A West Coast dairy seder, with farm-fresh ingredients

This year at San Francisco’s One Market Street, we’re taking a different approach to the Passover meal, with a dairy menu by chef/partner Adrian Hoffman.

Dinner begins with warm smoked King Salmon Purses filled with cucumber cream, fresh dill and salmon caviar. The purses are crepes made with milk-soaked matzo. A sauvignon blanc from Baron Herzog would be a nice match.

The main course is a salt-crusted, whole Pacific bass with lemon and thyme. A fresh fish is essential, so shop at a reliable fishmonger. Accompanying it is fresh horseradish-crusted new potato gratin and grilled Delta asparagus with almond-chardonnay brown butter. Serve with a chardonnay like one from Hagafen Cellars.

Dessert is a slow-baked Santa Rosa plum cheesecake. Find plums that are ripe, but firm enough to hold up to the cooking.

Of course, if you still want a traditional dinner with gefilte fish, matzah ball soup and spring lamb for your home seder, go right ahead. We’ll be serving the above menu from Monday, April 5, to Monday, April 12.

Fresh Horseradish-Crusted New Potato Gratin | Serves 6

2 cups crushed matzah
1/4 cup fresh grated horseradish
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 pinch ground white pepper
3 oz. melted unsalted butter
3 lbs. new potatoes, washed well
3 cups heavy cream
3 cups whole milk
5 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh grated horseradish
1 pinch ground white pepper

In a small mixing bowl, combine crushed matzah with freshly grated horseradish, salt, white pepper and melted butter.

Using a mandoline, slice new potatoes 1/8-inch thick. Place in a pot over medium heat with cream, milk, garlic, salt, white pepper and grated horseradish. Cook slowly until slices of potato are only a little undercooked. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a buttered gratin dish. Press potatoes a bit to evenly fill the dish. Pour a little bit of the cooking liquid over potatoes to thoroughly moisten. Cover potatoes with the horseradish mixture. Bake in a 350-degree oven until browned and bubbly.

Grilled Sacramento Delta Asparagus With Almond-Chardonnay Brown Butter | Serves 6

24 stalks Delta asparagus
2 oz. melted unsalted butter
6 oz. whole unsalted butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tsp. chopped garlic
2 Tbs. chopped flatleaf parsley
4 oz. chardonnay
fresh black pepper

Select asparagus with a compact tip and firm green stalks. Holding the base of the stalk, bend the asparagus until it snaps, try to get it to snap as close to the base as possible. Discard the woody stem. Lightly peel the stalk of the asparagus with a carrot peeler. Season with salt and fresh black pepper. Brush with melted butter, and grill until tender over a wood or charcoal grill.

For sauce, place whole butter, salt and slivered almonds in a small saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until butter begins to foam and almonds begin to turn a light golden brown. Add chopped garlic and chopped parsley. Mix well, and pour in the chardonnay. While constantly swirling the pan, reduce until sauce consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste with salt and fresh pepper.

Lay asparagus spears on a serving platter, and spoon the sauce over the spears liberally. Serve.

Whole Pacific Bass Roasted in a Salt Crust | Serves 6

4 lb. whole Pacific bass
6 cups kosher salt
2 cups egg whites
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
1 lemon, sliced
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 head garlic, broken into cloves

Clean fish by removing fins and scales. Trim tail into V shape with a scissors.

Mix salt with egg whites. Sprinkle coarse sea salt on a foil lined cookie sheet. Place a small layer of lemon slices, thyme, bay leaf and garlic on top of the salt. Lay the fish on top. Pack the salt mixture to a thickness of about 1/2 inch, completely covering the fish and the herbs. Using a spoon, press into the salt and make “scales.” Draw the head and tail with the end of the spoon. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Crack the crust with a mallet and brush away the chunks of salt. Using a spoon, peel back the skin. Serve immediately.

King Salmon Purses | Serves 6

5 matzahs, crushed
2 cups milk for soaking
8 eggs
2 cups milk
2 oz. melted unsalted butter
1 cucumber, peeled
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
4 oz. salmon roe
1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill chives
8 oz. smoked salmon, sliced thin
melted unsalted butter

For crepes, soak crushed matzahs in milk until soft. Drain well, place in food processor and purée. Place mixture in a mixing bowl. Beat in eggs with a whisk and drizzle in melted butter. Add remaining milk and let sit for 1/2 hour. Pass batter through a fine strainer.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add a ladleful of the batter. Quickly swirl the pan to coat evenly, and pour excess batter in the bowl. Return pan to the heat, and using your fingers, pick up the side of the crepe and flip it over. Cook to a light brown on both sides.

Using a small Parisienne scoop or melon-baller, scoop small balls out of one cucumber. Puree the rest of the cucumber in a blender with salt. Strain the pulp, discard and reserve the juice. Mix 1/4 cup of the juice with 1/2 cup of crème fraîche. Place the salmon roe and cucumber balls in a bowl, adding enough of the cucumber cream to evenly coat and loosen the mixture. Add chopped fresh dill.

Dip chives for 5 seconds in boiling water. Remove and let cool.

Lay a crepe on your work surface, and cover with slices of smoked salmon. Place a spoonful of the roe-cucumber mixture in the center and gather up the edges to form a purse. Tie a blanched chive around the purse to hold it securely. Brush lightly with melted butter, and heat slowly in a warm oven. Serve immediately.

Slow-Baked Santa Rosa Plum Cheesecake | Serves 8

12 plums
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice

1/5 cup crushed Passover macaroons
5 Tbs. melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 egg

4 oz. cream cheese
6 oz. sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon juice

Keeping plums as intact as possible, halve them and remove the pits. Heat brown sugar and orange juice in a sauté pan until melted together. Reduce until thick. Add plums, cut side down in an even layer in the syrup. Bring to a boil, and place the pan in a 375-degree oven for 45 minutes or until plums have cooked and concentrated.

For crust, mix crushed macaroons with butter, sugar, salt and egg. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees to set the crust.

For batter, using a wooden spoon, beat the cream cheese until softened and smooth. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each. Add sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla, 2 Tbs. of plum cooking liquid, and lemon juice. Mix until smooth.

Wrap outside of springform pan in 2 layers of aluminum foil. Pour batter into pan over the crust. Place pan on a cookie sheet in 300-degree oven, and pour hot water to 1/2-inch depth into the cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Open oven door, and place halved plums on top of the cake. Close the door and bake until fully set or about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before serving.

Michael Dellar, who offers occasional guest columns, is co-founder of the S.F.-based Lark Creek Restaurant Group, which includes The Lark Creek Inn, One Market, Lark Creek, Yankee Pier, Parcel 104, Arterra and Bradley Ogden restaurants. Adrian Hoffman is chef/partner at One Market.