Recipes for a fluffy matzo ball and tips for making floats

Fluffy matzo balls

Active time:30 minutes

Total time:30 minutes plus 2 to 24 hours chilling time

Servings:8 to 16 (makes about 16 balls)

Active time:30 minutes

Total time:30 minutes plus 2 to 24 hours chilling time

Servings:8 to 16 (makes about 16 balls)

Passover this year will see many people around the world return to the personal Seder table for the first time in three years. As remarkable as some Zoom Seders have been, there will be an extra dose of joy for those returning to old habits – even as coronavirus testing plays a new role. Passover, after all, is a holiday whose essence is brought to life when a group of people gather around a table – family, friends, acquaintances, bumping elbows as they turn the pages of the Haggadah, raising four glasses of wine, little one Fingers dot plague the edge of a plate and grumble in awed anticipation of an unleavened meal.

For many it is also decided on the soup.

One could say that Passover is the most important soup holiday in the Jewish and Jewish tradition. Makers of memories for generations Matzo ball soup signals both the true beginning of the festive meal and the revival of the discourse on the buoyancy of balls. And since matzo ball soup is available year-round on secular menus, I happen to think it’s never a good time to delve into the great debate: Sinkers vs. Floaters.

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The whole point, I believe (as what kind of eater would I be without an opinion?) is that due to their maker’s reputation, sinkers are largely problematic both during the soup course and long after. Oh, there will be naysayers because there are people out there in this world who really like sinkers. (We worry about them.)

My husband’s dear aunt is a manufacturer of circuit boards. They are indeed… memorable. Recently, I cautiously raised the subject of matzo balls with her. It turns out she’s fearless. “I’m making sinkers! My family loves her!” she rose. I didn’t tell her I once met the gaze of a guest across her Seder table who found himself in a synchronized struggle to push our spoons into tight balls at the bottom of our broth. A flash of recognition between us: Team Floaters.

I’ve been wondering if Team Sinkers can hold its own in part because it’s all about supporting the efforts of our loved ones – and appreciating them, especially when they’re nurturing us. And Aunt Beth’s matzo balls, those perfect sinkers, are part of an image that comes to mind when I fondly think of the Seders of yesteryear.

My husband was so concerned about his aunt’s feelings that I called her to say I could mention her plumb line in the town square. Your answer? She doubled. “I make them tough and I’m proud of it!” I find their total baller confidence a joy.

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Nevertheless, I am firmly convinced that care can be taken to ensure that neither you nor your guests need muscle strength or an additional utensil to carve your matzo balls. If you can’t just cut them through with the side of a spoon, maybe it’s time to reconsider your method. Last but not least, there are concerns about splashes.

During soup season, Katz’s Delicatessen on New York City’s Lower East Side serves about a thousand floating matzo balls a day. Owner Jake Dell says honestly that he hopes his customers will like his matzo balls second best. He explains: “The favorite should be your grandma or someone you love.”

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Whether you’re in the out-of-the-box camp or creating your mix from scratch (maybe with seltzer!), look no further than your palms. But if you treat your mix like cookie dough, your eggs will get back at you by hitting the bottom of your bowls and alienating you from your guests. Nobody remembers perfect matzo balls because they’re not really that difficult to achieve, but if you produce circuit boards, well, people will talk. (Maybe even write about it.)

To cheer! You are fully responsible for the density fate of your balls. The following should be noted:

set ball goals. Make no mistake, floaters are no stranger to the substance. Leah Koenig, author of The Jewish Cookbook, likes floaters “with a little chew.” She explains: “Feather-light matzo balls don’t bother me. The perfect matzo ball is technically a float because it floats on top of the pot as it cooks, but offers a bit of resistance under your teeth.” Dell describes Katz’s matzoh ball as a floater, “but tight in your tummy.” (I’ll think about that for a while.)

Embrace the practice. Making matzo balls is not innate; it is learned through repetition, perhaps through a few mistakes. Lean in. “I don’t care what other experiences you have in this world rolling other things, it’s not the same,” says Dell. Don’t think about it, just keep going. Practice will set you free.

you have to chill Never skip the refrigerated downtime for the mix. “That’s what you need for the interaction of matzo flour, eggs and fat,” says Dell. This, he adds, is what gives matzo balls their “floating properties.” Of course.

Keep your hands wet. (And consider removing your rings.) Matzoh Ball Mix is ​​a little sticky, so make sure your palms and fingers are hydrated. As you form your balls, place a bowl of water next to your mixture and dip as needed.

No pressure. To become a Katz’s Mazzoh ball roller, Dell describes a workout that reminds me of Miyagi-san and something like “fence painting”. Because according to Dell, manual technology is the order of the day. No crushing allowed. “That’s how you curl and bend your hands. And it’s not a stress ball. It’s tender.” Think some hot potato. Remember that the only pressure should be what you put on yourself to bring the star of the soup to the table.

My mother, who will be 80 next month, clearly remembers her encounter with plumb bob when she was 13. Her mother was out of town, so she decided to make matzo ball soup for the first time to surprise her father. The broth was delicious, she recalls, but she forgot to refrigerate the mixture and the result was, you guessed it, “balls of lead.” I can imagine the grandfather, whom I only know from photos, sitting at a dining table eating soup next to a girl I also only know from photos, who would later become my mother. Her father ate the matzo balls off the bottom of his bowl and didn’t say a word.

And we’re back to love.

These matzo balls are particularly fluffy and light thanks to the resting time in the fridge. Adding lard gives them more flavor (if you’re making your own chicken soup, skim the fat from the soup and refrigerate overnight), but you can also use a neutral oil like grapeseed or vegetable (see NOTE when you prepare them). for a Jewish holiday other than Passover). Boil these in salted water and then add them to bowls of hot soup; Boiling the matzo balls in the soup itself will make the broth cloudy.

For an easy soup recipe to serve your matzo balls, make our chicken soup with benefits and skip the egg noodles.

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  • 1 cup matzo meal (not matzo ball mix)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup lard or grapeseed or vegetable oil (see NOTE)
  • 1/4 cup club soda or seltzer

In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix together the matzo flour, dill or parsley, salt, and pepper until well combined. Using the same fork, beat in the eggs until well combined. Add the lard or oil, followed by lemonade or seltzer, and mix until thoroughly combined.

Cover and refrigerate until mixture is set and fully hydrated, at least 2 and up to 24 hours. It should be thick and malleable.

Bring a large saucepan with plenty of salted water to a boil. Using a soup spoon, gently scoop the matzoh mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on a plate. When all the balls are formed, use your hands to gently re-roll any misshapen balls without applying much pressure and compacting the mixture.

Gently push the matzo balls into the boiling water and cook until they float to the top and puff up to about twice their original size, 12 to 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer the matzo balls to a plate and cover to keep warm. Divide among individual portions of soup to serve, as needed.

NOTE: If you are making matzo balls for Passover, make sure the cooking oil is labeled Kosher for Passover.

Per serving (1 matzo ball), based on 16.

Calories: 90; total fat: 6 g; Saturated fat: 1 g; cholesterol: 58 mg; sodium: 171 mg; carbohydrates: 6 g; fiber: 0 g; sugar: 0 g; Protein: 3 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a nutritionist or nutritionist.

Recipe from Deputy Recipe Editor Olga Massov.

Tested by Olga Massov; email questions insatiable@washpost.com.

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