Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Matzo Balls

Grandmothers, whether you call them baba, bubee, grandma, nonna, yaya, or abuela are the greatest sources of traditional recipes to pass down to their children and grandchildren. In our family, we've made a point of documenting all of baba's recipes - many of which are posted here on the blog. Carrying on traditions has always been something I find links me to my own heritage and seeing Psychgrad following some of these traditions makes it all more meaningful.

If you've mastered matzo balls, also called knaidech (knay-dlech) either you had a good teacher or you figured it out through trial and error. If you've never made them and always wondered about them, here's a recipe that won't fail you. You never have to make matzo balls that are as hard as golf balls again.

To my friend Val from More Than Burnt Toast - you won't have to be afraid to try them ever again.

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten, or 1 egg and 2 whites
1/2 cup matzo meal
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chicken stock or water

If you've never heard of matzo meal or never used it, this is what it looks like:

In a bowl, mix oil and eggs together. Add matzo meal, salt and blend together. Add stock or water and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.(do not miss this step)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. You need a good sized dutch oven.

Moisten hands with oil or water to prevent sticking. Form mixture into walnut-size balls and drop into the boiling water.

Reduce heat to a light boil, cover tightly (no peeking) and cook for 40 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve in chicken soup.

You can also cook matzo balls directly in chicken soup.
Matzo balls can be flash frozen on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, bagged in a freezer friendly bag and used later.

I made a double recipe and got 24 matzo balls. To serve, count on about 2 per person.

These are cooked and ready for the freezer.

Here's the best tip you'll get on matzo balls - if you want them bigger and fluffier, double the oil called for in the recipe.

When you taste them and think "what's all the fuss about", you'll likely find them relatively bland and boring. The trick is to put them into a flavourful chicken soup. The combination is pretty darned good. Psychgrad has a wonderful tutorial on making Matzo Ball Soup here on the blog.

Your matzo balls should look like this



Hopie said...

I think the only thing my Nana ever made for me was a ham sandwich one day when her cook was off duty and it was just the two of us - both very rare occurrences! ;-) Luckily I had other role models in the yummy recipes dept. Nothing like a good Matzo ball chicken soup to make you feel loved!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

You felt my fear of messing them up so thanks so much for the recipe Giz. I have no excuse not to take them off my bucket list.

kat said...

You know I don't believe I've ever has a matzo ball

Proud Italian Cook said...

I never thought I could make these but you've given me confidence. When the cooler weather arrives I'm making this for sure!

Nick said...

I haven't been here in way too long! Matzo balls is one of those things I could never get into - reminds me of when I chew up a mouthful of pretzels and ball them up in my mouth. But I respect them as a traditional cuisine. Regardless, you're new blog header looks like a vending machine - I want to just click on those items and have them pop out of my computers CD drive.

Shaheen said...

I keep meanign to make matzo balls but never seem to get roudn to making them. Lookign at yours, wow they are awesome. If this doesnt motivate me, I don't know what will.

giz said...

Nick - I had an acquaintance once who tried matzo balls and immediately spit it out onto his plate - not so classy but w/e. Now when chicken soup is served he asks for 6 at a time. An acquired taste.