Monday, April 21, 2008

Matzo Brei Pancakes

Every year, Lee's dad makes a delicious scrambled egg and matzo dish called matzo brei. I had it for the first/only time during our first Passover together in 2006.

This morning, I decided to try my hand at making matzo brei for Lee. While looking for a recipe, I began reading about all of the different matzo brei variations on Mark Bittman's blog. It seems that matzo brei is like stuffing/dressing: every family has their own way of doing it, and people are fiercely loyal to the matzo brei of their youth.

In light of this, I decided not to emulate Bill's splendid recipe (especially without him here to guide me!), instead trying something totally new. Lucky for me, Lee is always on board for experimentation.

One of the comments on Bittman's blog seemed intriguing, and I decided to adapt that gentleman's recipe. Thanks, Bruce Kleinman!

Start by breaking three sheets of matzo into 1/4" to 1/2" pieces. Pile your matzo into a colander and rinse them under hot water for five seconds. Squeeze out the excess water.

In a mixing bowl, combine two eggs, 2 tablespoons of milk, and a pinch of kosher salt. Add the matzos to the egg mixture.

Heat up a large cast iron skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter (I know! but you'll need it). When the foam starts to subside, drop spoonsful of the matzo/egg mixture into the pan, forming dollar-sized pancakes. Go ahead and smush them a little with the spatula while they're cooking: that will help them hold together. After a minute or so, flip your matzocakes. Transfer the finished product to a plate and eat with a drizzle of maple syrup.

This recipe made eight small pancakes, a good serving for two (or three, if you add some fruit alongside). They taste rather like French toast, but with a distinctive matzo flavor. You could add some finely diced shallot or green onion and eat them as a savory dish, too, but I liked them sweet. We might make these again before the week is out.

Happy Passover!

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