Passover commemorates the Israelites' exodus out of Egypt. The eight day holiday is steeped in tradition and delicious food. These are dishes that have been lovingly passed down from generation to generation.
One favorite, Matzo Ball Soup (also spelled Matzah or Matzoh), can be enjoyed any time of year. When done correctly it is the perfect meal in a bowl and one that any Grandmother or “bubbe” would approve of.
Food For Thought talked to venues that are stocking up for the holiday on Matzo, Gefilte fish, Brisket and all the favorites.
Ben’s Kosher Deli, Carle Place, other locales
Ronnie Dragoon, CEO/founder of Ben’s Kosher Deli, says Matzoh Balls are known as either “floaters or sinkers” and theirs are definitely floaters. “Our patrons favor the lighter and fluffier matzoh balls. We add baking powder and let the uncooked matzoh balls stand in the refrigerator for one hour before boiling,” Dragoon said. He adds that Ben’s menu features “great Jewish cooking with its origins in Eastern Europe,” and likens it to the “great foods of Italy.” Ben’s is closed for the full eight-day holiday so if you want to stock up on soup, Brisket, goulash, flanken (short ribs), stuffed cabbage and other “peasant food made with love and care” best to go before 4 p.m. April 18.
King David Deli, Cedarhurst, 516-569-2920
A fixture in the Five Towns for over 25 years, King David Deli makes “Jewish comfort food” almost as good as grandma did, says owner Eli Klinkowitz. He is quick to add, “No one can make it as good, but we try to make food that no matter what kind of day you are having you can come here and say ‘I must have this.’” They use medium size Matzo balls in their soup, because, he says, it leaves more room for their soothing broth. “It’s great any time of year and there are plenty of people who have it every Friday night for the Sabbath,” Klinkowitz said.
King Kullen Supermarket, Hewlett, other locales
King Kullen is an excellent place to find kosher food and ingredients all year round but for Passover, deli manager Norman Checkers says he is keeping his ample kosher section well-stocked. Everything you need to enjoy the holiday can be found at the deli, its large refrigerated section or throughout the store. Hint: Stop by the Hewlett meat department and ask for free Seder bones (zeroa or lamb shanks) used on a traditional Passover Seder Plate.
Oma’s Fabulous Matzo Ball Soup
- 2 (10 ounce) packages matzo crackers
- 1/2 cup butter
- 6 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 onions, minced
- 5 ounces matzo meal
- 96 ounces chicken broth
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Break matzo crackers into small pieces, and place in a large bowl. Add water to cover; allow to soak for a few minutes, until soft. Drain off excess water.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in drained matzos; stir until mixture is dry and slightly brown. Remove from heat, and mix in eggs, salt and pepper to taste, parsley and onions.
- Mix in just enough matzo meal to make mixture hold together. Roll one golf ball-sized matzo ball. Place matzo ball in the boiling water to test the mixture. The ball must rise to the top of the water and not break apart. If it does not rise, then too much matzo meal was added. In this case, add another beaten egg to the mixture and try again. When desired consistency is reached, roll all of mixture into golf ball-sized spheres.
- In a large saucepan, bring chicken broth to a slow boil over medium heat; add balls to broth. Serve soup as the balls rise to the top of the broth.
(Editor's Note: To make this recipe kosher, substitute the butter for the same amount of kosher non-dairy margarine. Recipe has been reprinted with permission of AllRecipes.com. Author: May Gerstle.)