Saffron Matzoh Balls
Paella, Risotto alla Milanese, Bouillabaisse, Persian Pilafs, Indian Biryani dishes… make room! We can now add Matzoh Balls to the list of international foods flavored with that mysterious orange-hued spice with the bright exotic metallic flavor – SAFFRON.
Some chefs – including one of my favorites – Michel Richard, say that with saffron’s sweet power, the minute you can taste the saffron in the dish, then there is too much. I have to respectfully disagree with the Chef here, and wish I could make these Saffron Matzoh Balls for him. They are unique, intriguing, conjuring memories of foods from far away places…the saffron is assertive and compelling.
With Passover around the corner, I’m experimenting with different ways to prepare Matzoh Balls. I recently read about a recipe for Matzoh Balls Wrapped in Bacon which sounds oh so delicious but clearly, that one wouldn’t fly at our Seder…
Chicken Soup with Saffron Matzoh Balls
Chicken Soup: Put one whole cut up chicken in a pot of filtered cold water, bring to a boil, skim the surface, and adjust heat to low. Cooking on too high heat will give you a cloudy soup. Skim the surface periodically to remove scum and fat. (If you like shredded chicken in the soup, remove a breast or a thigh 45 minutes into cooking, set aside, add meat at the end). After an hour add 1/2 t. of whole peppercorns, rough chopped onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, a bunch of parsley and a few sprigs of dill. Cook for another hour. Strain, discard the solids. Return soup to a clean pot, add salt to taste.
Thinly slice colorful carrots. Cook in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes until very tender.
If using purple carrots, cook separately as to not discolor the water.
Saffron Matzoh Ball Recipe
This Spanish Saffron from Trader Joe’s was quite pungent and moderately priced at $5.99 for 0.02 oz.
Grind saffron threads using a mortar and pestle.
I used the entire 0.02 oz. jar of saffron for this recipe, making 8 matzoh balls at a cost of 75 cents for saffron per matzoh ball. Saffron being the most expensive spice in the world – $0.75/unit is not inexpensive, but the exquisite result is worth every cent. Besides, the cost of the other ingredients is very reasonable.
Blend 2 large eggs with 2 T. good olive oil. Stir in saffron.
Let saffron infuse the egg/oil mixture for about 10 minutes. Stir again.
Add one packet (2 1/2 oz.) matzoh ball mix. Mix well.
Place matzoh ball mixture in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
In the meantime bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Roll chilled matzoh ball mixture into eight balls.
Drop balls into boiling water. Cover. Lower the heat to medium low.
Cook for 30 minutes, do not lift lid while cooking (no peeking)!
Place carrots and chopped parsley in a shallow bowl.
Add matzoh ball then ladle hot soup into the bowl. Serve with matzoh.
Beyond the beautiful rich color, these matzoh balls taste exotic, mysterious.
Do I dare serve these at Passover?
(For your convenience, everything you always wanted to know about making
the fluffiest, most delicious matzoh balls is reprinted here).