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Matzoh Balls

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After many years, I've finally found a technique that works for fluffy yet tasty matzoh balls.

People tend to fall into two camps regarding their matzoh ball preferences--fluffy, mild "floaters" or chewy, more "matzoh"-tasting "sinkers." I like both kinds, and have been trying to strike the right balance between a nice light texture with still a good, substantial taste of matzah and chickeny-goodness. In my classroom we make our own matzoh meal when the kids make the matzoh balls for our family Pesach program, and the fresh meal makes a big difference in flavor and texture. Adding a bit more egg white also ensures a fluffy result, and the techniques of a long resting period, a light hand when forming the balls, a hard simmer and a covered pot help the matzoh balls quickly expand so you don't get a hard texture.

Here's my recipe and technique. Makes 30 large matzoh balls, which can be frozen.

3 sheets matzoh
1 cup fresh matzoh meal, more as needed
8 eggs
1 egg white
8 Tbs. chicken broth
3 Tbs. melted chicken fat
3 Tbs. mild vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp. salt
few grinds pepper
2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
2 Tbs. finely chopped dill

1. Place the matzohs in a large ziploc. Using a rolling pin, crush the matzohs until they're very fine, a bit coarser than the texture of the matzoh meal.
2. Pour the crushed matzohs into a 2-cup measuring cup. Add enough matzoh meal so you have two cups total.
3. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, then add the matzoh meal and stir very well. Add a few more spoonfuls water if the mixture is too thick. It will firm up in the fridge.
4. Cover and place in the fridge for an hour.
5. Meanwhile, set two large pots of water boiling.
6. Add 2 tsp. salt to each pot.
7. Using wet hands and a spoon, very lightly scoop up about a Tablespoon of mixture. Don't try to roll or press it into shape too much, it's ok if it's raggged. Slip the balls into the boiling water, slam on the lid, and only turn the heat down when the boil gets too high. You want them at a nice simmer. If after a few minutes the balls haven;t risen to the surface, use a long spoon to gently poke them off the bottom.
8. Test the matzoh balls after 40 minutes by cutting one open. They may need a few more minutes, although I prefer them slightly underdone because they'll cook a bi more in the hot soup before serving.
9. Lift out the balls with a slotted spoon, let cool on a plate, and then carefully transfer to a container and refrigerate until needed.

Comments (3)

sandrac:

Amy, I was thinking of you Sunday while reading the front-page story in the New York Times (at least, front page in my edition!) about how Obama and the White House have begun to mark Seder and Passover. Including White House cooks trying to get matzo balls just right!

sheri:

We had sinkers last night.I am partial to floaters ,which we will have tonight.Someone else did the cooking and I never complain when someone else cooks!

Dorit:

Your lamb dish looks absolutely luscious. Wow. As to the matzoh balls, after many years of trying to re-create my Father's fabulous light matzah balls, without success (although my sister DOES manage it!!), I have a recipe from a friend in which the eggs are separated into whites and yellows. The whites are whipped and then folded into the matzah mixture. This is then left to rest about 40 minutes in the frig and boiled in salted water. The can even be made in advance and frozen!! They are wonderful.

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