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Matzah Meals!


Matzah–the “bread of affliction,” also known as bread not leavened for more than 18 minutes, also known by my Jewish theology professor as an effective antidiarrheal, that Jewish ancestors ate as they escaped from Egypt–is one of the Hallmarks of a classic, kosher Passover. Since Matzah is the only wheat product that is kosher during the week of Passover and we love our carbs, 16 centuries of Jewish folks (or, Jewish women, to give credit where it is probably 99% due) have had to get creative with it. And thank goodness for us living in today’s world; even as I write this edition the column, it is only day three of Passover and already I am craving nothing more than a Toaster Strudel.

Since it is Passover, this week we’re going to take a break from the investigation theme and sidestep into food–specifically, some wild things you can do with matzah to make it more than a sad cracker. I’m taking four of my favorite recipes from my hours-long search when I woke up Saturday morning and remembered that a pound of matzos had replaced my Mini Wheats on the pantry shelf. I will share with you one from each of the breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert categories.

Breakfast: Matzah Granola

Cereal is my go-to on busy mornings, so finding matzah granola recipes was a joy and a relief. MyRecipes.com puts it simply: “Treat crumbled matzo like oats and toss with nuts, seeds, coconut, and honey. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake it at 300ºF for 30 minutes.” Sprinkle it over kosher for Passover yogurt and fruit, pour milk over it, or whatever else you do with your granola.

Plus, making matzah granola gives you an excuse to put something in a bag and break it to pieces with a kitchen hammer (unless you want to go the boring food-processor route). We all need some stress relief this time of year–making homemade matzah crumbs with a small blunt object is a. fulfilling a mitzvah and b. a safe way to release irritation next time family members ask you what you plan to do with an English major over Seder.

Lunch: Matzah with Lox and Cream Cheese

Missing bagels? Probably, but we all know the bagel with lox and schmear is really just a vehicle for the smoked salmon and whatever delish cream cheese concoction is at Einstein’s this week. So, give Matzah lox a try; it’s a quick and protein-packed lunch to slap together during your break.

Dinner: Matzah Crusted Chicken Cutlets

For this winner, you’ll need 3 cups of crushed matzah, one egg, two teaspoon of Kosher salt, your preferred frying oil, lemon, ¼ teaspoon of ground pepper, four chicken cutlets, and any other spices you like on chicken. Then, you cook it just like you’d cook regular breaded chicken: beat the egg with the matzah crumbs and spices, dip in the cutlets, and then fry them up. For step-by-step instructions, check out Martha Stewart.com.

Dessert: Marcy Goldman’s Magnificent Caramel Matzoh Crunch

I have an irrevocable sweet tooth and I can testify that if you’re looking for something sweet, unapologetically carb-filled, and easy to make in a time crunch with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, this bad boy is the way to good.

All you’ll need is 4-6 matzahs from your pound box of Schmitz’s, one cup of unsalted butter (vegan butter should work, too), one cup of packed brown sugar, and 3-4 cups of coarsely chopped chocolate chips (optional). For instructions, check out Marcy Goldman’s famous recipe on Epicurious.com. The hardest part will be waiting for it to set in the freezer.

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