MORE WAYS WITH MATZAH BALLS
Flavourings added to matzah balls by Jews around the world include fresh ginger, mace, parsley, coriander, dill and spring onion. Another common addition is finely chopped onion sauteed to caramelised sweetness and rolled into the mixture. Matzah balls as sport: in 2008, the International Federation of Competitive Eating recorded that Joey Chestnut ate 78 matzah balls in eight minutes, winning him a prize of $1500.
In 2010, at the Tucson Jewish Food Festival, chef Jon Wirtis of Shlomo and Vito’s restaurant, produced the world’s largest matzah ball (right) weighing in at 488 pounds and measuring more than eight feet across. Enough for any Seder crowd.
A JC colleague recalls her bubbe stuffing her kneidlach with pieces of gribenes — crisp, fried chicken skin. She made my mouth water. So here are a few more riffs on the theme:
Matzah gnocchi: an Italian twist makes them a tasty accompaniment to meat and vegetables or serve on their own with sauce. Pat them dry and refrigerate them until you want to use them. Slice in half or quarters then shallow fry in schmaltz or oil until golden.
Sugar and spice: the South African Litvak tradition was to stuff matzah balls with a mixture of matzah meal, egg yolk, sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Even better, the next day they would sprinkle leftover balls with melted schmaltz, sugar and cinnamon and bake them to serve as a side. Hardly health food but sounds droolworthy.
Go green: add roughly chopped dill, parsley or coriander or a mixture of all three to your matzah ball mixture. Or try adding chopped basil and serving them with tomato soup for a light lunch.