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Recipe File: Matzo (Matzah) Ball Soup
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:01 pm    Post subject: making sift matzo balls Reply with quote

Earlier it was mentioned to add seltzer to make your matzo balls soft and fluffy. You can also use baking soda. You just need a touch. So for those who like there balls more light and fluffy, just add seltzer or baking soda. Believe me it makes a difference.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject: Matzah Ball recipe Reply with quote

Wow! I have to say, the recipe for the Matzah Balls was clearly written and very precise. I've never read any recipes that is as clearly explained, visually depicted and actually educational as this recipe! I really enjoy reading about the historical background and the artistic layout of it which makes this website my bookmark choice. Good work and keep up the wonderful job.
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Hank Stramm

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:19 am    Post subject: Some Matzah Ball Soup Tips Reply with quote

Just wanted to throw a few things that I do on occasion to spruce up my JBS.

1.) Add a clove of pressed or very finely minced garlic to the balls along with some chopped parsley and/or fresh dill.

2.) Add a little tumeric (1/2 teaspoon) to the broth--this adds a subtle flavor and a beautiful tint to the broth.

3.) Add avocado, lime and some cilantro to make it a Mexican Matzah Ball Soup (actually this is my trademark).

Anyway, I'd have to concur that the schmaltz is essential. I never cook my balls in the broth though. I boil them and add them later--don't really have a reason why, but that's how my Granny did it.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:02 am    Post subject: Slow cooking Chicken Soup and Matzo Balls Reply with quote

If you have the time and inclination; using a slow cooker for preparing the chicken stock is invaluable for depth of flavour.

Typically I make this for my sunday lunch, and leave to slow cook on Saturday night. I put chicken thighs (skin on\bone in) with carrots, garlic, parsley, onion and lots of pepper. Slow cook the chicken until it falls off the bones (I like it when it when the chicken meat becomes stringy) and strain the stock of it's fat, skin and bones until the stock becomes clear. (You may have to add additional h20 and boost the flavor a bit with some chicken cubes). If you have time, chilling the stock will help to remove some of the excess fats and gelatin.

When making the matzo balls, I have found small matzo balls (size of a walnut in it's shell) cook quickly and retain their fluffiness without too much handling. I've used schmaltz with olive oil and you get the nice chicken flavour without ingesting too much fat. A little scraping of nutmeg (2 scrapes) and a bit of pepper lends a mysterious flavour to the matzos that I can't describe. (It was my German friends' mother flair for making her matzos).

I tried making larger size matzos and despite the finesse of the recipe, they were tough. I think that toughness may be in part to the cooking time required for larger matzo balls. If you make smaller matzo balls, there is more of those delicious little dumplings to go around. ;-)

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Judi B

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:38 pm    Post subject: Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls Reply with quote

If I may save even one person from the fate of my last year's matzo ball soup, please read on. I made a quadruple batch to feed my guests for my larger than ever seder. I made the soup early and froze it. The day before, I made the matzo balls (50 of them) and added them to the defrosted soup, now in a huge pot.

When I was about to serve, I detected a foul odor and discovered the soup had soured! Investigation with an economist helped me determine that the soup, with its heating and cooling taking especially long in such a huge pot, caused the temperature to be at the critical point where bacteria forms, for too long and too often.

The solution is to store the soup in smaller containers, so cooling takes place faster. This post may be the only good that could possibly come from my very disappointing experience.

Happy Passover, everyone!
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:28 am    Post subject: Schmaltz Reply with quote

In my neck of the woods, I am considered the Schmaltz queen. That gives me license enough to comment :-)

While the word Schmaltz translates as 'fat,' the term refers to rendered fat, not the stuff that floats to the top of chicken soup.

Rendered schmaltz is the only type that should be used in Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish cuisine, but it cannot be bought and preparation is painstaking.

To prepare schmaltz: cut up the fat that is on either side of the narrow end of the breast of the chicken (goose is more traditional, BTW). Also cut up the fattier pieces of skin in this area. The cut pieces should be approximately the size of postage stamps. You need quite a quantity of fat and skin to make even a small amount of schmaltz. I generally save up fat and skin in my freezer until I have enough to make a pot of schmaltz. Save the skin and fat by wrapping in plastic wrap in individual packets.

Place cut up fat and skin in small saucepan with one small, thinly sliced onion, 2-3 whole peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, and a pinch of salt. Cook on a very low flame, gently swirling the pot from time to time (do not stir), until onions and pieces of fat--the 'gribenes' or cracklings--are golden. Watch closely near the end of the cooking time, since it cooks fast at the end and can easily burn.

Pour the contents of the pot into a strainer set over a small metal bowl and let cool.

Pick out the peppercorns and bay leaf from the contents of the strainer and save the remaining gribenes in a foil packet. Refrigerate. The gribbenes are great sprinkled in minute quantities over chicken soup or chopped liver or even over green salads. They add flavor to kugels or can be added to knish fillings. Good out of hand with beer, too!

The fat in the bowl is rendered schmaltz and delicious in a variety of dishes, including matzoh balls. Keep it refrigerated or frozen, covered with plastic wrap.

Matzoh balls do not need beaten egg whites to be fluffy, but the eggs should be very well beaten. Also, matzoh meal should be added to the eggs until the mixture is not quite thick. The batter needs to rest at room temp 15 minutes, then be refrigerated for several hours before simmering in the soup.

I used 3 heaping tablespoons of schmaltz to every four eggs. I add salt and pepper according to taste, and the amount of matzoh meal will vary from bag to bag of meal. The batter should create a thin ribbon when dropped from the beaters, but after sitting gets quite thick.

Be careful how you shape them, since mishandling causes heavy duds. Wet hands and gently scoop some batter into the palm of your hand, let it gently roll against your other hand from whence it drops into the boiling soup. Let them simmer about 25 minutes, turning once.
It's an art.
Varda the Schmaltz Queen in Israel
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:16 am    Post subject: Diggin' the Ingrediant Vs Time chart Reply with quote

I have been to a lot of websites looking for various recipes, and I must say that this is the first time I've seen an ingredient chart like the one on the bottom of the page. I often forget an ingredient, or add it in at the wrong time, and this is the first site I've seen lay it out so well. I may start making a chart for all my cooking extravaganzas.

Kudos =]
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:56 am    Post subject: smaltz & more Reply with quote

The smaltz queen has it right. Smaltz is rendered. the stuff that floats to the top of the soup is grease. Lightly forming the balls rather than rolling them absolutely makes a difference. This is also true for small meat dumplings and meatballs. But I am convinced that the number one reason for too-heavy matzoh balls is allowing them to sit in the liquid after it cools. Convenient, yes, but that light fluffy texture is gone for good. Because we can't always get lots of people to the table at the same time, I cook the matzoh balls in water and lower it to a simmer until I can transfer it to the soup. This prevents the soup reducing down and becoming too salty.

Love your site, and the way you present your recipes. Thanks!
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Joined: 15 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:03 pm    Post subject: Turkey smaltz Reply with quote

After Thanksgiving, a foodie friend of mine made broth with the turkey carcass. She skimmed the resulting fat to use next morning in matzo balls. Delicious!
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:55 am    Post subject: cooking for engineers Reply with quote

I work with engineers and you are a saint for creating a site for them!! If you have tips for their dating life, let me know. I can't seem to answer their questions! LOL
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Chu, your chart is excellent. Thank you.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:29 pm    Post subject: cooling your "goldene yoich" Reply with quote

Never, ever cool your chicken soup quickly! It sours it, makes it cloudy...feh! After straining, let the broth cool to room temp, then refrigerate/freeze in small portions.
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Central florida gal

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:35 pm    Post subject: first timer Reply with quote

My boss/ friend loves my cooking and has asked me to try to make Matzah ball soup for her. She is Jewish and from New York where she could buy it from any deli. Unfortunatly in Florida we do not have any good deli's and she hasnt had any for a long time. Neither her or her mother can make "floaters" so I will attempt it. All of the recipes and suggestions made by everyone on here have been very helpful. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:58 pm    Post subject: shmaltz Reply with quote

the fat that separates from the chicken is schmaltz (just yiddish the word for chicken fat) it doesn't matter how it is rendered (separated), and if you live near a kosher neighbourhood, you can buy it in the deli... grease, fat,schmaltz.. it's all chicken fat, and it's all delicious and super high in cholesterol and bad for you. If this is a once a year splurge, go ahead! Otherwise olive oil is your friend.... and a little seltzer water is the key!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit of seltzer in the mix is key for perfect texture, and using dill stalks in the stock, and fresh dill as a garnish in the soup is crucial to getting the right flavor.
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