Spanish and Italian-Inspired Shabbat Dinner

Since I was too ill to cook the last night of Pesach, I made the meal for Shabbat. Luckily, I still had some matza for my dessert.

Dinner this evening was:

Carn Estofada amb Prunes i Patates (Catalan-Style Veal Stew with Prunes and Potatoes)

I used osso bucco instead of the recommended veal shoulder. As the dish was simmering away, my husband sneaked a taste of the sauce and moaned blissfully, “this dish should be in a museum.” Need I say more? This dish is outstanding. The flavors of chocolate, prunes, chili, cinnamon and orange zest marry into an amazingly complex sauce that just bursts on the palate. The crispy potatoes add the perfect texture to the dish. This is a very rich dish that should be served with a dry and assertive red wine, such as the one we had. In the absence of the Rioja, we drank, a good Cabernet Franc or Shiraz would do pretty well.

For dessert, I made a family recipe that I have never made for my husband. They are matza fritters and they are made in several different countries. The Dutch call them Gremshelish, the Italians call them Pizzarelle Con Giulebbe. My recipe is combination of the Italian version and the version my grandmother used to make from leftover Matza Shalet batter. She served it with a lemon custard. This custard is dairy, so if you keep more than one hour between eating meat and dairy, you can serve this with a non-dairy lemon sauce of your choice.

This was a big hit with my husband. The custard is very light and creamy and the fritters are also light, but should not be served with a rich meal like we had for Shabbat dinner. You should make a double or triple recipe of the custard for all of the fritters.

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Pizzarelle Con Crema di Limone
(Matzah Fritters with Lemon Custard)
Ingredients
For the fritters:
  • 5 matzahs broken into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds or pine nuts
  • 3 egg yolks lightly beaten
  • 2 egg whites
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
For the lemon cream:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup single cream half and half
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
For the batter:
  1. Wet Matza
  2. Place the matza pieces in a bowl of cold water and soak until soft but not falling apart, one to two minutes. Drain in a colander and squeeze out any excess water.
  3. Mix all Ingredients
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the matza pieces, sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind, vanilla, salt, raisins, pine nuts and egg yolks.
  5. Add Egg Whites
  6. Ready to Fry
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the matza mixture.
  8. Frying Fritters
  9. In a large, heavy pot, on medium-high, heat at least 2 inches of oil. Drop heaping tablespoons of the matza as necessary, until they are a deep brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  10. Matza Fritters
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature, accompanied by the lemon custard.
For the lemon cream:
  1. Whisk sugar and egg yolks in medium bowl to blend. Bring cream and lemon peel to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the yolk mixture. Return to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Strain custard into bowl; discard solids. Whisk lemon juice and vanilla into custard. Chill until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Jewish Penicillin for Pesach

Nathan Matza Ball Soup

I love chicken soup and I may be a bit bold to say this, but I think my chicken soup is very good. I have been tweaking this recipe for about twenty years and I think I have just right. This is not a clear broth soup; it is a rich broth. My husband says, “This broth is rich enough to be a hedge fund.” Forgive me, he has a one track mind because of his startup company.

I won my husband’s heart with my soup and matza balls. I am going to be making a big pot for the seder next week. I always make the soup a day ahead so that the flavours will have time to develop.

I have to tell you that you should be very honoured that I am parting with my soup and family matza ball recipe :-). I hope you will make them with as much love as I do.

Chag Sameach everyone! Next Year in Jerusalem!

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Mama K's World Famous Matza Balls
This recipe has been handed down from generation to generation in my family. It is Westphalian and Alsatian. If you are afraid of using chicken fat, try half chicken fat and half olive oil.
Servings: 45 matza balls
Ingredients
  • 14 matzos
  • 2 medium white onions chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup melted chicken fat and/or goose fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt you made want to add more
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7 eggs lightly beaten with a fork
  • 1/8 cup matza meal
  • Additional matza meal for rolling
Instructions
  1. Step 2 Wet Matza
  2. Wet Matza
  3. Break the matzas into chunks and put into a colander placed in sink. Run water over the colander until the matza is moist, but not water logged. Let the water drain and let stand for one to two minutes. (Can be put into plastic bag and kept overnight in the refrigerator.)
  4. Onions Browning
  5. Brown the onions in melted fat in large heavy frying pan over medium heat until "real brown".
  6. Step 4 Add Matza
  7. Add the matzas and stir gently frequently. Most of the moisture has to evaporate. If mixture sticks to bottom, put lid on the pan for a few minutes to soften. Add the salt, pepper, parsley and nutmeg.
  8. Cooked Mixture
  9. Cool until no more steam comes off the mixture because it must be cool enough so the eggs won't cook.
  10. Mixture with Eggs
  11. Add the eggs and gently stir in the matza meal.
  12. Test the first matza ball by placing it in boiling water. Test that it maintains it shape and taste to check if more salt, pepper and nutmeg should be added.
  13. Finished product
  14. Place a thick layer of matza meal on foil-lined cookie sheet. Use spoons or scoop to make balls, rolling very carefully into the size of a large walnut, using as little pressure as possible. Place on cookie sheet and roll in meal. If you prefer, wet your hands and roll in palm, but this requires scraping off hands and re-wetting frequently. Discard the excess matza meal. Leave on the cookie sheet in the refrigerator, covered with wax paper, or freeze on the sheet before packing in bags for freezer. They can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.
  15. Bring chicken soup to a boil and add Matzo Balls (after they have been brought to room temperature) a few at a time. When they rise to the top, put the lid on the soup for 5 minutes. Serve and say AAHHHH loudly with each bite.

I always make the matza balls ahead of time and freeze them. Since my matza balls are a little different from most, I thought I would give you a step-by-step instruction in case you would like to try to make them.

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Mama K's World Famous Matza Balls
This recipe has been handed down from generation to generation in my family. It is Westphalian and Alsatian. If you are afraid of using chicken fat, try half chicken fat and half olive oil.
Servings: 45 matza balls
Ingredients
  • 14 matzos
  • 2 medium white onions chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup melted chicken fat and/or goose fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt you made want to add more
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 7 eggs lightly beaten with a fork
  • 1/8 cup matza meal
  • Additional matza meal for rolling
Instructions
  1. Step 2 Wet Matza
  2. Wet Matza
  3. Break the matzas into chunks and put into a colander placed in sink. Run water over the colander until the matza is moist, but not water logged. Let the water drain and let stand for one to two minutes. (Can be put into plastic bag and kept overnight in the refrigerator.)
  4. Onions Browning
  5. Brown the onions in melted fat in large heavy frying pan over medium heat until "real brown".
  6. Step 4 Add Matza
  7. Add the matzas and stir gently frequently. Most of the moisture has to evaporate. If mixture sticks to bottom, put lid on the pan for a few minutes to soften. Add the salt, pepper, parsley and nutmeg.
  8. Cooked Mixture
  9. Cool until no more steam comes off the mixture because it must be cool enough so the eggs won't cook.
  10. Mixture with Eggs
  11. Add the eggs and gently stir in the matza meal.
  12. Test the first matza ball by placing it in boiling water. Test that it maintains it shape and taste to check if more salt, pepper and nutmeg should be added.
  13. Finished product
  14. Place a thick layer of matza meal on foil-lined cookie sheet. Use spoons or scoop to make balls, rolling very carefully into the size of a large walnut, using as little pressure as possible. Place on cookie sheet and roll in meal. If you prefer, wet your hands and roll in palm, but this requires scraping off hands and re-wetting frequently. Discard the excess matza meal. Leave on the cookie sheet in the refrigerator, covered with wax paper, or freeze on the sheet before packing in bags for freezer. They can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.
  15. Bring chicken soup to a boil and add Matzo Balls (after they have been brought to room temperature) a few at a time. When they rise to the top, put the lid on the soup for 5 minutes. Serve and say AAHHHH loudly with each bite.
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