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Matzo Balls

These classic Jewish dumplings are so good they can cure the common cold!


A matzo ball is to chicken soup what frosting is to a cupcake. Whether you like "sinkers" or "floaters," you always want stellar flavor. The dumplings in this recipe are "floaters," made with chicken fat taken from the accompanying soup to give maximum flavor, as well as seltzer to make them light and fluffy. Chopped dill adds a nice herbal note, plus it makes for a prettier ball.

Equipment: medium and small mixing bowl; wet and dry measuring cups; measuring spoons; hand mixer; rubber spatula; stockpot; slotted spoon

Ingredients: 4 large eggs 3 tablespoons chicken fat 2 tablespoons chopped dill 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper 1/3 cup seltzer 1 cup matzo meal

1. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, chicken fat, dill, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper with a hand mixer on medium speed for one minute.


2. Add the seltzer and stir with a spatula until well combined.


3. Fold in the matzo meal until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, up to 6 hours.


4. Fill a stockpot with cold water, add the remaining teaspoon of salt, and bring the water to a boil over high heat.


5. Fill a small bowl with cold water to moisten your hands. Using a 1/4-cup measure, drop portioned batter into your hand and form a ball. Place the balls carefully into the boiling water one at a time. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and gently simmer for 30 minutes.


6. Remove the balls with a slotted spot directly into bowls of hot soup, or into a container for storage in the refrigerator up to one week.


Makes approximately one dozen matzo balls.



Around the World in 80 Dumplings

Maybe there aren’t 80 varieties exactly, but the list is undeniably extensive: Italian raviolis and meatballs, German knodels, Indian koftas, French quenelles, Chinese wontons, Jewish kneidls(matzo balls) and kreplach (meat-filled noodle dumplings), Japanese shumai and gyoza, Korean mandu, Middle Eastern falafel, Brazlian coxinha, Russian pelmeni and vareniki, Polish pierogi…can you name a few more?


Get "Dangerously Close" to the Simmering Water ... It's Safer!

It might seem counterintuitive, but if you you want to steer clear of burning yourself, gently place the matzo balls into the simmering water by placing the balls on the water before you let go (study the photo above). This method gives you control and is splash-free! If you "drop" the balls into the water some of it will leave the pot and potentially burn your hands. Trust me: the ILOC way will never fail you ... it's about technique, NOT torture!
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