Adapted from Martha Stewart Living (April 2011)
It probably goes without saying, but neither of us ate much matzo growing up in Protestant Southern families. It was foreign to both of us, though we do each remember tasting it at the occasional Passover-themed dinner.
And we've never cooked with it here on the blog. Several recipes we've made have offered it as a substitute for bread crumbs, though we've never made the substitution.
But we've always seen it at the supermarket and have been intrigued. What do you do with those crackers? Are they like kosher saltines?
So we were intrigued when an April Martha Stewart Living feature presented ideas for using leftover matzo. We didn't have any leftover matzo in our house, so we picked some up at the grocery store.
And now matzo has suddenly become the go-to dessert ingredient in our kitchen.
We initially selected the original recipe from Martha Stewart Living -- for Banana-Maple Matzo Brei -- because we thought it was a dessert. But when it came time to make it, we realized that it's actually a breakfast dish, like a matzo-based take on French toast.
But that still didn't keep us from serving it for dessert one night when friends were over. And we all loved it. Yes, it was essentially a brunch item, but the crispy browned matzo was delicious with bananas and maple syrup.
But then after making that dish, we found ourselves in the very predicament that Martha had foreshadowed: leftover matzo. So we kept using it. We made matzo desserts with ice cream. We created chocolate-and-peanut butter sauces to drizzle over broken-up and crisped matzo.
But our favorite variation was this one -- Dark Chocolate Banana Matzo Brei.
Just as with Martha's original breakfast variation, we pan-fried a mixture of matzo, banana, egg and chocolate, and then topped it with banana slices and a drizzle of chocolate.
The result is something akin to a cross between a French toast and a bread pudding (though a very quick bread pudding). The matzo, softened in water but then firmed up in the frying pan, is both crispy and soft at the same time. And we're suckers for the combination of chocolate and banana. Plus, it takes less than 10 minutes to make.
So now, in the unlikeliest of scenarios, it looks like matzo may have become a staple at our house. Can it be long before we're making matzo ball soup?
Other Matzo Ideas from Martha Stewart Living
- 3 matzos (broken into 2-inch pieces)
- 1 banana, plus more banana slices
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 2 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped into pebble-size pieces, plus 1/2 ounce dark chocolate for melting
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Soak matzos in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander. Mash banana using a fork. Add oil, egg, and salt to mashed banana. Gently stir in matzos, chopped chocolate and honey. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Spread matzo mixture evenly in skillet, pressing gently. Cook until underside is golden, about 4 minutes. Flip using a spatula (mixture may break up). Cook until underside is golden, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt 1/2 ounce chocolate with the milk.
Transfer the banana matzo to plates. Top with banana slices, and drizzle with the melted chocolate.