Around here, it’s not truly Pesach cooking season until the soup lokshen are ready. Each year, this is how I inaugurate my brand-new, shiny-clean Pesach kitchen.
(What? Yes, I’m still going on about Pesach… when do you want me to blog about Pesach, DURING Pesach? Before Pesach?? Oy. This was the first chance I’ve had to breathe, and post this, in nearly a month.)
This year, I mentioned to a friend that I was getting ready to make the lokshen, and she said, “what?”
It turns out that not everybody makes Pesach lokshen… go figure.
It’s exactly like making blintzes during the year, except you leave out the flour. And because blintz leaves are mainly flour, you have to add a LOT more egg. This bowl has maybe ten eggs in it.
What’s the exact recipe? You’ll have to forgive me, but I’ve never written it down. Here are all the components:
- 10 eggs (Large)
- Several Tbsp of oil
- About 1/4 cup of potato starch
- Salt and pepper
- Some water but not enough to make it too runny (probably about 1/4-1/2 cup?)
If you make enough blintzes during the year, you’ll probably be able to get the hang of making this batter – just add enough water to make it feel like regular blintz batter. For whatever reason, I always end up mixing this with an old-fashioned egg beater, literally the only time of year that I do that.
I also have a special nonstick crepe pan, and it’s the only time of year that I voluntarily use a nonstick pan. It just works so, so well for this exact purpose. Way better than a regular frying pan or skillet would, because there’s no side to get caught on when you’re tipping the blintz off.
So here are the steps, a little wonky and out of order. (On the back burner, by the way, is a pot of ready-for-the-Seder chicken soup bubbling away!)
1. Mix your mixture (see above)
2. With a ladle, pour a thin layer onto hot crepe pan, swirling pan until covered – immediately pour off excess back into bowl.
3. When the leaf is done, tip it upside-down onto a cutting board or plate to cool.
4. Let the pile stack up, slowly, slowly, oh, so slowly… (I think this made 20-something leaves)
5. Divide the stack in half. Set one half aside.
6. Roll up the leaves into a tight roll, like sushi.
7. With a very sharp knife, slice the roll in half.
8. Slice the roll into 1/4-inch thick slices.
9. Toss the individual “noodles” to loosen them. Some may stick together very tightly, so be aggressive and use your fingers to pull them apart.
(Don’t forget to thank your husband for taking a few dozen pictures of your hands instead of the million other things he has to do on any given evening three days before Pesach…)
10. Repeat for remaining half of sliced roll. Repeat for remaining half of leaves. Each half-roll makes one unsatisfyingly small sandwich baggie full of noodles – enough for about 4-6 people for one meal.
Not a lot of noodles… for a whole lot of work. But then, isn’t that what Pesach cooking is all about???
If you want crepes or blintzes instead of lokshen, just skip the slicing step. Leaves can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen indefinitely. One of our first-day lunch staples is cottage cheese blintzes or mushroom crepes. Sure, it’s the same recipe over and over again. But hey, that’s what Pesach cooking is all about, too.
Am I right?
What Pesach classics do you make before anything else? What are your family’s staples? I’d love to hear about YOUR traditions in the Comments.