"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Matzo-brei five ways

by Julie Tilsner on April 10, 2009

in Holiday Hell

Matzo The first time I'd ever heard of Matzo-brei I was in Dallas, Texas. I was there visiting a friend from the magazine I then worked for in New York City, and it was Passover. With no family nearby and no seder invitations, we decided we were on our own when it came to dining. So instead of the customary morning bagel and coffee, he showed me how his grandmother made matzo-brei. It was a revelation, and to this day, some 15 years later, I still make it every Passover. Thank G*d my kids love it.

Come to find out every family has its own tradition about how to make matzo-brei. Some like it all cooked together like an omelet. Others like it in eggy chunks. But they're all variations on a basic theme. Here's the way I learned: 

Run tap water over a square of matzo until it's softened but not soggy. Press out the extra water in a colander, put it in a bowl, then beat a couple of eggs, some salt and pepper, maybe a dash of milk, over it. Fry it up until the eggs are cooked and the matzo starts to brown. I serve it with jam and a giant cup of coffee. Mmmm-MMMM. That's good eatin'. Especially when being deprived of all other baked goods, as is the custom during Passover.

Hardly cooking? Maybe. But I have to point out that uber-foodie Ruth Reichl, author and editor of Gourmet Magazine, embraces the same recipe.

And here Marc Meyer's shows you how it's done.

Wanna spice it up? Here's a recipe for "Jewish chilaquilies" that sounds yummy. Same idea, different spices.

The Perfect Pantry has a recipe that looks more like a fritatta, and is served up with maple syrup.

Ed Levine over at Serious Eats tells us how to make matzo-brei using Streit's "Moonstrips," onion and poppy-seed flavored matzo.

And finally, the New York Times has a recipe for asparagus matzo-brei, when you need to tart this home-style dish up for a fancier brunch.

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