Tag Archives: chicken soup

Light-as-Air Paleo Matzoh Balls or Heavy-as-Lead Matzoh Balls or Potato Dumplings

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian *  Parve * Paleo ~~

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Update:  I served these, along with “regular” matzoh balls to everyone at the seder and all the guests thought these were great and I didn’t have to make two kinds anymore.

I’m not sure you can exactly call these matzoh balls since they are sort of free form dumplings…but the flavor and texture is exactly what an ideal matzoh ball should be.

This recipe came about as one of those happy accidents.  I recently bought a bag of potato flour (yes, flour – not potato starch)

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and I decided to try to make nockerle (heavy Hungarian dumplings that my mother would make with chicken paprikash).  Nockerle are simple to make, stir together flour, egg, salt, and sometimes oil.  Then spoon into boiling water – and that’s it.  So I did the same substituting potato flour for the all-purpose flour.  I spooned the potato mixture into the boiling water and held my breadth…they did not dissolve.  This was an excellent first step.

Nockerle are cooked for just a short period of time, but when I removed these dumplings from the water they were clearly still raw.  I returned them to the pot; covered them and cooked them for 20 minutes.  I lifted them out of the pot and took a taste…SHOCK!!! My nockerle had transformed into feather light matzoh balls (or dumplings if you take the shape into consideration)!

How to make matzoh balls light or heavy seems to be some mystical combination of factors.  I know every year my mother would use exactly the same recipe and some years they were heavy-as-lead (our family’s preference) and other years they wouldn’t even hold together and just dissolved when you boiled them.

In the case of these matzoh balls, degree of lightness is directly related to length of cooking time.  The matzoh balls have to be completely cooked through and they will be feather light (this will be a function of how large you made the matzoh balls + cooking time).  If you cut a matzoh ball in half and it is not a uniform color, they will have some degree of heaviness.

TO MAKE HEAVY-AS-LEAD MATZOH BALLS:  increase the potato flour in the Light as Air recipe by 2 tablespoons.  The “dough/batter” will be thick enough to roll into balls about the size of a walnut.  Cook, covered, in boiling water (or soup) for about 40 minutes to ensure doneness (no matter how long you cook them, they will remain darker on the inside than on the outside – a sure sign of a heavy matzoh ball).

Now here’s the catch with these matzoh balls.  If you follow the rules of Passover to a T these will not qualify as kosher for Passover even though all of the ingredients are kosher and none of them have any foods forbidden on Passover.  Why?  Because the potato flour is not certified Kosher for Passover (I could not find a potato flour that is kosher for Passover).  If, on the other hand, you observe Passover more loosely (like me) following all the rules but not concerning yourself with certification, then these will be fine for your paleo seder –  in fact they will be better than fine they will be excellent!. Continue reading Light-as-Air Paleo Matzoh Balls or Heavy-as-Lead Matzoh Balls or Potato Dumplings

Passover Dinner

Circa 1980's
Circa 1980’s

Happy Passover.  No recipes today.  I am too bushed from last night’s seder (Passover dinner) and so busy with 2nd seder that I’m just giving you a recap of what I served at the 1st seder – you have all these recipes already.  My guests said it was the best meal they ever had ; )

Date and Pear Charoset

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Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls instead of Noodles (sorry no photo with matzoh balls)

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Roast Chicken

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Wilted Cucumber Salad

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Tzimmes

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Asparagus with Homemade Hollandaise Sauce

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Chocolate Torte

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chicken soup

Paleo * Gluten free

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Here is the chicken soup recipe I promised you for last Friday – when I got way-laid by Hamantashen and then by Colcannon

Chicken soup is deeply ingrained in my food memory.  Every holiday or special dinner was introduced by a steaming bowl of chicken soup.  Of course chicken soup always magically appeared whenever I was sick.  There is no doubt that it warms my heart to walk into my home and be greeted by the perfume of a pot of chicken soup cooking on the stove.

Quick was not a term I would ever apply to my mom’s chicken soup. When she (and probably all generations before her) cooked chicken soup she would start with a yearling (old hen also called fowl in the supermarket) and boil it for 2 to 3 hours or more until the chicken was finally tender.  The secret to this great tasting quick chicken soup (less than 1 hour) is that I start with cooked chicken and I cut up the vegetables and herbs (mom always put them in the pot whole) to decrease the cooking time and increase the vegetable-y flavor. 

Noodle Soup?  Yeah, I love noodles in my soup.  Gluten-free noodles  (made with potato and tapioca – that makes them paleo) are generally available at Passover in the Kosher section of stores.  Continue reading chicken soup