Several years ago we received this recipe via the James Beard Foundation. We made it ourselves, but never published it because it’s a “niche” recipe for that intersection of foodies and matzoh balls.
But after getting some positive feedback about yesterday’s matzoh ball salad recipe (“What a great idea!”), we promised to publish it.
The recipe is from one of our favorite creative chefs, Wayne Harley Brachman. We don’t know where he’s cooking right now, but we send him thanks through the ether.
Don’t know what gribenes (GRIH-ben-ness) are? Here’s an explanation, along with two more recipes for matzoh ball soup.
This is not a conventional matzoh ball soup with carrots, celery, onions and herbs (photo #1). Rather, it highlights the truffled matzoh balls in a truffle-flavored stock.
Prep time is 1 hour 40 minutes, cook time is 30 minutes.
For another different take on matzoh ball soup, try this dashi matzoh ball soup from Chef Eric Tanaka (photo #2). The chicken is poached in dashi, made from shiitake mushrooms, kombu (dried kelp) and bonito flakes.
Ingredients For The Soup
1. MAKE the gribenes. Sauté the chicken skin until the fat exudes and is lightly golden. Sauté the onion until it is a deep golden brown. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Strain to separate the solids from oil and reserve both. Sauté the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of the oil in the pan until wilted. Remove the shiitakes and reserve them for the matzoh balls.
2. MAKE the matzoh balls. Mix together schmaltz, stock, truffle oil, salt and eggs. Mix in the matzoh meal, blending thoroughly. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. FORM the matzoh balls into golf ball-size, and stuff each with a teaspoon of shiitake gribenes in the center. Cook, covered, in 2 quarts of boiling chicken stock for 20 minutes until.
4. SERVE the soup (stock) with the matzoh balls.
Leftover gribenes can be spread on rye bread, a Jewish tradition for many centuries.
WHAT IS MATZOH MEAL?
Matzoh meal is simply matzoh that has been ground into a coarse flour (photo #3).
The small, broken pieces between the matzoh and the matzoh meal are farfel, used for stuffing, casseroles, garnish, etc.