Saturday, July 26, 2008

Matzah Brei

Honestly, I wouldn't say that my father is the biggest culinary role model in my life...

That's NOT to say he never did anything for me. He taught me how to ride a bike, how to catch a baseball, how to drive, how to appear unimpressed by car salesmen, how to do my taxes and how to win at Yahtzee, to name a few, but my food education came mostly from my mother, the gourmet. It's no big family secret--my dad makes no false claims about his cooking skills, readily admitting that he is a great golfer, lawyer, pianist and joke-teller, but not a great chef.

There is, however, one recipe my father cooked for me when I was a child that was the first successful dish I ever cooked by myself, and that I continue to make today: matzah brei. If you've never had matzah brei, imagine an omelet made with matzah and onions (I know some people like sweet Matzah Brei, made with sugar and eaten like French Toast, but the Moskowitz family thinks that's weird--we keep it strictly savory). It's a very simple recipe, but it goes a long way to prove that simple things can be very special. Just the smell of onions cooking is enough to make me want to drive the hour it takes to get to my parents' house for some Matzah Brei with my dad. Here it is. I haven't changed anything:

Larry Moskowitz's Matzah Brei

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cups 2% milk
2 eggs
5 sheets egg-and-onion flavor matzah
Onion salt and pepper to garnish

Pour the milk into a large bowl. Carefully crack the eggs into the milk and and use a whisk to thoroughly incorporate. Break the matzah into pieces and place in the egg-milk mixture, pushing down the matzah to ensure that it is fully covered by the liquid. Set aside and allow to soak for 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large frying pan, but don't let it brown. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about5 minutes, making sure to move them around with a spatula as needed. When the matzah has soaked for long enough, add the whole bowl's contents to the frying pan and allow to cook, scraping the pan occasionally with a spatula, until the almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. It takes a few tries to determine just how long to cook it so it's not too dry and not too wet. Basically, you want it to be about as wet as freshly scrambled eggs.

Once your matzah brei is finished, divide it onto plates and garnish with onion salt and freshly cracked pepper.

For a truly authentic Larry Moskowitz experience, eat while watching televised golf.




ouizoid said...

this is about the sweetest thing ever--

Frish said...

Amazing, just like my dad makes it, on of my most favorite comfort foods of all time.