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Herb-flecked kneidelach (matzo balls)

When I married into a Yemenite family in Israel more than 40 years ago, it raised some eyebrows. Since my family was of Polish and Russian origin, I was embracing a different culture, including foods that were unlike the Ashkenazi ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus chilling time | Makes about 24 matzo balls
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil such as grapeseed or safflower oil
  • 2/3 cup matzo meal (sometimes labeled matsah meal) (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 cups plus 5 tablespoons strained chicken soup (or prepared chicken or vegetable broth or water), divided, more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon minced dill leaves and fine stems
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves and fine stems
  • 2 quarts water (or 1 quart water and 1 quart chicken broth)

Step 1In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the oil to blend. Add the matzo meal, salt and pepper, and stir to a smooth batter. Stir in 2 tablespoons chicken soup. Stir in the dill and cilantro. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 2Remove the chilled batter and stir. Thin the batter by adding more chicken broth, 1 tablespoon at a time, so that the mixture is soft but just firm enough to be formed into rough-shaped balls (you will need about 3 tablespoons soup).

Step 3In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat so that the water bubbles gently. Moisten your hands, measure a mounded teaspoonful of batter and take it off the spoon. Transfer the batter from one palm to the other, gently giving it a roughly round shape. Drop the matzo ball into the simmering water.

Step 4When all the matzo balls are in the pan, cover and return to a simmer. Cook over low heat until the matzo balls begin to float and are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 5Transfer the matzo balls to a container to refrigerate them or to another saucepan for reheating. Ladle the remaining 3 cups of chicken soup over the matzo balls to cover them.

Step 6Refrigerate the matzo balls, or cover and keep them warm until ready to serve. Reheat them in the chicken soup in a covered saucepan over low heat, without stirring. Serve hot.

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