Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Matzah Brei Variations....

Have you ever had Matzah brei? It is one of my favorite Passover foods. Basically, it's like matzah French toast. But better and with more variations. It's also a GREAT way to use up matzah. (because it uses a lot but many people will eat it!)

(Like most "traditional" foods, you might hear that Bubbie's is "the only way" to make it "right." But I promise you, there are a lot of variations...endless!)

A basic recipe:
Take about 5-6 boards of matzah. Crush them up in a big bowl. Put in some warmish water and let soak for a few minutes while you do the next step. Crack about 5 eggs into a bowl (egg substitute does work), scramble. Some people add milk. Some don't. If you're planning to make the matzah brei savory, then add salt and pepper to the eggs. If you're planning sweet, then don't. Drain the matzah, squeezing out as much water as possible. Add the eggs to the matzah and mix it up. Then heat some butter in a large frying pan and pour the mixture in. If you like it pancake style, then let it cook until you can flip it. If that is too complicated, then just stir it around as it cooks until it's all done. Serve...with salt and pepper, or syrup, or jam, or honey...

Okay, some variations:
- Saute onions in the pan before you add the matzah/egg mixture.
- Saute the onions. Add some lox (smoked salmon) to the matzah/egg mixture and cook.
- After it's mostly cooked up, add about a cup of pico de gallo and a few handfuls of shredded cheese. Mix well, until warm through, and serve with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.
- Saute spinach, mushrooms, artichokes, you name it and add in. Add a little garlic too. Why not?
- Add cream cheese, lox and green onions into the cooked matzah brei.
- (I'm a vegetarian but I know that some people add salami...then you wouldn't want to add milk, of course.)
- Add cinnamon and sugar to the matzah/egg mixture.
- Soak the matzah in warm apple juice instead of water. Add few dashes of vanilla and cinnamon to the matzah/egg mixture.
- Chocolate chips go over huge.
- Chop up strawberries, mangos, bananas, etc and add to the matzah/egg mixture before cooking.
- Toppings: chocolate syrup, melted white chocolate chips, caramel sauce, raspberry sauce, dust with powdered sugar...use your imagination!!!!
- Some people use Matzah farfel to make it, which is actually just pre-crushed matzah. Why do they sell this stuff? We can just break up our own, you know. Sometimes the farfel is finer/softer than regular matzah but this year it is clearly just broken-up matzah. Whatever.

Each year we have a Matzah brei cook-off at our synagogue on the first day of Pesach, before services. I, ahem, have been the winner on a couple of occasions...I make a mean matzah brei. The other night I had it with lox and onions and then, um, added maple syrup. It might sound weird but that's how I like it! This year I made the Mexican variation at our temple event and it was a huge hit.

That's what works for me. How 'bout you?

(Yes, those are Matzah boxers...available at Menschenables Judaica. If you think that this is a necessity for your Pesach observance, of course.)


Ima Shalom said...

These look delicious! My toddler loves salmon beyond belief and is a huge fan of the brei so I'll definitely have to try that one.

Ilanna said...

I grew up making it by not soaking the matzah in water first. I just throw it in the egg - coat it well and then let it cook pancake style in the pan. Then when done schmear a little jam or creamcheese on the top and you are good to go. Some of those other variations sound lovely though. (especially the lox... i mean REALLY especially the lox... MAN do i miss having lox. {sigh} 4.5 more months...just 4.5 :) )

Dawn said...

Thanks for the post! It is interesting I found your website. I recently posted about Israel on mine!

NerdMom said...

I will be trying this soon! I have my kids hooked on the brei so but the hubs would like me to keep experimenting because I do the straight to egg bit and it is never soft enough. Now the rabbi winning? Repeatedly? Sounds a bit hinky;).

Anonymous said...

My gran used to make this by soaking the matzos in clear soup (chicken or veg) left from the Seider-
for the parev version,
or fresh full fat milk with grated white hard cheese
with lots of freshly ground black pepper this was an after-Pesach delight we all enjoyed!