Monday, March 7, 2011

The Rocks: Matzo Balls

Matzo ball soup
Photo by Rachel Dedrickson

Dreary weather has settled in Seattle.  It’s cold, it’s gloomy, and it’s nothing a dose of vitamin D can cure. Let’s not lie, crappy weather can get to the head.

But… if you’re a Seattleite, you have probably pulled out your trusty Hunter boots, added an additional cup of Joe to the morning coffee brew, and headed out the door sans an umbrella (note: Seattleites don’t use umbrellas. I know! Totally weird). It’s Seattle and the weather is gross. We got over this fact a while ago.

Thanks to the weather inspiration, and a loving auntie who showed me how to make the most important component for any soup equation (homemade chicken soup), I was equipped and confident in taking a stab at my long awaited desire to make the family matzo ball soup recipe. It was the perfect project to warm me from the inside out. Matzo ball soup makes any Jewish girl sunny.

Anyway, to my surprise, a few myths were debunked during my matzo ball making adventure.

For one, I always believed making matzo balls would be a lengthy and extensive process. Our family only enjoys matzo ball soup during Passover. What I found out, however, is that matzo balls are the simplest component of matzo ball soup. It’s the chicken soup that takes the time and patience. Well, I already had that done. Check!

Secondly, our family always refers to Aunt Julie’s matzo balls as “the rocks”. They are extra dense and, well, rock-like. Of course, we say this in a loving way. “The rocks” are all I know, and everything I love about matzo ball soup.

I figured Aunt Julie must have a secret matzo ball recipe. Little did I know, all I had to do was follow the back of a Streit’s Matzo Meal box and double the matzo meal measurement. Gee whiz!  I wish I’d attempted making matzo balls sooner.

I’m very proud of the end product. I froze a bunch of the matzo balls alongside my chicken soup-filled gefilte fish jars. Now, when the weather calls for it, I can just pull it out and heat it up.

Good-bye, dreary weather and bad mood. Bring it on. Matzo ball soup is here to save us!

What do you cook or bake do when the weather gets you down?

Matzo Ball Recipe (from Streit’s Matzo Meal box)

4 large eggs

1/4 c schmaltz (rendered chicken fat....oil works as a substitute)

1/4 c water
1 tsp salt

Beat eggs. Add water, schmaltz, and salt.  Mix well. Add matzo meal and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Partially fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Moisten palms with cold water and form mixture into balls, about 1 inch in diameter.  Drop matzo balls into boiling water.

When all the matzo balls are in the pot, reduce heat to low. Simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until done.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

Remove 2-3 matzo balls into a smaller serving bowl. Add chicken soup and baby carrots. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Matzo balls cooking
Photo by Rachel Dedrickson

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