Classic Matzoh Brie
--Kate Simon, Bronx Primitive
Not just for Passover. Like matzoh balls and potato latkes, matzoh brie now makes regular appearances at table year-round.
And not just for breakfast. Tony Manhattan restaurants feature entrees of fluffy matzoh brie, chockablock with smoked salmon and sauteed sweet onions, fragrant with dill, or layered with exotic wild mushrooms.
Like the best soul-satisfying starchy foods, matzoh brie is a chef’s canvas, reflecting the image and nuances you choose: served like French toast, flavored with vanilla, cinnamon or almond extract and doused with maple syrup; or frittata-style, sauteed with onions, mushrooms, and sapid tender vegetables like artichokes or asparagus. In fact, I often add some soaked and drained matzoh to frittata recipes--it stretches the number of eggs used, reducing that insistent egginess that spells breakfast to so many of us.
No sweet/savory matzoh brie fault line runs through our house: though I grew up on the sweet, we thoroughly enjoy all versions. Instructions for both follow, and see the Cook’s Note for a buttery caramelized onion matzoh brie, with or without smoked salmon.
In a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (nonstick works well here), heat the butter over medium heat until it sizzles. Add the matzoh batter, either adding it in all at once, like an omelet or frittata, or dropping by heaping tablespoonfuls, like pancakes. Fry until golden brown on the bottom, then turn and fry until done to taste on the other side: either golden and fluffy or more well-done and crisp, according to preferred method. While hot, sprinkle with Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar, or serve with one or more of the other suggested accompaniments.
Cook’s Note: For those who crave whole grains during the holiday, try matzoh brie, savory or sweet, made from whole-wheat matzoh (available kosher-for-Passover). No, it won’t summon up taste memories of McCann’s old-fashioned Irish oatmeal, but it can be a wonderful comfort food when needed.
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