Passover And Over

Strahl Brisket. Dr. G’s Potato Latkes. It’s another Passover. Another year.

For the brisket: Lovingly derived from Birdie Sandler Strahl’s original, enhanced by daughter Betsey Strahl Levine’s creative touch:

4-5 lb. first cut fresh brisket of beef. Not too lean, need some fat. Serves about 8-ish. It shrinks. In a dutch oven, brown brisket well on both sides to sear. Take out and place on dish. Brown at least 3 large sliced onions, the more the better. Put the brisket back into the pan and season with generous amount of paprika, pepper, garlic powder, salt. Pour 16 oz. canned tomato sauce over the meat.

Bake at 350 degrees tightly covered for one hour. Uncover and add 1 cup sweet Jewish or another fruity red wine. Bake covered for another hour. Uncover and take out the pot roast and slice against the grain. Put sliced meat back into the pot and make sure it is covered with liquid, add chicken broth if necessary. Bake another hour or until it falls apart.

For Dr. G’s latkes: Grate 4 large raw peeled potatoes into fine strips into a bowl of ice water. Press out moisture and drain on paper towels. Put potatoes into a large bowl. Add 2 lightly beaten eggs and blend to bind. Add 1 cup matzoh meal and thinly sliced bunch of green onions (scallions). Blend together with fingers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fashion potato mixture into 4 inch diameter, 1/2 inch thick patties. Heat a non-stick fry pan and coat with vegetable oil until hot. Brown potato patties on both sides until crispy. Keep latkes warm in a 200 degree oven on a platter until ready to eat.

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Saucy Shrimp

Great with a freshly baked crusty bâtard from Hungry Ghost in Northampton. Lots of sauce to dip it in. Clean and devein eight large shrimp per person. Dry and drizzle with olive oil, garlic paste, oregano and red pepper flakes, black ground pepper to taste. Stir and refrigerate for a couple of hours or so. When ready to eat, take out shrimp and bring to room temperature. Place on a baking sheet. Broil on high heat top rack for 4 minutes. Don’t turn. Remove from oven. Meanwhile.

Finely chop 6-8 cloves fresh garlic and 2 small shallots, 1/2 cup fresh parsley. Squeeze juice of 1 1/2 lemons into a cup. In a large sauté pan, brown a stick of butter until bubbly. Add the garlic and shallots and brown. Add 1 cup dry white wine. Stir. Add lemon juice and parsley. Turn off heat.

Place eight shrimp into each pasta bowl or deep plate. Pour the sauce evenly over the shrimp on each plate. Add a bit more fresh parsley and grate lemon zest on top. Serve with that crusty bread. Dunk liberally.