with measured pours of liquids.

Bring something holiday-appropriate

Passover brings with it many dietary restrictions, like avoiding leavened bread, so rather than accidentally bringing something off-limits, it’s probably better to just avoid edible gifts. “A bottle of great kosher wine (anything from Covenant Wines), though, is a safe bet, and particularly useful since it is customary to drink four glasses of wine during the Passover seder,” she says. Koenig also recommends “household gifts—like a pretty dish towel, a cookbook, or a puzzle (particularly this Jewish foods puzzle).”

Whenever I’m attending Passover, a spring-centric holiday, I lean into seasonality for a host gift. A floral arrangement or small potted plant, like a succulent, is a simple idea that the host may even include in the décor for the evening.

Be prepared to participate

During the seder, the story of Passover is told through readings, songs, prayers, drinking wine, and eating specific foods. And it is customary for everyone seated at the Passover table (yes, even the non-Jews) to participate in the rituals. While it can feel overwhelming, or even a little embarrassing, to read out loud and sing new songs, Koenig recommends attempting anything thrown your way during the night. “Have all the fun! Drink all the wine! (Or don't—you do you.) Sing all the songs (off-key is fine)!” she says.

Passover Seder for $25? Totally Possible.

  Passover Seder for $25? Totally Possible. Nickel & Dine is a budget column by Rebecca Firkser, assigning editor at Food52. Rebecca usually shares an easy, flavor-packed recipe that feeds four for $10 or less—this is a special edition: a $25 Passover for six to eight. Passover seder is a festive meal. Guests are encouraged to recline at the table, and drink many glasses of wine while enjoying multiple dishes throughout the evening (literally, there’s a prayer book that tells us to do all these things). My childhood memories of the holiday are around a dining room table—specifically, several of my dad's cousins’ tables, pushed together in the middle of their New Jersey living room.

And in my experience, children and all invited adult guests are encouraged to find the afikomen, which is a special matzo that is hidden during seder. Feel free to win against the kids, it’s all in good fun. Koenig’s final word of advice: “Passover is an incredibly engaging and interactive holiday—if you bring your curiosity, you are destined to have a great time.”

Matzo ball time:

*BA*'s Best Matzo Ball Soup

See recipe. © Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Kate Buckens See recipe.

To Macaroon or Macaron? .
Why is this macaroon different from all other macarons?Ah, the age-old question of macaroon vs. macaron—and one that’s especially top-of-mind during Passover, when macaroons (or are they macarons…) are served left and right. It’s a confusing distinction because the two confections actually have a lot in common. Their spelling differs by a single “o,” they’re both members of the cookie family, they’re both gluten-free, and neither contains the flour verboten during the seven- or eight-day holiday. If you compare recipes for the two, you’ll notice that the ingredients are actually pretty similar.

See also