Vegetable stock (for the matzo ball recipe below)
3 potatoes (cut in half)
2 onions (peeled, cut in half)
4 celery sticks + two handfuls of celery leaves
4 carrots, cleaned
4 arugula leaves (optional)
salt to taste
For superior results always make stock in a pressure cooker! or In a large stock pot, place the ingredients and fill with water. Simmer ingredients for a couple hours until the veggies are very soft and all their flavors have seeped out. Use the strained stock for the matzo ball recipe below.
Schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) and Gribenes (chicken skin “cracklings”)
1 pound of chicken skin and fat, diced
1 onion, chopped
Heat a sauté pan over low heat. Add diced chicken fat and skin and slowly simmer until fat starts to render out. Add chopped onion and continue to cook for another 45 minutes to an hour, allowing all the fat to melt into liquid and the skin to shrivel into crackling. Strain fat into a jar with an air-tight lid. Store at room temperature if using today, keep any extra in the fridge for up to a couple months. Lay crackling (gribenes) on a paper towel to dry.
Garlic and Parsley Matzo Balls with Peas and Pea Tendrils
Serves 6 in bowls or 10 in cups.
5 tablespoons Schmaltz
10 stalks green garlic, thinly sliced
half a cup blanched and cooled peas
1 cup parsley, finely chopped + extra for garnish
6 tablespoons dill, plus extra for garnish
4 large eggs, beaten at room temperature
1 cup Matzo meal
¼ cup seltzer
Salt, 6 large pinches
Freshly ground black pepper
Veggie broth (recipe above)
Pea tendrils or rocket leaves
In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon schmaltz. Add green garlic and sauté for 3 minutes until translucent. Remove the garlic from the pan and set aside. Add the shelled English peas to the pan and sauté in the remaining schmaltz until al dente. Set aside.
To make the balls: In a large bowl, place the sautéed green garlic, 4 tablespoons chopped parsley, 6 tablespoons of dill, the eggs, matzo meal, seltzer, remaining 4 tablespoons schmaltz, the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix with a wooden spoon or your hands until combined. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours to overnight.
To assemble the balls: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the matzo mixture from the fridge immediately prior to poaching. (The cold dough will make forming balls way easier, though it is always a bit messy!) Using wet hands, scoop out a small handful of the matzo mixture and gently roll into golfball-sized spheres. Lay the balls onto the lined baking sheet until you’re ready to poach them.
To poach the balls: In a stock pot, bring veggie stock to a boil. Wet your hands again and gently drop balls into stock. Reduce heat and simmer and poach balls for 30 – 45 minutes — until light and airy. Add sautéed peas and simmer another minute.
Ladle soup into bowls, adding to each a big pinch of chopped parsley, dill, pea tendrils, and lots of black pepper. Serve immediately.