• 1/2 c. gribenes (see Note)
• 1/4 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
To make the matzo balls: Heat the schmaltz in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the onion and a three-finger pinch of salt, and cook until the onion just begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion and fat to a plate to cool.
Combine matzo meal, beaten eggs, chicken stock, baking powder and ground pepper, along with a four-finger pinch of salt, in a large bowl. Add the cooled onion and fat. Stir the mixture thoroughly until all ingredients are uniformly mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
With damp hands, form the matzo mixture into 4 balls, making them as big, smooth and round as ping-pong balls. Place them in a saucepan of simmering chicken stock, cover the pan, and cook for 20 minutes. If you’re making the soup right away, keep the matzo balls in the stock, covered. If not, allow them to cool, wrap individually in plastic, and refrigerate.
To make the soup: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and ready an ice bath. When the water boils, add the onion and cook for 30 seconds. Scoop out the onion with a strainer and dip the strainer into the bowl of ice water, stirring the onion till chilled. Put it in a paper towel-lined bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Do the same with the celery. Do the same with the carrot, but cook the carrot for 60 to 90 seconds before removing it to the ice bath.
Bring the stock to a simmer. Taste, and season with salt if necessary. Heat your soup bowls in the oven or in a microwave. Reheat your matzo balls in stock if necessary (if you’re serving clarified stock, heat the matzo balls in separate stock or they can cloud the consommé).
Make a bed with the blanched onion in the center of each bowl; ring the carrot around the onion, and the celery around the carrot. Place a hot matzo ball on the onion. Add the piping hot stock or consommé to the bowl. Pouring the stock into the prepared bowls is especially dramatic to do at the table if you’ve taken the time to clarify the stock. Garnish the matzo balls with gribenes and parsley.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 280 Fat 17 g Sodium 345 mg
Carbs 20 g Sat fat 5 g Calcium 97 mg
Protein 15 g Cholesterol 110 mg Fiber 2 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 bread/starch, 1 ½ medium-fat meat, 2 fat.
TRADITIONAL CHOPPED LIVER
Makes about 2 cups.
Note: Gribenes (pronounced GRIB-beh-ness) are the crispy bits of chicken skin cracklings produced in the making of schmaltz. From “The Book of Schmaltz,” by Michael Ruhlman.