Much like Thanksgiving stuffing, chocolate chip cookies and spaghetti sauce, every person that makes Matzo Brei has their own spin on this classic Passover dish (and are usually vehement about its superiority over lesser versions). Some land on the sweet side of the fence, using vanilla and topping with syrup. Some land on the savory side and use salt. Some rinse their matzo with water to soften it and some soak it in milk. As an interfaith household, we are agnostic when it comes to the 'best' version and play fast and loose with all varieties - agreeing only that they are all quite tasty. The common denominators being ‘easy’, ‘fast,’ ‘delicious’ and ‘even a picky four year old will eat it.’ All these qualities ensure that it makes its way regularly and year-round into the weeknight dinner/weekend brunch rotation.
If you have a problem finding matzo in your grocery store, check the ‘ethnic’ section which is where it is usually stocked when it’s not Passover. I came up with this version earlier this week while despairing over what to do with all the veggies from the garden that were threatening to take over my crisper and veggie bowl. Roasting the vegetables gives them a little more 'oomph' and I prefer to not soak the matzo much at all as I like a little chew factor (sacrilege Gram, I know). If you want a little bit of a softer brei, I would recommend soaking the matzo in the egg batter for a little longer than described below – about 10-15 minutes. Also, I used whole wheat matzo this week (it was what was in the pantry), but really any old matzo will do. —Niknud
1 hungry husband
eggs, well beaten
half-eggshells of water (scientific, right?)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
epazote (generous) or oregano in a pinch
piece of whole wheat matzo, broken into 1/4 inch pieces
handful cherry tomatoes, halved
handful of leftover corn from corn on the cob
scallion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 425. Arrange cherry tomatoes and jalapeno on a lightly oiled baking sheet (or aluminum foil if you are allergic to dishes like me). Sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast until the jalapeno is blackened and tomatoes are smushy-delicious - about 20-25 minutes.
When the vegetables have cooled enough to handle, remove the skin from the jalapeno, halve it lengthwise and scrape away the seeds and ribs. Dice half of the pepper and reserve the second half for another batch.
While the vegetables are cooling, combine the first six ingredients in a bowl and beat until well combined. Add in the broken bits of matzo and let it sit for a few minutes. You don't want the matzo to sit so long its fingers get all pruny, just until it gets to be on a first name basis with the egg batter.
Add the roasted vegetables, corn and scallion and stir gently until combined.
Melt a generous pat of butter in a smallish-sized pan over medium-high heat. Pour in the batter and spread with a spatula until evenly distributed. Cook until the bottom has a glorious golden brown crust - about 4-6 minutes depending on your pan and stove heat.
Using an extremely large spatula, or two spatulas, or one spatula and a helpful husband, flip the matzo brei. If you are especially ballsy, you can do the air-flip method. I am not that brave. The matzo brei and I stare at each other. I inevitably blink first. Cook on the second side until the egg is well set and the bottom has the same golden brown color as the top - another 3 minutes or so.
Slide your matzo brei onto a serving plate and go nuts with the toppings. Any and all of the following are welcome additions: salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, avocado. And really, there is very little in this world whose taste isn't dramatically improved with the addition of melty cheese. Well, maybe a blueberry smoothie, but that's about it.
Full-time working wife and mother of two small boys whose obsessive need to cook delicious food is threatening to take over what little free time I have. I grew up in a family of serious cookers but didn't learn to cook myself until I got married and got out of the military and discovered the joys of micro-graters, ethiopian food, immersion blenders and watching my husband roll around on the floor after four servings of pulled pork tamales (with real lard!) complaining that he's so full he can't feel his legs. Trying to graduate from novice cooker to ranked amateur. The days of 'the biscuit incident of aught five' as my husband refers to it are long past but I still haven't tried my hand at paella so I'm a work in progress!