Matzo (also spelled matzah, or matza) is a traditional unleavened bread eaten commonly during Passover. Food made with leavened grain is forbidden during this period by Jewish religious law, as the crumbly, tasty bread is a commemoration of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. With a few ideas from CBS’s previous article Passover Recipes From A Minnesota Chef, local chef extraordinaire Brandon Randolph is here to share a few new ideas for how to use matzo this spring.
Brandon Randolph
Resident Chef, Minnesota Governor’s Residence
1006 Summit Ave
St Paul, MN 55105

(651
) 201-3464
www.mn.gov/admin/governors-residence

As a lifelong cook and culinary enthusiast, Randolph has long toyed with the notions of what food can be, and how food can be better. As the Resident Chef at the Minnesota Governor’s Residence, Randolph is able to cook for people and events of all types, but the fast pace of the kitchen was calling to him, and he helps out at the Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis’ North Loop as a senior line cook a few nights a week as well. Understanding that the modern word is that of fusion, of blending cultures and traditions, he offers a few ideas to incorporate matzo into both contemporary local dishes (utilizing local ingredients/things you can get from the fertile lands of Minnesota) as well as classic meals. These recipes are perfect for a Minnesota Passover, and useful for multi-religious family gatherings as well.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)


Cauliflower Gratin With Matzo Meal
yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 1ea large yellow onion, julienne
  • 1ea, fennel bulb, julienne
  • 3ea, garlic gloves, minced and covered in grapeseed oil
  • 1c, matzo meal
  • 1/4c fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1c aged white cheddar, grated
  • 1c heavy cream
  • 1c vegetable stock
  • TT salt/black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a non-reactive mixing bowl; mix matzah meal, garlic in oil and a pinch of salt. Stir until fully incorporated and reserve.

In another non-reactive mixing bowl; place cauliflower, onion, fennel, thyme, heavy cream, stock and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Place into 8 in x 8 in Pyrex baking dish.

Cover with seasoned matzo meal.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until cauliflower and vegetables are tender and matzo meal has browned. Serve hot.

Brandon’s Chicken Stock For Matzo Ball Soup

yield: 1 gallon

Ingredients:

  • 1ea, 4lb-6lb chicken, whole
  • 2lbs onion, cut in half with skin and root intact
  • 1lb celery, rinsed and chopped; utilizing the root end
  • 1lb carrot, rinsed and chopped; utilizing top and skin
  • 1ea garlic head, halved
  • 3ea bay leaves
  • 10ea thyme Sprigs, fresh
  • 10ea parsley Stems
  • 8ea Tellicherry black peppercorns
  • 1.5g water

Directions:

Season chicken with salt and pepper, making sure to season the cavity.

Place the rest of the ingredients in a non-reactive stock pot, besides chicken. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and let lightly simmer for 1 hour. Make sure it is a light simmer, so do not reduce the liquid more than 15 percent.

Place chicken into pot and simmer for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Remove chicken and let cool.

Strain off broth with a fine mesh sieve, and reserve. Also here you can skim off the fat from the broth and use it in the ball recipe for some extra goodness.

Pull chicken meat from carcass.

Use broth to cook matzo balls and vegetables for soup, adding chicken once vegetables are fully cooked.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)


Matzo Balls For Soup
yield: 10-12 balls

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 4T, chicken fat
  • 1c matzo meal plus a little extra
  • 1/4c chopped fresh parsley
  • 2t sea salt
  • 1/4c hot chicken stock
  • 15c seasoned chicken stock

Directions:

Bring a large pot of 15c seasoned chicken stock to a boil.

Place matzo meal, 1/4 cups chicken stock, chicken fat, salt, parsley and eggs in a mixing bowl and fold together until fully mixed and a thick batter is formed. If mixture is too thin, adjust with more matzo meal.

You will want to roll one tester ball and cook in boiling stock. The ball should hold together and float to the surface. Taste it. If it is too dense, add another beaten egg. If it falls apart, add more matzo meal. Does it need more seasoning?

Once you have the desired ball, roll the rest out and place in boiling stock until fully cooked, usually once they float plus 2 minutes.

Matzo Ball Soup
yield: 1.5 gallons

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon chicken stock*
  • 10-12ea matzo balls*
  • 1ea whole chicken, meat separated from carcass
  • 2c parsnips, medium paysanne
  • 2c celery, medium dice
  • 3c onion, medium dice
  • 3ea garlic cloves, minced
  • 4ea sprigs thyme
  • TT salt/pepper

Directions:

Bring stock to a boil in a large stock pot.

Add carrots, parsnips and celery, cover and cooking for 20 to 25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Add the matzo balls and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. To test if the matzo balls are done, remove a ball from the water, and slice in half. The color should be light throughout. If the center is darker, cook 5 to 10 minutes more.

Once vegetables and balls are fully cooked, add chicken meat. Taste and season if need be.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Related: Ask A Minnesota Expert: Healthy Recipes Kids Can Make

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)


Wild Mushroom Sauté With Herbed Matzo Crumbs
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs wild mushrooms, preferably fresh morels, chanterelles or porcini
  • 1c sweet peas, blanched
  • 2ea garlic gloves, minced
  • 1ea large shallot, minced
  • 2ea sprigs thyme
  • 3T cooking Sherry
  • 1/2c matzo meal, toasted
  • 1/4c fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2T fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 2T fresh chives, chopped
  • TT sea salt/black pepper
  • 1/4c grapeseed oil

In a non-reactive mixing bowl place matzo meal, chopped herbs and a pinch of sea salt. Reserve for later.

Rinse, clean and cut mushrooms in half the long way.

Warm a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Place oil in pan, followed by mushrooms. Let the mushrooms sit in the pan and caramelize but not burn. Once the mushrooms begin to soften and color, season with salt and pepper.

Place garlic and shallot into pan. When the garlic has bloomed and not toasted, about 1 minute, add sherry and thyme. Let simmer and reduce cooking liquid almost entirely.

Once liquid has reduced and mushrooms are fully cooked: add peas and heat through.

Remove from heat and place into a serving dish, sprinkled seasoned matzo crumbs on top and serve immediately.

Related: Ask A Minnesota Chef: Top Traditional Chanukah Recipes

Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.

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