At Passover, everyone in the family looked forward to my mother-in-law Florence’s kigelach, Yorkshire pudding–like muffins made from matzah farfel (matzah crumbles). She and my father-in-law, Lou, doubled and quadrupled the recipe to make enough for their growing clan. After Fuff passed away, I found her shorthand recipe notes: “heat the CF in the MT” (heat the chicken fat in the muffin tin). Here’s her original recipe with my addition of long-cooked leeks, a traditional Sephardic vegetable for Passover. Leeks are at their best this time of year and make these little muffins even more tender and luscious. Serve with roast chicken and gravy, or as a savory snack or brunch accompaniment any time of the year. Use the fat of your choice according to the rest of your meal.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 2 large leeks
- 6 tablespoons (90 g) schmaltz (page 24), butter, or mild oil, such as avocado, grapeseed, or safflower
- 1½ cups (110 g) matzah farfel
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Kosher or sea salt
1. Cut off the tough green tops from the leeks and reserve for making stock. Chop the white portions; you should have about 2 cups (180 g). In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the schmaltz or oil over medium heat. Add leeks and a little salt, stir well, and cook until their color brightens, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook leeks slowly, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 25 minutes. Reduce heat as needed to prevent leeks from browning. If the leeks begin to stick, add a bit of water. You should have about 1 cup (100 g) cooked leeks. Set aside to cool. (Leeks can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.)
2. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place farfel in a bowl, cover with water to soften, about 2 minutes, and drain well. While the farfel is soaking, in a large bowl, use a fork to whisk eggs with 1 teaspoon salt. Stir farfel, cooled leeks, and parsley into the eggs.
3. Place 1 teaspoon schmaltz in each cup of a 12-cup muffin pan. Place the pan in the oven to melt and heat the fat, about 3 minutes. Fill each muffin cup three-fourths full with the batter (about 2 heaping tablespoons).
4. Bake muffins until puffed and golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and turn muffins out onto a wire rack. They should release easily. Serve warm or let cool on the rack before mounding in a bowl or basket. (The muffins can be refrigerated overnight and reheated, uncovered, in a 350°F (180°C) oven.)
Reprinted with permission from The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen © 2015 by Amelia Saltsman, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.