It's finally spring!
We need to celebrate!
Dress up in all our pretty bright Easter-colored clothes ("Oh Mom, do we HAVE to?") and enjoy bouquets of local tulips (this particular one from my sisters) and do some spring-ish sort of cooking.
Here are a couple items I made over the weekend.
I'm not Jewish, and I don't know where I originally learned to cook these things, but my kids love my Matzoh-Ball soup. Well, OK, they love the soup I used to make which traditionally needs eggs to make nice fluffy matzoh-balls.
I've really struggled with veganizing the recipe and still getting the matzoh-balls to turn out anything CLOSE to the "original" but I think we're pretty close here finally. (Of course, even more traditionally those matzoh-balls are cooked in chicken-broth, but obviously THAT part is easy enough to veganize).
Let me also point out that while I am not Jewish, but I do have several friends who are. I was discussing my matzoh-ball-veganization trials and mentioned using tofu. Well, evidently for Ashkenazi members, keeping Kosher at Holidays means no legumes... including tofu. (I've since learned that some rabbis allow tofu for those following vegan and Kosher but I don't really profess to know how all that works exactly.) At any rate, to make things more difficult or maybe just in the interest of a challenge, I decided to try making vegan AND soy-free matzoh-balls! What is wrong with me?
So..... Finally, with a lot of gooey, crumbly trial-and-errors, I think we have a winner. Or maybe at least a fair substitute...
1/2 cup matzoh meal
2 Tbsp potato starch (yes, this is the only thing that works here, I tried other things, don't ask me what else you can substitute, because nothing else worked out for me, but hey - try whatever you want...)
2/3 cup water (minus about 2 tsp.)
1 tsp. oil
pinch (literally JUST a pinch) of baking soda
pinch of onion powder
pinch of salt
pinch of parsley
Mix all the above ingredients together until almost the consistency for rolling into balls.
Like a soft, slightly sticky play-dough, but it can be quite a bit softer, as the dough will absorb liquid as it sits. Add a little more matzoh or liquid if needed for the right texture - and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
Roll into about 16 small balls and drop into gently boiling vegetable or vegetarian-"chicken" broth or your own choice of homemade broth or any salty, seasoned water.
Turn down heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Remove from water with slotted spoon and bake on an oiled rack (over a cookie sheet) for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees until they start to dry out.
Refrigerate if you're not ready to use.
When ready to use, warm in the oven covered with foil (or in the microwave *gasp*). Add to soup of your choice and serve.
My actual "soup" is nothing fancy - I usually throw a bunch of plain old frozen mixed veggies in some simple vegetarian "chik-flavored" broth and add the matzoh balls. If you leave the matzoh balls in the broth a bit they start to soften which can be good, but too long and they fall apart, but the broth thickens up nicely too. So do whatever you like.
I'll close with a gratuitous food-porn shot of the amazing Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts, versions of which have been making the blog rounds lately.
Food Network's Barefoot Contessa makes these in a wonderful way, I was inspired watching her, but I actually used this recipe from Bunnyfoot's blog. Beautiful AND so tasty!!!
I want to swim in this bowl.