April 3 2019

The Takeaway: Don’t Fear the Matzo Meal

By Elisa Ludwig

For those who observe Passover and take food seriously, there can be a little trepidation as the holiday approaches. Eating matzo for ten days is meant to be a kind of sacrifice, and truly, it takes a lot of condiments to make a dry, crumbly sheet of the stuff appeal to the palate.  That being said, leftover matzo does not need to be wasted. One of our favorite uses for it is Steve’s savory matzo pancakes, which are a tasty remix of matzo brei. They make a great side dish for the holiday table or light meal beyond the holidays if the matzo’s still hanging around. Or chop it fine in the food processor and think of it as your new breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper and it can be the coating for fish and chicken or used in stuffings, meatballs and meatloaf. Of course you can always use any remaining matzo meal in Jewish dishes like kugels and latkes.  If after those uses, there’s still a familiar orange or blue box in the pantry, leftover matzo always tastes good covered in melted chocolate—but then again, what wouldn’t?

Mushroom Matzo Pancakes

Serves 6-8

2 cups sliced white mushrooms
2 cups stemmed, julienned shitake mushrooms
2 cups finely chopped portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1˝ cups finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
˝ teaspoon pepper
6 sheets matzo
6 eggs

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat in a large skillet
    . Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add garlic, onion, salt and pepper and continue cooking for 7 minutes or more until most of the liquid is gone.
  2. Transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl, stir in thyme and allow mixture to cool.
  3. Fill a shallow dish with water and submerge one sheet of matzo for 3 seconds. Turn matzo over and soak opposite side for 3 seconds. Matzo should be damp but not soggy. Repeat with remaining matzohs.
  4. Crumble dampened matzo into a large bowl. Add eggs and cooked mushrooms and mix thoroughly.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a baking sheet.
  6. In a large skillet, heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter into skillet to make 2-inch pancakes. Cook until browned and crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes then turn each pancake and continue cooking on the other side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer fried pancakes to prepared baking sheet. When all pancakes have been fried, place sheet in oven for 10 minutes to reheat before serving.


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