In WITF's Kitchen with Chef Donna Desfor

Review - Matzo: 35 Recipes for Passover and All Year Long

Written by Chef Donna Desfor | Apr 3, 2017 9:00 AM


Matzo: 35 Recipes for Passover and All Year Long, by Michele Streit Heilbrun and David Kirschner, copyright © 2017.  Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LC.  Photography copyright © 2017 by Jennifer May.

Our Summary:

Who thinks of matzo as in ingredient?  Happily, we all can with Michele Streit Heilbrun's Matzo: 35 Recipes for Passover and All Year Long.  No longer will you wander past the matzo display in your market and wonder.  This smart, short, book will change the way you think of simple unleavened bread.  Even if you've never used matzo (or ate it) you'll be reaching for it from your grocer's shelf.  Filled with recipes that appeal to young and old, Matzo will keep you cooking well beyond the 8 spring days of the Passover holiday.  You might even begin to stock it as a pantry staple. 

What you need to know:

Get It:   Matzo: 35 Recipes for Passover and All Year Long, by Michele Streit Heilbrun and David Kirschner.  Published by Clarkson Potter, March 7, 2017, Hardcover $14.99 (Amazon $10.52; Kindle $10.99)

See It:  112 pages with color photographs of most of the finished recipes.  The chapters cover breakfast to dinner and dessert.  The introduction and the context of matzo and the Jewish Passover Holiday - even if you are familiar with it - is a lovely read.  The index is easy to use and thorough.

Make It:  35 recipes suitable for home-cooking and entertaining throughout the year. 

Our Review:

If you've had the pleasure of joining in a Passover celebration - whether staunchly traditional or a more modern gathering, you'll definitely remember the matzo and the story behind it.  Beyond that, most probably never give matzo a passing thought.  Luckily, Michele (Mikie) Streit Heilbrun of the famed Streit's Matzo family gives us a few reasons (35 to be exact) to rethink this unleavened wonder in her first cookbook, Matzo.

Matzo and matzo meal, plentiful in most grocery stores in early spring warrants little more than a passing glace to some.  Matzo gives home cooks the opportunity to stretch their wings and get creative with an affordably different ingredient that can yield some tasty results.  When you consider that matzo is a cracker-like bread made from flour and water, it's not hard to imagine ways you might use it.  So, you're not surprised to find recipes for Matzo-Mustard Crusted Salmon or Meatloaf with Charred Tomato Glaze.  But stumble across Cheesy Lemon Pancakes or Matzo Tiramisu, Matzo Granola, or even Matzo Spaetzle and you realize the creative genius that lay between these pages. 

Looking for something to nosh on?  You'll want to try the Matzo Nachos with Pickled Jalapenos.  Something to satisfy the kids?  Why not try one of the pizzas?  Need a little chocolate fix?  You'll find manageable, quick recipes for Rocky Road Truffles or a Chocolate Cherry Torte all at your fingertips. 

As an ingredient, matzo may not be a the top of everyone's list for a well-stocked pantry.  But once you flip through the pages of Matzo you may begin to think differently.  If nothing more, having a book like Matzo in your library gives license to your creative side that may even spur on a few new recipes of your own.  

Published in In witfs Kitchen with Chef Donna Desfor

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