I first met Naomi many years ago at a Kosher Food and Wine Festival in NYC. After that we kept meeting at one foodie event or another; and then, I had the honor to be interviewed by Naomi on her radio show Table for Two. I am constantly amazed at Naomi’s gift for expressing herself and her love of anything relating to food in such a joyous way. A few years ago, my family went to the Trump Doral for Passover. Naomi Nachman was and still is the director of the Culinary Arts Recreational Program for VIP-Ram. Somehow, Naomi was able to teach a class, prepare numerous recipes, relate to children, adults, and deal with the lack of appropriate knives, skillets etc. with aplomb. She never missed a beat. There was no question in my mind that Naomi would one day put all this teaching together with her extensive Passover catering experience into a book that could benefit us all.
From Cauliflower Crust Lachmagine to Quinoa “Hummus”; from Vanilla Cupcakes to Rocky Road Fudge plus sundry meat, chicken and fish entrées, Naomi has assembled recipes that you can use for Passover and all year round. The directions are clear, the ingredients are easy to find and the photos taken by Miriam Pascal are beautiful. The food literally leaps off the page.
I chose to make Naomi’s Vegetarian Chopped Liver for my Purim Seudah because I love Chopped Liver. I rarely make it because my daughter and son in law don’t eat meat. Naomi’s recipe is nut free (my grandchildren are allergic to nuts) and very easy to prepare. I spread some on a cracker for my grandson and he loved it! The recipe calls for a little mayo. I would recommend only using Passover mayo made with olive oil. If you can’t find it, it’s easy enough to make yourself.
I remember making duck breasts with Naomi during the Passover program; so I also made her recipe for Citrus-Glazed Duck Breasts. I have to admit I didn’t have any Passover vodka; so I took Naomi’s suggested substitution and used white wine. The duck is delicious and can be used as an appetizer or main course.
With Passover just a few weeks away, I encourage everyone to buy Perfect for Pesach! It will, no doubt, become spattered from the number of times you will open it to prepare another meal. After Pesach, don’t put it away on a high shelf. You can use these recipes all year round!