Breakfast Worth Wishing for Leftover Matzoh

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Passover is here. Yuck! This is a holiday where the food you eat is supposed to make you remember the suffering of being a slave. Nowhere is that more true than in relation to breakfast. Gone are the pancakes, waffles, and French toast, not to mention basic cereal. What is left? Only two things: eggs and matzoh brei.

Eggs you can handle yourself. Matzoh brei is an art form. When I was growing up, my father made us matzah brei. Truth be told it is the only dish I can recall he ever cooked for us. Sorry Dad, but it was horrid. Hard on the throat. The matzohs were firm and in big chunks and only scratched as they went down the gullet.

Over the years I have found the secret to good matzoh brei: boiling water. I always thought that during the Seder we should thank God for the miracle of boiling water.

So here is the recipe for a decent Passover breakfast.

Crumble three matzohs into smallish pieces in a bowl, and then pour boiling water over them. Just cover the matzohs with the water. The water is absorbed and softens the matzoh. After five to 10 minutes, pour off any remaining water. If you are impatient like me it will be shorter, but even a few minutes is good enough.

Break two eggs into the bowl—you can add another egg for a richer mixture or pre-whisk, if you want—and mix to create a matzoh-egg gemish (mixture). Shake some ground cinnamon to taste on the gemish. For variety you can add chopped up apple pieces if you want.

Heat up the griddle add butter (or margarine). And plop down small circles of the matzoh-egg gemish as if it were pancake batter. Cook both sides and serve with pure maple syrup.

Presto! Now you have a decent Passover breakfast. Indeed my own children liked this so much we would use up the matzoh making this even after Passover ended. (Truth be told, I hate matzoh so much I was always tempted just to throw out whatever was left after the sun went down on the eighth day.)

So remember to be thankful for boiling water—reduces the suffering of Passover breakfasts.

Presented by

Ezekiel J. Emanuel is an oncologist, a bioethicist, and a vice provost of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author or editor of 10 books, including Brothers Emanuel and Reinventing American Health Care.

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