First Pass(over) at Matzo Brei


Inspired by the eight day holiday Passover that began at sundown last Saturday, I’ve been teaching myself a bit about the Jewish culture over the course of the last week by studying Jewish foods. Passover commemorates Jewish freedom from slavery as well as celebrates the arrival of spring. As I’ve said before, I’m not Jewish, but I am fascinated by this culture that is so closely tied to food, particularly since the religion is very much governed by dietary laws.


lotza matzo!

Last week, I tried my hand first at macaroons, then at matzoh ball soup; both were fairly easy, and emphasize the Passover avoidance of chametz – foods that contain grains, including wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt, that have not been completely cooked within a very short period of time (18 minutes, to be exact) after coming into contact with water. This basically rules out any type of bread or cake, and makes matzo the king of carbs for eight days. Matzo is made from flour and water only (no leaverners) and is baked quickly, resulting in a thin, somewhat crisp-hard cracker. I have whole wheat matzo.


not kwite kosher – bloody mary

So as my third lesson in Jewish foods this week, I make matzo brei, which also coincides perfectly with the End of the Month Eggs on Toast Extravaganza! Matzo brei is a dish made of eggs fried together with water-softened pieces of matzo. Some families make it sweet with the addition of sugar and cinnamon to the egg mixture, and serve with additional sprinkling of sugar or fruit preserves. However, today for a lazy weekend brunch, with an accompanying Bloody Mary, our savory matzo brei is made with a multitude of vegetables from the farmers market – Market Basket Mexi-Cali Matzo Brei. The Bloody Mary, of course, would definitely not be part of a Kosher Passover meal – but like I said, I’m not Jewish. ;)

From the farmers market basketscallions, yellow onions, tomatoes, are sauteed with chopped garlic in oil first while broken pieces of matzo soak for a few minutes in hot water. Stir the softened matzo pieces into two eggs, then add to the vegetables in the pan. I think a lot of people leave the egg matzo mixture in the pan over a low heat to set like a frittata or an omelette. However, I prefer to scramble everything together – but I think that’s less of a taste preference and more of my hyperactive inability to leave anything to cook on its own. Stirred in at the very end to maintain their cool creaminess, avocadoes, also from the farmers market, along with a generous swirl of salsa (I’m sure you could find kosher salsa!), make the matzo brei a mexi-cali version.

Passover ends tomorrow at sundown. Now what to do with all that matzo!?!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eve May 1, 2005 at 12:41 am

I’ve always eaten (and seen) matzah brei scrambled…

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2 sarah j. gim May 1, 2005 at 1:13 am

well alrighty then! i guess mine came out almost authentically jewish. yay!

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3 sarah j. gim May 1, 2005 at 1:13 am

well alrighty then! i guess mine came out almost authentically jewish. yay!

Reply

4 Vavoom May 1, 2005 at 1:18 am

mmmm… matzah. This is a great blog. Just found it.

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