Monday, April 25, 2011

It's all about comfort food over the Easter weekend! Part 1

This year we are going a little un-kosher.

We are a very non-religious family and my kids have always known that they are allowed to believe in whatever takes their fancy. So when it came to deciding about their scripture classes at school they are given options on what religion they would like to learn about.
Last year it was Jewish classes (because by birth the kids and I are Jewish and therefor  it was time someone learnt about the Jewish religion). This year it was decided we’d learn about being a Buddhist. 
Anyway, Frank came to me after a couple of weeks of Buddhist classes and told me she’s was not interested in being a Buddhist,  that she wants to return to Jewish scripture, maybe it had something to do with the grape juice and lollies the teacher gave them and the fact that she loves hallah - classic! 
So back to Jewish scripture it was.

So in honour of Frank's beliefs I thought it only fit that we celebrate Passover as well as Easter.

My Jewish princess will celebrate her Jewish ancestry with Matzo ball soup (minus the matzo balls) and veal schnitz crumbed in fine matzo meal served with salad and that special wine (grape juice). These are all of Frank's favourite foods together in one meal – Jewish heaven! 
She will be joined by Ines and her only Jewish friend Sasha (at least I know Sash will eat my matzo ball)!

We, of course, will all enjoy this meal with them, and maybe they can teach us a thing or two about Passover.

You will need:

Homemade chicken stock or a good quality one from a good butcher – enough for as many people as you need to feed – about 1 litre will feed 6 as an entrĂ©e.

To make your Matzo balls:

Will make 4 medium sized matzo balls per bowl of soup

200g or ½ a packet of Matzo bread – finely blitzed in your whizzer (food processor)

You'll need to do your Matzo in batches as it wont all fit in at once
6 eggs

6 tablespoons of olive oil or schmaltz (chicken fat)

2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

1 cup of water

How it’s done:

In a large bowl whisk, eggs, oil, salt, pepper and parsley

Add your matzo flour and mix to combine

Slowly add the water a little at a time, each time mixing till you have the consistency of slightly sloppy porridge

Cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 – 3 hours

When you’re ready to serve, take your mixture out of the fridge and clean your hands ready to roll your balls

Get a heaped teaspoon of mixture and roll it into balls in the palm of your hand, repeat

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to the boil, pop your rolled matzo ball in (careful not to over crowd the pot – saying this in you can cook quite a few at a time if your pot is quite wide)

Once they come to the boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and place the lid on

They will take around 10-15 min – to test if they are cooked cut one in half and if they are easy to cut through they're cooked

Heat your soup – pour into bowls and divide Matzo balls evenly – also delicious is a sprinkle of parsley and carrot cooked while the soup is warming up.

With the Schnitzel, I used veal from my new favourite place Grass Roots Urban Butchery (that’s a whole-nother post in itself).

Anyway this is how I did my veal schnitzel:

Again you will need veal to feed the number you have for dinner – I had 6.

You’ll need:

1 tablespoon of garlic granules – put in a mortar & pestle and ground down to a fine powder (if you can’t find the dried garlic just use fresh and add it to the eggy mixture)

1 tablespoon of sweet paprika – mix together with the garlic

The other half a packet of matzo around 200g ground down in your whizzer till fine

2 large eggs

½ a cup of milk

salt and pepper to lightly season each step

Whisk the eggs, milk and seasoning together

How I do it:

Step 1: sprinkle each piece of meat with the garlic/paprika, making sure each side has a good amount

Step 2: dip each piece of meat in the eggy mixture and then directly in the matzo crumbs

Step 3: Press down on each piece being sure to make sure they are coated all over with the matzo – place on a plate, putting a layer of greaseproof paper between each layer

Step 4: In your skillet bring your grapeseed or olive oil to a high temp (test this with a piece of bread- when the bread colours it’s ready) 

Place your schnitz in carefully and brown on each side only turning your schnitz once – this should take at longest 1 ½ minutes each side, depending on the thickness of your veal (mine were very thin)

Once cooked place on paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

Serve with salad and lemon wedges.
Dinner was a success – Passover finished – now to Easter.
Part two tomorrow x

©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

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