Breakfast of Champions

Bacon Matzo Brei

By • April 10, 2014 • 78 Comments

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Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.

Today: A dish so wrong, yet so right.

Bacon brei from Food52

First order of business: I am not Jewish, and I have no authority from which to speak about matzo brei. You don’t need to take anything I say seriously. Second order of business: my husband is Jewish, but that still gives me no authority because he is not what one would call a practicing Jew. In fact, last year when we hosted a Passover seder, it was only the second one he had ever been to. We held it mostly because I have a deep and abiding love for meals imbued with symbolism and historic significance, and they don’t come more symbolic than a seder. Also, I wanted to try making homemade matzo (that was a lot of work).

Anyway, we have a bad (is it bad?) habit of making jokes about making bacon clam pizzas for Passover. I know. 

Bacon matzo brei from Food52

Suffice it to say, I was totally on board when Food52er linzarella wrote to me about making matzo brei with bacon. In her words, “I recently discovered an amazing and unknown breakfast dish, and I am on a public service mission to introduce it to the world. You may have heard of matzo brei, a more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts Jewish dish of matzo pieces, soaked in water, mixed with egg, and fried until crisp. One morning, not without some trepidation, I added bacon to my brei. The result was glorious.”

The result is indeed glorious -- a sort of bacon and scrambled eggs meets French toast amalgamation -- and deserves, as she says, to be shouted from the rooftops. I followed linzarella’s instructions almost exactly, but I added a splash of cream because if you’re already offending the almighty with your food choices, you may as well just go for it. And then I drizzled on some maple syrup to make a sweet-savory brei. You know, to make sure I offended absolutely everyone. But, oh, it was so good. 

Bacon matzo brei from Food52

Matzo Brei with Bacon and Maple Syrup 

Serves 1

1 piece of thick-cut bacon, cut into small pieces?
1 sheet of matzo?
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon cream
Salt and pepper
Maple syrup for serving 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Emiky Vikre

Jump to Comments (78)

Tags: breakfast, bacon, matzo, matzo brei

Comments (78)

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8 months ago Cindy

This is completely inappropriate! I’m NOT of the Jewish faith and I’m offended. I live in NYC have many friends that are Jewish varying in degrees of observance and I know they would be offended as well. This is truly disrespectful ESPECIALLY during the PASSOVER holiday.

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8 months ago Elizabeth Mountain

OMG, guys. Give it a rest. If you don't want to eat it, don't make it! How hard is that? But judging the chef, creator of the recipe, or the site is ludicrous. Working on letting go, being non-judgmental, and forgiving and MOVE ON!

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8 months ago Elizabeth Mountain

I meant "work" on letting go... LOL.

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8 months ago therefromhere

Ah yes, the judgmental non-judgmental argument. You're a bright one Lizzy.

This recipe would have been perfectly fine at any other time of the year - but having cleaned out a kitchen of all remnants of leavened bread (look it up), the timing is insensitive.

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8 months ago Elizabeth Mountain

Do not call me Lizzy, and don't presume to think I don't know what leavened bread means, to the Jewish community or otherwise. But not everyone is Jewish, and even some that are may have made this recipe this very night and enjoyed it. So, let those who are of a faith celebrating a religious holiday, or who keep a kosher home NOT make this, but let the rest of the world enjoy it.

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8 months ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

Calm down, Lizzy.

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8 months ago Yooj

Do not make a molehill out of this mountain, Elizabeth. It's far worse than turning a Lizzy into a Tizzy.

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8 months ago therefromhere

Wait, I got it wrong. I always get confused with Christian traditions... we should have these Jeebs cookies on Good Friday. Perhaps for the resurrection, leftovers?

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8 months ago therefromhere

I suppose this is OK.

Can we have Jesus cookies for Easter? Perhaps little sugar cookie crosses with icing stick figures, blood and all? Would that be considered offensive? After all, since it's OK to take liberty with a Jewish tradition, why can't we take some with a guy who was crucified a few millennia ago?

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8 months ago Elizabeth Mountain

Have them and enjoy them to your heart's content. I take no offense. And probably most others wouldn't. Because in my heart, what I believe doesn't make what you believe wrong. There are different beliefs, different customs, who is right or wrong??? Let each respect them other by respecting their choice, but don't expect the entire world to follow you!

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8 months ago localappetite

I'm kind of shocked at the offense other Jewish commenters took about this. Regardless of whether you keep kosher or not, this is simply a dish of cultural nostalgic value, not a religious meal. To take it as an insult to one's faith is way blown out of proportion, especially given the author's disclaimers. Everyone picks and chooses how they practice religion, and what they eat.

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8 months ago Babs

If it is only Jewish people offended by this, than there's a legitimate reason for it, and I hope that as a human being, and a non Jew, you would respect that, and even seek to understand why Matzo and bacon together, (as delicious as it may be) is so wrong, on so many levels. First being that it is disrespectful to the meaning of Passover, and to post it is even more disrespectful. And I agree with you Localappetite in that everyone should be able to pick and chooses how they practice religion, as well as what they eat--and not be judged for it! But really, bacon and matzo on Passover?? It's almost comical! Are you jewish localappetite?

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8 months ago localappetite

I am Jewish, and yes, I'd imagine it is meant to be comical. Some people look at these things with humor, if they aren't concerned with dietary laws. Surely, this can't really be the first "traif" dish mash-up you've seen? Anyways, I'm also a fan of not wasting time on commenting boards bad mouthing others. With that I'll just wish you a happy bacon-free passover!

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8 months ago Babs

Haha, and a Happy Passover to you as well LA, bacon or no bacon! :) And fyi, most things are even better with bacon in it! Shall i dare be even more comical and ask where's the cheese in this dish? :) (Now that would be a very tasty version of this "traif" mash!)

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8 months ago Babs

I'm sure it's delicious, and although I am Jewish, I don't always follow the "rules" of being Jewish, but certainly, i would not make a Passover dish, let alone eat it, with the one item that is everything but Jewish! it's actually ignorant to post this recipe, let alone put the two items together! Use non jewish crackers instead!!!!! This is not in good taste Food 52!

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8 months ago Yooj

It wasn't ignorant in this case, it was with full awareness, since Emily acknowledged that it was "wrong" in the original posting. In spite of repeated concerns expressed by others, all she's done since is defend herself. Inexcusable.

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8 months ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

I agree with Yooj. Well put.

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8 months ago Michael Fried

I'm glad to see Babs is the self anointed judge of right and wrong. Why do you care if she makes or posts this recipe? In what way does this affect your life? If your personal moral code prevents you from trying this dish, so be it.

I am an atheist who grew up orthodox Jewish. I probably wouldn't be make this dish because some deep seeded feeling will prevent me (despite my mind saying something else). But I couldn't care less what someone else would do.

Besides, I prefer sweet matzo brai.

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9 months ago Pesha

I see both sides of the coin here....but really this is not funny. Probably delish, but frankly you could have chosen an actual dish that IS appropriate for Passover instead of this one. More than anything it is in poor taste. Next thing you'll be suggesting is ketchup on latkes.

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9 months ago Polly Pancoe

really?

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9 months ago jsgjtg

I absolutely could NOT believe the very poor decision to post a Jewish holiday recipe with pork in it - Food 52 you are better than this.

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9 months ago Randitaggart

As a kosher, vegetarian, practicing, traditional Jew (we all seem to be very hung up on labeling ourselves in this thread), I was disappointed and shocked by the recipe choice. Most Jews appreciate a good joke, but I concur that the timing left a bit to be desired. And the spitting in the face of every dietary tradition imaginable within a single recipe (adding cream???) was over the top. I generally prefer to post positive comments; however, this blew my mind. A more universally appealing (read appetizing and edible) recipe would have been greatly appreciated and appropriate.

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9 months ago sweetlolo

Wow. As a Passover-keeping member of the tribe myself, I'm shocked at how many people were offended by this. My first thought when I saw the post was "Yum". Even if you keep strictly kosher at all times and not just during the holiday, it's clear this wasn't meant to offend and was just meant to be a cute riff on a holiday classic. And matzoh brei is hardly sacred - it's not like they were suggesting shrimp charoset or filling Elijah's cup with Jagermeister. There's nothing symbolic about matzoh brei - it's just a tasty way of varying things to get through the week or use up leftover matzoh.

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9 months ago Lynn Boyle

Oy! It takes chutzpah to post such a recipe on the eve of Pesach. I am not offended, but I'm not amused either. The timing is inappropriate.

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9 months ago rosalind5

Another non-offended Jew here. We'll be eating this for breakfast oh-so happily after Passover.

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9 months ago Africancook

It's really not funny and not appropriate. Food 52 is now the only food website I subscribe to and I was shocked to see this made it into the newsletter. Matzo represents the oppression of the Jewish people which not only happened in Egypt but in many European countries not so long ago. The fact that some Jews eat shellfish and pork products and say they don't care does NOT make it acceptable.

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9 months ago Halaji

Thank you for trying to explain. Can you help me understand what exactly makes it inappropriate? Why is it unacceptable to mix a symbol of Jewish oppression with a nonkosher food?

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9 months ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

Halaji - As a Jew, Jeremy Pepper's comments hit the nail on the head for me (see below). Really bad timing and insensitive. Also, the recycled Passover recipes & content in general from Food52 offering Passover inspiration is non existent. An apologize should be given by the recipe author and Food52.

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9 months ago Halaji

sexyLAMBCHOPx - I would sincerely like to understand why you believe the original post is insensitive. Insensitive in what sense? To whom about what? And, in the spirit of tomorrow's symbolic question, why is this week different from all other weeks?; why would this post be less insensitive on a different week? The post inspired many charges of inappropriateness, so there must be something there, but I haven't been able to clarify the offense. I'd be interested in your thoughtful explanation.

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9 months ago Africancook

Being oppressed and slaves for centuries isn't a laughing matter. I lived in two racist countries and witnessed that suffering first hand. Passover is a holy festival with certain symbolic foods representing our suffering followed by freedom by G-d's hand. To focus the spotlight on one of those foods and then mix it with a totally forbidden one is disgusting. Refer to your Yom Kippur machzor (prayer book) about the sin of levity - jesting about something that is not funny.

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9 months ago Halaji

As a Jew who is not offended by this post, I am curious about what others find offensive. It has been asserted that the post is offensive, insensitive, and disrespectful. It has been said to be timed poorly and to mock Jews. May I ask respectfully of those who hold those views what it is about the post that you find offensive? What makes it so in your eyes? What is the line that it crosses and how is it that you draw the line there?

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9 months ago Lucy Ramone

Want to add, never underestimate the power of food to honor tradition among people who lost their families, or who aren't religious.

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9 months ago Lucy Ramone

Ilan Hall serves bacon wrapped matzoh balls at his restaurant as a riff of the cooking habits of his one Jewish and one non-Jewish parents. But if you've seen him on Top Chef or on his show on Esquire Network, you get that his persona is he's a wannabe punk asshole. This recipe is just plain disrespectful. As for the timing, your Jewish editor should know better.

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9 months ago Elise

I was also offended reading this, mostly because of the timing. It does seem to make a mockery of a Jewish dish that is traditionally eaten during Passover right before the holiday is to begin. Matzo is readily available in most big grocery stores all year round in the U.S. Why couldn't this recipe have waited until after the holiday?

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9 months ago Yooj

Emily...educate yourself about Passover. There's a lot of symbolism involved in the holiday, and it doesn't involve pigs. It involves the enslavement of Jewish people. Matzoh symbolizes the fact that Jews living under the Pharaohs didn't have time to let their bread rise while trying to escape through the desert. Horseradish is a bitter herb, symbolizing the bitterness of the times they endured. Charoseth symbolizes the mortar used by the Jews during enslavement. Dipping parsley in salt water three times symbolizes the tears they shed. Nowhere does pork, bacon or anything to do with a pig appear, for good reason. It is forbidden as unclean. Time to clean up your own act, and show a little respect for others, instead of for your own questionable sense of humor.

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9 months ago SDSholkoff

The most offensive and disrespectful was that a Jewish editor had so little understanding and empathy. You need sensitivity training before approving another article about anything.