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Food Fare: Jewish RecipesMatzo Ball Soup

Marak Kneidlach

Matzo Ball SoupTo make the matzo balls, whisk together the egg yolks, chicken fat, and salt in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the matzo meal. The mixture will be thick, so you will have to shake it out of the whisk wires. Beat the egg whites in a bowl just until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into matzo mixture to lighten, then fold in the rest. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until mixture congeals (about one hour). After removing from refrigerator, form the matzo mixture into 12 to 14 balls, dipping balls into simmering chicken soup as they are formed. Simmer, uncovered, until the matzo balls are cooked through (one hour to 1-1/2 hours). Spoon the soup and the balls into bowls and serve at once.


Rendering Chicken fat (schmaltz): Use three cups of chicken fat and skin. Place fat and skin scraps in a heavy bottomed, non-reactive pot (cast iron, copper and aluminum might give schmaltz an unpleasant taste). Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until scraps render fat and begin to brown. Increase heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until chicken scraps are golden brown and somewhat crispy, but not burnt. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a five minutes. Strain mixture through a colander or meshed strainer into a heatproof glass container. Cover and store in refrigerator for up to six months.


Note: Matzo is a wheat flour and water dough, rolled out cracker thin and baked until crisp. Matzo meal is similar to bread crumbs, but made from matzo. You can try scouring for a recipe to make matzo from scratch, but your best bet would be to buy it already made - preferably the Manischewitz brand or one found in your local market.


History: Matzah balls, also known as (kneydl, singular) in Yiddish, (also kneydls, matza balls, matzoh balls, or matzo balls) are a traditional Ashkenazi (East-European Jewish) dumpling made from matzah meal (ground matzo). [Data Source: Wikipedia].


*Matzo Ball Soup image (C) Soul Skorpion (2007); used under the Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license, a freely licensed media file repository.


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