|Ingredients for making matzoh ball soup|
I remember my Nana Newman made matzoh balls or knaidlach (Yiddish for dumpling) from scratch each year for the Jewish holiday. Nana's were not too big and not too small. As a young child, my family would dine at the Ellisburg Delicatessen in Cherry Hill, NJ where they would serve one huge softball sized matzoh ball in a small bowl with broth. I hated that. Call it the kid mentality but I felt I was getting cheated with just one huge matzoh ball. If I got several smaller ones, I felt I got more. Not to mention that the larger the matzoh ball, the more uneven it could be in the center. You'd think a good Jewish delicatessen would have known this. Oy vey! What are ya gonna do?
|Rolling those matzoh balls|
Having matzoh ball soup was the best part of my childhood Passover Seders. Mom once mentioned to me that Nana's secret was that once they were cooked, if you could bounce them on the counter top, they were perfect. I think the culinary theory behind this was that if they bounced, then they had just enough give and were not too dense.
|Passing the bounce test!|
|Chicken soup with matzoh balls!|
Sheryl mentioned that most recipes including our family one, call for a courser chop of the chicken liver spread and not such a smooth consistency. Well let me tell you, my dear sister definitely enjoyed the sauteed chicken liver spread, even with a smoother consistency! LOL. She was even happier when I sent some home with her. I served the spread with broken pieces of matzoh, each about the size of a tortilla chip.
|Sauteed chicken liver spread with matzoh|
These two recipes really pushed my culinary envelope. I am proud that I could honor my family's heritage by making them. And they both actually came out great. The recipes are below with any changes I made.
MATZOH BALLS or KNAIDLACH by Abby Deeds
4 eggs beaten
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup melted shortening or chicken schmaltz (melted chicken fat) or 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 tspn salt
dash of pepper
1 cup of matzoh meal
Add water, shortening, salt & pepper to beaten eggs. Mix well. Add matzoh meal and stir well. Allow to stand 20 minutes to thicken.
Form into small balls and drop into boiling water. Cook for 20 minutes and then add to soup.
***I used margarine as I couldn't find any chicken schmaltz. John, my favorite Italian Catholic, called me from a local Berks County butcher and asked if I could use pork fat instead.. Poor John, he got quite a lip from me explaining how matzoh balls made with pork fat would NEVER work! Something do to with ...uhm... being Kosher? He took it well. Hahaha.
CHOPPED CHICKEN LIVERS by Abby Deeds
1 pound of rinsed and cleaned chicken livers
4 tspn of chicken schmaltz or 2 tspn margarine or butter
2 onions diced
3 hard cooked egg yolks
1/4 tspn black pepper
Wash and clean chicken livers and remove any spots. Drain well.
Heat 2 tspn fat (1 tspn butter/margarine) in a pan. Brown the onions.
Remove the onions and sautee the chicken livers in a skillet for 10 minutes.
Grind or chop the onions, livers, and egg yolks to a course mixture.
Add salt and pepper and the remaining 2 tspn of fat (1 tspn butter/margarine).
Mix to taste. Serve with broken pieces of matzoh.
***Again, I used margarine ... see the anecdote above! LOL. This was easy but just a bit time consuming getting everything ready. If you have your ingredients, it can go quite smoothly. Next time I will not make such a smooth mixture though. Mine came out to the consistency of a pate' but it still had great flavor.