Balls, Matzo

A few weeks ago we had some friends over for a belated cooking class of Matzo Ball Soup. I've been making this soup for about 3 years now and one of them (the Christmas gift recipient of matzo crackers and the promised cooking class) has always wanted to learn, especially since the mother of a dear Jewish friend of his had passed away.

As we had our class (and cocktails) we cooked our steak dinner for the night, as it was too warm of an evening for soup. It was a lovely night, full of fun and tons of laughter. Our friend is one funny dude. We tried all night to use the word "ball/s" as much as possible. Hysterical!

One of the best things to come out of that evening, besides the companionship of our good friends of course and the 5 gallons of Matzo Ball Soup, was the creation of a signature cocktail I'll be using during the brunch at Restaurant Iris in October. It's a combination of vodka, St. Germain (an elderflower liqueor), soda water, agave nectar, lemon juice, and clementine wedges. It was delicious. One problem....we can't think of a name. Right now we have: Fall Fling, Country Fling, Country Fizz, Country Sour, and Citrus Fizz (and many more). Take the poll to vote on your favorite or to make a suggestion.

Matzo Ball Soup
(click on title to print the recipe)

Yield: 1 gallon

For the stock:
1 whole chicken (about 3 lbs.)
1 onion, halved
2 celery ribs, halved
1 large carrot, halved
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 gallon of water
For the matzo balls:
1 cup matzo meal
1 cup crushed matzo crackers (should look similar to panko)
4 eggs
1/4 cup chicken fat, reserved from stock or melted margarine
1/4 cup soda water
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. onion powder
For the soup:
1 Tbsp. margarine
1 small bag frozen chopped onion
2 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3 cups pulled, cooked chicken meat
3 quarts chicken stock
1 small bag egg noodles

Boil the ingredients for the stock for 1 minute. Cover and reduce to low for 1 hour. Strain the stock into a gallon-size pitcher. Reserve the chicken but discard the vegetables. Allow the chicken to cool and then pick off the meat, reserving it in the frig for later. Allow the chicken stock to cool in the frig until the fat floats to the top, preferably overnight. Remove and reserve the chicken fat that comes to the top after refrigeration for use in the matzo balls. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the matzo balls and form into 2-4 tablespoon-size balls; set aside. For the soup, plae the margarine in a large soup pot and saute the onion, carrots, and celery until tender but not brown. Add the chicken stock and simmer until the veggies are tender. Bring to a boil and add the matzo balls. Allow them to boil for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken meat and then the noodles. Boil until the noodles are done. Season with more salt and pepper, as needed.

1 comment:

Scott & lisa said...

We had a great time! Thank you for the cooking lesson! The pictures prove my balls are perfect!