Yeah, you read that correctly. I am about to share with you a top secret recipe – one that has never before been made public. It’s a recipe that has stood the test of time and one that is near and dear to my heart. And it has nothing to do with a certain stand up comedian turned television whore who spells his name wrong.
Howie Mandell (Double L) is my dad and he doesn’t really cook. My love of cooking is actually a direct result of my parents penchant for ordering out. But the one thing that my dad made was matzo brei. He made it once or twice a year, but it was always a special treat for me. My brother wouldn’t touch it. My mother either didn’t like it or she pretended not to because she knew how much I did. Needless to say, I ate most of it.
In many of the supermarkets of my childhood, matzo was free with a $50 purchase – typically 5 boxes worth. Even with a family of 4, we never got through all 5 boxes. That’s where the matzo brei came in.
Now this isn’t your typical matzo brei. I remember vividly the first time I ordered matzo brei at a restaurant. I remember looking at my plate and wondering where this restaurant had gone wrong. It was a pile of scrambled eggs and pieces of matzo – not at all what my dad made. It took me a while to realize that the restaurant version was the common one and my dad’s was something entirely different.
In the Twin Cities, Passover stuff is hard to find and then when you find it, it’s priced like illegal drugs (I’m talking to you Byerly’s and Lund’s). The Passover section in most stores is bare bones and quite frankly, a rip off. So when I found matzo at Costco, I jumped on it. Well, I guess jumping on matzo is not a great idea, but you get the point. The only problem is that it’s a package of 5 boxes – the same 5 boxes that I used to get for free. And the same 5 boxes that my family never got through in an entire Passover holiday. What am I going to do with all of that unleavened bread?
Well, here you go:
1 box of matzo (eat 1 or 2 sheets and use the rest for the recipe)
4-5 eggs, whipped
1 cup golden raisins
2 apples, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons, cinnamon
pinch of salt
- Break up the matzo.
- Soak the matzo in hot water until mushy.
- Dump the matzo into a hot and oiled 12″ frying pan.
- Pour the eggs over the matzo and stir.
- Add the raisins, apples, cinnamon, and salt. Stir evenly.
- With a spatula, flatten the mixture and mold it to the shape of the pan.
- When the bottom is browned, take a plate and cover the pan.
- Flip the pan over and loosen until the matzo brei slides off.
- Slide the matzo brei back into the pan and cook the other side until browned.
- Slice like a quiche and serve.
It’s delicious as is, but I’m sure some applesauce or sour cream would work just fine. Also, don’t underestimate the apples and raisins – that fiber goes a long way if you know what I mean.
And there it is – the original Howie Mandell’s matzo brei.
Good thing he’s coming to visit next week, so I can see the man in action.
Photo: My big ass box of matzo