Saturday, April 25, 2009

139. Matzo Brei (p. 630)

A few months ago, I read Ruth Reichl's book Garlic and Sapphires. It's the story of Ruth's time as the restaurant critic at The New York Times. Like a lot of people, I've fantasized about being a food critic, but as Ruth's book shows, it's not as glamorous as it seems. Sure, you get to eat out at fancy restaurants like Le Cirque and Daniel (and somebody else pays for it!), but eating out almost every night means that you miss a lot of meals with your kids. And as a new father who usually gets home after my son is asleep, I understand how difficult that can be. There's a touching scene in the book when Ruth gets home after a lousy meal at a highfaluten restaurant, and for some reason, her son is still up. She whips up a batch of Matzo Brei and has, what I think she might agree was the best meal that she wrote about in the book.

Ever since I read that book, I've been looking forward to making this recipe. I had some matzos leftover from the Haroseth that I made, so, last Saturday, I decided to make this for breakfast. First, I broke up a matzo into a sieve. (The Book calls for four, but I was only making half of the recipe, and my matzos were huge, about 7 inches square, so I couldn't see using two of them for one person.) I ran some cold water over the pieces to moisten them just a bit. Then I put the pieces in a bowl and added a couple of eggs and some salt and mixed it up with a fork. I heated a generous amount of butter in a pan and then added the egg and matzo mixture and cooked for a few minutes.

Now, as you can see from the picture above, this is not the prettiest thing that I've cooked so far in The Project, and I wasn't too impressed after the first bite. But, as I kept eating, I liked it more and more. The eggs were tender and buttery and the matzo gave it some substance and a nice crispiness.

Speaking of Ruth Reichl, her new book, Not Becoming My Mother: and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way, was published last week. The description on Amazon calls it "a clear-eyed, openhearted investigation of her mother’s life" drawing from her mother’s letters and diaries. Ruth sometimes talks about her mother, and her cooking, in her letters from the editor in Gourmet, so I feel like I already have a little bit of a sense of what Ruth's mother was like. I'm looking forward to reading the book and getting to know her better. Ruth's going on a book tour to promote the book, and it'll be bringing her to a few cities in my neck of the woods. I'm hoping to make it to one of the events, and who knows, maybe I can even convince her to sign my copy of The Gourmet Cookbook.

Date Cooked: April 18, 2009
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Rating: B+

1 comment:

Gila said...

For what it's worth, that's the normal size for machine-made matza, not particularly large. The hand-made matzas are much bigger!