Easy Matzo Ball Soup

As a child who was raised in a Jewish household, albeit in a pretty much non-religious one, I was still exposed to several different foods that appear as part of the traditional Jewish menu. I’ve posted a couple of different brisket recipes on the site, and another one of my favorites growing up was matzo ball soup. My mom’s was, and is, the absolute best, and part of the reason for that is her use of schmaltz, or chicken fat, to make the rich broth…rich, and not exactly healthy for you. Still, all things in moderation, as I often say.

As an adult, finding an easy matzo ball soup recipe was a must, even when I didn’t have the time to actually make it from scratch. I found the boxed version of Manischewitz Reduced Sodium Matzo Ball Soup mix, which features a powdered soup base, and one for the matzo balls as well, to which vegetable oil and two eggs are added. Then the mixture is blended and put in the fridge to chill. What I like to do once the water is added to the soup mix is add about half a box of pasta, and two or three cans of chicken breast meat. Then, when the mixture has chilled and you take it out of the fridge to form it into balls, the pasta can cook at the same time the balls can, once the fire under the soup is turned down to a simmer.

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After twenty minutes, when you turn the fire off, the soup is ready, and you can just stir it up, wait for it to cool, and serve it. I tend to like sprinkling a little dried parsley on top, more as a garnish than for any significant flavor it brings.

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Like a warm hug on a cold night.

What I like about doing this is that at the end of about forty-five minutes, you get matzo ball chicken noodle soup, savory, filling, and extremely easy to throw together. Is it the same as Mom used to make? Well, no, let’s be honest. But it’s still pretty good, if you feel like having a Jewish comfort food meal, but you don’t feel like getting involved in a major cooking project. You can use any kind of noodle or pasta shape that you have handy, and with the reduced-sodium soup mix, this is reasonably healthy. Plus, you should get several servings out of it, so if you make it on a Sunday, you can have it for dinner a couple of days during the week.

 

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It’s pretty great having the house smell like chicken soup as this is cooking.

Product Review: Stonewall Kitchen Garlic Rosemary Citrus Sauce

DSC_0402 (2)I’m a big fan of marinating and baking chicken breasts. It’s a method that’s easy and usually fairly healthy for you. Stonewall Kitchen makes a line of tasty sauces and marinades, several of which I’ve tried, including Jamaican Jerk Sauce, Sesame Ginger Teriyaki Sauce, and Maple Chipotle Grill Sauce, among others. Today I tried their Garlic Rosemary Citrus Sauce, which I bought for the price of $6.99 at a grocery store in Manhattan. Here’s a link to but it on Amazon.

Stonewall Kitchen Garlic Rosemary Citrus Sauce – 11 oz

 

DSC_0404I added the sauce to a baking dish, along with pieces of chicken breast meat, trimmed of any visible fat. Then I baked them at 400 degrees for about forty-five minutes, turning the chicken pieces a couple of times during the process. I also made some rice in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. The smell that filled the house was quite tantalizing…citrus, like lemons and oranges, but also slightly reminiscent of some Indian curries.

 

DSC_0406I served up some of the chicken pieces, and drizzled a little of the extra marinade over the rice. I was quite pleased with the meal. The marinade was sweet, with citrus accents, most noticeably orange, but it was also just slightly spicy, suggestive of red pepper flakes. Based on this experience, I would certainly try this marinade again, and I would recommend it as well. When you’re looking to make a semi-gourmet meal but you’re feeling too lazy to throw a marinade together yourself, this might be a good way to go. It’s also fat free, which, of course, is always going to get a thumbs up from me.