5@5 - Stephanie Izard
March 23rd, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Attention grocery store shoppers: it's that time of year again when rows of matzo-based products start dominating supermarket displays as the Jewish eight-day holiday of Passover draws near.

During Passover, which begins the night of April 18 this year, Jewish people all over the world will forgo leavened bread products to commemorate the story of the Exodus.

Sure - some people only eat the unleavened cracker during Passover out of observance, but chef Stephanie Izard likes her matzo all year 'round.

Stephanie Izard was the season four winner of Bravo's über popular reality cooking competition, "Top Chef." Her latest venture, Girl and the Goat, just nabbed a 2011 James Beard Award nomination for "Best Restaurant."

Matzo has been one of my favorite snacks since I was a kid.  Many of my friends that are Jewish and had matzo during Passover thought I was nuts for eating it year round.  It is a giant cracker - what is not to like?  So here are some of my go-to simple toppers for this giant crunchy and delicious any time snack.

Five Favorite Matzo Toppers: Stephanie Izard

1. Cream cheese and turkey
"I would say this is my number one go to.  Rather than a turkey sandwich, I prefer a crunchy turkey matzo with a hefty schmear of whipped cream cheese."

2. Pizza sauce and cheddar
"An obvious one I would say, pizza matzoh, but it is just so darn tasty - I had to mention it.  You can even just top it and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds."

3. Butter and Lawry's seasoning salt
"I grew up on Lawry's on everything: fried chicken, fries, baked potatoes. And with a little butter spread on matzoh? Simple and delicious."

4. Peanut butter and strawberry jam
"Just like with the turkey, I prefer my PB&J on matzoh - more texture. You can just break the matzoh in half and make a matzoh-witch. And I am all the way a strawberry jam girl over grape jelly - well now that I am in my 30s."

5. Tuna salad with pickles and hard-boiled egg
"Oh, how i love some tasty tuna salad. Nice and creamy with mucho mayo and some Dijon, some diced up pickles and some chopped up hard-boiled egg.  You might need a stick of Orbitz afterward, but it tastes delish."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Holidays • Passover • Stephanie Izard • Think

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Samantha Joshi

    Hello cream cheese and turkey? Treif! And Ashkenazi Jews would never eat peanut butter during passover

    March 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
  2. rad666

    Funny how there is a meal to celebrate the passover of God's Angel of Death that killed the first born male of non-believers.

    I bet parents don't teach their kids that fact.

    March 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • sockpuppet1984

      a) of course they do b) it wasn't "non-believers", it was the Egyptians because they were enslaving the Jews

      March 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • VladT

      Same reply to his copy and paste on the other Passover food blogs.

      Of course they do. Its called the 10th plague, M0r0n.

      April 11, 2014 at 6:36 am |
  3. Santa

    Have you ever had matza pancakes? Delish. I'mjust sayin'.

    April 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  4. Barbara

    Butter and honey are the best topping combination!

    March 30, 2011 at 8:35 am |
  5. Amy

    I don't like Lawry's seasoning salt. They put sugar in it. I prefer Sauer's Seasoning Salt. There is no sugar in it, and it tastes SOOOOO much better than Lawry's. It does contain MSG, though. That's the biggest drawback - besides the sodium, of course.

    March 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  6. Jewfish

    There are many reform and secular Jews who don't keep kosher, so I think the complaints in that regard are overblown. Still, I'm surprised she didn't mention one of the traditional parts of the passover seder: matzah plus charoset (apples, nuts, honey, spices) equals delicious!

    March 24, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  7. Wendy N

    I use crushed matzoh or matzoh flour to make a coating for fried green tomatoes. A friend told me that trick, and it makes them sooo deliciously crispy without being too greasy.

    March 24, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Could she at least stick to the kosher options - not mixing meat and dairy products. Since many Jews don't eat peanut products during Passover, she could have left that out as well (too long an explanation here as to why peanuts are a no go for Passover; ask local rabbinic authorities).

    You can tell the non-Jews because they like matzah. Or is it matzo?

    March 24, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  9. Rabbi Steinsky

    Lox, cream cheese and capers.

    March 24, 2011 at 8:01 am |
  10. Shirley U Jest

    It is so amazing what you can do with a cracker.

    March 24, 2011 at 7:40 am |
  11. Iris

    Try hummus on matzo, especially the red pepper flavor. To die for!

    March 24, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  12. elaine Neu of Chicago

    what happened to fried matzo?

    March 24, 2011 at 7:08 am |
  13. Frederica

    Thank God for variety of food, especially for the lots of things we can create with milk and eggs. Amazing substances on an amazing planet.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:03 am |
  14. Soul Sold Separately

    I enjoy scallops wrapped in bacon atop my matza. Goes well with a shankbone

    March 24, 2011 at 12:03 am |
  15. mimi_nef

    Matzo doesn't taste like a cracker; it tastes like a stale cracker.

    March 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  16. Dan

    We make a family favorite.....Lasagna!!!!!

    March 23, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  17. Keith

    Why even eat matzah if you're going to put meat and dairy on it? It's like fasting on yom kippur while you're out playing golf.

    More stupid CNN crap.

    March 23, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  18. Joe

    Cream cheese and turkey? That's not even kosher.

    March 23, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Rachel

      It doesn't sound (to me, anyway) as if the author is Jewish. I could be misinterpreting it, but I read this: "Many of my friends that are Jewish and had matzo during Passover thought I was nuts for eating it year round" to indicate that she was not (otherwise, I would expect some family or family tradition references, rather than just the wonder of Jewish friends) ... in which case, she would not be eating it to keep Kosher anyway.

      March 23, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  19. Denim

    I like to put cheese on it, then melt the cheese in a toaster oven, then add hot sauce. It's like bread or a tortilla, and can be used much the same way, except that it's brittle.

    March 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  20. Thomas

    "It is a giant cracker – what is not to like?"

    She failed to mention it was a giant CARDBOARD cracker.

    March 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  21. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    Oh, it wasn't that bad moderator. Text/blog makes it hard to get some times of humor across, LOL.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      *tyoes of

      March 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        *whatever spelling

        March 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Haha! I'm the moron!

      March 23, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  22. Truth


    March 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • jazz

      also makes cheap bread..

      March 24, 2011 at 7:56 am |
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