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Monday, April 4, 2011

Guilty! But Not Too.

My guilty pleasure?  If I had to name just one this week, it would be the Salon Kitchen Challenge, itself. 

It all started innocently enough, posting recipes with pictures “just for sport” on weekends. Really.  It was never my intention to write about food, at least not so much of it.  But just one taste of the OS cover - the ratings, the comments, the fellowship of writers, and really good writers at that -  and wham,  I got hooked.  Craving more. Oh, those Editor’s Picks can be delectable and so tempting.
What began as a pastime has grown into a mild obsession, not to mention a time-consuming habit.    Call it my compulsion to share. . .   

My (Not-Too) Guilty Pleasures, Including One Kosher for Passover
A  couch potato favorite
1. Popcorn and Netflix
2. Ice cream.  Eaten directly out of the carton.  (Preferably mint chocolate chip.)
3. The flowers on birthday cake. (Crisco, sugar, food coloring and all.)
4. Leftovers the morning after Thanksgiving. Mostly stuffing and cold turkey straight outta the fridge. 
5.  Fresh Tuna Mac and Cheese  (high in calories, but who’s counting)

And?   Matzo Brei 

Matzo Brei (Fried Matzos )
For those unfamiliar with Passover food or breakfast at a Jewish deli, matzo brei is fried matzo, a cracker scramble made with eggs.  Like French toast.  Without the toast. 
Why matzo of all meals?   How the “bread of affliction,” - that symbol of ancient longing and exile-  makes it to my list of favorite foods only God knows.  Perhaps because we eat it only once a year.  Or maybe it’s because matzo is usually topped with something delicious - apple and nuts,  or slathered in butter, honey dipped, layered with cheese . . .  or fried.   
As in all things Jewish, there are many strong and varying opinions on the way to prepare and serve matzo brei. (To hear food guru Mark Bittman trade matzo brei tips with architect Frank Gehry see  Frank Gehry's Matzah Brei - NYTimes.com  )  Personally, I prefer the omelet-style with a dollop of sour cream.  Others may swear by the pancake-style, topped with sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup.  Any way you break it and crumble it, the prep is about as simple as cracking an egg.    But  for good measure, I offer you the recipe below, taken from epicurious.com

  • 4 matzos
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
Crumble matzos into a large sieve placed over a bowl to catch crumbs, then hold sieve under running cold water until matzos are moist and softened but not completely disintegrated, about 15 seconds. Transfer to bowl with crumbs, then add eggs and salt and mix gently with a fork.
Heat butter in a 10- to 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides. Add matzo mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until eggs are scrambled and matzo has begun to crisp, about 3 minutes.

A fancy variation of my own: Matzo Strata with Ricotta, Onion, Peppers and Spinach


(For the recipe, just leave me a comment, and I’ll send you a note.)

As always, thanks for stopping by.  (Photos: V. Henoch) 



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