The Right Perspective’s official Jewish aunt, Tanta Cheryl, shares her recipe for matzo ball soup, to honor the American Spelling Bee’s choice of “knaidel” for their final word this year. A knaidel is a matzo ball; several matzo balls are knaidelach.
“I cook without salt; so you’ll have to add what amount you like, Tanta Cheryl notes. “I don’t like too much pepper; a ‘bissellah’ with chicken, and this time the pepper goes into the chicken soup.
“I like to put in a little bit of Italian parsley, the curly leaves, into the matzo ball itself; and a whole lot of the Italian parsley into the chicken soup,” she continues. “In the cold of winter I put ‘Knobl,’ which is garlic, into the knaidel all minced up; but right now we’re closer to summer.
“Ess a beig gezunt!”
Here’s the recipe:
4 large eggs (not extra large)
4 tablespoons Schmaltz
(rendered Chicken Fat – the stores have in the Kosher department Empire Kosher in a plastic)
1/4 cup seltzer
1 cup matzo meal (don’t try to double the recipe; you want the matzo balls to be floating on top of the water; not stuffing a big pot with layers of matzo balls)
Use a large bowl.
Crack open eggs, beat a little bit (not to make them foamy; we’re not baking a cake, we’re making matzo balls).
Incorporate the schmaltz, slowly.
Then gradually add in the matzo meal, a little at a time. (If you put it all in at once, it can’t absorb the liquidy ingredients).
Then once the consistency is the same through out, and the matzo meal has absorbed the egg/schmaltz liquidy ingredients, then gradually add in the seltzer.
Once the seltzer is absorbed, stop mixing.
Sprinkle in a little bit of cut up curly parsley; fold it into the mixture, but don’t look to mix too much.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
After an hour the consistency is the same from top to bottom; that’s what you want.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. You can put a little bit of salt in the water so that nothing sticks together. You want each matzo ball to be a separate ball.
Wet your hands in cold water.
Form round little matzo balls, they’ll get bigger in the boiling water.
Drop the balls into the boiling water.
Once they are all in, lower the heat to a simmering boil.
You don’t want the matzo meal to flake off the balls, and have a lot of flakes in the water.
If you bring the heat down to a gentle simmer, the matzo balls need a half hour (30 minutes).
If you keep the heat up, and the matzo balls are simmering in big bubbling heat, the simmering time is 20 minutes.
I like the 30 minute matzo balls.
Then the little balls absorb the water and get big, they come up to the top of the pot, they float on top, and after the allotted time.
THEY ARE READY.
You take them out of the simmering boiling water and into the Hot Chicken Soup they go.
The chicken soup has the carrots, celery, onion, parsley, and a little bit of pepper.
The cooked chicken already gave the chicken soup its flavor.
Do not boil the chicken soup, bring it to a boil and then lower the heat.
Mmmmm. Is that good.
You know your Tanta made it WITH LOVE.