Not just for Passover. Like matzoh balls and potato latkes, matzoh brie now makes regular appearances at the table year-round.
And not just for breakfast. Tony Manhattan restaurants feature entrees of fluffy matzoh brie, chockablock with smoked salmon and sautéed sweet onions, fragrant with dill, or layered with exotic wild mushrooms.
Like the best soul-satisfying starchy foods, matzoh brie is a chef’s canvas, reflecting the image and nuances you choose: served like French toast, flavored with vanilla, cinnamon or almond extract and doused with maple syrup: or frittata-style, sautéed with onions, mushrooms, and sapid tender vegetables like artichokes or asparagus. In fact, I often add some soaked and drained matzoh to frittata recipes—it stretches the number of eggs used, reducing that insistent egginess that spells breakfast to so many of us.
No sweet/savory matzoh brie fault line runs through our house: though I grew up on the sweet, we thoroughly enjoy all versions. Instructions for both follow, and see the Cook’s Note for a buttery caramelized onion matzoh brie, with or without smoked salmon.
Please read “Making Matzoh Brie” and choose the preparation and cooking style you prefer. Break the matzohs, wet them with cold water, and squeeze them dry, according to the instructions, and place them in a large bowl.
Beat the eggs until light and foamy. For sweet matzoh brie, season the eggs with ¼ teaspoon salt; for savory matzoh brie, season generously with lots of salt and pepper to taste (keep in mind how bland plain matzoh tastes). Stir the eggs into the matzoh mixture and combine well. If preparing either fluffy or pancake-like matzoh brie, allow the matzohs to soak in the eggs for a while.
“And then there was the great classic, matzoh brie, pieces of matzoh soaked in milk, squeezed into a delectable mess, and fried to golden curls and flakes—one of the dishes that evokes piercing darts of nostalgia in every Jewish breast and stories of childhood Passovers complete with lightly drunken uncles.”
© 2008 Jayne Cohen. All rights reserved.