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My mom makes the best matzo ball soup. Ever. Part of the reason it’s probably the best is because she only makes it once a year at Passover. I think the recipe is a combination of one from Cooking Light and several family recipes from friends. It’s amazing. Since the first Passover J attended, he’s tried to recreate my mom’s recipe. We use the same ingredients and follow her directions, but it never turns out the same. After our trip to New York this summer, J decided to find the Carnegie Deli recipe. He finally succeeded with a few modifications of this recipe.
1 pound chicken necks, backs, and wings (we just used wings since that’s what we had in the freezer)
1/2 ounce chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 small white onion, quartered
Salt and pepper, to taste
For matzo balls :
8 large eggs
1 cup liquid shortening or olive oil plus more for rolling matzo balls ( I think my mom uses vegetable oil)
about 1 cup water
4 cups matzo meal
1/4 teaspoon Maggi Seasoning
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Optional: top with fresh dill.
Make stock : Combine first four ingredients with 6 cups water. Add Maggi seasoning (we found it in the Asian isle, it’s made by Nestle) and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for at least an 1 hour.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs, oil, water, matzo meal, Maggi, salt, and pepper until just incorporated. Oil hands, then, working as gently as possible, form round balls about the size of a golf ball (but try to keep them loose or the middles won’t cook). Boil matzo balls in stock until cooked through and soft, at least 45 minutes. Divide matzo balls evenly between four bowls, allotting two matzo balls and two cups stock per serving. Sprinkle with fresh dill and enjoy.
It’s really close. The only part that wasn’t was J rolled the matzo balls too tight, so the middles didn’t cook quite through.
Recently, I was lucky enough to be the recipient of a House Party Avocados from Mexico party. Instead of going the traditional route, we opted to use the party for one of Mizzou’s away games. One of the most popular recipes of the day came from a dear friend, S, Avocado Deviled eggs. She got the original recipe from, All Recipes.
1 ripe avocado
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh, dill
salt to taste
ground white pepper to taste (this really made a difference!)
Place the eggs into a saucepan in a single layer and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Cover the saucepan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 minutes. Drain. Cool the eggs under cold running water. (Or feel free to use your favorite hard boiled egg technique!) Peel once cold. Halve the eggs lengthwise and scoop the yolks into a bowl.Add the avocado and sour cream to the egg yolks and mash into a smooth, creamy mixture. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, dill, salt, and white pepper until the mixture is very well blended; spoon into the egg white halves (This is easier using a icing pipping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off!) and garnish with chopped green onion (if you’d like).
While S left off the green onions, we could have easily added them, but they were delicious without. These are really good and hard to eat just one. Perfect for something a little different than the traditional deviled eggs.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have recently noticed, I’ve given in to Pinterest. I’ve loved finding new recipes and recently tried the Sticky Coconut Chicken (originally from this blog). The rave reviews were an understatement! This dish was amazingly flavorful, the chicken super tender and just a hint of sweet enhanced the entire dish. I’ll only make two small changes when we have this dish again.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (the original recipe suggest thighs, but we didn’t have any).
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper (we used white)
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (we’ll use more next time)
Marinade chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes at least one hour (the longer the better! We let it marinade for about two hours, but it only gets better the longer you let it marinate). Grill (since it’s winter here, we used the George Foreman).
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar (we actually used a bit less)
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (will need to add more next time!)
While the chicken is grilling, bring above ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and thickened, about 8-10 minutes (actually took us about 20, but I kept it on medium heat so the mixture didn’t burn). Once the mixture starts getting really thick, immediately take it off the heat! Glaze both sides of chicken the last few minutes of grilling and serve chicken over rice. We used the remaining glaze to dip the chicken and added it over the rice.
Amazing! With a little extra spice (red pepper flakes and maybe some more garlic) and a longer marinating time, this will become a regular dish in our house!
Last week J and I challenged ourselves to not go grocery shopping and use up the items in our pantry, freezer and fridge. That experiment led to some pretty creative meals. One of the best was our homemade pasta sauce.
small can pasta sauce (plain, no seasoning)
can whole or crushed tomatoes
Italian seasoning (we used oregano, basil, marjoram, sage and white pepper. You can use whatever you like!)
Combine everything in one saucepan. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat to medium low or low. Let simmer for about an hour. This will cook down.
This was wonderful! Easy and filling. We actually originally used too much Italian seasoning, but by adding the wine and a can of tomato sauce, everything blended very well. In the future, we’ll add onions and maybe some green peppers to add variety as well as some red pepper flakes.
This week’s food posts are brought to you by#cookchat. My co-moderator, Matt LaCasse and I are announcing #cookchat’s triumphant return on Thursday January 20, a noon. CST. Join us for an hour of food filled conversation.
(From the back of the Manischewitz Matzo Meal can)
2 tablespoons oil (we used vegetable)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt (we used less)
2 tablespoons soup stock (we used chicken)
1 teaspoon white pepper (more or less to taste)
Mix oil and eggs together. Mix and add Matzo Meal, salt and pepper. When well blended, add chicken broth. Cover mixing bowl and place in refrigerator (we put it in the freezer) for at least twenty minutes. Using a two or three quart size pot, bring salted water to a brisk boil (we used chicken broth for this part). Reduce flame and into the slightly bubbling water drop balls formed from above mixture. Cover pot and let cook 30-40 minutes (don’t skip this step! Too short of a cooking time makes the matzo balls doughy). Have chicken stock at room temperature, or warmer, and remove matzo balls from water to soup pot. When ready to serve, allow soup to simmer for about 5 minutes. Recipe makes 10 balls.
It’s close to my mother’s, but not quite perfect. We didn’t let the matzo balls cook long enough and they were doughy in the middle. Next time, we’ll let them cook longer. All in all, this was a filling and warm meal for a cold winter’s night!