Matzo Ball Soup

As an Italian girl married to a nice Jewish boy, I have a plethora of extra holidays in my year. My Septembers are full with the High Holy Days, my Easter flanked by Passover, and my Christmas always preceded by Hanukkah. I love it, and I love that it gives me an excuse to add classic Jewish dishes to my cooking repertoire.

My matzo ball soup is my husband’s favorite, and mine too, so I thought I’d post it in honor of Rosh Hashanah tonight. It’s not hard to make, but it is a two step process that starts with making your own stock. Let’s get started, shall we?

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Quick Chicken Stock
I use Pam Anderson's super easy recipe.  You will need:

2 quarts chicken broth (Swanson, College Inn, whatever  you like)
Carcass (skin + bones) of a rotisserie chicken
4 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a simmer, and simmer 30 minutes.  Don't let it boil, or your stock may get cloudy.

Strain broth, cool quickly, and refrigerate for 3 days or freeze 3 months.

Matzo Balls:

Smitten Kitchen’s matzo ball recipe is perfection. I can take absolutely no credit for the recipe seen below. I follow it exactly, and have successfully halved and doubled it as well.
For balls
1/2 cup matzo meal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons reserved chicken fat or vegetable oil (I always use olive oil)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chicken stock or seltzer
For soup
2 to 3 quarts prepared chicken stock (recipe above)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
A few sprigs of dill

Mix all matzo ball ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Bring 1 1/2 quarts of well-salted water to a brisk boil in a medium sized pot.

Lower the flame. Wet your hands, and form matzo balls by grabbing ping pong ball- size drops of batter and rolling them loosely into balls. Drop them into the simmering salt water one at a time. Cover pot and cook them for 30 to 40 minutes.

About ten minutes before the matzo balls are ready, bring prepared chicken stock to a simmer and add the sliced carrot in it. Ladle some soup and a couple matzo balls into each bowl and top with a couple snips of fresh parsley or dill.

What You Can Do In Advance
I usually make my matzo balls the night before, and keep them in a bowl with a little water, covered by a wet paper towel. Sounds weird, I learned the trick in a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, works like a charm.

And of course, the stock will keep for 3 days in the fridge or three months in the freezer.

 Has anyone out there tried to freeze matzo balls? I’ve heard you can, but we always eat whatever I make! I’d love to know how they turn out.

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