Caramel Chocolate Matzo Brittle: A Serious Hit on the Passover Dessert Table

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Desserts are a challenge during the Passover holiday. Why? Wheat flour isn’t permitted and also most guests don’t have room for a big dessert. I have made flourless chocolate tortes, meringues topped with lemon curd and almond olive oil cakes that sit idle at the table. This is a serious hit on my Passover table year in and year out. I like to make this up ahead and keep refrigerated until serving. You can even freeze it if you have any left over. When I came across the recipe idea many years ago I thought this is the perfect way to enjoy a sweet without it being too heavy. I break the matzo apart into shards or use a serrated knife to cut into pieces so that everyone can have as much as they want or just a taste. I like to accompany this with a bowl of beautiful fresh strawberries that celebrate the spring season. I find that having the ingredients organized in small bowls is a big help in putting these sweet gems together. I use an offset metal spatula to help spread the caramel and chocolate quickly. Another Seriously Simple tip is to use disposable aluminum baking sheets for easy clean up. You can double this recipe but you will have to make the caramel in two different batches. I have also given this as a gift when I am going to someone’s home for Passover. Look for food safe clear cellophane and wrap it with a pretty ribbon.

 

Makes 4 sheets

 

6 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

4 sheets matzo

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup toasted almonds

1/3 cup toffee bits

 

  1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. (I prefer to use 2 disposable baking sheets and place on top of the cookie sheets since it is so messy). Place two matzos on each baking sheet.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter or margarine. Add the sugar and stir well. (If the heat is too high the mixture will burn.) Simmer for about 3 minutes, making sure to whisk constantly so the mixture blends well, or until it becomes a thick caramel-like mixture. Remove from the burner.
  3. Working quickly so that the caramel doesn’t harden, divide the caramel mixture among the sheets of matzo using a metal spatula to evenly spread the mixture over the entire surface of each matzo.
  4. Return to the oven and bake the matzos for about 5 minutes or until the topping is bubbly and brown. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
  5. Remove the sheets from the oven and immediately sprinkle each evenly the chocolate chips. Place the matzo back in the oven for about 2 more minutes or until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from the oven and spread the chocolate evenly over each piece with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with the almonds and toffee bits.
  6. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Break into pieces or cut into strips and arrange on a serving platter. This can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated. It can also be frozen.

Caramelized Banana Foster Bread: Coffee Cake or Dessert

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When the book Foster’s Market Favorites landed on my desk I was in heaven. Exquisite photography coupled with time-tested comfort dishes are highlighted from her amazing market in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The introduction written by her husband tells her story— from her roots in Tennessee to finally settling in North Carolina where she and her market have become a culinary institution.

 

This book is a collection of Sara Foster’s recipes from areas of her past—Chicken Salad from Soho Charcuterie, NYC, Says Bread Pudding from her early Market days and a plethora of Southern dishes like Pecan Sweet Potato Sticky Buns and Foster’s Pimento Cheese. I couldn’t get enough of the photos which truly made me hungry when I had just finished lunch! Kudos to photographer Peter Frank Edwards.

 

I settled on testing this recipe after looking at the picture. One word for you—YUM! Easy to put together, this recipe has made it into my Seriously Simple fallback recipe file. I did a bit of tweaking the recipe by slicing the banana that is caramelized rather than keeping it halved. I also used rum instead of bourbon to switch it up. It was hard to let the bread cool because I wanted to dive into it as it sat on a rack resting. I served it for dessert with vanilla ice cream to raves at a casual dinner party and the next day as a coffee cake. Either way, this clever take on Bananas Foster from New Orleans will leave your guests asking for more.

 

Foster’s Caramelized Banana Foster Bread

 

½ cup light brown sugar

5 ripe bananas

2 tablespoons bourbon or rum

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

½ cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

 

1.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.

 

2.Spread the brown sugar evenly on the bottom of a cast -iron skillet over medium heat. Peel and slice 1 of the bananas into ½-inch slices and place on the sugar. Sprinkle the bourbon (or rum) over the top and cook, shaking the pan occasionally until the sugar melts and the banana begins to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Turn the slices over and continue cooking and caramelizing, about 2 to 3 more minutes, or until all slices are nicely caramelized. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.

 

3.Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and salt in a large bowl and stir to mix.

 

4.In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugar until soft and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl several times. Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slice and add the remaining 4 bananas, pecans and vanilla, mixing to break up the bananas and combine.

 

5.By hand, stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture just until the dry ingredients are incorporated, being careful not to overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place on a rimmed baking sheet (this makes it easier to handle in and out of the oven).

 

6.Arrangethe caramelized banana slices evenly on top of the loaf and drizzle with any remaining caramel. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the bread rises and a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center.

 

7.Remove from the oven and let sit to cool, about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan, turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack and continue to cool more before slicing and serving, about 10 minutes.

 

 

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Burrata with Minted Peas, Proscuitto and Hazelnuts: A Springtime Delight

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This is one of my favorite dishes to serve as an appetizer or a main course for lunch. Little cooking is required and it is fun to put it all together. When spring comes into full bloom I can’t wait to cook with fresh peas. Look for fresh peas at your local farmer’s market and use them quickly so the peas retain their sweet flavor. Feel free to open up a pea pod and taste the peas to make sure they are sweet and aren’t starchy or bitter. Some farmers markets offer peas freshly shucked if you are in a hurry.

 

Burrata was invented as a way to use leftover curds after making mozzarella. The mozzarella is formed into a pouch and filled with these creamy curds. This is so delicious but a little goes a long way because it is so rich and creamy. Don’t worry if the burrata doesn’t slice evenly because the interior is very creamy.

 

This recipe combines a simple meat and cheese pairing with spring ingredients that are added as a seasonal addition. You can find burrata and packages of sliced proscuitto at specialty shops and some supermarkets. The burrata is worth hunting for but if not available try a good quality fresh mozzarella. I like to finish this dish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts. The nuts add a toasty flavor and coarse texture against the creamy burrata. To drink? I like a California chardonnay or a full-bodied rose. Don’t forget to serve this with some crusty French bread.

 

Burrata with Minted Peas, Proscuitto and Hazelnuts

 

Serves 4

 

1 1⁄4 cups fresh peas ( about 1 pound fresh pea pods)

1/3 cup medium-size mint leaves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces thinly sliced proscuitto

1 pound fresh burrata, cut into 16 slices

2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted hazelnuts

 

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat; add the peas and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water. Cool and reserve.

 

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the peas, mint, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix gently until thoroughly combined.

 

  1. Arrange proscuito slices folded over on a large round or rectangular serving dish. Arrange overlapping slices of burrata on top of the proscuitto in the center.

 

  1. Spoon the pea and mint mixture onto the burrata, allowing a bit to fall onto the proscuitto. Drizzle the remaining1 tablespoon of olive oil evenly over the top. Sprinkle the hazelnuts evenly on top and season with freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

Cauliflower SteaksWhen Cara Mangini’s The Vegetable Butcher landed on my desk I wondered how she would write a whole book on butchering vegetables. I had only seen the term “vegetable butcher” when I visited Eataly in New York City. Boy, was I in for a delicious surprise. The author gives us all you might want to know about vegetables from selecting, prepping, chopping and of course cooking everything from artichokes to zucchini. This is my go-to vegetable reference book now.

Leafing through the beautiful pages I happened upon Cauliflower Steaks with Red Pepper Romesco Sauce and Crispy Breadcrumbs. I have been testing lots of cauliflower recipes and thought this looked like a must-try for me. These thick slabs of cauliflower, brushed with olive oil, roasted and browned, are topped with a vibrant red romesco sauce and a sprinkling of crisp breadcrumbs This would be a satisfying first or main course. The author suggests serving crisp Fingerling potatoes alongside, and some quickly steamed or sautéed kale, chard, spinach or arugula, to round out the plate.

This Catalonian-style romesco sauce—comprised of roasted red peppers, tomatoes, sherry vinegar, and a mix of almonds and hazelnuts can be made up to two days in advance and stored in a container in the fridge. If you are pressed for time, look for jarred roasted peppers and skip roasting and peeling them. The sauce will improve after all the ingredients have melded together. Any leftover sauce can be tossed with pasta, spooned over eggs, spread on toast, or drizzled on steamed or roasted veggies. You can also freeze it in ice trays for later use.

Cauliflower Steaks with Red Pepper Romesco Sauce and Crispy Breadcrumbs

Serves 4

1 large head or 2 small heads cauliflower

4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse or flaked sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs

Red Pepper Romesco Sauce (recipe follows), for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a plate with paper towels.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into steaks: Cut off the stalk flush with the base of the crown. Stand the cauliflower upright and cut 1-inch thick slices, from the crown to the core end.
  3. Carefully transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet. Brush them evenly on both sides with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and season generously all over with salt and pepper. Roast, turning halfway through cooking, until the steaks are browned on both sides and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until they become golden brown and toasted, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste, transfer them to the lined plate to drain, and let them cool completely.
  5. Divide the steaks among plates and top each with a dollop of warm or room-temperature sauce and a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs. Serve immediately with extra romesco sauce for the table and the crispy potatoes, if you wish.

Notes:

  • A small head of cauliflower will yield 2 to 4 small steaks, so you’ll want to use 2 heads for 4 servings to guarantee each person gets a thick cut. A large head should give you 4 good-size steaks.
  • Use a wide spatula to carefully transfer the steaks to a baking sheet. Any pieces that do not hold together can be prepared the same way and served alongside the steaks.

Red Pepper Romesco Sauce

Makes 2 cups

2 medium red bell peppers

2 small to medium tomatoes (plum tomatoes are a good option), halved lengthwise

1 large garlic clove

1/4 cup toasted almonds

1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the peppers on their side on one end of the prepared baking sheet and the tomatoes, cut side down, on the other. Roast until the tomatoes are soft and the skin has just started to brown, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the tomatoes from the baking sheet and transfer them to a plate to cool. Continue roasting the peppers until the skin blackens and blisters in places, 20 to 30 minutes more (35 to 45 minutes total). Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover immediately with plastic wrap, and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, pulse the garlic in a food processor until it is finely chopped. Add the almonds and hazelnuts and blend until they are finely chopped.
  4. Peel the cooled tomatoes using your fingers (and a paring knife if needed) to remove and discard the skins; place the tomatoes in the food processor.
  5. To peel the peppers, use your fingers to pull off the charred skin, then pull off the stem, cut open the peppers, and scrape out and discard the seeds. Transfer the flesh to the food processor.
  6. Add the sherry vinegar, cayenne, paprika, and salt. With the motor running, stream in the olive oil until the mixture is smooth. Heat the sauce or serve it at room temperature or cold, depending on the application. Thin it with water if you wish.

Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

A Salute to Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Sweet Corn, and Basil

By

Diane Rossen Worthington

Zucchini Sweet Corn Penne

When this book came across my desk, my first thought was this was just another vegetable book with a clever title. How wrong I was. The Vegetable Butcher should be an essential part of your cookbook library. It is THE guide for selecting, preparing, slicing and dicing and of course cooking all things vegetable. You will find butchery essentials interspersed throughout the book. Dishes like corn fritters, celery root pot pie and eggplant steak with salsa verde will make you want to run to your local farmers market and start cooking.

 

This pasta is replete with summer’s bounty. Zucchini, corn, and basil naturally go together and prove that combining them together creates a fourth flavor. I’d keep this recipe on hand as the summer continues since you may have lots of these ingredients on hand. This bright summer pasta is flavored with fresh lemon juice and studded with pine nuts and mozzarella. Author Mangini rightly reminds us that salting the pasta water is imperative because it flavors the simple sauce. Enjoy this with a chilled Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

 

Tasty Tips

  • To shuck the corn, hold the husked corn on the vertical and slide the chef’s knife down the sides releasing the corn kernels. There are now corn tools that will strip the kernels right off the cob. You can find them at your local gourmet store.
  • Use a swivel peeler to grate the cheese into thin shards.
  • Toast the pine nuts by placing them in a nonstick skillet on medium heat and toss them until they turn light brown and smell fragran 3 to 4 minutes. Cool.
  • Chop the basil just before cooking so it stays green.
  • Look for fresh mozzarella.

 

Zucchini, Sweet Corn, and Basil Penne with Pine Nuts and Mozzarella

 

Serves 4 to 6

Fine sea salt

3/4 pound good-quality dried penne

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small red or yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch by 3-inch sticks

Kernels from 2 ears fresh corn

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

2 ounces mozzarella cheese, torn into bite-size pieces

2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Your best extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish

Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously (add 1 tablespoon of salt for every 4 quarts). Cook the penne according to package instructions until just shy of aldente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving at least 2 cups pasta water for the sauce.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown lightly, about 5.minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it becomes fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the zucchini, turn the heat up to high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini softens, 6 to 8 minutes. (You will need to add up to 1 cup of the reserved pasta water, a little at a time, as the zucchini cooks and becomes dry and sticks to the pan.)
  3. Adjust the heat to medium and add the corn, ½ teaspoon of salt, the red pepper flakes, and the butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes more. Add the penne and ½ cup of the pasta water, and stir well to incorporate. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is well coated and the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and add half of the basil, the pine nuts, and the mozzarella. Add the lemon juice to taste and stir well to incorporate it. Scoop the penne into individual shallow bowls, making sure to evenly distribute the zucchini and corn. Top with the remaining basil, a fresh shaving of Parmesan, and a drizzle of your best extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with lemon wedges if you wish.

Roast Loin of Pork with Mustard Crust Brings out “Wows” at The Table

 

If you are tired of making the same holiday ham  I hope you’ll try this delectable recipe. When I developed this idea I thought about how good a mustard crust would be on a loin of pork. I was happily surprised at the resounding “wows” I received from the lucky tasters at my table.

Sounds complicated? In fact this recipe is so easy to make it might become a standard at your table during any of your holidays. The cognac sauce adds welcome flavor to the meat and the mustard applesauce is reminiscent of the classic pork chops and applesauce.

Remember that pork is 30% leaner than it was just a few decades ago so it will dry out if overcooked. In the past it was thought that pork had to be cooked until well done to avoid the risk of trichinosis. Make sure you cook the pork 5 to 10 degrees lower than you want it to be because it continues to cook as it rests. It’s okay if it is slightly pink inside.

Perfect for a dinner party, this moist pork roast is complemented by a savory Cognac and mustard sauce. Try serving this with braised spinach and rice pilaf. Or consider serving this with roasted Potatoes and Green Beans. For dessert, how about a chocolate pie?

To Drink? The two sauces are the keys here, so match the dish’s sweet and spice elements with a wine that delivers both. If white is your preference, select an off-dry Riesling from New York, Washington or Germany. For a red, a supple yet spicy flavored Australian Shiraz or Californian Zinfandel will be sublime.

 

Roast Loin of Pork with Mustard Crust

 

Serves 6 to 8

 

Mustard Apple Sauce

2 cups favorite apple sauce (Trader Joe’s Chunky-style is good)

2 teaspoons Dijon style mustard

 

Mustard Coating

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons mustard seeds

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon favorite seasoning salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

 

1 (3 1/2 pound) pork loin roast, tied

 

Cognac Sauce

1/2 cup cognac

1 cup chicken stock

3 tablespoons crème fraiche or heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Pinch coarsely ground white pepper

 

  1. To make the applesauce: combine the applesauce with the mustard in a small serving bowl and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

 

  1. Combine all of the mustard coating ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine. Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Using plastic disposable gloves spread mustard coating evenly all over the roast.

 

  1. Roast the pork for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 140F. Remove from the oven and transfer the roast to a carving board. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes. Place the roasting pan on the top of the stove.

 

  1. To make the Cognac sauce: Add the cognac and stock to the roasting pan, and increase the heat to high. Bring to boil, scraping up the brown bits. Boil until the alcohol has burned off and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Whisk in cream and mustard and bring to boil. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add pepper and whisk well. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Strain the sauce into a gravy boat of bowl.

 

  1. Remove the string from the pork and slice the pork. Arrange the slices on a platter and spoon over some of the Cognac sauce. Garnish with parsley. Serve with the remaining cognac sauce and the applesauce on the side.

 

Advance Preparation: The applesauce mixture and mustard paste may be prepared 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated.

 

The Clever Cook Could:

 

  • Make this dish using pork tenderloins; figure 3 (1 1/4 pound) tenderloins and make sure not to let them touch when baking. Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 140F. Pork tenderloin is very tender and the sliced pieces will be smaller than the loin

 

  • Try the mustard crust on leg of lamb

 

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Chicken Matzo Ball Soup: A Passover Favorite

 

I’m not exactly sure why we begin each Passover meal with gefilte fish followed by chicken soup with matzo balls but I have been to enough Sedars to know that this is the unofficial beginning to a long and hearty repast. I love chicken soup year-round and especially when I am feeling the least bit low or sniffly. I am such a chicken soup lover that I always have a quart of this magical potion ready for any emergency stocked in my freezer. Every person who makes it has their own special touch, whether it’s the herbs, vegetables or how they make their matzo balls.

For Passover, however, I like to make my soup up a two or three days ahead to let the flavors mingle. Some of my friends insist on making it a month ahead and freezing it. That works well if you are just going to serve the broth and not the chicken and vegetables. I have made my share of chicken soup recipes. I find that this one, featured in my book Seriously Simple, is my current standby. This recipe gives you a head start because you begin with a good quality store-bought broth which immediately gives the chicken flavoring a headstart.. (Make sure to look for “Kosher for Passover” on the label.)

Skinless bone-in chicken breasts add more chicken flavor. (The bones help to enrich and slightly thicken the soup). The sweet carrot and parsnip flavor are accented by the onion-flavored chopped leeks. For a slight twist, I add tiny cherry or grape tomatoes 0along with chopped fresh mint.

This chicken soup cooks slowly on the stove until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are just tender. The chicken is cut up and returned to the soup awaiting its final pairing with the herbed matzo ball. If you prefer a lighter soup, strain out all the vegetables and chicken and just serve the broth with the matzo balls. (Use the reserved chicken to make chicken salad.

Matzo balls can really get a conversation started. There are those who love floaters and others who love sinkers. I think it has to do with ones early taste memories. I am a light matzo ball appreciator so you will find that these matzo balls are fluffy and floatable. What are my secrets? I use seltzer water to lighten them and I use schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) to enhance the flavor. Chopped fresh parsley and chives add both flavor and color to the pale beige dumpling. You can make up the matzo balls in the morning and keep them at room temperature in a little water until warming them in the chicken soup.

 

Help is on the Way:

 

  • Since the chicken soup begins with chicken broth that usually has some salt in it, salt the soup at the end of cooking
  • Schmaltz can be found in the frozen meat section of many supermarkets. You will also find it at kosher meat markets. Make sure to melt it before using.
  • Use Kosher for Passover oil if you can’t find schmaltz.
  • To lighten the matzo balls even further, separate the eggs andwhip up the egg whites separately. Fold the whites into the matzo ball mixture

 

Quick Chicken Vegetable Soup with Herbed Matzo Balls

 

Serves 6 to 8

 

2 medium whole chicken breasts, halved, skin removed, bone in

8 cups chicken broth

6 cups water

3 medium leeks, light green and white part cleaned, finely chopped

4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick

2 ribs of celery, sliced 1/2 inch thick

2 parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick

2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

4 cherry tomatoes, halved

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, for garnish

 

Matzo Balls

1/4 cup rendered chicken fat (schmaltz) or vegetable oil

4 large eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup matzo meal

2 tablespoons fresh parsley plucked and finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup seltzer water, any sparkling water

 

  1. Place the chicken breast, stock and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Skim the soup. Add the onions, carrots, celery, parsnip, mint and tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1/2 hour or until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are just tender. Skim periodically. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

  1. Remove the chicken breasts from the soup and cool slightly. With your hands remove the meat from the bones, making sure to discard any bone or cartilage; tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces and return to the soup. Cover the soup and refrigerate.

 

  1. To make the matzo balls, blend schmaltz or oil and eggs together with a whisk. Add the matzo meal, chopped herbs and salt to the egg mixture and stir together mixing well. Add the seltzer water and blend well. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for half an hour for the mixture to thicken enough to make the matzo balls.

 

  1. Bring enough water in a large wide pot to come up 3/4 of the way to a boil on medium-high heat. Make the balls by rolling them very lightly into 1 1/2-inch balls. (The more you roll them, the tougher and heavier they will become.) Reduce the flame and drop the balls into the barely simmering water. Cover the pot and cook about 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.

 

  1. When ready to serve, remove the soup from the refrigerator and carefully remove any fat layer from the soup. Reheat the soup on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add the matzo balls at the last minute just until heated through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve in large bowls and garnish with parsley.

 

Advance Preparation: The soup may be made completely ahead up to 3 days ahead, covered and refrigerated. The matzo balls can be made up to 4 hours ahead, covered and left at room temperature.