Monday, March 25, 2013

Passover Recipe - Matzoh Brei

Passover starts tonight, dear readers!  We'll be joining family friends for the first Seder, as we've done for years and years now; our families became close when their oldest daughter was in my sister's class at Hebrew school and they were paired for their Bat Mitzvot, but it also turns out that we share a famous rabbi as an ancestor and, like most people who have put down roots in DC, have tons o' friends in common.  I'll also be hosting my own Metaphorical Second Night Seder on Saturday for about a dozen girls in town, most of whom aren't Jewish, and I plan to go totally overboard for that so will share all the details with you next week after I've recovered.  In the meantime, though, let's continue the tradition (2011 here and 2012 here, if you're newish) of Passover recipes on Betsy Transatlantically with a discussion about matzah brei!

Just to summarize quickly first, in case you don't know: during Passover, practicing Jews cannot eat anything leavened.  That means something different depending on how observant you are - it was a big deal a few years ago when the Orthodox rabbis declared quinoa to be kosher for passover - but, basically, it turns Jews celiac for eight days.  The only carb we can eat is matzoh.  It's really not the end of the world, because you can substitute matzah or matzoh meal for almost anything, but it does make you pause to consider the holiday before every meal.  My favorite savory dishes made with matzoh are spanakopita with a Passover twist, porcini polenta made with matzoh meal, and ham and cheese sandwiches on matzoh crackers.  (Yes, I am the worst good Jew ever.)  But the best thing you can make with matzoh is, unquestionably, matzoh brei for breakfast.

Matzoh brei is basically French toast, but it's kosher for Passover.  You can make it more of a strada or frittata, with savory additions like mushrooms or peppers, but I like it best when it's a bit sweet and you can douse it in maple syrup.  The classic matzoh brei above (image 2) is as basic as it gets - here's how my mom jazzes up her standard:

2 sheets of matzoh
2 eggs
1/2 c skim milk
sprinkling of cinnamon
vegetable oil

Beat together the eggs and milk and sprinkle in some cinnamon.  Break the matzah into 1-inch pieces and soak in the liquid mixture for a few minutes, until the crackers soften a bit.  Heat oil in a heavy skillet and spoon the "batter" in to create four patties.  Fry, flipping once, until golden and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.  Serve hot with maple syrup and enjoy!


  1. My mom's younger sister converted to Judaism when she got married. They're very lax Jews. When my mom and I flew out to visit for a week when I was in high school (for my mom's 30th high school reunion), my aunt, uncle, and cousins prepared a Shabbat dinner for us.

    My uncle grilled out pork tenderloin. :D

  2. a man after my own heart! Jon's mother's favorite story about me - the one she tells everyone when introducing me - is from when we spent the weekend with the in the spring one year when Passover and Easter overlapped. She made bacon rolls for breakfast and I couldn't eat the roll so I just had the bacon :)

  3. Hehe, I suppose forcing "jews to be celiac" is a nicer way of what I usually describe as "hello south beach diet!" Matzo brei is my favorite, too! Though I truly just tend to avoid matzo all together. Happy Passover!

  4. haha yes that's what my mom calls it :) I call it an excuse to subsist on cheese and chocolate!

  5. aaaaaahhaha Betsy I LOVE you! That's hilarious... love that mrs. jon's-mom tells that story :)


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