Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"French Toast" Matzoh Brei


"French Toast" Matzoh Brei | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

 Are you adventurous when it comes to trying different foods?

I'm a huge fan of ethnic foods, and fairly open to trying new things,
as long as certain animals and/or parts of their anatomy aren't involved. 
I still can picture the day my mother took me into a kosher deli,
and I saw a big, fat cow's tongue sitting in the deli case next to the pastrami.
I haven't eaten tongue since, and I still can't look at it today.   
I realize that many of my readers are not Jewish, 
so our cuisine may not even be on your ethnic radar screen. 
And granted, this picture of maztoh brei may not be the thing to convert you, 
as it surely doesn't look as appetizing as a big stack of pancakes. 

But, hopefully, in the spirit of learning something new, 
you'll stick around for a little Jewish cooking lesson.

"French Toast" Matzoh Brei | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

It's been said that all Jewish holidays can be summed up like this:
"They tried to kill us; we won; let's eat."
Passover? True, that.
 On Passover, we eat foods that symbolize the Jews' release from slavery 
several thousand years ago.
The food most widely associated with Passover is matzoh.
It reminds us of the exodus from Egypt,
when the Jews didn't have time to fully bake their bread.
They packed up their unleavened bread, aka, matzoh,
and followed Moses into the desert in search of the promised land.
Today, we still eat matzoh on Passover to remind us of our freedom. 

Over the eight days of the Passover holiday,
we eat "lotsa" matzoh.
This can cause some unpleasant gastro issues, 
which gives a whole new meaning to "Let my people go." 
It's no surprise that there are many matzoh-centric recipes,
to keep our palates from getting bored during the week of Passover. 

"French Toast" Matzoh Brei | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

In addition to special foods we do eat on Passover,
there are certain things which are forbidden.
The "biggie" is that anything made with flour, like bread and pasta, is a no-no. 
Think about how many foods have flour in them, 
 and you'll have some understanding as to how limiting the Passover menu can seem.
(If you're gluten-free, you know exactly what I'm talking about).

We'll be FINE
We won't STARVE!
We've had thousand of years to come up with alternative recipes.  

"French Toast" Matzoh Brei | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

One of my favorite Passover breakfast treats is Matzoh brei
('brei' rhymes with 'try'), 
a pan-fried concoction of matzoh, egg and butter.
Jewish people usually fall on one side of the matzoh-brei fence - 
with strong opinions as to whether it should be served salty or sweet. 
I straddle that fence, enjoying it both ways.

"French Toast" Matzoh Brei | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

  It occurred to me that with just a couple of extra ingredients -- 
milk and vanilla extract --
traditional matzoh brei could be made to taste like French toast.  
If you strictly observe Passover's dietary rules, 
you are aware that vanilla extract is not considered Kosher for Passover (KFP).
You can either make your own, or substitute KFP vanilla sugar.
For the record, I used regular vanilla extract in my recipe  

"French Toast" Matzoh Brei | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Some Helpful Hints:

The matzoh must soak in the warm water to soften for about three minutes; then drained
After adding the egg mixture to the softened matzohs,
let it sit for 2-3 minutes so the eggs soak into the matzoh.
This recipe fits perfectly into a 10" skillet.
Matzoh brei is best when it is a little crispy,
so let it fry in the butter for a few minutes before turning it over.
 If you can flip it like a pancake, hey, power to you.
I can't, so I cut it into about four pieces and then turn it over.
It really doesn't matter, since it will be broken into small pieces anyway.     
Although I have reheated leftover matzoh brei in the microwave,
it is best when served immediately.    

"French Toast" Matzoh Brei | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Matzoh Brei "French Toast"

Yield: 2-3 servings

4 Sheets Matzoh
2 eggs
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or Kosher-for-Passover vanilla extract, or vanilla sugar)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons butter  

In a large bowl, soak matzoh in hot water until very soft, about 3 minutes; drain off water.
In a small bowl, beat eggs with a fork.  Add in sugar, vanilla (or vanilla sugar), cinnamon, and raisins, if using. Mix well.
Stir egg mixture into softened matzohs. Let it sit 2-3 minutes to soak up the egg.  
Melt butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. 
Add matzoh mixture, and use a spatula to press into pan.
Let it cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes.
Using a spatula, break up into 3 or 4 smaller pieces, so it can be flipped. 
Once flipped, let it cook for 1-2 minutes, and then break up into bite-size pieces (like you would for scrambled eggs), so that all pieces can cook and get a little browned.

Serve with Kosher-for-Passover maple syrup, cinnamon and sugar, or jam.

"French Toast" Matzoh Brei | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

If you didn't click away after the tongue story up at the top
and want to have a chuckle,
watch this video from Buzz Feed of non-Jewish people trying different Jewish foods, 
such as kugel and rugelach 
(frankly, I'm surprised about the kugel reaction - it's delicious!).

Matzoh brei is one of those things that my stomach seems to know no bounds. 
Truth be told, that although this recipe serves two to three,
I can eat the entire thing myself, which of course, I haven't ever done.


  1. This looks very good and I will try it. I am always trying different foods. But, like you some things I just can't eat.

    Have a wonderful rest of the week.


  2. I'm with you about the tongue. Ewwwwwww!

    This is a bit off topic, but I am always surprised by how many people in our country have never even met a Jewish person. Being originally from Long Island, my school was mostly Jewish (I think the demographic has shifted to Asian). And it shocks me that certain organizations still 'don't allow' Jewish members. That's some crazy stuff!

    So...I'm very familiar with Jewish food, but this is a new twist and it sounds like something I could probably eat by myself too, but what else is new?! ;)


  3. I think this looks really good and I bet is yummy Amy!
    Yay for the sun the rest of the week.

  4. I know I've been away but I had to pop in for this recipe. Looks good and I'm going to try this and hope to be back to blogging soon.

    We have to set up our yearly lunch date.


  5. I had to pop back, a friend is making dinner for Passover. She's Christian but said God has to deal I love Jewish food and mainly Passover.

    Thought that was cute. Happy Passover my friend


    Ps. I can't believe I said brie as in cheese on FB, just smack me now

  6. When we moved to Chicago--a neighbor friend's father had a lovely little restaurant called, Love and Knishes. We were introduced to many delicious family recipes. My favorite still is Matzo ball soup.
    Thanks for the delish looking recipe. My house is always filled with different people, and I can see this on a buffet for sure. Thanks, Sandi

  7. Me too Amy, up for trying new dishes as long as my eyes have been fed first in pleasing sight. Your recipe looks like one I will try and I smiled reading your words in this post.

  8. I had a similar tongue experience. I am 100% Italian and we eat a lot of gross stuff. Anyways, I was a kid when I walked into my grandmother's kitchen and there was a HUGE cow's tongue on the cutting board. Gross! I had to leave the house when my mother made Tripe, which is the lining of the cow's stomach. Gross! Ok, enough of that. Your recipe looks delicious to me. Are we talking about the Matsos crackers to make this? I LOVE those and eat them by the box. Happy to have an authentic, ethnic, Jewish dish recipe!

  9. This looks really good and thanks for the history lesson, awesome! Not sure what it is about tongue but I had a similar experience that turned me off right away.

  10. This looks amazing and I learned so much about this wonderful recipe and its preparation.

    I hope you will share this at Thoughts of Home on Thursday.
    We would love to have you.
    Just stop by my blog to join in.

    Enjoyed visiting,Laura

  11. This was an educational post for me. I don't know that much about the Jewish religion. I learned some from working with someone many years ago that was Jewish though. I never knew the history behind why Jewish people eat Matzoh. Now I know! Very interesting. I'm from the south, and I'm Methodist. Although I'm not a strict religious person where I follow all of the practices during religious holidays. Like I don't celebrate Lent. So, to be on such a dietary restriction would seem strange to me unless I'm having a medical procedure the next day. Ha! Your recipe looks good though. I will probably continue to stick with my old fashioned traditional french toast with egg, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla on texas toast including syrup and powdered sugar on top. I'm sure I would kicked out of the Jewish community for eating that!

  12. Such an interesting post and that concoction looks delicious to me. I enjoy discovering things about other cultures and I generally enjoy trying different foods.

  13. Unfortunately (after much hope at the beginning of your post) this is not something I can eat (at least for now), but the post was fascinating anyway as I learnt a lot about the histpry behind the recipe.

  14. Amy - this was such an interesting and informative post, thank you.

    All the best Jan

  15. Amy - this was such an interesting and informative post, thank you.

    All the best Jan

  16. Oh this sounds so amazing!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  18. I'm half Belgian, and I remember growing up seeing my family eat tongue. I could never bring myself to touch it. This looks super delicious! Yum! I always thought brei was pronounced like brie ... ha ha. Thank you for correcting me before I had a chance to say that out loud! The video is hilarious.

  19. Looks great! I don't eat regular french toast because a food I can't stand is that brown crust of fried eggs and if a french toast (there is an actual name for it but I can't remember it). BUT my kids love it and will love this!!!!!


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