Chicken Soup and Matzoh Balls?
Posted 05 December 2002 - 09:47 AM
Posted 05 December 2002 - 12:33 PM
Is it going to take Plotnicki to explain which are better objectively?
Also, do you prefer the light & fluffy variety or the dense kind of matzoh balls?
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Posted 05 December 2002 - 05:55 PM
In another thread, the one about stock, I imply a recipe for great Jewish chicken soup. To be more explicit:
Everyone seems to have a favorite recipe for these two dishes. Any secrets on how to make a great chicken soup and matzoh balls that you can share with us?
HOW I MAKE JEWISH CHICKEN SOUP
I would make a basic stock from lots of bones (we always had a chicken foot or two) in water to cover and cook it for 2-3 hours. Then I would strain it and return it to the pot to make a second 'double boiled' stock using the first stock instead of water (you can and should add a little extra water as necessary) and some more chicken (maybe a whole one or a fowl - but bones will yield a great result). Vegetables: celery (with leaves especially), an onion (skin on for color), a leek, a carrot or two (no more or it is too sweet), a parsnip, parsley, thyme (fresh), parsley root (if available), a couple of bay leaves, half a bunch of dill and some peppercorns are added. Boil the stock briefly, then skim and simmer over the lowest heat for 2-3 hours, adding some more fresh dill during the last 20 minutes (this short cooking time will give the soup a nice fresh dill taste). Strain the stock through a very fine strainer and taste for seasoning. It will need lots of salt. If desired, chill it to remove the fat and let any sediment sink to the bottom. It will stay fresh for about 4 days if well refrigerated. NB: Save the chicken fat. If you have used lots of vegetables and herbs (dill) the fat will be very fragrant. This fat is one of the keys to great tasting matzoh balls!
I am not anxious to get into this in too much detail (not really Chinese you know) except to say
1) Use a box recipe
2) Use the soup fat
3) When you mix liquid into your matzoh ball base make sure you use enough, and make sure to wait a good hour before forming the dough into balls so that the dough absorbs the moisture fully and matzoh swells.
4) Cook the suckers long enough so that they are cook all the way through
5) I cheat and put baking powder in my matzoh balls (leavening is not OK on Passover) - I learned this trick from my dear friend Abe Lebewohl of The 2nd Avenue Deli. If you do this make sure the water is boiling hard when you put the balls in. It is necessary to adequately activate the leavening.
6) Put enough salt in the dough and in the water.
According to Joan Nathan, the Jewish food guru, I make the best matzoh balls. She featured me in the Matzoh Ball episode of her PBS TV cooking show "Jewish Cooking in America"
I like mine "giving but firm" (neither hard nor soft).