Carnegie Deli Matzo Ball Soup (and chicken stock!) Recipe

Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

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.

Stock Ingredients:
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.

Directions:
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.

My opinion:
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.

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Avocado Deviled eggs


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.

Ingredients:
6 eggs
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!)

Directions:
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).

My Opinion:
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.

Robert Irvine’s Eggplant Parmesan


I’m rather picky when it comes to Italian food. I blame my trip to Florence for spoiling Americanized Italian food for me forever. Luckily, there are a few recipes that measure up to my expectations and one of them is this delightful Eggplant Parmesan from the Food Network with a few modifications.

Ingredients:
eggplant, peeled (we particularly enjoyed an heirloom variety) and cut into disks
2 cups buttermilk
4 cups vegetable oil (we used our deep fryer)
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder (we used a bit more)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (we used about 2 tablespoons, since we didn’t have fresh oregano)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or minced fresh if you have it)
1 teaspoon ground white pepper (we used a little more of this too, about 2 teaspoons)
1 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups egg wash (which for us, was four eggs and one cup milk)
1 pound penne or fusilli pasta, cooked (we used bowtie because that’s what we had)
2 cups red sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling (we used Mozzarella)
cooking spray of your choice (we used Pam Olive Oil spray)

Directions:
To bread the eggplant, first add the eggplant disks into the buttermilk and allow to soak, 1 to 2 hours (we let it soak for about an hour and a half).
Next, over medium heat, bring the oil to 350 degrees F in a wide shallow saucepan or deep fryer; then hold the oil warm until frying. Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan powder, garlic, parsley, oregano and pepper in a bowl. Remove the eggplant from the buttermilk, and then coat with flour and tap off the excess. Dip the eggplant in the egg wash and finish with the breadcrumb-Parmesan mixture, coating well. Repeat the process with each eggplant, and then fry in the preheated oil. Allow the eggplant to brown, and then flip the cooked eggplant to ensure even cooking. Once golden brown on both sides, remove the eggplant and place on paper towels to allow the excess oil to drip off.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Drain the cooked pasta and once all the water is removed, toss with 3/4 cup of the red sauce. After tossing the pasta with the sauce, portion the pasta on plates. Place the cooked eggplant on a cooking spray covered baking sheet and finish with the remaining sauce. Add some cheese and bake, 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. After baking, place the eggplant over the sauced pasta and serve.

My opinion:
This is the best and simplest Eggplant Parmesan recipe we’ve found. I wouldn’t hesitate to serve this to friends and family.

Pumpkin Soup (Round 2) and Gruyère Toast

We wound up with a couple of cans of left over pumpkin and in the quest for the perfect pumpkin soup, wanted to try a different version. This one is modified from the Mayo Clinic.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (8 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup fat-free milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
5 green onion, green top only, chopped

Directions:
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.

Add the remaining pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and cook until hot. Don’t boil.

Ladle into warmed individual bowls and garnish with white pepper and green onion tops. Serve immediately.

My opinion:
The happy medium lies in the combination of the last recipe and this one. This was a bit too pumpkin pie in soup form for me.

Now for the best part. The Gruyère Toast. I could eat just this for dinner on a regular basis. Yum!

Ingredients:
french bread loaf, cut into about 3/4 inch slices
Olive oil
Your favorite Gruyère (we like the apple wood smoked), sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees or 450 degrees. brush bread with olive oil. Put in oven until just starting to brown on the top. Take out of oven, flip and add Gruyère. Put back in oven until Gruyère is melted and bread is fully toasted. (Hint: the toasting will take much less time on this side. Try to keep it from burning.)

My opinion:
Like I stated above, I love this toast. It’s great with tomato soup, chicken noodle and just by itself. It will be one of our go to dishes this winter!