Saturday, April 9, 2011

saffron matzo balls recipe

Saffron Matzoh Balls

Paella, Risotto alla Milanese, Bouillabaisse, Persian Pilafs, Indian Biryani dishes… make room! We can now add Matzoh Balls to the list of international foods flavored with that mysterious orange-hued spice with the bright exotic metallic flavor – SAFFRON.

Some chefs – including one of my favorites – Michel Richard, say that with saffron’s sweet power, the minute you can taste the saffron in the dish, then there is too much. I have to respectfully disagree with the Chef here, and wish I could make these Saffron Matzoh Balls for him. They are unique, intriguing, conjuring memories of foods from far away places…the saffron is assertive and compelling.

With Passover around the corner, I’m experimenting with different ways to prepare Matzoh Balls. I recently read about a recipe for Matzoh Balls Wrapped in Bacon which sounds oh so delicious but clearly, that one wouldn’t fly at our Seder…

Chicken Soup with Saffron Matzoh Balls

Chicken Soup: Put one whole cut up chicken in a pot of filtered cold water, bring to a boil, skim the surface, and adjust heat to low. Cooking on too high heat will give you a cloudy soup. Skim the surface periodically to remove scum and fat. (If you like shredded chicken in the soup, remove a breast or a thigh 45 minutes into cooking, set aside, add meat at the end). After an hour add 1/2 t. of whole peppercorns, rough chopped onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, a bunch of parsley and a few sprigs of dill. Cook for another hour. Strain, discard the solids. Return soup to a clean pot, add salt to taste.

Thinly slice colorful carrots. Cook in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes until very tender.
If using purple carrots, cook separately as to not discolor the water.

Saffron Matzoh Ball Recipe

This Spanish Saffron from Trader Joe’s was quite pungent and moderately priced at $5.99 for 0.02 oz.

ground saffron

Grind saffron threads using a mortar and pestle.

I used the entire 0.02 oz. jar of saffron for this recipe, making 8 matzoh balls at a cost of 75 cents for saffron per matzoh ball. Saffron being the most expensive spice in the world – $0.75/unit is not inexpensive, but the exquisite result is worth every cent. Besides, the cost of the other ingredients is very reasonable.

saffron matzoh ball recipe

Blend 2 large eggs with 2 T. good olive oil. Stir in saffron.

saffron matzoh ball recipe

Let saffron infuse the egg/oil mixture for about 10 minutes. Stir again.

Add one packet (2 1/2 oz.) matzoh ball mix. Mix well.

saffron matzoh ball mix

Place matzoh ball mixture in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

In the meantime bring a large pot of water to a boil.

saffron matzoh balls

Roll chilled matzoh ball mixture into eight balls.

Drop balls into boiling water. Cover. Lower the heat to medium low.
Cook for 30 minutes, do not lift lid while cooking (no peeking)!

matzoh ball soup, saffron matzoh balls

Place carrots and chopped parsley in a shallow bowl.
Add matzoh ball then ladle hot soup into the bowl. Serve with matzoh.

matzoh ball soup, saffron matzoh ball, saffron

Beyond the beautiful rich color, these matzoh balls taste exotic, mysterious.
Do I dare serve these at Passover?

(For your convenience, everything you always wanted to know about making
the fluffiest, most delicious matzoh balls is reprinted here).

31 comments • Filed in: Entertaining

31 Responses to “Saffron Matzoh Balls”

  1. Mary Hirsch says:

    This is so wonderful, Lori. I grew up on saffron bread/biscuits which my aunts and then my mother and then my daughter and I made/make for the holidays. Now we’re Cornish coal miners that landed in Wisconsin and Iowa so you realize we are probably not Jewish. When Michael (he is Jewish) and I got married, we made him try saffron bread during our first family Christmas holiday. The rule is that if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it. The spice is too expensive to waste on people who aren’t “of the saffron cult.” He passed. I got his portion. The marriage lasted 26 years. I wish he were still alive for me to present Saffron Matzoh Balls in his soup. He would have laughed and laughed and eaten every bite. Thanks for letting me enjoy this memory today.

  2. [...] My family and friends are celebrating the Jewish New Year 5773. And I’m thinking about noodle kugel. Kugel is a sweet Jewish casserole. I bake mine with egg noodles, golden raisins, cottage cheese, cinnamon, and apples. I was also thinking about my saffron matzoh balls… [...]

  3. Okay, clearly I have to try these, I’m totally intrigued. I adore saffron, and I agree with you about tasting saffron in a dish. I absolutely love the flavor. Re: bacon wrapped matzo balls, I’ve heard they do that (and other irreverent twists on Jewish cooking) at The Gorbals in downtown LA. I haven’t had a chance to visit yet. Something about it seems a little sacrilege. Next time you make these, try using schmaltz (or rendered goose fat) instead of olive oil. Amazing!

  4. Laurie says:

    Hi Lori!
    When I lived in Orange County growing up we used to frequent a Kosher deli that served the best soups.. Matzoh Ball soup was a year round favorite for me. I never tried making it from scratch.. Is there a matzoh ball mix you recommend?
    This soup looks amazing!!
    Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. Cynthia says:

    Ummmm, one day I hope to taste matzoh. What does it taste lik?

  6. Susan says:

    One of the best comfort soups ever! Creative and lovely, LL. Matzoh balls are *the* easiest dumplings to make. Thanks be to the heavens for them. : )

  7. Those are absolutely stunning! They look perfect, moist and I adore the color!

  8. Oh wow, the Matzoh balls look so delicious! I love saffron and am always looking for ways to incorporate into my cooking! Thanks for the post!

  9. Barbara says:

    Recently I posted a matzoh ball soup…wish I had seen this before. I adore the softer color of the matzoh ball. Will add saffron to my recipe from now on! Your presentation with the colorful carrots is gorgeous!

  10. Tamar says:

    I <3 Matzoh balls and usually make a kimchi soup with them. Those saffron balls with the yellow and orange carrots are gorgeous, though.

  11. Cara says:

    The saffron is a lovely addition! I experimented with stuffed matzoh balls tonight and it went really well. I think vegetable purees would be pretty too, like beets!

  12. Lazaro says:

    LL,

    Matzoh balls never looked so good. Love the pinch of saffron, goes a long way. Presented flawlessly.

    Bravo.

  13. Oh Lori Lynn, your remark about the “Matzoh Balls Wrapped in Bacon” really made my day! I am still giggling. ;-) Your saffron matzo balls sure must be delicious, I’d love to taste them!

    Austrian Griessnockerl are very similar to Matzo balls, made with semolina instead of matzo meal and shaped like quenelles.

  14. Leslie Uhl says:

    I love the idea of saffron matzoh balls, they look and sound wonderful! That will be a must-try next time I get hold of some saffron! (Sadly, T.J.’s is too far away right now.) Lovely pics, too!

  15. yes, yes, do serve them – and send me an invite. What a great use for saffron. I actually have a lot of saffron in the house – I buy a bunch every time I go to Italy – and would love to try making these. There’s a similar dish in Northern Italy (near Austria) called canederli.

  16. Lori Lynn, those are just gorgeous, I’m loving the idea of infusing matzo balls with saffron! I wasn’t going to make the matzo ball soup this year but now I’ve got to make this for my family for sure!

  17. Tiffany says:

    I love everything saffron. These Matzoh balls look amazing!

  18. doggybloggy says:

    you are so creative – how delightful to have a saffron matzo ball.

  19. Yes! I’m definitely tasting with the eyes! I’m so intrigued my Matzo balls these days. I had my first one at Katella Deli in Los Alamitos about a month and a half ago. I wasn’t too impressed. Maybe it was too bland for me and the broth too salty. I want to try your recipe! Also, thank you sooooooooo much for the tip about making a clear broth; I’m definitely guilty of putting the heat on high!

  20. Simona says:

    Simply beautiful, Lori Lynn. I also got a bunch of colorful carrots yesterday and they will end up in a soup.

  21. My mom used to make a really good matzoh ball soup…mmmm… thanks for reminding me! :) But, that is the prettiest matzoh ball I have ever seen!!

  22. Peggy says:

    I’ve never tried matzoh ball soup, but hear it’s just absolutely delicious! This version sounds like a great way to start! =)

  23. Claudia says:

    Oh do serve them. I am going to try this. I made mussels with saffron yesterday and forgot about the elegant taste that it brought. And stunning color. I may have to make a seder meal – just cause. (Laughed about the bacon in one matzoh call recipe…)

  24. Janis says:

    You made my heart skip a beat. How beautiful. I keep threatening to make gelfite fish. It just scares me because it could never compare to the memories of my grandma’s.

  25. This is brilliant! I use saffron every once in a while, and have enjoyed it in chicken soups, especially if potatoes are involved. I’m going to have to try this technique of grounding saffron and incorporating them into dishes. This matzoh ball must have been outrageously good!

  26. Liz says:

    Oh, boy, beautiful photos and picture perfect matzoh balls…I’d love a few right now :)

  27. I adore matzoh ball soup. Kicking it up with saffron is brilliant. A must try!!

  28. sara826 says:

    I have never had matzoh ball soup. This looks amazing!

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