Don’t Read This If You Don’t Brok

On a completely unrelated note (to the below post), Pesach is also the time for Matza Brie (which, in my house growing up, was always called Matzia). In my family, the recipe is part of the mesorah. Literally, my father learned from his father and I learned from mine (who was a little reluctant to have allowed the torch to pass, but had to admit, after having tasted mine, that I learned well). My family’s Matzia is a dry, pancake style one. The matza is crushed into small pieces, and compacted into a large, hopefully one-piece flat pie, which is then cut up into pieces and served (and on my plate, doused with syrup).

Last year, my first Pesach spent away from my family, I was left to make matzia myself. Why, you ask? Certainly, your wife’s family, (with whom I spent the chag) had a recipe for matza brie? Sure, they said they did. But then they made it. And I realized I wasn’t in Kansas anymore (I was in Miami). You see, my wife’s family makes a Matza Brie that is really more like an egg and matza omelet. It’s wet, it’s loose, it has a lot more eggs than my recipe (and I think there’s sugar thrown into the mix). I’m sure it’s yummy (I tried it, reluctantly. And really, when have you known me to not like food?) but it’s not Matza Brie. Not to me. So, after my mother-in-law made matza brie for everyone, I went to work. I remembered watching my father do it countless times (had called him before the chag for the correct matza:egg ratio) and I got to work. I was thrown out there on my own. And I did it. I made matzia, G-style. I called my father after the first days to let him know that the mesorah was alive and well in me. I think he shepped some nachas. I hope he did.

Then, after having mastered the basic recipe (and the always difficult yet essential art of flipping the matzia), I attempted to branch out and try new things. I made a thinner, crispier crust, lightly fried it, and baked it as a crust for matza pizza (which was so much more awesome than just using a matza). This year, I tried something even newer. I think the idea scared my father (of making a savory matzia, with sauteed mushrooms and onions fried in and cheese melted on top), but like I said, he admitted it was tasty (and that I was a good flipper…which for me was like getting a hascama from the gadol hador. It was a proud moment.) It was the first time my father saw me make a matzia.

So what kind of matzia do you like? Pancake style, or scrambled egg style? (And no smart-asses saying things like “I hate matza” or “I’d rather have real pancakes.” This isn’t a post about matzia being the best food ever, it’s about making do on Pesach.)

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3 responses to “Don’t Read This If You Don’t Brok

  1. I had a similar moment with my in-laws in Miami a few years back. Years ago my father started making his now famous Matzah Brie Pizza. You essentially make the matzah brie the way your family does – fairly dry and solid like a pancake (use olive oil to fry). Then you add marinara sauce and cheese and bake it in the oven until the cheese melts. It’s like pan pizza and it’s awesome.

    Rob

  2. Rob,

    Your father’s method was exactly what I did. Little did I know, that while I was innovating for myself, that I was mikaven to such an important figure as your father! What a zchus for me to learn!

    I didn’t mention in the post, but after my Matzia Pizza worked out so well, I tried something else. I made two very thin matza brie pancakes, and put a layer of shredded cheese between them, then baked with marinara sauce and cheese and made Stuffed Crust Matzia Pizza. It was good. Admittedly, as would be expected, it was very heavy and thick. And loaded with cheese (SO unhealty). But it was good.

  3. All I can say is, thank Gd this mesorah continues through Noyam!
    But if you ever need an Israeli salad, you can call me!

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