Classic Matzo Brie

 
  • Cooking and Prep: 20 m
  • Serves: 2
  • Contains:

Not just for Passover. Like matzo balls and potato latkes, matzo brie now makes regular appearances at the table year-round.

 

And not just for breakfast. Tony Manhattan restaurants feature entrees of fluffy matzo brie, chockablock with smoked salmon and sautéed sweet onions, fragrant with dill, or layered with exotic wild mushrooms.

 

Like the best soul-satisfying starchy foods, matzo brie is a chef’s canvas, reflecting the image and nuances you choose: served like French toast, flavored with vanilla, cinnamon or almond extract and doused with maple syrup; or frittata-style, sautéed with onions, mushrooms, and sapid tender vegetables like artichokes or asparagus. In fact, I often add some soaked and drained matzo to frittata recipes--it stretches the number of eggs used, reducing that insistent egginess that spells breakfast to so many of us.

 

No sweet/savory matzo brie fault line runs through our house: though I grew up on the sweet, we thoroughly enjoy all versions. Instructions for both follow.

 

For those who crave whole grains during the holiday, try matzo brie, savory or sweet, made from whole-wheat matzo (available kosher-for-Passover). No, it won’t summon up taste memories of McCann’s old-fashioned Irish oatmeal, but it can be a wonderful comfort food when needed.

Ingredients (13)

Main ingredients

Optional Accompaniments

Start Cooking

Prepare the Matzo Brie

  1. Choose the preparation and cooking style you prefer (see note). Break the matzos, wet them with cold water, squeeze them dry, according to the instructions, and place them in a large bowl.

  2. Beat the eggs until light and foamy.

  3. For sweet matzo brie, season the eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt; for savory matzo brie, season generously with lots of salt and pepper to taste (keep in mind how bland plain matzo tastes).

  4. Stir the eggs into the matzo mixture and combine well. If preparing either fluffy or pancake-like matzo brie, allow the matzos to soak in the eggs for a while.

  5. In a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (nonstick works well here), heat the butter over medium heat until it sizzles. Add the matzo batter, either adding it in all at once, like an omelet or frittata, or dropping by heaping tablespoonfuls, like pancakes.

  6. Fry until golden brown on the bottom, then turn and fry until done to taste on the other side: either golden and fluffy or more well-done and crisp, according to preferred method.

  7. While hot, sprinkle with cinnamon vanilla sugar, or serve with one or more of the other suggested accompaniments.

Tip:

 

1. For Either Fluffy or Combination (Scrambled Egg-Style) Matzoh Brie

Soak the matzoh in cold water until soft but not mushy, and gently press out moisture with your hands, or place in a colander and press with the back of a spoon. The less liquid it holds, the more egg it will absorb and the fluffier it will be.

 

2. For Crisp, French Toast-Style Matzoh Brie

Soak the matzoh just long enough to soften it, then gently but thoroughly press out the liquid with your hands, or place in a colander and press with the back of a spoon. For the crispest matzoh brie, moisten both sides of matzoh under the cold water tap, then dry between paper towels.

 

3. For Fried Pancake-Like Matzoh Brie

Soak the matzoh in cold water until it is quite soft, almost falling apart. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can with your hands, or place in a colander and press with the back of a spoon.

 

For more tips, read Making Matzo Brie on Jayne's website JewishHolidayCooking.com.

About

From: Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover’s Treasury of Classics and Improvisations by Jayne Cohen (Wiley 2008). Visit jewishholidaycooking.com

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