Yesterday, right here at The Kitchn, I wrote about being too tired and burnt out to even think about planning a Seder dinner. Part of the problem lies in that my standards are high. I’m picky. I care about how things look. It’s not easy for me take shortcuts.
But I've found a few small shortcuts that satisfy my strategy of marrying high and low for a menu (and a table) that's both easy and gracious.
It’s my fashion philosophy that’s helping me plan and pull off the kind of Seder I envision. If you peeked in my closet you’d find Gap and Stella McCartney, Zara Kids tops and Manolo Blahnik shoes. Plus some indie local designers. It’s all about mixing the high/low.
I’ve decided to apply this philosophy to preparing and cooking my Seder meal.
Taking shortcuts without sacrificing quality. Making the meal easy and simple but still stylish.
5 Smart Helpers from Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's is a fabulous source of these shortcuts that don't sacrifice quality.
- Appetizer helper: Trader Joe's chicken truffle paté ($4.99) with matzoh crackers. (Transfer it to a small platter or a little jar like the one pictured above for a classier presentation.) Trader Joe's is also brilliant when looking for crudités and a dip.
- Seder plate helper: Trader Joes sells already peeled hard-boiled eggs for Seder plates.
- Salad helper: I'm planning on serving arugula salad with shaved fennel, shaved asparagus and fresh peas. TJ's has Wild Arugula pre-packed bags and fresh shelled peas. Easy!
- Main dish helper: I'm serving lamb shanks or brisket, and I might use Trader Joe’s handy mirepoix and already cut up onions in the sauce.
- Dessert helper: For Passover, I like a cake with almond meal, such as this Magically Moist Almond Cake from Bob's Red Mill (it's gluten-free and soy-free!). Trader Joe’s sells a great almond meal for less.
3 Smart Helpers from Independent Makers
And then there are a few independent makers who create helpers for Passover that are both delicious and stylish.
- Matzoh: Vermatzah– Artisanal matzoh handmade in Vermont
- Gefilte Fish: Gefilteria Gefilte Fish - Artisanal, Brooklyn based. Young hip group making great gefilte fish.
- Chocolate for after dinner: Chocolate Frogs and Locusts by Illinois Nut and Candy — Fun to put in little bags as guests leave or serve on a small platter.
I'd love to hear about your favorite smart, stylish shortcuts for Passover!