Here at Bobby Berk, we love any holiday that gives us a reason to eat something delicious and food plays an integral role in our traditions and celebrations. So whether you’re celebrating Easter or Passover (or just love to eat) we’ve got you covered with these two recipes. Our resident chef, Zach is sharing his grandmother’s matzo ball soup recipe and his favorite quiche.
When I’m planning a homemade brunch one of my go-to dishes is quiche. Whether you’re cooking for a big get together, or just your roommate, this dish will be a crowd pleaser. It’s also easily customizable. This combination of ingredients and flavors is one of my favorites, but feel free to mix it up and throw in whatever you like (or leave out anything you don’t). As long as you keep the building blocks the same you can’t go wrong.
For the crust
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and diced into cubes
about 1/4 cup ice water
pinch of salt
For the filling
1/2 cup cream (or whole milk)
2 oz smoked salmon, torn into large pieces
1 tbsp of fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup shallots, julienned
about 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 to 2 oz goat cheese (crumbled)
1 tbsp capers, chopped (for garnish)
salt and pepper to taste
- To make the crust start by placing the flour, butter and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the butter is well mixed, but still in small bits. Keeping the food processor running slowly add water until the dough forms a ball. You may not need all of the water, so add it slowly.
- If you don’t have a food processor you can knead by hand. Just make sure you really break up the butter and mix well!
- Preheat over to 400 F. Turn dough out onto floured working surface and roll into a large ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Unwrap dough onto floured working surface. Roll dough into a circle being sure to flour and turn as you do. Place dough into pie plate and press to fit. Cut off excess edges and then press a fork around the edge of the crust to crimp.
- Cut out a large piece of parchment paper and line the inside of the crust. Fill with pie weights to weigh down the parchment paper. If you don’t have pie weights you can fill it with uncooked dry rice or beans. This will help ensure the bottom of the crust doesn’t bubble up while blind baking.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are slightly browned.
- Blind baking is where you partially or fully bake the crust before adding any filling. It is done to ensure that you get a fully baked crust without overcooking your filling.
- While the crust is cooking crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the cream, salt, pepper, and basil.
- Whisk together until well mixed.
- Pull dough out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Lower heat to 350 F. Remove pie weights and parchment paper. Pour in egg mixture.
- Add smoked salmon, tomatoes and shallots evenly spread out among egg mixture. Bake for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and crumble goat cheese on top of the filling. Place back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes, until eggs are fully cooked.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped capers and more basil!
Matzo Ball Soup
Yes, this is the same matzo ball soup we posted on the site last year. Why mess with perfection? But seriously, eating my grandma’s matzo ball is one of those family traditions that I look forward to most every Passover. We wanted to make sure anyone that missed out last year got the chance to make her recipe this time around. Every Jewish kid will tell you their grandma makes the best matzo ball soup so here is my Grandma Lilly’s!
FOR THE BROTH
1 Whole Chicken, quartered
1 Yellow Onion, halved
1 Stalk Celery, halved
5 Medium Carrots, sliced into 1/2” pieces
1 Sprig Rosemary
1 Bunch Parsley or dill (for garnish)
Salt and Pepper to taste
FOR THE MATZO BALLS (MAKES ABOUT 8)
2 Large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Schmaltz (chicken fat)
1/2 Cup Matzo Meal
2 Tablespoons Broth
1 teaspoons Salt
- Preheat oven to 450. While oven is heating, place chicken quarters on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with salt. Bake chicken quarters for 15-18 minutes, until slightly browned.
- Put chicken in a large pot and add onion, celery, carrot, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Add enough water to cover everything by about an inch.
- Bring pot to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn down to medium-low heat. Cover and cook for at least 4 hours (a few extra hours is even better).
- Remove from heat and strain out the solids. Set the carrot pieces and chunks of chicken meat aside to add back in at the end. Let the broth cool until the fat rises to the top. Skim the fat off and set aside (this is your schmaltz for later). The broth can me made a day or two ahead of time.
- To make the matzo balls, whisk eggs and schmaltz in a bowl. Make sure the schmaltz is room temp to soften. Add matzo meal, broth, and salt and continue to whisk. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour.
- Dampen your hands and roll matzo ball batter into balls about 1 1/2 inches wide. If you’re preparing them ahead of time you can cover and chill them for up to 12 hours.
- In a large pot bring the broth up to a simmer. Add matzo balls and carrots. Cook until matzo balls have grown and are tender, about 25-30 minutes.
- Put a matzo ball or two in a bowl with carrot pieces and garnish with parsley or dill and cracked black pepper.