In the rush to gather, assemble, and cook gourmet Passover recipes for the Seder meals, it can be daunting to even consider pre-preparing any meals for Hol Hamoed, the intermediate days of Passover.

Many families either continue to eat leftovers from the Seders, or live off of cold cuts, tuna, and matza pizza for a few days. Not that there’s anything wrong with matza pizza, but we here at Gourmet Passover Cooking think it’s possible to make Hol Hamoed more delicious without tiring yourself out.

There are many delicious Passover recipes that may not be suitable for the Seder meals, either because they are dairy or simply because they lack the elegance for a holiday meal. Some of these can be made in advance and frozen until the appropriate time, some are great for packing up on a Hol Hamoed picnic, and some are just plain old comfort food for the family craving their lasagna. Enjoy!

Sweet and crispy sticky salami

1 salami, cooked
1/3 cup sweet and sour duck sauce plus extra for dipping
Kosher for Passover mustard (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet or oven safe dish with aluminum foil. Slice the salami down the center but do not cut through the whole thing (you want to create a pocket in the center of the salami.)

Pour the duck sauce in the pocket and over the top of the salami, coating the whole thing. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until browned, crispy, and caramelized.

Cut into chunks and serve with extra dipping sauce, either kosher for Passover mustard or more duck sauce. We like it with mashed potatoes and use the extra sauce to sweeten the potatoes.

Tomato soup with grilled cheese matza toasts

Recipe adapted from cookbook, Bite Me

2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium celery stalks, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons potato starch
3 cups parve chicken stock or vegetables stock
1 dried bay leaf
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Grilled cheese matza toasts
8 square matzos
2 tablespoons margarine
16 pieces of cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Strain tomatoes, reserving their juices in a medium bowl. Spread strained tomatoes on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

While the tomatoes are roasting, in a large soup pot, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic, cooking until softened, about 8 minutes. Add potato starch and stir to coat.

Over high heat, add the roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, parve chicken broth, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, discard bay leaf and puree the soup with a hand held blender until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and chopped basil.

For the grilled cheese matza toasts:

Place the cheese between the matza squares, using 4 pieces of cheese for every two matza squares. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted, about 6 minutes. Break into pieces and sprinkle a handful into each bowl of soup.

Mozzarella sticks

1 ½ cups matza meal, toasted (you can toast matza farfel and then grind it up)
16 ounces blocked mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ – ¾ inch thick pieces (or cut mozzarella cheese sticks in half)
4 large eggs, beaten
3 cups potato starch
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
4 cups marinara sauce

Place the potato starch, eggs and breadcrumbs in separate bowls and put them on the counter in that order.

Dip the cheese in the potato starch and coat completely. Then dip the cheese stick into the eggs. Dip them into the matzo crumbs, coating completely. Dip the coated cheese sticks into the egg again and then again into the matzo crumbs.

You should have a thickly coated cheese stick. Repeat process with remaining sticks. Cover and freeze until frozen, about two hours or up to two days.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the coated cheese sticks in batches, until golden brown, about two minutes. Serve immediately with homemade or store-bought marinara sauce.

Passover mandelbrot
Makes about 4 dozen

¾ cup safflower or vegetable oil
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs
¾ cup matzo cake meal
¼ cup matzo meal
2 tablespoons potato starch
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Juice and zest of ½ lemon (or orange)
1 cup sliced almonds
¾ cup mini chocolate chips or white chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, blend the oil and ¾ cup sugar until light. Add the eggs and blend thoroughly.

In a bowl, combine the matza cake meal, matza meal, potato starch, salt, and 1-½ teaspoons of cinnamon and blend in the oil mixture alternately with the lemon juice and zest. Fold in the almonds and chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 portions. With lightly oiled hands, shape each portion into an oval loaf, 2 inches wide and 1 inch high. Place the loaves 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the remaining ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Remove the loaves from the oven and use spatula to transfer them to a cutting board, cut into ½ inch thick slices.

Place the slices, cut side up, on the same baking sheets and sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Turn off the heat and return the slices to the oven. Leave the Mandelbrot in the oven for 10 minutes each side, or until lightly browned and crisp. Cool and enjoy.

Passover 5772: Click for JPost special features

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger