By: Menachem Goodman @totallytalentedteen
The Seder is a time when we talk about the 10 plagues and the Jews leaving Egypt. The little kids get excited to recite the Mah Nishtana and eagerly wait for answers. The adults follow along in the Haggadah as the leader of the seder explains the splitting of the sea. As the hours on the clock get later, the kids begin to doze off while the adults sing Hallel. And before you know it, it’s the wee hours of the night and you finish the last cup of wine before heading to bed.
Yom Tov is beautiful, between the seudot that we work hard to prepare, the children and adults reading their divrei torah and singing zemirot. But as much time as we spend together at the Seders and at the meals, there is also something special about sitting around on Chol Hamoed playing a family game and munching on a snack. So I decided to create a nacho board for you to treat the family and have an enjoyable Chol Hamoed.
Let’s Talk Nacho
What do you need to create a board?
Creating a nacho board is easier than you think. I only used ingredients I already had in my fridge. For example, I had two ripe avocados, so that’s what I used. I would have loved some pickled onions, but my family doesn’t use vinegar on Pesach. Using what you own and only what you eat really makes this process so much easier.
What about the cheese sauces?
Cheese sauce is usually made with flour to create a roux. Since flour is chametz, I substituted it with potato starch instead. I also decided to do three different sauces to give my family and friends some variety to choose from. The parmesan sauce is more like a spread, but it’s still really delicious. (Click here for the recipes for my Classic Cheese Sauce and Spicy Cheese Sauce.)
What about chips/dipping items?
I used Heaven & Earth Veggie Dippers. These are plantain chips that taste amazing and are an incredible option. You can also use potato chips or matzo. If you prefer a healthy option, baby carrots and daikon radishes are the way to go.
What about salsa and salads?
Like I said before, I kept it basic, using what I had in my fridge. I did create a salsa that’s so good. It’s a chunky salsa and it’s the perfect balance of sweet and heat. Pickled onions, pico de gallo, and olives are also great for topping nachos, if you use those.
What if I don’t have a board?
You can always cover the middle of the table with foil and place the toppings and chips on and it has a really cool look, or cut cardboard into a round shape and use it as a board. Be creative and let your inner personality shine. Remember it’s more about the family time and good food than the actual display.
Can I prepare in advance?
Sure! Prepare the toppings and place in the fridge. Make sure when using avocado to put the pit in water (separately) so it doesn’t turn brown. You can prepare the salsa up to one week in advance. The cheese sauces can also be prepared and rewarmed in the oven. If you want to prepare the board in the morning for an afternoon get together, make sure to wrap it with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Cheese sauces are good cold, but they are even better hot.
Chol Hamoed doesn’t have to be a day to spend crazy money and do trips. In my house it’s about family time. I think it is one of the only times of the year I have all my siblings around the same table. On Chol Hamoed my mother prepares a nice brunch and a nice dinner and we all just sit down and enjoy each other’s company. I’m not saying we don’t go on trips; we do go places. But to my amazing parents, the real joy of Yom Tov is seeing the family bonding with each other. (And it’s time for me to spend the day with my favorite nieces and the three musketeers – my nephews).
I want to wish each and every one of you reading this article a good Yom Tov and only the best.