In a wonderful article in the New York Times this weekend, David Sax discusses the sanctity of matzah balls, but not just any matzah balls, the BEST matzah balls, which happen to be made with none other than GOOSE! Now, I did not grow up with a mother or grandmother who made the best matzah balls, or even remotely good matzah balls, so I feel no loyalty towards my own family’s recipe, which David points out is perhaps the only recipe that might come close to the recipe he uncovered in Budapest.
But as someone who constantly strives towards Jewish culinary perfection, I can attest to the virtues of using rendered fat to create the most flavorful and fluffy matzah balls. And I can also attest to the incredible flavor of goose – a few years ago I actually had the chance to cook a goose! I know there’s a joke in there somewhere…nevertheless, if you have the inclination (and the money – it is expensive) to special order a goose from your butcher, I promise you will not be disappointed. The meat was incredibly unique – both gamey and rich. And the quantity of rendered fat will leave your freezer, and your friends’ freezers, stocked for many, many months.
But in the meantime, I have used plain ‘ol chicken fat and even duck fat in matzah balls and been very satisfied with the flavor. Here are my tips to making the fluffiest matzah balls, which you can put to use trying David Sax’s recommendation for the best matzah balls!
Grub Street is calling it a “Jewish Food Revival,” while I happily named it one of the top Jewish food trends of 2011. Bottom line: Jewish food is “in,” and of course I’m schepping nachas for the traditional foods of my people which are being reclaimed and reinvented to the delights of foodies in New York and beyond.
Earlier this year I was thrilled to visit Kutschers Tribeca to sample their updated Castkills fare at the Tribeca restaurant. I was pretty excited by almost everything I tasted but I was totally blown away by the simple genius of the rainbow cookie ice cream sundae I devoured for dessert.
This past week, New York Magazine highlighted another new, Jewish-inspired eatery, Jack’s Wife Freda, whose menu features updated classics such as Matzo Ball Soup, Green Shakshuka and Freda’s Fried Fish Balls.
And this weekend, a new eatery is launching – Gefilteria! Besides loving the name itself, the “pushcart start-up” will specialize in “sustainable Jewish foods like gefilte fish made with pike, whitefish, and salmon; kvass, a fermented drink; borscht; horseradish; sauerkraut; black-and-white cookies; and matzo.”
I can’t begin to predict what’s in-store for updated Jewish fare, but I am excited to see what my fellow food enthusiasts dream up next. Any great Jewish food cropping up near you? Let us know!