I think this is the first time I've blogged a recipe while annoyed. Let's start at the beginning. I've always prided myself on my matzo balls and happily announced that they were the best. Deli matzo balls were too soft, soggy and flavorless whereas mine were scrumptious. The basic recipe calls for two tablespoons of fat and, while my grandmother used chicken fat, my mother used melted butter and I'd long since switched to healthier canola oil. The scrumptious taste remained unchanged.
The first time I served them to Brian I waited for praise but found I had to prod, unusual because he always raved about my cooking. Hmm. So, how are they, I inquired. Very good, he replied, just a little hard. Hard? Hard?? Don't tell me his standard was mushy, soggy deli matzo balls. I thought he knew food?!
The first year he brought me home to his family for Passover Seder, however, I tasted his mother's matzo balls and I understood. They were amazing. As flavorful as mine but ethereally soft. No, they weren't soggy or mushy, just perfect. So, mine were not the best matzo balls after all. How annoying! I asked her for the recipe and it was identical to mine except for the fat. She used Crisco. Crisco?? That sounded wrong, not to mention gross and I didn't think that was the difference. Over the next few years, I stubbornly remade my Passover matzo balls with more water, then less water. I cooked them longer, I cooked them less. No difference. So I finally broke down and bought the Crisco. It looked wrong, not to mention gross. Such a weird texture and it re-solidifies almost instantly after it's melted. But I bet you already know how this story ends. Yes, she was right and Crisco is the trick. Now my matzo balls really are the best but it's an honor I must share and I'm annoyed. Enjoy!
1/2 Cup matzo meal
2 Tablespoons melted Crisco shortening
1/4 Cup cold water
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
Dash of pepper
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for about an hour. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using a scoop or your hands form matzo balls to the size you desire and drop them into the boiling water. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for half an hour, drain and add to your favorite chicken soup. Makes approximately 9 - 12 matzo balls, depending on size.