Cause sometimes you really need a matzo ball and it’s a shame to be at the mercy of bad delis. I already had the chicken soup in the freezer. I always have chicken soup, ok broth, in the freezer. So this is about that ball, the one that either sinks or floats in a lake of chicken broth. I’ve done a lot of experimenting over the years to come to the realization that the recipe on the box or the bag is definitely THE ONE as long as you make a couple of tweaks. The first tweak is you must use schmaltz or duck fat instead of oil as the fat. In fact it’s not a tweak it’s a rule. Otherwise, seriously don’t bother making them. (This is easy to do if you buy a small container of duck fat at WF and keep it in your freezer.) Second, please use farmers market eggs if you can. Third, throw a little finely chopped parsley in there. It’s a dumpling and dumplings look kind of bland no matter how much flavor they secretly harbor. And fourth, and this was very controversial in my house for years, try a little freshly grated nutmeg in your balls. Combined with the duck or chicken fat, the fresh eggs and salt and pepper, it’s a complete package.
Evan’s Matzo Balls
1 cup matzo meal
1/4 cup water, still or sparkling
1/4 cup rendered duck fat or schmaltz liquified for measuring purposes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley leaves
A few scrapings of fresh nutmeg (don’t go overboard, a little goes a long way)
Put the matzo meal in a bowl. Beat together the eggs, water, fat, salt, pepper and parsley. Pour over the matzo meal and stir. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour and up to overnight.
To cook the balls:
Bring a pot of water to boil and lightly salt it.
Form the balls remembering that they will at least double in size and possibly triple. I make them about the size of a small walnut. If you like “floaters” then barely form them into shape being careful not to compress too much. The more you roll the ball in your hand, the more you compress the dumpling then the more likely you will have a “sinker”. In fact, for the lightest balls don’t make balls. Instead use two spoons to make a rough quenelle (oval) shape by using one spoon to grab some batter then pushing the batter off the spoon into the simmering water with the second spoon.
After the water boils turn it to a simmer. As you shape the balls immediately drop them into the water. When they are all in the water bring the water to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for a minimum of 30 minutes. I find that to cook all the way through and be really light they need to cook longer, almost 45 minutes. After 30 minutes test one by cutting it in half. If the inside is still very yellow like the batter then it needs to cook more. Meanwhile bring your soup to a simmer. As the balls are done fish them out of the water and plop them into the soup. Why don’t you just cook them in soup? Well you would need a gallon of soup instead of a quart. Those little guys are very thirsty. Let them sit for a minute in the soup to pick up more flavor then serve. Store the matzo balls for the next day submerged in the remaining cooking water. Ill bet you end up eating them with no soup.