New Passover Menu

by Paula Shoyer - My Review

I always
view cookbooks as a reference and as a guide, and in some instances, as inspiration. So when I first heard that Paula Shoyer, “The Kosher Baker” had written a cookbook, and one that was meant for Passover, I have to admit I had my reservations.

Now I know Paula. She’s a kind and creative person who takes what she does with dedication and a certain sense of seriousness. That’s why I wanted to find out what was in her cookbook. I mean, here’s a baker writing about cooking. For years I’d always heard how bakers can’t cook and cooks can’t bake.

Well I’m happy to tell you it’s not true. Apparently bakers can cook. I found the recipes in The New Passover Menu to be fresh, elegant and classy. Obviously all of the ingredients are kosher for Passover. However, the refreshing aspect is that none of the recipes are made to fool you into thinking you’re eating something that’s not for Passover.

It’s always a pet peeve of mine that so many Passover cookbooks try to take year round recipes and substitute ingredients to fool your palette into thinking that’s it’s not really Passover. The New Passover Menu doesn’t stoop to that. Instead Ms. Shoyer has created menus for all of Passover that not only make it easy but delicious, all while keeping the focus on the holiday.


The New Passover Menu is arranged by menu, made for Holiday or Shabbat Dinners, Lunches
and of course menus for weekdays as well. The menus are well balanced between soups, salads, entrees, veggies and then you’re free to pair them with any of the creative desserts she’s provided at the end of the book.

For the Seders, she has provided two suggested menus; one based on her own Ashkenazi upbringing and the other based on some traditional Sephardic foods. But don’t worry; she’s made sure that all of the recipes will work for everyone. There are even some vegetarian menus and of course just about everything is gluten free.

So here’s a sampling of some of the offerings:

Banana Charoset, Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde, Moroccan Spiced Short Ribs, Caramelized Onion and Sweet Potato Soup, Coconut Schnitzel with Almond Butter Sauce, Eggplant Parmesan, and Garlic Marinated Steak with Onion Jam to name a few.

And then t
here are the desserts; Opera Cake, Pear Frangipane Tart, Torronè Candy and many, many more that not only sound delicious, but also will make you give up that second helping of food to make sure you have room for dessert.

My only two complaints are that I wanted to see more pictures and that the title is a bit misleading. As I mentioned, everything is kosher for Passover, but the entrees she has devised are also perfect for the rest of the year. This is not a tome that will only come out for one week of the year. Rather, you’ll find yourself reaching for it often throughout the year. So maybe she should have called it The New Passover Menu for the Entire Year.

In conclusion, not only will I use this as a reference and guide it has also inspired me. This baker sure can cook. And that’s good news for me, because as a cook, I’ve always wanted to bake.

L’Chaim . . . Avi