Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Matzo ball soup

I am in matzo ball (knaidlach!) heaven right now.

In House of God the Fat Man refers to matzo balls made by his grandmother which are so light that they float to the ceiling and you have to eat them while standing on ladders.  I am not a particularly avid cook by any means! My matzo balls came from the mix and the whole thing would not have been possible without Mr. Crock Pot:
Mr. Crock Pot was on sale at Target.  We actually had a smaller Crock Pot, Jr. which was gifted to us by Mike's Mom so that we could test drive the Crock Pot Phenomenon.  Realizing that it was the answer to our starvation, we went and bought the full sized Mr. Crock Pot. Mike is much more enthusiastic than I am about slow cooking and he wanted to invest in an even bigger Granddaddy Crock Pot with automated settings and whatnot, but I vetoed the idea.  I would only have room for one Crock Pot in my heart, and he helped me enter matzo ball soup heaven today.

What you will need:
-3 chicken pieces (I used thighs, took the skin off and trimmed the fat)
-vegetables (I used 4 carrots and 4 celery stalks, 2 whole onions)
-Other suggested vegetables: parsnips, potatoes (don't overdo potatoes in the crock pot, they put out a lot of water)
-chopped up parsley
-chicken stock (this container was 4 cups, i ended up adding about 5 additional cups of water to the pot to fill it. I don't think it's necessary to use chicken stock because the time that you cook the soup, all the flavor comes from the veggies and the chicken anyway)
-pinches of salt, pepper, and curry powder 
-bottle of wine used to hold up the cook book. 

I tossed everything into the pot.  Prep time: 20 minutes.
Turned it on high, then I went off somewhere and came back 3 hours later and fussed with it a little like skimming off scum and fat.
Then I continued cooking it for a while longer on low until the chicken seemed cooked.  
I actually took the chicken out, removed the bones and cut it into pieces and put it back, this is one of those extra steps that Mike would never tolerate but make SUCH A HUGE DIFFERENCE in eating experience! 

Then I made the matzo balls from the mix, per directions (add 2 tbsp oil, 2 eggs, put in fridge and wait for 15 min)
As a visual treat, I added some parsley to them.  I can't taste the difference.
Then I boiled some water and tossed them in.
When serving, add the soup to the knaidlach.  You want to keep them separate from the soup in order to retain the clarity of the soup.   

Looks just like the photo in the cook book! 

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