It seems these days that I am always late. We aren’t talking appointments and school drop offs… We are talking, weeks, even months at a time.
I signed my kid up for Jewish library distribution a while back. They send her an age appropriate book each month. The books are supposed to showcase essentials of Jewish culture, wisdom, humor, tradition, holidays, and a few “oy vey” now and then, ranging from mildly annoying to disturbingly stereotypical. The Kid seems to enjoy these books, just like any others — devours some and asks for more, and ignores some others (we seem to be on the same page about our book preferences in spite of the age difference). Life takes over, however, and once in a while I find myself staring at a stack of unopened book packages.
A few days ago I chanced upon one of the said unopened packages, and found an amusingly written book about making Matzoh Brei, and a nicely hidden Passover message. Dang! That nagging feeling of being always late on everything came right back. Passover is long gone! Well, we made the best of it. After what seemed to be a century long introduction into Passover holiday (by yours truly, not by the book’s author), complete with flipping through a Picture Bible thoughtfully provided by Daddy, we finally read the book. The Kid was ecstatic. “Read more! Read more!’, she demanded, and then came the inevitable question “Can we make Matzoh Brei now?”
Since we didn’t happen to have Matzoh on hand at a time, the feat of Brei making had to wait a few days. Today, for a good enough reason, we are hanging out together, skipping work and school. I figured it would be a great day for a non-strenuous kitchen project, so off we went and bought a box of Matzoh.
Boy, I forgot how good that simple dish can be. It just can’t be any simpler, but its versatility is amazing. You can eat Matzoh Brei with cheese, tuna salad, lox, jam, yogurt, sour cream, cucumber, [insert your favorite topping here], the list is endless…
And while we were munching on scrumptious warm slices of fried Matzoh pie, licking our fingers and talking about it, I thought that maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t really late with the Passover message. I was just waiting for the right moment to pass it on…
Makes a 9-inch skillet pie, which amply serves 8 people
- 1 box of thin unsalted Matzoh sheets, coarsely crumbled
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- salt to taste
- 2 generous slices of butter for frying
- toppings of your choice
Prepare two pot grabbers and a large plate.
Crumble Matzoh sheets coarsely into a large bowl. Pour warm water just to cover crumbs and soak for about 1 minute. Gently squeeze Matzoh crumbs and drain excess water.
Whisk eggs and milk, add salt to taste and pour into the bowl with crumbs. Gently mix everything.
Heat the flat bottom 9-inch skillet on medium. Melt the first slice of butter and heat until sizzling.
Fold out Matzoh and egg mix into the skillet and level out with a spatula.
Reduce heat to low and fry Matzoh Brei on one side for about 10 minutes. Gently lift one end to check the color of the pie on the bottom. When it’s nicely browned (light charring is perfectly acceptable), cover the skillet with the plate, grab plate and skillet snugly with pot grabbers and flip over, so that the pie ends up on the plate, raw side down.
Remove the skillet and place it back on the stove. Melt the remaining slice of butter. Gently slide the pie, raw side down, back into the skillet. Using a spatula, neatly tuck the pie into the skillet, smooth over, and fry for another 10 minutes.
When pie is ready, flip it over onto a clean plate and let it rest for a few minutes.
Slice like a pizza pie and serve with your favorite toppings.