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Matzos Ball Disaster?

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pastaguy Oct 2, 2011 06:00 PM

Thanks all for the help with the plum torte, it worked out nicely. We had one mini-disaster on Rosh Hashana, and I'd love some help making sure that it doesn't happen again.

We used Joan Nathan's 'fluffy matzos ball' recipe. Mixed it all up the night before and put it in the fridge to chill. The next morning, we dished it out into ping pong ball-sized portions (per the recipe) and then into boiling water to cook. We did a few hours before guests arrived in an attempt to get things done in advance. Lid on, and then they puffed up to about 4-5x their former size (they literally pushed the lid off the pot). Suffice it to say, at this point, we felt pretty proud of ourselves.

We turned off the heat and transferred them into the soup pot, and within about 2 minutes, they had shrunk down to golf-ball size again. When we ate them later that night, the flavor was good, but they were waaaaay too dense. I guess that you could cook them right before service, but realistically, who's going to do that?

How do you make matzos balls fluff up and stay fluffy for a few hours/days?

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  1. h
    HillJ Oct 2, 2011 07:19 PM

    pastaguy, I ladle a prepared matzo ball or two into a bowl and pour the warmed soup over. I don't transfer prepared matzo balls into the soup pot.

    http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/02/mat...

    2 Replies
    1. re: HillJ
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      valerie Oct 2, 2011 07:31 PM

      I agree. I make matzo balls a day ahead of serving, cool, refrigerate but not in any liquid. Day of serving, take them out and let them get to room temp, them pour hot soup over them.

      I would think, though, that sitting in the soup they would absorb the soup and get bigger, not smaller....weird.

      1. re: valerie
        h
        HillJ Oct 2, 2011 07:41 PM

        I was thinking they might have gotten cooked twice and just shrank from too much time spent under a hot pot. They start out delicate and toughen up from too much heat and handling usually. The first pot they cooked, the second they dried out...maybe. But yes, what you described is how I was taught.

    2. b
      brooklynkoshereater Oct 2, 2011 07:28 PM

      I wish I could help. I've made matzoh balls many times, transferring them to the soup bowl successfully, and have never had them reduce in size - hope this one experience doesn't scare you off the wonder that is chicken-matzoh-ball soup.

      1 Reply
      1. re: brooklynkoshereater
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        DaisyM Oct 3, 2011 04:33 AM

        I had one matzoh ball disaster and since then it is Manischewitz mix for me. I can make them ahead and put them on a baking sheet and refrigerate. Bring to room temp before you are using them and then a quick dunk in the soup. They always come out well and it is one less thing to worry about.

      2. r
        rockycat Oct 3, 2011 06:48 AM

        I was very lazy this year and was holding my breath when dinner time came. I made the matzah balls late Wednesday morning and couldn't be bothered to take them out of the pot. When they were done I just turned off the heat, pushed the pot to a back burner, and left them sitting in the hot water for the rest of the day. Come dinnertime (very late - after shul - about 8:30 PM) I served and they were just fine. Good texture, good flavor.

        Honestly, when Aunt Frances named these "Never Fail Knaidlach" she knew what she was talking about. In nearly 20 years of making them I have never been able to ruin them, no matter how I abuse them. Except for overhandling. I never, ever do that.

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          acgold7 Oct 3, 2011 01:00 PM

          Honestly, I've never heard of this happening. The only thing I can think is they cooked enough so they expanded but not enough so they solidified completely, like a cake that might have been removed from the oven too soon and collapses.

          Did the recipe you used call for beaten egg whites? Maybe they puffed up like a souffle and then collapsed. I always cook mine directly in the soup and have never had them collapse.

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