MORE WAYS WITH MATZAH BALLS

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

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.

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