Jessie and Lennie Ware's Matzo Brei
Matzo is a large square cracker of unleavened flatbread that actually doesn’t taste of much – it’s simply flour and water – but add a slab of butter and a sharp Cheddar and it’s heavenly. It is eaten all year round but is integral to the Passover story: the Jews had to leave Egypt quickly (escaping slavery and tyranny), heading for Israel, and didn’t have time to wait for their bread to rise, so they settled for unleavened flatbread, which they ate in the wilderness.
My father loved Passover and used to make matzo brei for me (the only thing he would cook!). Brei means ‘fry’, so this dish is simply fried matzo. It’s like eggy bread (French toast). My South African Jewish friends introduced me to a sweet version with cinnamon and sugar on the top, but I was brought up on the savoury, eating it at breakfast during Passover week when I wasn’t allowed toast in the morning. It’s a comforting dish, easy to make and incredibly satisfying. Don’t hold back on the butter.
|pinch of salt|
|8||matzo sheet crackers|
|butter, for frying|
In a wide shallow dish, beat the eggs together with a pinch of salt.
Break up each matzo sheet into 4 pieces. Put all the matzo in a large bowl with enough cold water to cover them completely, soak for about 20–30 seconds until softened, then drain off the water.
Heat a large knob of butter in a large frying pan until hot. Dip 2 pieces of softened matzo into the beaten eggs until fully coated, then fry until the egg is cooked through. Repeat until all the matzo is cooked, adding more butter whenever the pan looks dry.
Serve immediately, either on its own or with smoked salmon, or sprinkled with sugar and a little cinnamon.