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Monday, April 18, 2011

Southwestern Matzoh Ball Soup


Southwestern matzoh balls, jazzed up with some fresh chiles and julienned carrots
It's nearly Passover, friends. Now, being the unobservant Jew that I am, I have not cleaned out every speck of chometz (that would be bread-like products that aren't Kosher for Passover, and believe me, that definition is extremely broad). I did wash the floor today, which is pretty good in my house. I do believe in the restorative power of matzoh ball soup however. And after washing the floors, I need something restorative.

This is quite an old internet recipe, at least in terms of the age of the internet (it is not, however, the oldest one I have, which dates from 1982). This recipe came from rec.food.cooking which was the grand-daddy of internet recipe sites. It was a mishmash of people, with some definite likes and dislikes. Which led to some pretty interesting flaming but also a lot of interesting food.

This recipe is from Susan Hattie Steinsapir who was a frequent contributor to the group. I believe she lived in Southern California and she passed away at some point during the heyday of rec.food.cooking. But, she is not forgotten as I think about this lady I never met every Passover when I pull out her unorthodox version of matzoh ball soup.

Southwestern Matzoh Ball Chicken Soup
(serves 4)

A classic recipe from the days of rec.food.cooking with some enhancements from me. I added the black pepper and cumin. If the jalapeno is not very spicy, I like to add a teaspoon of very finely minced serrano chile or a pinch of ground dried chipotle chiles to spice things up a little. I also use tequila rather than vodka sometimes, for a little Nuevo American twist.

2 tablespoon Oil
2 large Egg
½ cup Matzoh Meal
1 teaspoon Salt
⅛ teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
⅛ teaspoon Ground Cumin
2 tablespoon Finely Minced Onion
1 teaspoon Finely Minced Jalapeno
1 tablespoon Minced Red Pepper
2 tablespoon Tequila or Vodka
6 cups Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, dill or parsley

Beat oil and eggs together. Add matzoh meal, salt, onion, jalapenos, red pepper and vodka. Stir to blend thoroughly. Refrigerate covered for 15 minutes.

Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Reduce heat so that water is boiling gently. Drop 1" size matzoh balls (they will swell as they cook) into the water. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove and drain. At this point, you can chill the matzoh balls and reheat them in the chicken broth when you want to serve them.

Add the matzoh balls to chicken soup and simmer for 5 minutes (20 minutes, if chilled) before serving.

This recipe can be doubled but only use 3 eggs.

notes: This dish will serve 6 as part of a big Passover meal. By doubling the recipe and thereby decreasing the percentage of eggs, you end up with slightly denser matzoh balls. A single recipe results in very light and fluffy matzoh balls while a double recipe results in somewhat denser matzoh balls. This is based on personal observation making a double and single batch in the same day.

Link to PDF of Southwestern Matzoh Ball Chicken Soup

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