Posted by: Buzz | May 2, 2011

Matzos Dipped in Eggs

Fried matzo and egg dishes are a Passover staple. My great grandmother’s Manischewitz cookbook (which her daughter, my grandmother, says was given out for free around Jewish holidays in early-twentieth-century Cincinnati, where the company was headquartered) has many recipes in this category. I chose this one, because it seemed the closest to what my grandmother and father used to make for us: nicely fried, eggy, sweet, and tangy.

3 Manischewitz matzos
2 eggs
6 tbps. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. grated lemon rind

Soften matzos in milk or water, then cut into fourths or eighths. Dip into beaten eggs and fry in butter until brown. Mix together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over hot matzos. Sprinkle lemon peel on top and serve.

I decided to make a double recipe, to make sure there was plenty.

I dropped the matzos into a water-filled casserole dish.

The matzos start out really dry, so I left them in for about a minute.

I needed butter for frying…

… and egg for dipping…

… and the matzoh had begun to disintegrate.

I started with the pieces that had sort of held together.

They fried up pretty easily on the griddle.

Unfortunately, most of the cracker had turned completely to mush.

After a while, I gave up trying to make separate pieces (like what you get when the matzo pieces are intact).

Note the gigantic mass of frying egg and cracker, which is probably much closer to the Scrambled Matzos or Matzo Omelet on the same page.

I didn’t think about how I was going to flip it until the time for that came.

But it came through without much of a hitch.

It certainly looked more impressive than the little pieces when it was done.

So I dusted it with the cinnamon, sugar, and powdered lemon peel, in the amounts the recipe listed.

It didn’t look too bad on a plate, but how would it taste?

Well, even with the ridiculously over-moistened matzo, the flavor of the fried dish wasn’t that bad. I think I would have liked it better if the pieces had all been flat, with cracker in the center and egg on either side (rather than a homogeneous patty made from both), but it was still pretty good.

Unfortunately, the topping was oddly bitter.

… Use 1/4 as much as recipe calls for….

Oy!

Yeah, it was pretty hard to finish. Despite the sugar and the fancy Vietnamese cinnamon, the dried lemon zest was the dominant flavor. After a while, it was like gnawing on a lemon.

I think the proper Jewish response would have been strictly passive aggressive. As in, “I’m amazed how much dried peel flavor you managed to get into this dish. I never would have dared to add that much, lest the bitterness overwhelm everything else.” However, what I actually got was: “You ruined good cinnamon and sugar!”

So I messed this dish up in several ways. And it was not one of those situations where: Had I merely cooked the dish and not had it tasted good, dayenu. [It would have been enough.]

However, I have sworn to revisit this recipe and get it right.

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Responses

  1. Since the recipe doesn’t specifically call for preserved peel, grating a bit of fresh might also take down the bitterness and allow you to use the full amount the recipe calls for – ?

    I’m suddenly craving matzo omelet.

    • Yes, fresh peel is probably a much better idea (for all sorts of reasons) — however, while we had eggs and matzo in the house, we didn’t have a lemon. (I find the powdered peel to be a very nice for baking and things like sauces where it will be mixed in, but for sprinkling directly on top it clearly doesn’t work.)

      Even with the bitter topping it was a really delicious way to eat your matzo!

  2. I read this post out to my roommate, who immediately said, “You should make this for me.” So it definitely sounds like a winner of a recipe, even if I’ll stick to fresh zest for it. 😀

  3. To soften matzahs my mom just holds them under the tap for about ten seconds or so; enough time so that all of the matzah gets wet, but not so long that it begins to fall apart in your hands. It doesn’t need to be too too soft for these sorts of recipes.

    At least you didn’t try the next recipe, which calls for you to squeeze out the excess water after soaking the matzahs. I can’t even imagine how one might try to do that!


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