These fritters are the genius invention of our publisher's mom, Sari Drucker.
- 4 sheets matzo, crushed into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 large egg, beaten to blend
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Vegetable oil (for frying; about 4 cups)
Mix matzo in a medium bowl with ½ cup water (mixture should be doughlike); let sit 10 minutes for edges to soften. Mix in egg, salt, and ¼ cup sugar.
Meanwhile, mix remaining ⅓ cup sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Pour oil into a medium heavy pot to come 2" up the sides; fit pot with thermometer and heat oil over medium until thermometer registers 375°.
Use a 1-oz. ice cream scoop to portion dough into balls. Working in 2 batches, fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels; let cool slightly, then toss in cinnamon sugar. Serve with jam.
Nutritional ContentCalories (kcal) 130 Fat (g) 6 Saturated Fat (g) 1 Cholesterol (mg) 15 Carbohydrates (g) 18 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 10 Protein (g) 1 Sodium (mg) 85Reviews Section
Shared by Alexandra Zohn
Recipe Roots: Izmir, Turkey > Mexico City > New York City
Twenty years ago, when Alexandra Zohn was packing up her life in Mexico City to move to New York City, she brought just two kitchen items with her: a tortilla press and a heavy pan with small circular indentations. The pan, which was a gift from her grandmother Rita, is used for just one recipe in their family: buñuelos de Pesach, a sweet and savory matzo meal fritter served during Passover.
Alexandra is the fifth generation of women in her family to enjoy the buñuelos recipe. It traces back to Rosa Cohen, her great-great-grandmother who was born in Izmir, Turkey and immigrated to Mexico around 1920. Alexandra never met Rosa, but her recipes and stories of her still sustain the family through her granddaughter Rita, who is now 93-years-old.
Rita, Alexandra’s grandmother, in the late 1960s.
Rosa was “a woman who taught herself to read when she was 60, because she hated that she couldn't read the newspapers and participate in conversations with others,” Alexandra explains. And, even when she was elderly, she preferred the company of young people. She would “go to a cafe and make friends with everyone,” Alexandra adds.
Growing up in Mexico City’s Jewish community, with one Sephardic parent and another Ashkenazi, Alexandra says she was a “gastronomical Jew.” Adding: “Our Judaism was expressed through the food.” And cooking helped bind the family together. Every Monday, after school, Alexandra and her brother would go to Rita’s house. Their uncles, grandfather, and parents joined in for a late lunch Rita would prepare.
“In Mexico, I think something very interesting happened to Jewish cuisine,” Alexandra explains. As Jewish families became more established, they hired cooks and nannies. Recipes from Jewish immigrant communities from Izmir, Syria, and Eastern Europe, blended with Mexican dishes and ingredients. Alexandra points to gefilte fish a la Veracruzana, a Mexican rendition of the Ashkenazi staple, made with tomatoes, onions, capers, and olives as an example. In her family, however, Alexandra says her grandmother Rita is a purist when it comes to recipes from Izmir, preparing nearly all of them the same way Rosa did a century ago.
During Passover, that means making charoset made with apples, dates, nuts, orange juice, raisins, and a bit of matzo meal. There’s also sodra, which Alexandra compares to matzo brei with lemon, and, of course, the buñuelos. At Seder, there was always a selection of minas, matzo layered with savory fillings and baked, like a Passover lasagna. Among them was a vegetarian rendition with parmesan, spinach, potatoes, and cream cheese.
Before Alexandra moved to the U.S., she spent time with Rita writing down her recipes in a notebook that also contains recipes from Alexandra’s late mother Esther. And, more recipes were jotted down over the phone like the one for the buñuelos and mina, ensuring Alexandra would have them with her in New York.
In recent years, Alexandra hasn’t made mina or buñuelos for Passover, as she, her husband, and kids typically fly to Florida to celebrate the holiday with family. This year, they will stay put in their New York home and host a small Seder just for them. “I haven’t made Passover for a long time,” Alexandra says. Fortunately, she adds, she’s already ordered the ingredients for the buñuelos.
I was wondering if you’ve seen, used or know where to get a bumuelo pan. It looks something like a stainless abelskivver pan with sides (approx. 2″). Thanks.
Linda Capeloto Sendowski says
I have never seen one, but I have an idea to inquire in the local Latin markets since they make Bunuelos in Mexico and some other Latin countries. I will let you know what I find.
Daniella Berechit Drisdell says
Does anyone make Harope, the raisin syrup that was so essential to Bumeulos in our family? My batch is made!
Linda Capeloto Sendowski says
Can you please share a recipe for that, My auntie Susie (of blessed memory), my father’s sister was the Harope maker. I love it and would like it.
Harope Syrup for Bumuelos
Rinse well 1 lb. raisins, Mom prefers Thompson. Cover with water for a few hours, til raisins have plumped. Simmer on stove for 1-2 hours. The previous generation would then press the raisins thru a sieve and return the retrieved syrup to the stove to thicken. I instead insert my hand blender and process the mixture til smooth and return to stove to thicken another 45 minutes. Jar and refridgerate when cool.
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Move Over, Brisket. There Are Fresher Foods 'Too Good To Passover'
Syrian-Style Haroset, a Passover spread made with apricots and pistachios.
Passover is a holiday celebrating the Jews' exodus from slavery — and also a broader embrace of the coming spring, of fresh green shoots both literal and metaphorical. But the menu? More often than not, in America, you're talking stodgy winter foods like gefilte fish and brisket, seasoned (if at all) with heavy aromatics. These aren't dishes that point to the coming spring. They're dishes that come from the root cellar.
That's because the majority of American Jews are Ashkenazim, with roots in chilly Eastern Europe. But cookbook writer and culinary instructor Jennifer Abadi's family (and family recipes) came from Syria. Growing up, Seder meals involved lamb shanks and lemony soup with rice and meatballs. And after teaching cooking classes where students were hungry for these sunnier flavors, she began collecting recipes from other Sephardic and Judeo-Arabic first-generation families, preserving both the dishes and the stories behind them.
Abadi's new cookbook, Too Good To Passover, collects Passover recipes from nearly two dozen countries, from Algeria (where broken-up matzo is steamed in a couscousiere) to Georgia (where a sheet of softened matzo would be used instead of a not-kosher-for-Passover crepe to wrap chicken or cheese blinchiki). The book also captures oral histories of the traditions that unfold around a Seder table — from sealing drops of wine in a bottle representing the traditional curses of one's enemies (Iraq) to circling the Seder plate over the head of each participant (Gibraltar).
Beans And Rice For Passover? A Divisive Question Gets The Rabbis' OK
The recipes themselves span such a geographic range that it's hard to find a particularly unifying dish or flavor palette. Not even rice. Many American Jews assume Sephardic Jews continue to eat kitniyot — the small items like rice and legumes that many Ashkenazim cut from their Passover diets. But Abadi found even this is not universal.
"It was really hard to say with absolute confirmation that people who were from all the Middle East and Mediterranean ate rice, and that as soon as you went into Poland, Russia, and so on you didn't," Abadi explains. "What I found was a tendency. A tendency for the Syrians to eat rice . Moroccans not to eat rice, while Tunisians tended to eat rice."
Abadi says it's not just, say, North Africa versus the Mediterranean versus Central Asia. "It's a general tendency in a region, but then it came down to often even just a matter of what city and town you were from, and how old you were when you were there (because that was maybe the jurisdiction of a certain rabbi), or a certain immigrant group that might have settled there from somewhere else, and brought with them their custom of eating (or not eating)."
But while there is diversity, there are some delicious flavors you won't find in the chillier climes of Eastern Europe: the saffron, the lamb, the piles of fresh herbs. Many of the recipes Abadi collected have made their way onto her own Passover table — especially the layered matzo pies, and the fritters and doughnuts you find cropping up in a surprising number of countries.
Wake Up And Smell The Matzo: A Passover Breakfast Tradition
"It's like matzo brei," laughs Abadi, about the concept of frying up bits of matzo in an eggy batter. "A Bukharian couple showed a matzo babka. And then in the Syrian world, we have something we call ijeh, a fritter. Usually it's meat with spices and onions, and in this case it would be broken-down matzo. And then when you get to the Greek/Turkish/Bulgarian tradition, you'll have the bimuelos [fritters common in the Ottoman empire]."
Reading through the book raises the question of what it actually means for something to be a Passover dish. Sure, there are items like matzo or charoset (the paste of fruit and nuts) which actually have a ceremonial role. But what about the other dishes?
It turns out that in the Sephardic and Judeo-Arabic world — like in the Ashkenazi world — this can be a fuzzy line. Some of these are just dishes that were common in a particular place and time.
"Certain communities will often take a food that they know, and then they'll change it slightly, and make it their own. Because recipes are always evolving," explains Abadi. Dishes like gefilte fish and brisket, for example, which are now required dining on many Jewish holiday tables, were just nice dinners years ago in Eastern Europe. But over time, with tradition, immigration, and culinary identity, they took on a greater, more specific importance. And so it is with many of the recipes Abadi collected.
"Certainly some dishes, if they're served for Passover only, they become Jewish," Abadi explains. Many of the dishes of a particular region became Passover dishes when they were made with matzo — like American Jews' matzo pizza.
And while a Bulgarian layered herb and cheese pie may have a more exciting flavor profile than, say, gefilte fish, it shares a similar sentimental attachment. Because these dishes are ties to a collective past. And Passover itself, a holiday celebrating a biblical exodus, takes on special importance for those people who themselves have been exiled: Many of the countries profiled in Abadi's book no longer have any sort of Jewish population.
"One of the reasons Passover continues to be such a popular, and even growing, holiday, from the most traditional to the least observant, is because it resonates all the time," Abadi reflects. "You have to keep telling the story, because not only do you owe it to your ancestors (however you think in terms of observance and religion and belief), but also it's important to remember so you understand what's happening in your lifetime."
And this collective remembrance doesn't just come from a book. It comes around the table — in the telling, in the ritual made by the people sitting together, and in the delicious foods they share.
Syrian-Style Charoset (Apricot Spread with Pistachios, and Orange Blossom Water)
Yield: Serves 8 / Makes 2 Cups
2 cups whole Turkish dried apricots
2 tablespoons coconut sugar or unrefined whole cane sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons orange blossom water
¼ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios or whole blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted pistachios, or whole blanched almonds, finely ground
Combine apricots, orange juice, water, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until apricots are very soft and mushy, 30 to 40 minutes. (Make sure to stir every 5 to 10 minutes to prevent burning.)
Pour hot apricot mixture into a food processor and add the lemon juice and orange blossom water. Pulse 1 to 2 minutes until a smooth paste. Scoop out into a medium sized bowl and mix in the chopped nuts by hand. Cool to room temperature.
Serve charoset at room temperature in a small, decorative bowl garnished with finely ground pistachios or almonds.
After making my stuffed beets I used the leftover insides to make these Greek inspired fritters and topped them with a drop of Greek Yogurt. You can use matzo meal instead of breadcrumbs to make this for Passover.
- 3 beets, cooked and grated (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 2 oz. feta cheese crumbled herbed
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup panko or matzo meal
- 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp mint, finely chopped
- oil for frying, about 1/4 cup
- Greek yogurt (blood orange flavored even worked well)
1 Mix the beet, onions, cheese, egg and herbs together. Season with salt and pepper then mix in enough breadcrumbs to bind the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2 Shape the mixture into golfball-size pieces.
3 Dip in panko. Heat the oil until hot, but not smoking, and fry the pieces in batches for 2-3 minutes pressing down with a fork until golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with a dollop of yogurt.
Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add eggs, milk, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir together to make a batter.
Add corn and chives to batter. Fold together to combine.
Heat canola oil to 365 degrees. When oil is heated, drop spoonfuls of batter and cook, flipping to the other side, until golden brown.
Drain on a towel-lined plate. Serve alone, with dipping sauces, or sprinkled with powdered sugar or drizzled with maple syrup.
I usually never set out to make corn fritters&mdashit&rsquos almost always an afterthought following an overzealous session of cooking corn-on-the-cob.
This happened last night, by the way. I cooked thirty ears of corn for my five-year-old&rsquos birthday party. Problem is, the only people in attendance were my immediately family&mdashMM, the kids, and me&mdashand Pesky Tim and his family. A total of ten people. Thirty ears of corn. I&rsquom not sure what, if anything at all, I was thinking.
I guess I was afraid I wouldn&rsquot have enough.
To make matters worse, I let everyone dig into the birthday cake before dinner. I&rsquod made my Chocolate Sheet Cake, omitting the pecans in the icing, which results in a perfect, smooth, chocolaty cake that&rsquos pretty much irresistible&hellipso we ate our meal in reverse order.
Which means I was left with pretty much 28 ears of corn.
Anyway, as I was saying, I never set out to make corn fritters, and usually only do it when I have leftover corn.
But I&rsquom always glad when I make them. They&rsquore delightfully yummy!
I needed about 4 cups of corn, so I sliced the kernels off of about six ears. I had undercooked the corn last night, so it really was in between done and not done.
I love crunchy corn, though.
I really sliced the heck out of &rsquoem. Poor cobs.
Yanked some chives out of my garden.
Chives. Oh, how I love them. They&rsquore so dainty, so petite. So green.
Matzo Fritters - Recipes
Passover is coming up at the end of this week. With Passover it’s all about the Seder, right? Complete with a plate of matzoh, a Seder plate holding traditional symbolic foods, and a Haggadah at every plate to read the account of the Jews’ experience in Egypt and their liberation from the bonds of slavery.
Well, yes, Passover is focused on the Seder. But what happens after that when there’s an entire week in which observant Jews are expected to refrain from eating leavened breads along with a variety of grains? Fortunately, Passover coincides with the beginning of spring and with spring comes spring produce—asparagus, strawberries, artichokes, fava beans, and the like. So, why not create a Passover brunch for Jewish clients that celebrates a new season?
Growing up, my parents would treat us kids—and themselves, of course—to matzoh brei, or fried matzoh. My orientation is toward the savory so I have always loved the plump, crispy pieces of matzoh that emerge from the pan sprinkled with salt. To be honest, it doesn’t look like much and there’s just no dressing it up, but trust me, it’s delicious. And this is what I’ve long liked to serve for my Passover brunches with cold poached asparagus and horseradish sauce. And lots and lots of brilliant red juicy strawberries.
Now I’ve seen a lot of versions of matzoh brei that tend to be more of a matzoh omelet than what I make. Not my thing. Fortunately, it’s simply a matter of changing the ratio of eggs to matzoh. I like the matzoh pieces simply coated with egg so the ratio I use is one egg to two pieces of matzoh. All you do is break up the matzoh into bite-sized pieces, put them in a large bowl, and cover with hot water. Let the matzoh pieces soak in the water for a few minutes to soften and before they get too soggy, drain the water. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the matzoh, then gently stir the mixture together so each piece of matzo is coated with egg. Heat a large skillet (cast iron skillets are great for this), add vegetable oil to about ¼ of an inch and when a little piece of the mixture sizzles when it’s added to the oil, pour the rest of the mixture in. Stir and break up the pieces as they cook. The matzoh brei is ready when the individual pieces of matzoh puff up and are golden and crispy.
Then comes some decision making. Do you serve the matzoh brei with sugar and/or applesauce or salt and pepper and/or sour cream? It’s the classic Jewish conundrum (think potato pancakes at Chanukah). Resolve it according to taste or be a mensch and put it all out for your guests.
Here’s a different option for the menu: Sweet Matzo Fritters.
These fritters, created by Chef Jeff Rossman of San Diego restaurant Terra, were a fun surprise. I hadn’t used matzoh like this before. Let it soak and soak and the matzoh collapses into a dough-like substance. The recipe calls for raisins but I didn’t have a bag of raisins. I did have a Trader Joe’s medley of raisins, dried cranberries, and blueberries, and they worked just as well. Once I made them and had made up some whipped cream for strawberries, I tried them together and oh my…
Sweet Matzo Fritters
Jeff Rossman, Terra
Yield: 30 fritters, depending on the size you make them
4 ½ standard sized matzot, plain, whole wheat, or gluten free
3 large eggs separated
¾ cup finely chopped almonds or your favorite nut
1 cup raisins or currants
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons matzo cake meal
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Vegetable oil for frying
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix sugar and cinnamon together for topping.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, break up the matzot into small pieces and cover with water. Let them soak until soft, about 15 minutes. Use your hands to squeeze the matzot dry of all excess water. Press the matzot with your fingers or with a fork and completely crush them. With a fork, mix in the egg yolks, almonds, raisins, oil, cinnamon, lemon juice, zest and cake meal.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating the whites until they form stiff white peaks. Fold the whites in the matzo mixture.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat enough frying oil so it comes up about ¼ to ½ inch up the sides. Drop generous spoonfuls of the batter into the oil. Fry the fritters until they are lightly browned on all sides, turning them once. Drain them on paper towels. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and serve with creme fraiche or whipped cream.
Now, I know I’ve neglected Easter, but this week I plan to focus on lots of Easter recipes on our Facebook page, so go to the page, “like” it, and you’ll get a full stream of dishes to inspire you.
What kinds of dishes do your clients ask you to prepare for Passover?
Not an APPCA member? Now’s the perfect time to join! Go to personalchef.com to learn about all the benefits that come with membership.
And if you are a member and have a special talent to share on this blog, let us know so we can feature you!
15 Burgers to Drool Over For 4th Of July And Beyond
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Matzo Fritters (Überzogene Mazes) Centropa
- 2 large eggs
- 2 or 3 tablespoons white wine
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 small pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted matzo meal
- 2 sheets of unsalted matzo, each broken into 6 approximately 2" x 31/2" rectangles
- 3 cups canola oil
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: deep fryer or an 8"-diameter and 3 "-4"-deep pot deep-frying thermometer (unless your fryer has a thermostat) slotted spoon or skimmer
Preheat oven to 175°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, wine, sugar, and salt. Stir in the matzo meal, making sure that there are no lumps in the batter, and let it rest for about 10 minutes. The batter will thicken slightly. If necessary, add a little more wine by the teaspoonful (I had to add 3 teaspoons) to adjust the consistency, which should be similar to pancake batter. 2. Pour about 1" oil into a deep fryer or into a medium-sized pot or saute pan and warm it over medium heat to 375°F. Clip a deep-frying ther¬mometer to the side of your pot or fryer (if it is not thermostatically controlled) to measure the temperature of the oil. Make sure that the end of the thermometer is completely immersed and the tip doesn't touch the bottom. As soon as the oil reaches 370°F, adjust heat to medium-low, because the pot's residual heat will keep raising the tem¬ perature of the oil for a few seconds. (If you don't have a thermometer, see page 308 for an alternate way of measuring the temperature.) Reheat the oil to 375oF between batches. 3. Dip a piece of matzo into the. batter and lower it into the hot oil. Quickly, dip 2 more pieces and lower them in 1 layer into the oil. Don't fry more than 3 pieces at a time. Fry them about 15 seconds on each side, until their coating turns light golden brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon or skimmer and drain them on a wire rack set over paper towels. Continue coating and frying the pieces of matzo in batches of 3. Stir the batter before coating a new batch. I used a spoon to coat the last pieces of matzo because there wasn't enough batter left in the bowl to dip them. While you prepare a batch of fritters, keep the finished ones warm in the preheated oven on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. 4. Arrange the pieces on a serving dish. Mix confectioners' sugar and cin¬namon in a small bowl, pour the mixture into a small strainer and tap it over the pieces to generously dust them with sugar. Serve them as soon as possible, while they are still hot. 5. To reuse the oil, strain it through a paper towel and use it within two weeks, because it doesn't keep indefinitely. Discard the oil after the second use. Approximate time for preparation: about 25 minutes