Matzo Brei is a classic dish that can be compared to French toast. Today, a lot of different ingredients are used to make this dish either sweet or savory. Eggs and broken matzo are the two common ingredients; the rest can differ, depending on where you are from or what you like to eat. Some cultures traditionally eat this dish savory and others traditionally eat it as a sweet dish. Brei is German for a mash, or a semi-solid food. In modern Yiddish, brei means “to fry.” You can also eat matzo brei for lunch or dinner with cheese and vegetables. I chose to make a sweet apple and cinnamon dish, but bananas and chocolate could also be a great option. Enjoy!
BREAKFAST FOR PASSOVER: MATZO BREI
Recipe by Isabelle Lapin
Preparation: 10 min
Cooking: 15/20 min
Makes 6 servings
6-7 matzos, broken in pieces
2 Cortland apples, peeled and diced
2 to 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
½ to 1-cup raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Butter for frying
Milk for soaking
Sugar, maple syrup, whipped cream
In a bowl, mix together the apples, sugar and cinnamon. Put some butter in a frying pan and sauté the apples until they are caramelized. Meanwhile, soak the broken matzos in milk until soft. Transfer the matzos in a bowl and add the whisked eggs. Pour the matzos mixture over the apples and cook cover on medium heat until brown. Transfer to a plate and flip onto another plate. Transfer back onto the frying pan and cook until the other side is brown. Transfer to a plate and cut it like a pie.
Tips and info:
Thousands years ago Pharaoh, after much convincing (and 10 plagues), agreed to let Moses’ enslaved people go. The Jews left their home so fast that they did not have time to prepare bread for their journey. They baked an unleavened mixture of only flour and water. To commemorate their freedom Jews will forgo for eight days anything made to rise with yeast, baking powder, etc. in favor of the “bread of affliction” called matzo.
According to rabbinic law, once the flour is combined with water, matzo dough must be kneaded, rolled and baked within 18 minutes, otherwise it will begin to rise. A Frenchman named Isaac Singer in 1838 invented the first matzo-dough-rolling machine, which will make the making of matzo so much easier. Originally, matzo was made round and by hand. The first matzo-making factory opened in 1888 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dov Behr named his factory the B. Manischewitz.The matzos were cheaper, more available and square! The Lower east Side Streits Company opened in 1925. It now makes, organic, gluten-free and all kind of flavored matzo sold all-year around. Passover matzo production at Streit’s occurs from October to March, with 50,000 pounds of matzo baked daily.
Matzo Brei is a classic dish that can be compared to French toast. Today a lot of different ingredients are used to make this dish sweet or savory. Eggs and broken matzo are the two common ingredients; the rest can differ depending on where you are from, or what you like to eat. Polish or Hungarian people eat it sweet and German, Lithuanian and Russian people prefer it savory. Brei is German for a mash, or a semi-solid food. In modern Yiddish, brei means to fry.