Matzah Balls/Kneidlach: Fat-Free #4 - pareve

Posted by : "Sarah"

There is absolutely no reason to put fat into kneidlach.  Aside from making
the soup greasy, the idea is totally idiotic and counterintuitive.  I have
no idea why anyone does it, or why recipes always suggest it.  Chicken soup
in our family is totally greaseless!

Kneidlach without fat, without refrigeration, without waiting --

I don't have a recipe, because this is how my family has made kneidlach for
generations, but here is how we do it:

Separate the egg(s), with white(s) in a bowl big enough to beat them.  The
yolk(s) can go in a smaller bowl.  One egg is enough for one very hungry
person who hasn't eaten much because of the flu, but probably two or three
people for a few kneidlach in soup before dinner.  But everyone will want
seconds, so make two eggs' worth.

Start heating the soup.

Beat the yolk a little bit with a whisk (my greatgrandmother probably used
a fork?)
Little by little, add matzo meal until the egg won't take any more.  Add
salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste, but easy on the nutmeg. The mixture will be
pretty stiff.  Add little bits of warm soup, spoon by spoon, to make the
mixture smooth and looser, maybe to the consistency of oatmeal. The stiffer
the more like golf balls, the looser the more like fluffy almost melting
your result will be.  I prefer golf balls, but for company I relax the
mixture toward acceptable fluffy standards.

Beat the egg white(s) well, to soft peak at least, very very fluffy.
Add a little bit of fluff to the yolk mixture to lighten it, then add the
lightened yolk mixture to the whites and fold to combine without
compressing the whites.  You now have a lovely yellow frothy mixture.

The soup should now be hot, just slightly boiling.

With fingers of your right hand, put a blob of mixture in your left palm,
roll into a round blob, and drop into the bubbling soup. Or with a spoon,
use your thumb to roll a blob off the spoon into a roundish shape, and drop
into the soup.  The spoon method is better for even portions, but I can't
get them as round this way. Don't worry too much too much about shape,
either, since an oval is just as yummy as a sphere. (The comparison might
be hush puppies, which are better when dropped any old way than when they
are perfect balls.) Whether hard or soft, I still make golf ball size,
rather than the baseball size I have seen in restaurants. The ones made
this way do expand when cooked.

Beware: This is not neat.  It is sticky.  When the mixture is all used up,
you wash your hands! It is ok if the kneidlach are in "layers" in the pot -
eventually they bounce around and all get cooked.  When all the kneidlach
rise to the top, or fight to get to the top, they are done.  The soup is
hot, the kneidlach are done:  Tam gan eden.

If they aren't just how you like them, experiment with the amount of matzo
meal in the yolk and the amount of soup added before the whites.  Since
every egg is a little different, measuring won't help.  You need to learn
what it looks and feels like and adjust until you get the idea.  Or, you
could visit my mother and watch them be made in record speed.

Sarah

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