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Chosen Eats: Passover Recipe – Matzah Brei with Onions, Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraiche

The first time I ate matzah brei, I was in college and a friend was pouring maple syrup over a matzah-and-egg mixture that she swore was her favorite Passover dish. I was suspicious. I wasn’t averse to eating eggs and matzah, but I certainly wasn’t anticipating enjoying wet matzah. But like many matzah brei first-timers, I was pleasantly surprised. Since then, I’ve eaten my share of matzah brei, and I favor the savory versions. This one combines customary Jewish flavored onion, smoked salmon and creme fraiche and is prepared like a Spanish tortilla, browned on one side, flipped, then cut into wedges.

Matzah Brei

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons butter, cut into 3 pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ red onion, sliced thin
4 eggs, plus 1 yolk
2 tablespoons half-and-half
2 teaspoons chopped dill
3 sheets matzah
Smoked salmon, for serving

Lemony Creme Fraiche

1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon juice

1. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat until butter has melted and is only slightly frothy. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned and soft, about 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, dill, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Fill baking dish with 2 inches of water and submerge matzah for 15 seconds. Drain dish and crumble matzah into egg mixture.

3. When onions are cooked through, pour egg and matzah mixture into pan. Shake pan and use rubber spatula to fold mixture over itself for 10 seconds. Smooth top of mixture and let cook until bottom is light brown and edges easily pull away from sides of pan, about 7 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, stir together creme fraiche, lemon zest and lemon juice in small bowl. Set aside.

5. Using rubber spatula, loosen matzah brei from pan and slide it cooked-side down onto large dinner plate or cutting board. (Bottom should be set, while top is still jiggly.) Place second large dinner plate upside-down on top of matzah brei, so matzah brei is completely covered. Holding both plates, flip plates over so cooked side is now on top. Remove top plate, and slide matzah brei back into pan. Cook until bottom is cooked through and golden brown, another 3 minutes. Transfer to serving plate, cut in wedges and serve with lemony creme fraiche.

Chosen Eats appears every Thursday on Read past columns here.

Mari Levine

Mari Levine is a freelance food writer and an editor for America’s Test Kitchen, where she combines her journalism and culinary degrees from Brandeis University and Johnson & Wales, respectively, with her restaurant and lifelong eating experience. When she’s not working hoisin sauce into everything she eats or binging on anything sandwiched between two slices of bread, she can be found on her bike, engrossed in a documentary, or playing sports that involve throwing and/or catching a ball (the latest: flag football).


Author: Mari Levine