This week, I’m excited to welcome back Thriller YA author, Elle Cosimano. Her debut novel is set to release by Dial/Penguin in 2013 but today she’s here to share a delicious Matzo Brei recipe and some of her Passover memories.
Passover began Friday night, April 6th. During the Seder, it is customary to break a piece of matzo called the Afikomen (meaning “that which comes after” or “dessert”) to be set aside and eaten at the conclusion of the meal. In many Jewish families, the Afikomen is hidden during the Seder, and the children are tasked with finding and returning the missing matzo before the end of the night. In my family, the child who found the elusive Afikomen was rewarded with a prize.
I remember fidgeting through long Seders, glaring at my younger brother over the table, daring him to find it first. And watching my Uncle with hawk-eyes as he led the Seder, waiting to see him slip the Afikomen into its hiding place. And of course, there was the memorable time we recall every year, when my seven-year old brother leaned across the table and instructed him to “keep it short, Uncle Mike,” because he was so eager to begin the hunt for the missing matzo.
Uncle Mike always hid the unleavened cracker in the most wonderful places (between pages of sheet music on the piano, under the tablecloth beneath his plate, or even inside the empty matzo box in the pantry), turning it from something dry and bland and flat, into sweet memories that make me nostalgic for those long Seders of my youth.
But you don’t have to slip it under a couch cushion to hide bland, crumbly taste of matzo and turn it into something sweet. Today, I’ll share my favorite Passover recipe – a sweet breakfast dish called “Matzo Brei” (rhymes with fry).
Matzo Brei Recipe
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla until beaten. Set aside.
Soak the matzo in water for a minute or two, just until it softens (it should be only slightly soggy but not lose its form). Pat the sheets dry, then crumble them into small pieces. Fold the matzo to the egg mixture.
In a large skillet or fry pan, heat enough butter to generously coat the pan for frying. Add the egg/matzo mixture and cook until firm. The brei will have the firm, spongy texture similar to French toast and turn a golden color. Flip and continue to cook until both sides are golden brown and the egg is cooked through.
Slice the brei into cake-like sections and sprinkle with powdered sugar, syrup, or top with fruit. Enjoy!
Chag Sameach! Joyous festival!