Showing posts with label matzoh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label matzoh. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Passover Ravioli – How to make Italian Malfatti using Matzo Meal by Cleo Coyle


Malfatti, which translates to "badly made," are fun little Italian dumplings. They're also known as "gnudi" because they look and taste like "naked" ravioli—ravioli filling without the pasta pillow. 

There are many popular recipes for malfatti out there, some of which use flour. My family prefers bread crumbs, which is why I was easily able to turn my malfatti recipe into a Passover dish. To my happy surprise, I found the matzo meal worked even better than bread crumbs. Perhaps it’s the unleavened nature of the crumbled matzo that does the trick. It gives the malfatti a great structure, helping the dumplings stay together while cooking.   




Malfatti are also a great deal of fun to form, and I'll show you how to do this using a simple wine glass. I even made a little video to help illustrate the step.


As for finishing the dish, malfatti can be served with many kinds of sauces, just like ravioli. In my photos, you see a simple marinara sauce with a sprinkling of grated Pecorino Romano. The sauce is a big part of the taste of this dish so use a good quality jarred sauce or make your own from a favorite recipe. If you’re not a fan of red sauce, try a cream sauce, or simply sauté slices of garlic in butter and olive oil. Throw in some chopped basil and thyme and pour the buttery herb sauce over the malfatti. It’s absolutely delightful!

Gluten Free Note: Thanks to Avery/Daryl for sharing the info that gluten-free eaters can now get gluten-free matzos, as well.


Cleo Coyle, fan of naked
ravioli, is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Happy Passover!











Cleo Coyle's
Matzo Malfatti 

Free Recipe PDF!
To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.



Makes about 16 pieces – 4 servings of 4 each

Ingredients:

For the Malfatti:

2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning mix
   (*or your own mix of herbs,
     see my note at the end of this recipe)
1 cup whole milk ricotta (pour off any visible liquid)
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan or aged Asiago)
1/2 cup matzo meal + about 1/2 cup more for finishing

(optional) A few cloves of garlic and more salt for the boiling water


Variation: For Spinach Malfatti,
see my note at the end of this recipe.



Step 1 – Make the dough: In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs well. Add oil, salt, white pepper, and Italian seasoning mix. Add the ricotta and whisk vigorously until the mixture is completely smooth (no lumps!). Stir in the grated hard cheese. (If creating the spinach or kale version, add the pureed spinach onion and garlic mixture now.) Finally, stir in the 1/2 cup of matzo meal.



Step 2 – Chill the dough: Cover the bowl with plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. Do not skip this step. Chilling the dough makes it easier to work with and gives the matzo meal time to absorb the liquid in the dough.

Step 3 – Form the naked ravioli: Watch the video below to see exactly how to do this. Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of dough into a bowl of matzo meal and lightly coat. Drop the dough ball into a large wine glass. Hold the glass by the stem and spin it vigorously in your hand as if you were swirling wine. The dough ball will knock against the sides of the glass, forming a smooth elongated oval, like a little football. Gently slide the finished dumpling onto a plate. Repeat with a new lump of dough. 



My 30-Second Video:
How to Form Malfatti with a Wine Glass




-------------------------

FREEZE (or not): If you have time, and for the very best results, freeze the dumplings before cooking. Otherwise, move to the next step and cook without freezing. 




Step 4 – To cook: Fill a deep pan with water, generously sprinkle with kosher salt and add a few cloves of garlic. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Gently add the malfatti to the water. Do not crowd, be sure the dumplings have room to expand while cooking. Boil for about 12 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove. Place them on plates covered with paper towels to remove excess water.





Step 5 – Cool: Allow the hot malfatti to cool to room temperature. As they cool, the texture changes, becoming more dense. To serve, move gently to plates, cover with well-heated marinara sauce, sprinkle with grated Pecorino, Parmesan, or aged Asiago cheese and…eat with joy!






*NOTE ON HERBS: In the recipe, I suggest using a standard "Italian mix" of dried seasonings to save time, but you can certainly create your own combination of dried or fresh herbs. I suggest oregano, rosemary, parsley, and basil, perhaps some garlic and/or onion powder. The final mix is to your own taste.

**NOTE ON SAUCE: If you’re not a fan of red sauce to finish the malfatti, try a cream sauce, or simply sauté slices of garlic in butter and olive oil. Throw in some chopped basil and thyme and pour the buttery herb sauce over the malfatti. It’s absolutely delightful!


SPINACH MALFATTI
(pictured below..)


This is a delicious and highly nutritious variation. To make it, simply dice up 1 large onion (3 cups roughly chopped) and 4 cloves of garlic. Warm a bit of olive oil in a skillet and sauté the onions and garlic. After the onions have caramelized into a light brown color, add no more than 2 cups of chopped frozen spinach (or kale). Stir and cook the spinach for a good ten minutes (see more on this below). 




You're watching for steam to rise from the spinach, which means the liquid is evaporating. That's your goal here--to dry out the spinach. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree. This spinach-onion-garlic mix should measure about 1 cup packed. If you have more than that, do not use the extra. Use only 1 cup packed. Pop the mixture into the fridge or freezer to cool it quickly to room temperature and add where indicated in Step 1 of the recipe. Then proceed as directed and...


Happy 
Passover!

Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle 

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



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The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
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The Ghost and
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passover Crack for Easter (Chocolate-Covered Matzo Buttercrunch) from Cleo Coyle




Yes, you read that right. My post today is Passover Crack for Easter. Allow me to explain: This recipe for chocolate-covered buttercrunch is so deliciously addictive that people have jokingly called it crack. It was created a few years ago for the observance of Passover (which is why it uses matzos), and yet it makes an especially wonderful and poignant addition to an Easter celebration, too. Why do I say that? Well... 

Cleo Coyle, who eats Easter
eggs and matzos is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Here in New York City, we live on top of each other, so the idea of "interfaith interaction" is more than just some abstract PC concept. It’s a way of life. Not that every corner of my fair city is filled with sweetness and light.

Certainly, when we don’t know much about a neighbor’s heritage, culture, or faith, we tend to feel wary of that person. But learning leads to understanding, which is why food can be such a great first step toward bringing us together.

Almost everyone enjoys food (talking about it, eating it) and food is often a window into a person’s nationality, heritage, and/or beliefs. As I put it in Holiday Grind: "A diversity of cultures means a diversity of foods. Eat with tolerance, I say."

Below you’ll see one of my favorite examples of New Yorkers with a great sense of humor about food, faith, and culture. Click the arrow in the window to see-- 

20 (Other) Things To Do With Matzo:




And now for today's recipe...

 
MY PASSOVER INGREDIENT: Monday evening marked the first night of Passover, one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays of the year. An important food custom that’s followed during this week is to eat no yeasted bread, only unleavened bread. Why? Because this is a time when Jews all over the world celebrate the story of Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. They left Egypt so quickly that there was no time to bake yeasted bread. During their journey through the dessert, they took the raw dough and baked it in the hot desert sun into hard crackers called matzos.


MY EASTER INGREDIENT: The Christian holiday of Easter, also one of the most important holidays of the year, is closely tied to Passover. The crucifixion of Jesus took place during Passover and biblical scholars believe that the Last Supper was a Passover seder. To prepare for Easter, many Christians observe 40 days of Lent in which they fast and make sacrifices to prepare for the celebration of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. Giving up treats like chocolate and candy is a common custom. That’s one reason why chocolate is consumed with joy on Easter Sunday. Christ is risen, Hallelujah! Lent is over and it’s time to celebrate with feasting and favorite foods, including chocolate.

MATZOS + CHOCOLATE = AN INTERFAITH TREAT: Over the last few years, the basic recipe for Matzo Caramel Buttercrunch has been posted all over the Internet, but it was originally created by Marcy Goldman, author of A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. You can see Marcy's famous, original version at her website here. David Lebovitz also adapted her recipe here. Today it’s my turn! I hope you enjoy my version, too.

Love and peace to you. Happy Passover, Happy Easter, Happy Spring! And may God bless us, every one.

~ Cleo Coyle



Cleo's Passover
Crack for Easter

Black-and-White Chocolate-Covered
Matzo Buttercrunch (An interfaith candy :))

Adapted from Marcy Goldman's
Matzo Caramel Buttercrunch


To download a PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here. 



YOU WILL NEED:

1 half-sheet pan, jelly roll pan, or large cookie sheet
   + Aluminum foil
   + Parchment paper
1 saucepan (nonstick if possible, and a silicone spatula is helpful, too)
2 tablespoons (for spreading the melted chocolate chips)


INGREDIENTS:

5 boards of unsalted matzos (see my matzo note below)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine (see my butter note below)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (nuts are optional)
1/2 cup dry roasted, unsalted pistachios (measure after removing shells)

(a) Matzo note: If you're not observing Passover and you can't find matzos, try Saltines or another cracker.

(b) Butter note: I've done this recipe with butter and margarine. Both work just fine as long as you boil the mixture for the length of time noted in the recipe. I've also used salted and unsalted butter, both taste great.

(c) Sugar note: I prefer the dark brown sugar, but if all you have on hand is light brown, that's fine, too.

(d) Chocolate note: If you don't like white chocolate, simply double the amount of mini chocolate chips. I find the mini chips melt much faster and easier than regular chips. If you prefer chopped block chocolate, that's certainly an option, too.

 
DIRECTIONS:

Step 1 - Prepare pan: This recipe is easy but can be messy so cover your baking pan with aluminum foil first and then a sheet of parchment paper; otherwise, the caramel will stick to the foil. 
 




Step 2 - Prep oven and nuts: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. If you're topping your chocolate buttercrunch with sliced almonds (or walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts), then toast the nuts for better flavor. To save time, I'll throw my sliced almonds onto a cookie sheet and toast them in the already preheating oven. Nuts generally toast up in 8 to 10 minutes. Stir them once to prevent scorching. When you can smell the scent of toasting nuts, you know they're done or very close to done.

You'll also want to finely chop the shelled pistachios. To finely chop any nut, simply place it in a resealable plastic bag and bang it with a hammer, rolling pin, or back of a heavy spoon.

Step 3 - Lay out matzo boards:  In the half-sheet pan you see in my photos (13 x 18 inches), I fit 5, full matzo boards. You can break the boards into pieces to fit them into the pan.




Step 4 - Make a quick caramel: In a medium saucepan (nonstick is best), melt the butter or margarine and add your brown sugar (dark or light), stirring to combine ingredients. Because the mixture is sticky, I use a nonstick (silicone) spatula. When the mixture begins to boil, start your timer for three (3) full minutes. Keep stirring to prevent scorching and continue boiling. The mixture will foam up as it boils, just keep stirring.



Step 5 - Cover: Pour the caramel mixture over the matzo boards. Work quickly with your nonstick spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the caramel as evenly as you can. As the mixture cools, it will be difficult to work with so spread fast!


Step 6 - Bake: Place the pan in the oven for 12 to 13 minutes. Rotate the pan once in the middle of this baking process to prevent hot spots from burning your candy. The cooking is done when you see bubbles have formed over the entire pan.




TIP: For a delicious buttercrunch (without chocolate)
you can simply stop at this stage and slide the pan into
the refrigerator for thirty minutes. Break the matzos
into pieces and you have Caramel Matzo Buttercrunch.
(See photo below . . . )





Step 7 - Sprinkle chocolate chips and melt: As you can see below, my black-and-white version of this buttercrunch covers half the caramel-topped matzos with semi-sweet chocolate and half with white chocolate. Sprinkle the chips as you see in the photos then place the pan back in the oven for another minute or two. Take care not to allow the chocolate to burn but make sure it's melted enough to easily spread . . .






TIP: Larger chocolate chips may appear
to keep their shape, but if you gently press
down with the back of your tablespoon, you will likely
see they've melted. Once you press them flat, begin to
work them with your spoon, spreading the chocolate as
you would cake frosting. Keep extra chips on hand, ready to
cover any bald spots or you may have trouble getting
an even layer of chocolate.



Step 8 - Finish and chill: Toss your nuts onto the melted chocolate.





Now slide the pan into the refrigerator for thirty minutes. That should harden up the chocolate nicely. When the candy is firm, use your hands to gently break up the big pieces into smaller shapes, and . . . 

Eat with joy!


White Chocolate-Pistachio
Buttercrunch


Chocolate-Almond
Buttercrunch




Happy Passover!    Happy Easter!
Happy Spring!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



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