These Matzo balls have been the bane of my existence for the past few weeks. Yes, I have yet again been experimenting with recipes for my Paleo Passover presentation this Wednesday. I am not trying to be cocky, but I can usually nail a recipe on the second or third try. However, that was NOT the case with these matzo balls. I literally tried 10 different formulas. My family, particularly my husband, has been subjected to numerous taste tests, discussions around flavor, texture, density, shape, blah, blah, blah. My poor friend Andrea is probably ready to strangle me after having lengthy conversations about what would make the perfect fluffy matzo ball. I even resorted to going to the market to look at the matzo ball mix package to see if I could get some inspiration. As you can see below, that was really helpful. (Yeah right)
So after much research and experimentation, I think I finally got it down. The combination of quinoa flour and almond flour is what works the best. The almond flour version made beautiful looking matzo balls, but the consistency just wasn’t there. Somehow the quinoa flour makes the matzo balls less dense inside. I tried a version with 3 eggs, then 2 eggs and finally settled on 3 eggs. What is important to remember is that you need to allow 2 – 4 hours to refrigerate the matzo ball batter before you cook the matzo balls. This is critical to making nice round balls.
I wasn’t planning on making chicken soup to go along with the matzo balls for Paleo Passover. I was just going to serve the matzo balls in some chicken stock. However, one of the nights I was playing around, I also needed to make dinner for my family so I whipped up the soup to go along with the matzo balls. I gave Andrea some to taste with the matzo balls. Although the matzo balls failed, she really liked the soup. I made it again yesterday since I hadn’t even written down the ingredients or quantities the first time. I do have to admit it is very easy and quite tasty, with or without the matzo balls.
So, drum roll please …. Here is the recipe!
Matzo-free Matzo Balls and Quick Chicken Soup
Prep Time – Matzo Balls: 5 minutes, plus 2 – 4 hours to refrigerate before boiling
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10 Medium sized Matzo balls
Ingredients – Matzo balls:
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup quinoa flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well.
- The mixture will be kind of loose, that is ok.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but 3 or 4 is better.
- Prior to removing from the refrigerator, fill a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Take the matzo ball batter out and roll it into small balls. They may have a hard time sticking together, that is ok.
- Place the “balls” into the boiling water and let it come back to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove from water and transfer directly into soup or store in tupperware container for later.
- The matzo balls will firm and fluff up when cooking to about one and half times their uncooked size.
Quick Chicken Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hours
Servings: 10 – 12 meal sized portions, closer to 16 for side dish servings
- 2 lbs. of leftover chicken or 2 lbs. of boneless chicken breast
- 8 cups of chicken stock – I used Pacific Chicken Bone Stock which has no sugar
- 3 – 4 medium sized parsnips
- 4 – 5 medium sized carrots
- 8 small celery stalks or 6 medium sized stalks
- 2 tbsp. Herb De Provence
- 1 tbsp. dried parsley
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp – 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- A few sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional)
- If you don’t have leftover chicken, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut chicken breasts into smaller pieces so they will cook quickly.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for about 12 minutes.
- In the meantime, pour the stock into a large soup pot.
- Chop the parsnips, carrots and celery into 1 inch pieces, or smaller or bigger based on how you like them and add to the stock.
- Add the dried herbs, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Add your leftover chicken, which has been diced, if that is your plan.
- Otherwise, remove the chicken from the oven and cut it into bite sized pieces with kitchen sheers and add to soup. It is ok, if it is not quite done as it will continue to cook in the soup.
- Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to low to simmer.
- Cook for at least 1 hour, but longer is fine too.
- Add your fresh herbs about 15 minutes before serving so they don’t wilt
- Add matzo balls to the soup when ready and serve.