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Seasons

Matzo brei

(jonathan Levitt)
April 23, 2008

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Serves 4

Matzo, the simple flour-and-water cracker eaten to commemorate the Jews' hasty exodus from Egypt, is the only grain permitted during Passover, which began on Saturday night. During the weeklong holiday, everyone tries to figure out how to make bland matzo taste good. Over the years, tinkering with the hard crackers has resulted in culinary wonders: matzo balls for soup, matzo farfel made into granola, and the greatest of all, matzo brei (rhymes with fry). To make it, soak sheets of matzo in eggs, then fry them in butter. After that, it's up to you. Matzo brei can be sweet or savory. Savory brei begins with matzo broken and dipped into eggs, then cooked with onions, mushrooms, fresh herbs, and plenty of black pepper. It's a Passover omelet. For a sweet version, matzo is soaked in a batter of eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla, then fried and served with maple syrup. Think of it as Passover French toast. Make the two on alternate days and you'll dine on nourishing breakfasts all week.

4 sheets of matzo
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
Maple syrup (for serving)
1. Break the matzo into bite-size pieces. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Add the matzo to the egg mixture and stir well. Set aside for 15 minutes.

2. In a skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. When it begins to foam, add the matzo with the egg mixture that clings to it. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until the eggs have set and the matzo turns golden brown. Serve with maple syrup. Jonathan Levitt