April 1, 2009

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Name: Hilit Gilat
Dish: Beef and Chicken Matzah Ball Consomme
Hometown: Originally, Givatayim, Israel; currently Irvine, CA, USA
Occupation Head Chef, B-SHOOL catering
Years in the professional kitchen: 3
Years in the home kitchen: 17
Favorite food to make: Any comfort food
Favorite food to eat: Chocolate, and also chocolate.
Most memorable matzah ball experience: Six years ago, I spent Yom Kippur with my husband Saar and his family. I am so crazy about matzah balls, that I asked my mother-in-law to make them for the meal before the fast. I stood next to her watching her make them. She kept pushing me away because I was eating her matzah balls faster than she was making them. I had some before the meal. I had some during the meal. And as I was fasting I could only think about the matzah balls I would eat once the fast ended. Needless to say, I had some more after the fast. All in all, I devoured about 40 matzah balls within a 24-hour period! I could not touch them again until the following year’s Passover…

Hilit’s Recipe


8 chicken wings, cleaned well
3 chicken drumsticks, cleaned well
2 chicken thighs with skin, cleaned well
4 large pieces of ox tail
6 beef short rib bones, with meat
2 whole onions, peeled
1 leek (white part only)
1 celery root, cut in half
2 parsley root (parsnip), whole
1/2 butternut squash, halved, peeled, and cleaned
1 large bouquet garni (bundle of Italian parsley, cilantro, thyme, dill, celery leaves, fresh bay leaf) tied together with a string, rubber band, or in a Muslin cloth (can be found in specialty stores)
4 qt. boiling water
2-3 drops Tabasco sauce
Salt and whole peppercorns, to taste

In stock pot, put chicken and beef parts and bring to boil over high heat. Remove foam that forms on top. Add rest of stock ingredients, and bring again to a boil. Reduce flame to minimum and let simmer for 2 hours. Remove bouquet garni, and cook for 2 more hours. Filter liquid through very fine strainer and discard ingredients. Place muslin or other fine weaved cloth over clean pot and strain again.

(Rule of thumb: for each quart of stock, 3.5 oz vegetables and 7 oz chicken/beef, 2 egg whites, 1 tbsp lemon juice)

2 lbs chicken and beef, cut into very small pieces (chicken breast, short ribs)
1 lbs vegetables, cut into very small pieces (onions, carrots, celery stalks)
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
8 egg whites
4 qt. stock (see recipe, above)

Clarification process: In a bowl, beat egg whites. Add vegetables, chicken and beef. Mix in lemon juice. In a large pot warm stock but not to a boil. Add mix to stock and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When egg whites harden and form gray layer on top, stop stirring and create hole in the center. Lower flame and cook on minimum boil for 30 minutes. Line strainer with muslin or other fine weaved cloth. Using ladle, transfer clear liquid without top layer through strainer into clean pot. (The consommé can be prepared ahead and refrigerated for 2-3 days, or frozen for up to a month.)


4 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into rings
2 zucchinis, cleaned, unpeeled, and sliced diagonally into rings
3-4 celery stalks (no leaves), cleaned and sliced diagonally into pieces
7 shallots, peeled and cleaned
4-5 Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunroot or sunchoke or earth apple or topinambur), when in season, peeled and sliced diagonally
1/2 butternut squash, cut into cubes
4 qt. consommé, prepared ahead of time (see recipe, above)
Salt and white pepper, to taste

In large pot place all ingredients except zucchinis, and bring to boil over high heat. When boiled, reduce heat to minimum and cook roughly 40 minutes. Cook vegetables to tender texture, but not too soft. Add zucchinis and cook roughly 15 more minutes. Season with salt and white pepper.


1.5 cups matzah flour
2.5 oz (about 1/3 cup) margarine
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups boiling water
3 eggs
1 large onion, diced, and sautéed till brown and crispy
1 truffle, finely chopped

In mixing bowl, put flour, margarine, salt, and boiling water. Stir well. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add eggs and mix well. Let stand for 30 minutes. Add sautéed onion and truffles and mix well. In large pot, boil water with 2 tbsp of salt. In a separate bowl, place some warm water with a little canola oil for wetting hands when making balls. With wet and oiled hands make small ball (size of a ping pong ball) and place in boiling water pot. Repeat with wet and oiled hands for all balls. Lower flame to medium-low heat, cover pot, and cook balls for 15-20 minutes. Remove balls and place on flat tray (do not stack!) In deep soup bowl, pour 2 ladles of consommé with some root vegetables and 2 matzah balls. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve very hot.


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