Restaurant Recipes

Havana Cafe Passover Mina

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Yield: 4 servings


  • 6 to 8 pieces matzo bread, unbroken
  • 1 pound fresh spinach or Swiss chard, cleaned
  • 2 cups zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 eggplant, sliced, 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup sherry wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 pound manchego, mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 pound beef, cooked and chopped (optional)
  • 8 eggs or equivalent egg substitute
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Soak matzo bread in cold water until soft -- about 2 minutes.
  2. Drain well on a cloth or paper towel. If necessary, squeeze out the water from the bread. Set aside.
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Place vegetables, except spinach and onion on a baking sheet.
  5. Place in the oven; cook until slightly tender. Set aside.
  6. Using a steamer, cook the spinach until slightly wilted; drain well, then roughly chop. Set aside.
  7. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan.
  8. Add onion; cook until lightly browned.
  9. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, sherry and remaining spices; cook 30 minutes.
  10. Spray a square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the bottom of the pan with two or more whole matzo bread slices. If they break, patch them.
  11. Spread enough tomato sauce over the matzo to cover it.
  12. Add layers of vegetables and cheese.
  13. Repeat process once.
  14. End with a layer of matzo.
  15. If using meat, add a layer of meat when you layer on the vegetables and cheese.
  16. Pour beaten egg over the casserole.
  17. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. If the dish is browning too quickly, cover the pan with a layer of aluminum foil.


Chef B.J. Hernandez, Havana Cafe, Phoenix, Arizona -

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