While I enjoy the creativity of dishes that are updated, deconstructed, or chemically induced into fascinating forms, I sometimes crave more classic flavors. Dishes prepared as they have been for generations have a way of satisfying hunger of the belly and the heart.
For Passover, I made matzo balls prepared with shmaltz (chicken fat) and a simple chicken soup . The plump orbs bursting with rich chicken essence floating in golden liquid produced from simmering a local stewing hen and farm vegetables would have made any Jewish grandmother proud. I hope that next holiday time you will throw away that dusty box of soup mix and try the recipe below.
1 cup matzo meal
4 eggs (beaten)
4 tablespoons melted chicken fat (skimmed from chicken soup)*
5 tablespoons cold water
Dash of salt & white pepper
In a bowl, mix all ingredients, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 20 minutes
Meanwhile, heat a large pot of salted water until simmering.
Wet hands with cold water and scoop the matzo mixture by small handfuls about 1″ around into the simmering water. Do not pack the mixture in tight balls.
Cover the pot and simmer gently for about 10 minutes and then turn the matzo balls, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes more. Serve in hot chicken soup.
Makes about 18.
*Note: you can also use frozen chicken fat, butter (if you are not concerned with keeping the dish Kosher), or Parve margarine