Saturday, May 21, 2011

Matzo Ball Soup


May 18 - Matzo Ball Soup
May 19 - Grilled Chicken Thighs with ramp pesto, grilled tomatoes & caesar salad
May 20 - The Boy cooked - grilled rib eye, mushrooms & onions,  sauteed fiddleheads & green salad

As of yesterday the rain seems to have finally broken, thankfully.  So it's on to grill recipes and salads.  But the thing is, on Wednesday it was still awfully rainy and I had an upset stomach.  When I was living in LA all I ever wanted when I was sick was Matzo Ball Soup. I luckily had a great Jewish Deli nearby and a grocery store that always had Matzo Ball Soup on the go, so it was ridiculously easy to come by.  Since moving to Toronto I had to adjust my sick cravings based on the fact that there was no place in a reasonable distance that had this soup.  Beef Pho has been a good stand in thus far, but on this day I just wanted my standby.  Rather than drive across town to get it, I set my mind to making my own.  I knew I had a ton of chicken stock in the freezer and some boneless skinless chicken thighs in the fridge and with just a few veggies I could trow together I quick chicken soup. I just had to figure out where I could get matzo meal and pray that the box had a recipe for matzo balls on it.  Luckily I found Streit's Matzo Meal at my local store, which also had a recipe on it.  Couldn't be easier!
It's worth it to note that as far as I know there is nothing traditional about this recipe.  I mean, I put thyme in my matzo balls, which can't be normal.  I used what I had on hand and made a soup that sounded good to me and it was good.  Not as good as my fave from Jerry's Deli in LA, but adequate.  Plus I feel that soup is much like a sandwich wherein it always tastes better when someone else makes it for you.  


Matzo Balls
adapted from Streit's Matzo Meal box

4 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil or rendered chicken fat
1/4 seltzer or regular water
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup matzo meal 
10 springs of thyme leaves

1. In a medium bowl mix together the eggs, oil, water and salt.  Add in the matzo meal and thyme and mix to combine.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Pull the bowl of matzo meal from the fridge.  Form the matzo into 2" balls and drop into the boiling water.  Once all of the balls have been dropped into the boiling water, lower it to a simmer, cover the pot and let simmer for 25- 30 minutes.  
3.  Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and reserve in a covered bowl until your soup is ready. 


Quick Chicken Soup
serves 4

10 cups chicken stock or broth (you won't need as much salt and pepper if using broth)
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken - either leftovers or just poach a cup breasts or 4 thighs
2 carrots - sliced thickly
1 large rib of celery - sliced thickly
1/2 small onion - roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
black pepper and sea salt
1 large handful of skinny egg noodles

1.  Bring chicken stock to a simmer and add in all of the vegetables, the bay leaf and some salt & pepper to taste.  Bring to a simmer over medium low heat.  Let simmer, covered for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.  
2.  Add in the matzo balls and noodles to the simmering soup and let simmer for 15 minutes to heat the matzo balls and cook the noodles.  Serve a nice big steaming bowl to whoever is not feeling well.

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