Savory Mushroom and Cheese Matzo Brei for those types of days.

A couple of days ago I had a crazy day. Organizing a move and the paperwork that inevitably goes along with it – this is France after all – is stressful. After all the times I’ve moved, six different states and one country not to mention countless apartment, I should have a system memorized like instrument fingerings. But no. It’s as hectic now as it was the first time I filled my old Toyota Corolla up with everything I owned and drove off to university for my first fall semester.

These are the times when it’s good to find comfort where I can. I like to listen to Bach, an old habit given to me by an oboe teacher, read books I’ve read a thousand times before, and make some of my favorite dishes. Everyone has their favorite comfort foods. I think we can all agree that a fresh, homemade macaroni and cheese works wonders for the soul. As do warm, gooey, perfect chocolate chip cookies.

Spicie Foodie happened to bring up one of her favorite comfort foods from childhood. Mexican Green Beans with Eggs. Not only does it sound wonderful and perfect for summer, but it got me thinking about the foods my mother used to make for me that I particularly loved as a child. One of those was Matzo Brei.

Matzo Brei (pronounced like fry) is traditionally served during Passover week when the eating of leavened breads is forbidden. It’s a simple dish of Matzo and eggs and my mom liked to make it sweet, sprinkling it with a bit of sugar to have as a breakfast treat during the week.

I hadn’t thought of Matzo Brei in years. I must admit that until I was about 15 I thought the name for it was Matzo Bride and spent many a naïve childhood Passover musing over why it was called bride and making up stories to myself about women in white dresses eating it before their wedding ceremony.

The dish itself has been described as a Jewish version of French toast. That doesn’t sit right with me, because I loved my matzo brei scrambled, a towering mash on my plate glistening with sugar crystals slowly absorbing themselves into the egg and matzo. It’s possible to make it pretty, round, perfectly layered, omelet like. But why? Comfort food, in my mind, is best served the way we remember it as children.

It’s a relatively recent dish to Jewish cuisine and it hasn’t changed much from its inception. While researching this blog post a bit, I found this tidbit from the Jewish Daily Forward that made me smile.

According to the “Encyclopedia of Jewish Food,” the common brei recipe — soaked matzo dipped in egg and pan-fried — can be traced back to the late 19th century — or in Jewish terms, last week. (Article by Gordon Haber)

But while the base recipe is simple and unchanged, the variations are endless.

As soon as I recalled my fond memories of matzo brei, I knew that I had to make some. But I didn’t want to make it for breakfast when I can’t even handle making coffee for myself without spilling beans and water everywhere. Thank God for my coffee pot’s timer. So I though I revere matzo brei with sugar, I created a savory dish for dinner.

The base recipe: matzo soaked in water, drained, and then mixed with beaten eggs.

My additions: wild mushrooms and Munster cheese.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, a little voice said “I don’t think cheese and eggs are kosher” but this is my dish and after the crazy day I’d had, and looking toward the crazier days to come, I wanted something that would put a smile on my face and in my tummy.

And it did.

The husband, who had never had matzo brei or even matzo before, was watching me curiously. He inspected the matzo box and tasted a bit saying it would be good with salted butter. He was probably dreaming about sausage on top. But he declared the savory matzo brei a success and I promised to make him the sweet version sometime soon so he could have a taste of my childhood memories.

Savory Mushroom and Cheese Matzo Brei for those types of days.
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Nostalgic and savory mushroom and Munster matzo brei
Ingredients
  • 2 large matzo
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g Munster cheese
  • ½ cup frozen mushrooms*
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl break up the matzo into small, irregular pieces. Cover with hot water and let sit for one minute. Drain the water. Add eggs and beat together until well mixed. Add cheese, beat again. Salt and pepper if you like.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan and cook your mushrooms. Add the matzo mixture and cook for about 6-8 minutes on medium heat the way you would scrambled eggs. Add some olive oil and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve.
Notes
*Fresh mushrooms are fine too. I had some frozen wild mushrooms in the freezer I wanted to use up.

 

About Holly

I love food and wine.
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6 comments


  1. I am so intrigued! I have never heard of this dish before and I totally want to try it. I also want to try your sweetened version, because that sounds right up my alley. Is it just eggs and a little sugar to taste? I have some mushrooms that need to be used up today or tomorrow, I think I might stop by the grocery store and pick up some matzo after work. (Hopefully I can find it!)

    • Yeah, plain matzo brei is nothing more than eggs and water soaked matzo fried in a pan and sprinkled with sugar. So simple and so divine.

      Check the kosher section of the market, they should have a few boxes. During Passover, it’s everywhere.

  2. Loved it. Matzo Brei is wonderful, and it is puzzling that no one ever really thinks to fancy it up or serve it outside of the 8 days of Passover. Well done! I’m forwarding this to Allison and making her make some for me next time I’m home. :)

  3. Hi Holly,
    I’m glad to see that you treated yourself with the comforts of your childhood. I have never tried matzo but have always been curious about it. Both your savory and sweet versions sound delicious. There’s nothing like happy memories and comfort food:)

  4. Mom

    You really made me laugh out loud! It’s a good thing you figured out it wasn’t “bride” otherwise you would have been frying up a big batch to eat before you got married! You are just too cute! Loved this!

  5. I absolutely LOVE matzoh. This looks amazing. Kosher is for the birds. ;)

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