Passover Pairings: “This is Not Your Grandma’s Seder!”


Passover Kosher A_Seder_table_settingAre you hosting or attending a Passover Seder? Here are some amazing recipes and kosher wine pairings to make this meaningful meal delicious and memorable.

Award-winning Chef Gabe Garcia of Tierra Sur, the widely acclaimed kosher restaurant located at Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, California and Jay Buchsbaum, Director of Wine Education for Royal Wine Corp. (the largest distributor, importer and producer of kosher wine and spirits in the world), give us their take on traditional Passover dishes and wine suggestions that are sure to wow guests at Passover Seder.

Chef Gabe Garcia, Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars

“Today’s kosher cook is looking to serve the Seder meal with a gourmet touch, something a little different than what Grandma used to make, now that there are an abundance of kosher ingredients available for Passover and year round.”

Jay Buchsbaum, Director of Wine Education for Royal Wine Corp.

“There are many great wine choices available for Passover Seder this year, in many different price ranges from about $15 and up. Consumers can find better quality wines, complex and layered, to pair with the variety of foods served up at the Seder and throughout the eight-day holiday.  There has been growing demand for wines made in Israel, which have received many awards and accolades from critics and the trade. Royal Wine Corp’s portfolio, (known to many as Kedem), includes more than 400 individual wines from almost every major wine producing country and region in the world.”

Passover Pairings: Kosher Wine & Recipes

Cod and Potato Cakes with Horseradish Apple Aioli Chef Garcia noted, “People either love or hate gefilte fish. Cod is a mild flavored fish, and the potato gives it some structure and creaminess.  I wanted to maintain some of the traditional elements by incorporating horseradish, very often served alongside gefilte fish.  The sweetness of the apple cuts through the harshness of the horseradish and does a great job of tying the dish together.”

Cod and Potato Cakes2015-Passover--Kosher-Cod-Potatoe-Cake

Yields: 8 portions

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes


1 pound of cod, fresh

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper, ground fresh

3 potatoes, peeled and shredded

3 quarts water

2 cups of mayonnaise

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

3 quarts of canola oil (for frying)


2 cups potato starch

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup of almond milk


2 granny smith apples (julienne or shredded)

2 ounces of lemon juice

3 tablespoons parsley leaves

6 tablespoons of horseradish Aioli (see recipe below)


  • First bring a small pot of water to boil, blanch potatoes in the boiling water for 2 minutes. To stop the cooking the process, place the potatoes into an ice bath, then strain the potatoes and wring them out completely in a clean dry kitchen towel. Set aside.
  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees, season fish with salt and pepper. Place fish on a small roasting pan, and roast approximately for 8 to 10 minutes, you want the fish to be a tad under done. Let the fish completely cool.
  • Place cooled cooked fish in a bowl and shred with your hands. Add the mayonaise, salt, pepper to taste and mix evenly. Form the fish mixture into eight 2 ounce portions. Shape portions into hockey puck shaped discs. Place fish cakes onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan and place in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  • Pre-heat a pot of canola oil to 350 degrees. In a bowl mix potato starch, egg yolks, and soy milk evenly until a thick paste forms. Dip the frozen cakes into the egg batter, coating evenly. Roll coated cakes into the potato shreds. Fry the cakes in pre-heated oil until golden brown.
  • To plate: Toss apples in lemon juice. Place the fish cakes onto a plate with the dressed apples and horseradish aioli, garnish with parsley leaves.

Horseradish Aioli

Yields: 1 pint

Prep time: 15 minutes


3 cloves garlic

3 large egg yolks

2 tablespoon lemon Juice (fresh Squeezed)

3 cups of olive oil

4 tablespoons of horseradish, fresh (peeled and shredded)

kosher salt to taste


  • Place garlic, egg yolks, and lemon juice into the food processor.
  • On low speed, very slowly pour in the oil with a thin stream.
  • Blend until mixture thickens and emulsifies.
  • Your aioli should be nice and smooth if the aioli is too thick just add a couple of tablespoons of warm water.

Jay’s Wine Pairings

“I selected a group of wines that work well with the lightness of the fish cakes and boldness of the aioli.”

  • Carmel Selected Sauvignon Blanc, Israel $9­ $11 – delightfully aromatic with floral notes and a backdrop of fresh cut grass.  Flavors of tropical fruit are balanced with a clean citrusy finish.
  • Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand $20 ­$22 ­ A vibrant, crisp Sauvignon Blanc with a bouquet that includes gooseberries, lush tropical fruit with a slight hint of oak.
  • Herzog Reserve Russian River Chardonnay, California $28­ $30 ­ Rich and complex, drawing on pear, citrus, hazelnut, and mineral flavors, all framed in a creamy smooth texture with plenty of toasty oak.

Matzo Ball Soup When asked what to do to update this, Chef Garcia simply said, “There are some things you just don’t mess with. Matzo Ball Soup is one of those dishes that evokes so many memories for people I thought it best to leave it to the secret family recipe everyone has!”

Jay’s Wine Pairings

  • Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc, California $8 ­$10 – A fresh and round mouth feel with intense fruity notes of nectarine, gooseberry and pine with a bright, clean finish.
  • Elvi Cava Brut, Spain, $18­ $20 ­ Bubbly and dry, with interesting floral, mild citrus, and strawberry notes. Crisp and clean with a lingering finish.
  • Carmel Single Vineyard Kayoumi White Riesling, Israel $25 ­$27 ­ Fragrant, delicate nose of citrus blossom, green apple and lime.

Red Wine & Honey Braised Brisket with flavors of fennel, ginger and star anise – “What is Passover without brisket.” Noted Chef Garcia.  “I’m a big fan of brisket, it’s such a versatile cut with a rich and beefy flavor.  Adding big bold Asian flavors like fennel, ginger and star anise give this traditional dish modern flair.”

2015-Passover-Wine-Kosher-Honey-BrisketRed Wine & Honey Braised Brisket

Yields: 8 to 10

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time : 3hr 5 minutes


1 (5 pound) Brisket, trim the Fat

vegetable or cottonseed oil

3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 large onion, cut into large dice

2 heads of fennel, cut into large dice

3 large celery stalks, cut into large dice

8 garlic cloves, chopped

3 tablespoons ginger, chopped

1 cup sugar

3 cups orange juice, fresh squeezed

2 cup honey

1 bottle of Baron Herzog Old Vine Red Zinfandel

2 to 4 cups unsalted beef stock (IF NEEDED)

1 bay leaf

2 cinnamon sticks

3 whole star anise

1 chili de arbol or Thai chili


  • Preheat the oven 325 degrees F.
  • Season the brisket with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat up the braising pan on medium-high heat and add ¼ cup of oil. Place the brisket in the pan and sear all sides until you have a golden brown crust. Remove the brisket and set aside, add onions, fennel and celery to the pan. Brown the vegetables, then add garlic and ginger, sweat for one minute. Add sugar, cook until it melts, then add orange juice, honey, red wine, bay leaf, cinnamon, star anise and chili.
  • Cook off the alcohol, place brisket back into pan. Be sure that has enough liquid to almost cover the meat, if not, add unsalted beef stock.
  • Cover and roast in the oven for 3 hours until the brisket is fork tender.
  • Remove Brisket, place onto a cutting board. Strain vegetable from braising liquid. Remove excess fat from braising liquid and reduce liquid on stove top until desired consistency.
  • Slice Brisket across the grain and sauce with wine and honey reduction, garnish with rosemary and parsley.

Jay’s Wine Pairings

  • Baron Herzog Old Vine Zinfandel, California $13­ $15 – Full bodied wine with rich concentrated flavors and lush mouth feel. Big effusive aromas of ripe blackberry and raspberries balanced with vanilla and spice from its French oak aging.
  • Tierra di Seta Chianti Classico Reserva $20­ $25 – Full bodied, velvety and elegant. Slightly balsamic, it offers a grand structure with a rich and fruity bouquet of cherries and wild berries, aromas of spice and violet.
  • Domain du Castel Grand Vin, Israel $70­ $75 ­ Full-bodied, bold, concentrated, and with layer upon layer of aromas and flavors that linger on. Look for currants, cherries, plums, and spices on the palate, with hints of cedar.

2015-Passover-Kosher-Lemon-Almond-CakeLemon Almond Cake with a Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc Sabayon 

Yields: 8 servings

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes



2 lemons

4 ounces margarine

4 ounces sugar

2 eggs

2 cups almond flour

½ teaspoon baking powder


4 ounces egg yolks

8 ounces sugar

8 ounces Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc


For the Cake:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine almond flour and baking powder. Zest the lemons and reserve the juice from one.
  • Cream the margarine, lemon zest, sugar in the mixer until light and fluffy. Then mix in the eggs one at a time.
  • Fold in the margarine mixture with the almond flour mixture and the juice of the one reserved lemon. Spread cake batter into a parchment lined and greased cake pan. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown and cake is springy. Let cake cool completely before serving.

For the Sabayon:

  • In a stainless steel bowl combine egg yolks, sugar, and wine over a hot water bath on medium heat. Whisk continually until thick and smooth. Sabayon should thick and full of volume.
  • Serve sabayon over cake and garnish with favorite fruit.

Jay’s Wine Pairings

When pairing wines with desserts, you want to match the sweetness, while at the same time not overwhelm the dessert with something that overpowers the flavors.  The obvious choice to pair with this is Baron Herzog Late Harvest Chenin Blanc, a wine that derives its sweetness from the grapes spending extra time on the vine, thereby concentrating the sugar in them.”

  • Muscat de Baumes de Venise, France $18­ $20 ­ Very aromatic, with apricot, peach, lychee and some candied orange peel notes.  A touch of viscosity in the mouth and a well-balanced acidity.
  • Herzog Late Harvest Chenin Blanc, California $20­ $22 ­ Very aromatic nose of honey and fresh apricot.  Sweet but very well balanced with bright acidity and a lush and full mouth feel with a lingering fresh fruit finish.
  • Binyamina Reserve Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, Israel $28 ­ Rich and complex aromas of tropical fruit, lychee, red grapefruit and rose water.  Its sweetness is beautifully balanced by a natural crispness and the fruity overtones.

Hag Sameah v’ kasher!

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PUBLISHED DATE: March 16th, 2015 | WINE CATEGORY: Food & Wine Pairings
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