Chag ha Aviv- The Spring festival and the cooking continues

The weather is just the peak of spring perfection but the Passover meals are not going to cook themselves.  I was outside enough to be able to at least notice that it was a gorgeous day.
The beef is cooked, sliced bag and in the freezer joining the chickens. I have inherited my mother's ability to pack the freezer like a clown car.

The charoset is completed and the flavors are melding in the fridge door. It ought to be perfect by Seder.

We need to eat even thought it is not yet Seder.

I pulled out all of the chicken from the soup, and made a giant chicken loaf. 
To be honest, in this state it tasted a bit like reconstituted sawdust. My son mentioned that it needed some sort of a sauce. He was, as usual correct. I made a tomato sauce out of two cans of crushed tomatoes and caramelized onions. It was both acidic and slightly sweet and transformed the chicken loaf into something really delicious. 

The kiddush cups all got kashered.

My friend Sue posted a question on Facebook today asking for Passover recipes that are so good one would eat them at any time of the year.
The dessert I made last night falls into that category.

Cranberry Chocolate Tart
pre heat oven to 350
Make a nut crust.
I love pecans so ground up pecans in the food processor added shredded coconut because I like the texture, some brown sugar, cinnamon, a bit of salt to balance the sweetness and then about a tablespoon of matza meal and a few tablespoons of water. Pulse the mixture until it becomes a coherent ball.

Press the mixture into a pan. If you want this to be a pie, use a pie tin. I have found that my husband eats this dessert with much greater enthusiasm if I bake it in a rectangular pan and cut it into squares.  This time I used my large jelly-roll pan.  I had mis - calculated the amount of crust so mid way had to mix up some more.I'm telling you this so you understand that this recipe is really flexible.The end result should be a nice balance ofslightly sweet with a hint of salt.

Press the mixture into your desired pan.You want the crust to be fairly thin. use the skills you learned making mud pies as a kid to smoosh the crust to it is evenly spread over the surface of the pan. If you are making this in a pie pan you will want the crust to go up the sides of the pan. if you are baking this in a rectangular pan lining the pan with parchment paper is just a good idea. Bake the crust for about ten minutes.

Chocolate. This Israeli cocoa spread is perfect. 
If the chocolate has trouble spreading pop the pan into the oven for a minute. The chocolate spreads better with a knife, just saying.

Top the chocolate with raw cranberries. I saved a big bag from the fall.I think that Whole Foods sells frozen cranberries. Sprinkle sugar over the berries.

Bake until the berries either pop or look wilted/cooked.
If this were the only dessert i was serving I would cut this into large squares. For Seder, this will be part of a cookie platter, So I cut the tart up into small rectangles. I figured out last night that it makes lots of sense to cut this tart while it is still warm. Once it was cool I packaged it all up and put it in the fridge. I saved the ugly ends for my son and he ate them for breakfast.  My husband is usually not a dessert kind of a guy. He had already gone to bed but came into the kitchen last night to ask for a piece to nibble on. It's that good.

I love the contrast of the dark cocoa with the bright tart cranberries. To answer Sue, This is a dessert we eat during the fall and early winter when cranberries are plentiful.


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