Knaidlach (Matzoh Balls) Made from Whole Matzoh

photo taken by jpellgen, on September 24, 2013, CC licensing

These matzoh balls are delicious not only in soup, but also as a side dish with
braised meats and stews or an accompaniment to roast goose and duck.

 6 whole plain matzoh
 hot broth or hot water
 2 cups finely chopped onion
 6 tablespoons poultry schmaltz or oil
 kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
 4 large eggs, beaten to blend
 2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill, chives, or a mixture), optional
 6 to 8 tablespoons matzoh meal
 well-flavored chicken soup, or braised meat (such as brisket), stew, or roast poultry as an accompaniment

Break the matzohs into small pieces in a large bowl. Cover with broth or water and set aside to steep for 10 minutes.
In a skillet, sauté the onion in the schmaltz or oil until translucent.

Drain the matzoh and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Add the matzoh to the onions in the skillet. Season well with salt and pepper to taste (figure about 1 ½ teaspoons salt-unless you used a salty broth-- and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is heated through and becomes dry and paste-like. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

Knead and mash the matzoh mixture, working in the eggs and herbs a little at a time, until fairly smooth and homogeneous. Fold in about 6 tablespoons matzoh meal and combine thoroughly. Try forming the batter into a walnut-sized ball. If it is too soft to roll or the ball doesn't hold its shape, add just enough matzoh meal to achieve the right consistency. Roll the remaining batter into balls (moistening your hands will make the rolling easier) and place on a platter. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Bring a wide pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the balls gently into the water. When the water returns to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, until the matzoh balls have risen to the surface and are cooked through.

Remove the matzoh balls with a slotted spoon and simmer them in hot soup before serving. Or serve as a side dish to poultry, braised meat or stews, moistened with sauce. 

Yield: Serves 5 to 6

Sephardic or Askhenazi