Last week, the first “Golden Matzah Bowl” was held at Forest Trace in Lauderhill. The cook-off to find the best sinkers, floaters and overall best dough balls was a promotion to showcase the best pro and amateur matzo ball cooks in the area.
Forest Trace, a retirement community, has recently added a kosher food option for the residents, according to Stanley Rosenthal, the property’s Owner Representative. Chicken soup and matzo balls were first on the menu list to include, of course, so they appealed to pros and home cooks for their best recipes. Residents and area caterers were invited to submit their recipes and the resident chef, Greg Bainbridge.
Judges included six community notables who rated the matzo balls on taste, texture and appearance. The home-cook winner was Lottie Rossman, a 91-year-old New York native, who received a $100 check written to the charity of her choice.
Overall pro winner was Catering by Lasko. The company won a $500 check to their favorite charity, Kids of Courage. Mary L Gourmet Foods catering was the People’s Choice; other winners from the pro category included Embassy Caterers (Most Like Mom’s award), Sterling Kosher Catering (Best Floater), Gourmet Kosher (Best of Broward) and Madan Caterers (Best Out of a Box).
LOTTIE ROSSMAN’S BALLS OF MATZOH
- 6 extra-large eggs
- 1-cup cold plain seltzer (not flavored)
- 1 ¾ cups matzoh meal
- 12 grinds pepper, 18 grinds of salt (you can add more salt, this is a low salt version)
Note: Fill a large pot ¾ full with salted water and bring to a boil while the mixture chills.
Crack eggs in a large bowl and mix very well with a large spoon. Add salt and pepper and mix well. Pour seltzer into eggs, slowly mixing as you pour. Continue mixing until all bubbles and foam have disappeared. Slowly add matzoh meal, sprinkling a little at a time over the top and mixing continually. Stir well while adding the entire l ¾ cups of matzoh meal. The mixture should be thick like oatmeal and when you stir, you should see some separation line. Place bowl in refrigerator for about 25 minutes to chill.
Check pot of water to try to have it boiling when mixture is chilled and ready to roll!
After 25 minutes, check mixture with a spoon – if the spoon can stand upright for a few seconds, it’s ready to go. If it’s too thick, add a little seltzer to thin it and mix it well.
Have a small bowl of cold water nearby to keep your fingers and palms moist between balls to decrease the sticking factor.
With wet hands, spoon small amounts of matzoh meal mixture into your palm. Roll into a smooth ball between your palms. Try to be gentle. Drop balls into boiling water. When all the matzo balls are in the water, cover pot and pray that the balls float to the top.
Stay by the pot and wait until water comes back to a boil. When the water is bubbly and boiling, lower flame to medium, and check occasionally to keep at a gentle boil. After 10 minutes or so, lower flame and simmer for about 40 minutes. Test by cutting into one and checking for doneness. If necessary, continue to cook at a low simmer until dough is cooked.
Lottie’s final notes: “Cross all fingers, and check when done by testing one. If hard and yellow inside, keep cooking while saying another prayer. Things could go very wrong now, be careful. Worst case scenario: hard golf ball like substance bearing no resemblance to soft fluffy clouds!! If disaster strikes, mash all balls with a potato masher and add to any soup as a thickener. (This tip comes from personal experience). If all goes well, add matzoh balls to any soup and enjoy!