Passover Spinach Pie Or Passover Spanikopita

This Is The Best Recipe For Passover Spinach Pie Or Passover Spanikopita!

Last year, our wonderful friends, the Slotnicks, invited us over for a Passover Seder.  I wanted to bring a main course dish that my daughter and her husband, who are both vegetarians, would enjoy.  My daughter loves the Greek dish called spanikopita or spinach pie, so I decided to create my own Passover version of it.  It turned out delicious!  And it only took about 30 minutes to prepare.  We’re getting very close to Passover, and I definitely plan to make this Passover spanikopita for Seder or just for a light dinner this year!

  • about 6 matza boards
  • 5 extra large or jumbo eggs (3 for filling, 2 for pouring over the top)
  • 1-10 ounce box of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained well
  • 8 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped finely
  • about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dried dill or 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped dill
  • about 2-3 tablespoons of butter or margarine, plus extra for greasing the pan

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease sides and bottom of  a 9 x 13 pyrex or ceramic baking dish well with butter or margarine.

In a medium mixing bowl, gently mix the drained spinach with the crumbled feta, the chopped raw onion, 3 eggs the pepper, and the dill; set aside.

Soak about 3 matzas in warm water in another 9 x 13 baking dish.  When the matza starts to soften, gently squeeze the water out, very carefully, so that you don’t crumble the matza.  Then place the matzas in the bottom of the pan to cover it.  Do not overlap the matza; just lay it side by side covering the bottom of the pan the way you would if you were making lasagna.

Spread the entire spinach mixture evenly over the matza, covering the matza completely.  Then soak another 3 matzas in warm water, gently squeeze out excess water, and place the matza over the top of the spinach, covering the spinach completely.  Beat the remaining 2 eggs and pour over the matza.  Dot with butter or margarine.  Bake covered for about 30 minutes till hot and bubbly.

Note #1:  You can prepare this in advance and refrigerate this up until the step where you pour the 2 beaten eggs over the matza.  Then when you wish to bake it, let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, pour the 2 beaten eggs over it, dot it with butter or margarine and bake covered, for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Note #2:  You may substitute 1 pound of fresh spinach for the frozen, but you will need to saute it (very briefly) in a little oil, butter or margarine, just until it wilts and turns a dark green before you mix it with the feta, egg, onion, pepper, and dill. I like to use the frozen spinach, because 1-16 ounce box of frozen spinach is equivalent to much more than 1 pound of fresh spinach.

Ellen’s Delicious Passover Pineapple Kugel

Learn To Make This Outstanding Pineapple Kugel For Passover!  

I adapted this recipe from a recipe I got from my friend Ellen Wachstein.  Ellen is an amazing person and a wonderful friend! I have so many memories of the happy times my family spent over the years with Ellen, her husband Bobby, and her three great children, Toby, Steven, and Alexa. My favorite memories are of the many days our two families spent together at the Phillips Avenue Beach Pavilion in Deal, New Jersey, or of the many times our two families just hung out together at their house or our house.  Anyway, my family was lucky to be invited over to the Wachstein’s for a Passover Seder one year.  Bobby Wachstein does a fabulous job of leading the Seder!  Of course, I was very into the food.  One of the dishes Ellen made for the Seder was her Passover pineapple kugel.  I loved it.  I got the recipe and I make it every year for Passover.  Whenever I am invited to anyone’s home for a Seder, I always bring this dish, and it  gets rave reviews.  I know if you make this pineapple kugel for Passover once, it will become a favorite of yours, too!

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) Fleischmann’s unsalted margarine (use unsalted margarine to make this dish pareve, otherwise you can use salted margarine or butter) (used margarine for Passover 2014)(used butter Passover 2015)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (you only need salt if you are using unsalted butter or margarine)
  • scant 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2- 20 ounce cans crushed pineapple in natural juice, strained but not dry at all (you will not be using the juice)
  • 6 extra large eggs, mixed in a small bowl (switch to 7 ex. lg. next time– to give a little more liquid)
  • 4 cups of dry matza farfel (used whole canister April 2014) This year, I used 14 oz. of matza that I broke into pieces myself when I couldn’t find farfel)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling on top (also sprinkled cinn. and sugar on top April 2014) I used 2 1/2 teaspoons 2015 and sprinkled top too

to make the kugel:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put the margarine into a 9 x 13 baking dish, rectangular or oval, and place in the oven.  When it is melted take out the pan, swirl the margarine around in the pan to make sure that the sides and bottom are well greased.  Pour the melted margarine into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Place a colander in the sink.  Put the whole canister (14 oz.) of matza farfel in the colander.  Run warm water over the matza farfel.  When the matza farfel starts to soften, turn the water off.  The pieces of farfel should be soft, but not mushy.  This is the tricky part.  Because if you have let too much water soak into the matza farfel, it will turn into one glob of mush, and you will have to throw it away and start all over.  Hold the colander with both hands and shake the excess water out, the way you would if you were draining pasta.  Dump the matza farfel into the large mixing bowl with the melted margarine.  Mix the farfel gently with the melted margarine using a rubber spatula.  Pour the sugar and the drained pineapple into the mixing bowl and mix gently with the rubber spatula.   Pour the beaten eggs in, and mix gently to incorporate well.  Add the cinnamon, and mix in.

Pour into prepared pan.  Sprinkle the top with additional cinnamon.  The cinnamon on the top is what is going to make the kugel look pretty, so be generous.  Bake about 60 – 65 minutes until kugel is browned on the sides and the bottom.  Serve.

Hint #1:  You can bake this in advance, then cut up into 24 pieces, place in heavy duty aluminum foil, and then heat up later either  in the microwave (If you are heating this up in the microwave, take it out of the aluminum foil, and place it on a microwave safe plate).

Hint #2:  I like to bake this in a clear glass baking dish so I can see if the sides and the bottom are browning.  If you bake this in a ceramic baking dish, it will be harder for you to know if the kugel is done.

Delicious Potato Kugel (for Passover or Anytime at all)

Make this  kugel- it’s like making a giant potato latke!

When I hear the phrase “potato kugel”, I remember back to when I was a very little girl.  My Grandma Fried lived in a small apartment in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  Maybe once a month, my father would take my brother Kenny and me to visit her.  My Grandma Fried was a very kind, sweet woman who had had a very hard life.  She was a very loving grandmother.  What I remember so well is when we walked into the apartment building, I immediately smelled the delicious aroma of my grandmother’s potato kugel.  I know that my father loved her potato kugel.  When I got married, I started to develop my own recipe for potato kugel.  My goal was to create a dish that would taste just like the best potato latke only bigger.  I achieved my goal.  This potato kugel recipe is perfect.  When you take a bite, it’s a little greasy, a little crunchy, and oh, so good! I like to make this recipe as a side dish for Rosh Hashana, Passover, or Shabbat.  It is so easy to make, and everyone loves it!

For a 10 x 15 baking dish                        For a 9 x 13 baking dish 

  • 5 pounds baking potatoes                              9 large potatoes

  • 7 extra large eggs                                            4 extra large eggs

  • 4 medium-large onions                                   3 med.-large onions

  • heavy 1 1/3 cups matzoh meal                     2/3 cup matzoh meal

  • 1 cup corn oil                                                    3/4 cup corn oil

  • additional oil for greasing dish                       additional oil 

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt                                 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pepper                                  1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut potatoes into quarters.  Peel onions and cut into quarters.  Place one third of eggs, potatoes and onions into a blender.  Blend until mixture is the consistency of applesauce.  Pour the mixture into a very large mixing bowl.  Repeat this two more times to use all potatoes, onions, and eggs.  Then add matzoh meal, salt, and pepper to the potato mixture.  Mix with rubber spatula.

Grease the sides and bottom of either your 10 x 15 or the 9 x 13 pyrex baking dish with oil .  Then pour either the 1 cup or the 3/4 cup of oil into the dish.  Place in oven for about 5 minutes to get the oil really hot.  (If you think you might forget that your oil is in the oven, skip this step and just pour the room temperature oil into the batter; otherwise, you will have a fire if you leave the oil in the oven too long!) Then take the dish with the hot oil out of the oven and pour the hot oil into the potato mixture.  Mix with a rubber spatula to incorporate the oil.  Then pour the batter into the greased baking dish.  Bake for about 1 hour.  Take out of oven, and shmear a few additional tablespoons of oil over the top of the kugel.  Place back in oven for another 15-30 minutes until the top is very brown.  The kugel should be well browned on the bottom, the sides, and the top.

Note:  You may make this a day or two in advance, and then reheat it in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.

Adele Hochheiser’s (Sister’s) Dairy Noodle Pudding/Kugel – (Plus- Look at the footnote to see a healthier variation on the classic using whole grain egg noodles)

Serve this amazing side dish to go along with a light dairy meal, as part of  a brunch buffet, or for your Yom Kippur break the fast feast!

My wonderful mother, Shirley Fried, got this recipe from her best friend and our favorite neighbor, Adele Hochheiser. I think the recipe is nicknamed Sister’s, because Adele’s first cousins affectionately referred to her as “sister.” My mother made this often, and oh did my mother, my father, and I love it. For some reason, my brother Kenny was not fond of this dish. My mother made this to go with our fish night- our Wednesday night dinner. I don’t think I’ve written about my mother’s weekly dinner schedule yet- when I was growing up, so this is as good a place as any. Throughout my entire childhood, we basically ate the same thing every week. And believe me, that was not a bad thing. There is something very reassuring about knowing what your meals are going to be. My mother’s meals were all extremely balanced, too. I loved each and every meal. How I looked forward to them!  Here is our weekly dinner menu:

Monday: rib steak ( and sometimes London broil, which was cooked by me in my teen years after we had a gas grill), french fries, LeSeurr peas, salad with Wishbone Italian Dressing, and years later, Ken’s Caesar, or Milani 1890 French)

Tuesday: stew (Adele Hochheiser’s recipe) with rice and salad, or spaghetti and meat sauce (my Aunt Sally Hindes’s recipe) with salad and garlic bread, or sweet and sour meatballs with mashed potatoes, frozen spinach, and salad, or vegetable soup with flanken (a rare treat)- soup served separately and flanken served on a plate with mashed potatoes, or meatloaf (Anita Lapidus’s recipe) with baked potatoes, string beans and salad

Wednesday: a beautiful platter of tuna salad served on a bed of lettuce surrounded by sliced cucumbers, radishes, green peppers, and a plate of sliced Jersey tomatoes (in the summer), accompanied by macaroni and cheese casserole, or this noodle pudding recipe, or brown rice pudding, or apple fritters

Thursday: same as Tuesday

Friday: My mother alternated between chicken and brisket. She cooked one Empire frozen chicken cup up in eighths baked with either Saucy Susan, or Kellogg’s Cornflakes Crumbs, or fried Southern style by our beloved cleaning lady who I loved, Harriet. The chicken was served with one 8 oz. can of peas and carrots, salad, and my mother’s delicious pineapple noodle pudding. She served her brisket with our favorite potato dish, brenta, peas and carrots, and salad.

All dinners were followed by either a half of a grapefruit, fruit cocktail, sliced canned peaches or pear halves, a wedge of cantaloupe, or jello.

This was followed by dessert. My brother Kenny and I were allowed one Tastycake, or 3 Hydrox, or 3 Chips Ahoy cookies. This was my father’s favorite part of the meal.  He would take out one package of chocolate Tastycakes, Krimpets, peanut butter Tandytakes, or  a  Tasycake Junior, and he’d eat the entire package with a few glasses of ice cold skim milk.  How my father adored his Tastycakes!

Anyway, here is the recipe for Adele’s noodle pudding.  It is rich and delicious!

for the filling:

  • 1 pound extra wide or broad egg noodles (such as Pennsylvania Dutch)
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter or Fleischmann’s margarine
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I reduce to 3/4 cup sugar)
  • 1 pound small curd or whipped cottage cheese I use Friendship brand cottage cheese)
  • 1 pint (16 oz.) sour cream ( or substitute plain Greek yogurt)
  • 5 extra large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 scant teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins (optional- I usually don’t use them)

for the cornflakes crumbs topping:

Mix one cup of Kellogg’s Cornflakes Crumbs (this comes already prepared as crumbs in the box) with 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine.  Set topping aside.

Or crush by hand about 3 cups of corn flakes, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of melted butter or margarine, and about 1 tablespoon of sugar.

for an alternate cornflakes crumbs topping:

Make cornflakes crumbs yourself by placing cornflakes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, and pulsing until the crumbs are quite fine. Continue until you have one cup of crumbs.  You will probably need about 3 cups of cornflakes to make one cup of cornflakes crumbs.  Mix with 3 tablespoons of melted butter or margarine. Set topping aside.

for a more rustic cornflakes crumbs topping:

Place about 3 cups of cornflakes into a ziploc bag.  Using a rolling pin or your hands, crush the cornflakes until you have crumbs that are not quite so fine.  Mix cornflakes with about 6 tablespoons of melted margarine or butter.  Set topping aside.

for the filling:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook noodles till al dente.  Drain noodles in colander.  While noodles are draining, put the margarine or butter into the same pot to melt on low heat.  When margarine or butter is melted, take the pot off the heat.  Put the noodles back in.  Add the sugar and mix with a rubber spatula.  Add the cottage cheese and mix in.  Then add the milk, the vanilla, the beaten eggs, and mix in with the spatula.  Finally, add the sour cream, and blend in.  (add raisins at this point if you wish)

Pour filling into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle cornflakes crumbs topping evenly over the top of the filling.  Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour 10 min. to 1 hour and 20 min. until starts to puff in the center, and until the bottom and sides start to brown.  The center should be set, and a toothpick should come out clean.

Notes:  The topping is optional.  If you prefer, you can just sprinkle the top with cinnamon.  You can also reduce the calories in the dish by reducing the sugar to 3/4 cup and reducing the margarine or butter to 1 stick.  You may also use a lowfat cottage cheese.  I do not recommend using a low fat sour cream or low fat milk. 

You may freeze this unbaked without the topping.  Wrap it well, though.  Then defrost it in the refrigerator, make the topping, and bake it.  You may also prepare this up to 2 days before you wish to bake it, and keep it refrigerated without the topping on it.  Then make the topping the day you will be baking the kugel, and put the topping on it right before you put it in the oven.  If you are baking this right out of the refrigerator, it will probably take about 20 more minutes of baking time. 

May 18, 2011

My daughter Randi asked me to make the kugel with whole wheat noodles.  Luckily I found Ronzoni whole grain egg noodles at the Stop and Shop in Aberdeen.  The bag is only 12 oz. but I basically kept the quantities of everything the same since whole grain tends to absorb more liquid.  Changes included for the filling: I used about 1 1/4 cups milk, I used only 1/2 stick butter, I added about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to filling and 3 small boxes of organic raisins, I used 1 teaspoon vanilla, I used a heavy 1/2 cup sugar, I happened to use 1 pound Friendship 2% cottage cheese- pot style,  I used 16 oz. Daisy sour cream, 5 extra large eggs.  For the topping, I melted 2 tablespoons butter in a bowl, I added 2 cups of coursely crushed corn flakes crumbs, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Follow above directions for baking.