Sunday, March 28, 2010
A friend of mine (hello!!) asked me very nicely, "are you going to be making any Passover recipes?" Hmm... it is coming up, isn't it? Being a shiksa, I had to look up some good Passover books, and I found a great picture book called Matzo Ball Moon, written by Leslea Newman and illustrated by Elaine Greenstein.
In this story, young Eleanor is excited because Passover is on its way, and her grandmother (Bubbe) is coming over to make matzo ball soup for the whole family!! She is so excited - and so is Bubbe, who loves making the soup. The whole family loves to watch her cook, and they keep coming in to watch... and to sneak a matzo ball or two before dinner. No big deal, right? Bubbe made plenty!
Unfortunately, so many people decided to "just try one" that when it's time for dinner... oh no! There aren't enough to go around! But Bubbe is a loving grandmother, and she takes one for the team, and goes without, enjoying more than anything watching her family enjoy her cooking. After the Seder (the ceremonial Passover dinner), Eleanor looks up at the moon and sees it as a "big, bumpy, lumpy, yummy-looking matzo ball" - one for Bubbe!
It's a cute story. I like it! And because of it, I was able to make you this:
Matzo Ball Moon Soup
1 10-oz. package of matzo (I used Egg & Onion Matzo)
1/4 cup butter
1 onion, minced
1 1/2 tbsp. parsley flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 oz. matzo meal
6 cups chicken broth, or more, depending on how brothy you like your soup (I used 10 cups)
1. Crumble the package of matzo into small pieces, and place in a bowl. Cover with water, and allow to soak for a few minutes, until soft. Drain the excess water. Meanwhile, put a pot of water on to boil.
2. In a large saucepan (and I mean a large saucepan - mine was too small and it made a mess), melt the butter and add the now-soggy matzo. Stir continuously until it's dry and a little bit brown.
3. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the eggs, onion, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste (I didn't add any salt because my broth was very salty, and it was tasty). Add matzo meal until the mix stays together. Roll one golf-ball-sized ball from the mix and drop it in the now-boiling water, and keep an eye on it.
* If it falls apart, add some matzo meal to make the mix stay together.
* If it doesn't float after a few minutes, add an egg to loosen the mixture, and just enough matzo meal to hold the mix together.
* If it floats, your mixture is perfect, and you can move onto step 4.
4. Put the chicken broth into a pot and bring it to a slow boil. Roll the mixture into golf-ball-sized lumps and drop the balls into the soup. When they are floating, the soup is done.
This is a tricky recipe. I got it from the AllRecipes website, listed under "Oma's Fabulous Matzo Ball Soup," and for some reason, I didn't expect it to take as long as it did. Of course, a recipe always takes longest the first time you do it, because you don't know what you're doing - but still, the website says it takes one hour, and it took me almost two! Also, I cut the AllRecipe's recipe in half, and it still made far more matzo balls than I expected it to - supposedly enough for 5, but really enough for 10.
In any case. This is some very tasty soup, and I may, if I have time, make it again someday. I will definitely recommend this recipe to any who are willing to invest the time (it's worth it!), and I also recommend the book. Enjoy - and Happy Passover!