Stock up on matzah - Pesach is here - and its 'brei' time
Photo: Tal Cohen
Children at the Holon Children's Museum make a piece of matzah a little too big for matzah brei
Photo: Tal Cohen

The great 'brei' controversy: the results

French-toast style horrifes some, mystifies others, pleases even more, but how about trying 'Tex-Mex' matzah brei?

The results are in - and I may have to concede a point here and there to our readers worldwide, some of whom sent recipes and stories enticing enough to lead me away from my contention that “French toast” style matzah brei is the only way to go.


So, with no further ado, and just in time for Pesach, here are some of the best matzah brei recipes and stories we received in the last week.


Cautionary note: The Ynetnews test kitchens were not kosher for Pesach when these recipes came in, so they were not independently tested. Try them at your own risk!


Zelda - who didn’t give us her last name, but has a Tel Aviv University email address - offered the scrambled egg approach: “My mother's matzah brei was made by soaking the matzah briefly in water, breaking it into smallish pieces, frying the pieces in some fat to dry them a bit, then pouring the beaten egg over it and scrambling it all together. It was eaten either au naturel, with a little salt, or with a sweet addition like sugar, jam, etc."


She left us with a cryptic comment: “How about discussing the ‘bubbele’ that we made in the Bronx?” Can anyone explain that one to me?


Katie-Yael offered the most interesting twist on matzah brei: Tex-Mex style. 


“Break matzah into very small pieces, place in bowl and cover with your favorite salsa. Let sit 1/2 hour (or, alternately, overnight) to soak up the salsa flavor.


“Saute chopped onions in skillet. Whip up some eggs and add to the onions. When the egg mixture is at the half-cooked point, toss in the matzah and salsa mixture. Scramble together until eggs are fully cooked.


“Top your creation with finely chopped tomato, grated cheese, and black olives (or whatever else floats your boat). Use pieces of regular matzah to scoop up the mixture and eat. Ole.”


Ole, indeed, Katie-Yael.


Andrew Blumberg offers his family matzah brei recipe.


“It's the only one my mother or grandmother ever used,” he wrote. “We eat it with salt, but I had an aunt who liked to put syrup on it.” (You go, auntie!)


“Take 1 1/2 boards of matzah for each serving. Break the matzah into small pieces, approximately 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in size. Some large or smaller is fine. Put the pieces into a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Cover the bowl and wait a couple of minutes until the matzah is sufficiently saturated. You may need to stir or add more water. All of the pieces should be moist.


“Scramble two eggs in a glass with a little milk to add fluffiness. Pour the eggs over the matzah and mix. Wait another couple of minutes until the matzah has absorbed most of the egg. Pour the mix into a frying pan that is coated with a small layer of corn oil. Cook on low to medium heat and stir often. Fry until egg is cooked, but don't overcook, or you will dry out the matzah brei.”


Blumberg says his family loves this recipe so much that it buys enough matzah every Pesach, so that it can make matzah brei a few times a month until next Pesach.  Andy, I think that’s going a little overboard. My constitution can’t take matzah after the holiday.


Howard Arenstein says he is “strictly an omelette man. I love that big pancake which makes pieces as big as a piece of apple pie. Put some sugar, or some maple syrup on it, and voila.”


He redeems himself, however, by saying he has never heard of the French toast method, but will give it a try. Good for you Howard. Once you do, there’s no going back.


But he has obviously given the subject a great deal of thought, as he wrote: “I also have another theory about matzah...wonder what the rabbis would think about it. My theory is this: flat bread is flat bread ... why is a Mexican tortilla not kosher for passover? Or pita for that matter ... it's flat bread…"


He ended his comments with a little sideways typographical smiley face like this :) so maybe he knows he’s kidding us. But why not hunt for a tortilla as the afikomen?


Andrew Stiller, in an approach related to the Tex Mex M.B., says he prefers a savory version.


“I follow the recipe mentioned in your article (wetting and pressing the matzahs) but, to the eggs, I add scallions, ground pepper, and a pinch of dill. I fry it in butter and serve it with tomato slices and a bit of sour cream. It's "tam Gan Eden!"


Ian of Sydney, Australia, says he recently procured large stocks of matzah “at the rather loud, as ever, request of my better half, because God forbid we should run out, what would we ever do if we ran out!”


But once he had it, he requested that she prepare matzah brei “Mama Abbey style.”


“Was quite nice actually,” he writes, but suggests, “leave out the orange juice, though, and stick with the vanilla and cinnamon.” You should know, Ian, that the orange juice is not a traditional addition, but one adapted from something I saw Martha Stewart do with French toast once.


Perhaps my favorite response of all was from Eileen of Raanana, Israel, who, first of all, contradicted my assertion about baby boomers: “There are no aging baby boomers. We are forever young.”


Then, somehow, she got this right, too: “You must be from Brooklyn.” How did she know that? Is my style of matzah brei a Brooklyn thing? I never knew.


But she doesn’t like it.


“Your French toast style is a real wimpy way to make matzah brei,” she writes. “You DEFINITELY must be from Brooklyn. Or have a lot of relatives there.”


She proposes what one must assume is, in her eyes, a more muscular way of making the brei.


“Breaking matzah into small pieces takes courage. Making sure all the pieces, first rinsed with water, then added to beaten eggs, and still retain the right texture, uniformly, takes stamina. And skill,” she writes. “And then of course, you must add cheese to the mix...after it is called matzah Brie! No cheese melting through the mixture just doesn't cut it.” (Ugh - both on the flavor, and then on the pun).


That’s it, folks - everything from matzah “brie” to Tex Mex matzah brei. Enjoy throughout the week, and repeat as necessary.


Next year, an even more controversial topic. How to spell matzah, matzo, mazza….


Chag Pesach Sameach! Happy Pesach to all!


פרסום ראשון: 04.21.05, 17:14
 new comment
See all talkbacks "The great 'brei' controversy: the results"
This will delete your current comment