koppie Thu, 07/31/2014 - 21:55
It's Passover (for another 5 hours). That means I've gone a week without eating bread or pretty much any grain-related products. (IE. no beer, no whiskey, and none of the doughnuts that were at work yesterday.) However, it's not a week of pure misery; there are a few things that make it totally worth it.
The first, of course, is the seder itself. I don't know many religious ceremonies that are performed at home around the dinner table, but Jews have got that one down. (See my photo gallery from Seder 2005.) In addition, Jews in America have turned the seder into a second Thanksgiving. Thematic similarities aside (of which there are many), it's a special family gathering that involves food, including special seasonal delicacies.
Not least of which is matza brei.
There are, of course, as many matza brei recipes as there are chariots in the Red Sea. (Lots, depending on who you ask.) I have many cookbooks with many recipes, plus a contribution from the lovely and inspiring Sassy Raddish. (What can I say? I've got a thing for Russian Jewish women.)
But the best is my mother's own recipe. Of course. She adds a little water, which gives the whole thing a softer texture. (Some people think that's less kosher; I think it's just fine.) Credit to my sister Amy for putting this in electronic form:
Nana's Matzah Brei
6 whole matzahs, or farfel2 cups boiling water6 eggs1 teaspoon salt (optional)1 tsp cinnamon1/2 cup raisins or nuts (optional—but not in our family!)2 tbsp butter or oil
Smush up matzah or use farfel. Add hot water. Add eggs to mix. Add salt and cinnamon, plus raisins or nuts to taste. Heat butter in pan. Spoon mix into pan using 1/3 cup measure. Flip halfway through cooking. Serve with more cinnamon, jam and maple syrup.Yield: 15 large pieces of matzah breiNutrition information: HA HA HA HA HA
I've noticed they're all variations on a theme with a simple ratio: for each whole piece of matza, crush and combine with 1 egg, and fry in a pan. Naturally, I do without the salt. You can use egg matzot for a softer texture, although some people would argue that that's less kosher. I prefer to use olive oil in the pan instead of butter, which makes 'em pareve. If you wanted to fry up some bacon, I guess. ;-)
(For the search engines: Matza can also be spelled matzah and matzo. Technically it's מצה; everything else is just a transliteration.)