September 19, 2018

Are Gluten-Free Matzo Balls a Thing? Yes they are!! [Recipe]

I will first address those of you who are sick of hearing about everything being gluten free:

I know you think the rising hype of a “no gluten diet” that has taken our country by storm is some sort of psychological weakness emblematic of a consumer society that is easily seduced by one diet fad after the next. You’re kind of right.

But mostly you’re wrong. Unfortunately so, because not eating bread and matzo balls is not an easy way to enjoy life. 

Here’s the lowdown: The industrialization of our food supply has made lots of us unable to break down processed flours and grains. (People didn’t have all these issues a few hundred years ago and still don’t in some countries.) As a result, gluten, a protein found in certain grains, seems to create problems…from everything from bloating to severe systemic disorders like celiacs disease. In a nutshell, that’s what’s going on. 

The good news is that because so many Ashkenazi Jews are amongst these people with gluten sensitivity and allergies in general- hooray for generations of our ancestors marrying cousins- gluten free matzo meal now exists…as does gluten free matzo. 

Now everybody can say yes to Passover!

Here’s the truth, these matzo balls are really good. They are a little gummier than regular matzo balls. But the flavor is superb. Those who need gluten free will be thrilled, and those who don’t might not even know the difference. 

P.S. I can get away with eating some gluten, but as a general rule I feel better when I don’t. Most likely so will you. I know, I know. Who wants to sign up for that? For a good read: “>original Matzo Ball Soup.)

Makes 12 medium sized matzo balls.

Note: Start this recipe the day before you plan to serve it. If it is already too late, plan on chilling the matzo ball mix for as long as you can, three hours at least.

For the Matzo Ball Mix:

  • 1 cup gluten free matzo meal (“>eggs
  • 4-5 tablespoons duck fat or schmaltz**, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt 
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried “>parsley and/or “>cilantro and/or dill)

To cook the Matzo Balls:

  • 1 quart homemade or boxed chicken broth
  • 1 “>celery stalk
  • some parsley or dill to throw into cooking water
  • salt

To Serve: