In a roundabout sort of way, yesterday’s post about white bread made me realize that Passover is coming soon. Which means no white bread of course.
Passover is all about matzo.
I love matzo. Fresh, crisp, fragrant, new matzo. When I open that first boxful, I take out a piece, slather some butter on top and crunch, crunch crunch away quickly, stuffing it into my mouth with both hands like a kid sneaking candy.
Why is that? Matzo is available all year. I don’t have to wait until Passover.
But somehow I do.
I suppose because matzo seems more fitting at Passover. Like pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, even though pumpkin pie is available all year too.
Matzo with butter is a real treasure. Not to be underestimated. Like a summer tomato or a new crop autumn apple. It doesn’t need much but itself (except the butter and a few grains of salt).
On the other hand, you can do a lot with it all through the Passover holiday.
Like a sandwich. Matzo is crunchier and crisper than any artisinal bread. So soft fillings like egg salad and tuna salad go perfectly.
I also make grilled cheese-on-matzo (in the toaster oven). The matzo gets even crispier and toastier-tasting!
Matzo Brei, of course.
And stuffing for chicken or turkey.
Like this one:
Matzo Stuffing with Apricots and Raisins
4 pieces of matzo, broken up into little pieces
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup cut up dried apricots
1/3 cup raisins
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large eggs, beaten
Place the matzos in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let soak for 4-5 minutes. Drain excess water. Set aside. While the matzos are soaking, heat the vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the ginger, apricots and raisins and cook for another minute. Spoon the contents of the pan into the bowl with the matzos. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Add the eggs, mix the ingredients thoroughly. Place into a lightly greased casserole or inside a large roasting chicken to bake (if a casserole, about 35-45 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven). Enough for a 6-7 pound chicken; 6 servings