Matzoh Ball Gumbo
Marcie Cohen Ferris
Fannie [Bailey] and Lisa [Collis Cohen] prepared these blintzes for me when I visited Atlanta. We ate them with homemade challah (just prepared by Lisa for Sabbath that evening), jam, sour cream, fresh fruit, and coffee. Clad in aprons, the three of us shared stories about food, family and home. Serve hot with sour cream and/or jam.
Note: Recipes in Marcie Cohen Ferris’s book Matzoh Ball Gumbo were compiled from a diverse mix of Jewish Southerners who have blended religion and region through home cooking.
For the crepe batter:
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
For the cheese filling:
- 1 pound farmer’s cheese
- 4 ounces (half an 8-ounce package) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- butter for baking or frying blintzes
- sour cream and/or jam for serving
For the crepe batter:
1In a blender, place all the ingredients and whirl until smooth, scraping the sides a few times. Or, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the flour, sugar, and salt. Gradually whisk in the water until the mixture is well blended and smooth. Set aside while preparing the filling. (Makes 2 1/2 cups.)
For the filling:
1Crumble the farmer’s cheese into a medium bowl. Add the cream cheese, sugar, egg, cinnamon, and salt and mash with a fork until well blended.
2Rub a 6-inch nonstick skillet with a paper towel moistened with vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the batter, tilt the pan to evenly coat the bottom, and cook until golden brown on the underside, about 3 minutes (although successive crepes will brown faster).
3Tip the crepe onto a plate. Place a small piece of waxed paper on top to separate crepes. If not using right away, wrap tightly and refrigerate or freeze. Continue making crepes, stacking them with waxed paper, oiling the pan as needed, and thinning the batter with a tablespoon of water if it gets thick. You will get 20 to 23 crepes.
1Place a crepe on a work surface. Spoon a scant 2 tablespoons of filling onto the bottom half. Fold in the sides and roll up. Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling. Blintzes may be wrapped and refrigerated or frozen once filled.
1If baking blintzes, preheat the oven to 350° and butter a 13 × 9 inch glass baking dish plus a smaller baking dish for those that cannot fit into the larger dish. Arrange blintzes seam side down in single layers in the buttered dishes. Dot with 2 to 3 tablespoons butter. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until lightly browned and heated through, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
2If frying blintzes, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add enough blintzes seam side down to fit in the pan without touching. Fry until lightly browned and crisp on the underside, about 2 minutes. Turn and fry until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large platter, cover loosely with foil, and keep warm in a 200° oven while you fry the rest. Add butter to the pan as needed. Serve.
From MATZOH BALL GUMBO: CULINARY TALES OF THE JEWISH SOUTH by Marcie
Cohen Ferris. Copyright © 2005 by Marcie Cohen Ferris. Used by
permission of the University of North Carolina Press.
This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food
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