In The Kitchen: Unusual breakfast item has rich heritage

Ed Pernick isn’t Southern by birth, but by choice. Ed, a friend of my sister Becky, was born in Queens and later moved to Long Island, N.Y. When he was 17, however, he planted his roots in Rock Hill, S.C.

Ed came to visit recently and fixed a special dish for our family. Matzoh Brei is a traditional Jewish breakfast item that has been prepared in many different ways but using basically the same ingredients. Toppings for this tasty breakfast are varied, but all are sweet and help set off the flavor.

Ed has put several of his family’s recipes together, coming up with what he says is the “best of the best.” His family actually has a Matzoh Brei Cook-Off, which Ed insists he won this year.

The Matzoh Cracker sheets called for in this recipe can be purchased in the International section of most grocery stores. There are normally 12 sheets to a box, and this recipe takes a whole box.

While this is a good Passover dish, Ed says his family serves it year round.

Preparation: No mixing tools required. Get your hands messy!

Ed’s Matzoh Brei

1 full box Salted Matzoh Cracker sheets

6 eggs

1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Crumble Matzoh sheets very freely, about the size of a nickel or dime into a large colander. Place colander in sink and spray hot water over the crumbs for about 30 seconds, then drain excess water by pressing down on the soaked crackers.

Dump drained crackers into a large mixing bowl. Add the 6 eggs on top of the moistened crackers. Then add salt and oil.

Mix all ingredients with your hands until it is the consistency of a runny meatloaf.

Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a 10 or 12 inch iron skillet. Use enough to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet.

When the oil is hot enough that you can it hear it sizzle when a pinch of batter is dropped in, pour the entire batter mix from one side of the pan to the other. Do not pour from the middle out.

Push the batter around so that the batter goes as close to the edges as possible, but don’t flatten in pan.

Fry for 5 minutes, tops. This is to give the bottom a little more toughness. Shake the pan from side-to-side to see if the batter is free from the bottom of the pan. Take it directly off the stove-top and place in pre-heated oven set at 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes ( the batter should rise about an inch or so) or until you can push on the top of the cooked batter, and it’s pretty firm. The top will be crispy as well. Remove from pan and cut into pie shaped slices.

Ed says in his family they like to put sour cream on the side along with a little pile of sugar. Cut and dip the fork full in the sour cream and then in the sugar and have plenty of cold milk on hand!

Optional toppings:

Cinnamon Sugar


Jellies or Jams

Maple Syrup

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