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Not Your Mama’s Matzah


Matzah is a Passover staple. Some love to eat the crispy flatbread all year round, while others have a more cardboard take on it, dreading those eight days of matzah-eating madness. Matzah does not have to be just a disappointing substitute for bread. There are so many creative ways to use matzah on Passover that you might just enjoy it enough to use it in your cooking all year long.

A base for taste. Matzah can be looked at as a base on which to build other flavors. Enhance the base by seasoning it and adding more flavor. Toast matzah with butter and some spices like garlic powder and onion powder. Then top with cream cheese and lox, tomato sauce, and cheese with vegetables for matzah pizza, almond butter, and sliced bananas. Use it like a crispy cracker with endless topping choices.

Kugels and blintzes. Mix with your choice of fruit such as apples, pears, or peaches for a sweet kugel; mushrooms and onions, or broccoli and cauliflower, for a savory kugel. Make crêpes with milk, matzah meal, eggs, oil, and salt and wrap around your filling of choice: potato, cheese, vegetables, even ground beef or shredded chicken (use almond milk for pareve) to make blintzes.

Brei and farfel. Matzah brei is typically made with eggs, crumbled matzah, and spices. It can be made savory or sweet with cinnamon and sugar. You can make many different kinds, similar to what you would add into an omelet or scrambled eggs. Spinach and feta, fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil, asparagus and Parmesan. You can also make a dessert brei with honey, dark chocolate, and bananas. Matzah farfel is crumbled matzah that can be sautéed with onions, mushrooms, or other vegetables, herbs, and spices and used as a side dish or as a stuffing for chicken or turkey breast.

Matzah balls. Use store-bought matzah-ball mix or make your own by finely grinding matzah and mixing it with eggs, oil, salt, seltzer, or chicken broth to make the mixture. Make your own version by adding fresh dill, chopped spinach, or tomato paste.

Streusel/crumble. In the same way you would make a crumble with granola, sugar, flour, and butter, matzah can be used as a substitute. Use ground matzah cake meal and potato starch mixed with brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter to crumble over any fruit-filling mixture from apple to strawberry rhubarb. You can also crumble whole matzah into the crumble for a chunkier topping.

Cakes. Make all kinds of cakes using matzah meal, which is ground matzah, and matzah cake meal, which is even more finely ground matzah. There is chocolate, apple, pecan, angel food cake, and more. The matzah meal gives the cake a light fluffy texture.

Note: Many of these suggestions are considered gebrokts, so make sure it is allowed according to your minhagim (customs). v

Individual Mushroom-And-Pepper Matzah Brei

You can make one big matzah brei omelet, cut them into rounds, or bake in muffin tins.


2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

¼ cup thinly sliced crimini mushrooms

1½ Tbsp. freshly chopped thyme

4 large eggs

1 roasted pepper, chopped

1 tsp. kosher salt

4 matzah sheets


Melt ½ tablespoon butter in small pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and thyme, and sauté until tender. Whisk eggs, roasted pepper, and salt in bowl. Add cooled mushrooms. Crumble matzah into a fine mesh sieve or colander. Run hot water over matzah until softened, draining off excess. Transfer to bowl with egg mixture and mix to combine.

Melt remaining butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place four circular molds (2” deep × 4” diameter) in pan and pour egg–matzah mixture carefully into each. Pat lightly with back of the spoon to pack filling. Cook for 8 minutes until golden on the bottom. Carefully flip molds with spatula and towel, and cook other side for 5 minutes. Remove to plate and take out of mold.

(Can also be baked in muffin tin at 350° for 20 minutes.)

Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook that you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to, or visiting

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Posted by on March 14, 2013. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.