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Ginger Ale in matzo balls

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So I made matzo ball soup for the first time in my life (actually have never eaten it before, so don't even know what it's *supposed* to taste like). I used a recipe from epicurious, below. (In full disclosure I used a mixture of chicken fat and butter instead of margarine; I know, that's not kosher, but neither am I.) I really liked it (the matzo balls have lots of leeks and chives in them) but wondered about the addition of 2T ginger ale for 1 cup of matzo flour. Seems like a very small amount to really make a difference (and I hate buying a six pack of soda for 2T; but I did. I never keep soda in the house, but I'm sure the kids will eventually drink it, if I let them). I did see other recipes on the web that include ginger ale, usually in larger quantities. Does anyone know whether it really adds anything, and whether more *would* be better?

Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

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  1. I've added seltzer to my matzoh balls... I don't like the idea of ginger ale in them at all. The carbonation is supposed to help make them lighter; I'm not sure if this has been proven or anything. I would be wary of adding too much ginger ale. I don't think I like that flavor combination one bit. I do, however, enjoy some grated onion and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper in the matzo ball batter.

    1. I have a colleague who swears that club soda makes her matzo balls light and fluffy.
      I think they always need more boiling than the recipe: a good 45 min. to an hour, if you have the time.
      I loved a recipe from an Evelyn Rose cookbook that called for ground almonds and parsley. Unfortunately the guy I married (and our kids) think that's too weird.
      Sorry, I can't get past your use of butter with the chicken. Parve margarine combined with a bit of chicken fat works well. Otherwise, just go with all chicken fat.

      1. Club soda can make matzoh balls lighter, but I've found that a pinch of baking soda works better. (If you look on those packages of matzoh ball mix, that's all that's in them aside from matzoh meal and preservatives.)

        Ginger ale sounds disgusting, to be honest. Matzoh balls should not be sweet. If you want a gingery sort of taste, add a pinch of powdered ginger. (Ginger ale hardly has any ginger in it anyway.)

        1. Oy, sounds like an improvement for the worse.

          1 Reply
          1. re: OyGevalt

            Hey, I didn't make it up! Just happened to be in the recipe that appealed to me (and it was good; I don't think the miniscule amount of ginger ale made a difference either way).

            I've seen it in a few other recipes. Just was wondering. Seltzer sounds better to me too.

          2. Jewish matzoh balls should not contain leeks and chives in any amount, especially lots of them. I strongly advise you to just purchase a box of matzoh meal and follow the directions. Full disclosure all around: for health reasons my own matzoh balls contain neither schmaltz nor butter - only canola or light olive oil.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Niki Rothman

              What is your matzoh ball recipe? All the ones I see contain a lot of chicken fat/butter/oil... I'm looking for something healthy! Thanks

              1. re: Pita_Turner

                Contrary to "popular opinion," Chicken fat is not unhealthy.

                1. re: ChefJune

                  Thank you. I am so sick of the fat police !!!