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April 1, 2009

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Name: Michelle Chaim
Dish: Garlic and Herb Matzah Ball Soup
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Full-time mom
Years in the professional kitchen: None
Years in the home kitchen: 23 years
Favorite food to make: I don’t have a favorite. I love to try new recipes, especially ones from my favorite pro cooks/chefs. My top three are Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa), Rachael Ray & Giada De Laurentiis.
Favorite food to eat: Anything sweet!
Most memorable matzah ball experience: Competing in The Chosen Dish!

Michelle’s Recipe

THE SOUP

2 (1 pound) bone-in skin on split
    chicken breasts
1 large yellow onion, unpeeled
    and quartered
6 carrots, 3 unpeeled and halved;
    3 peeled and sliced
6 stalks celery, 3 cut into thirds;
    3 sliced
1 large green pepper, seeded and
    cut in half, optional
10 – 15 crimini mushrooms, stemmed
    and sliced
10 sprigs fresh parsley
10 sprigs fresh dill
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp whole black peppercorns

Place the chickens, onions, 3 carrots, 3 celery, green pepper, parsley, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a 5 to 6-quart stockpot. Add enough water to cover ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 4 hours. (While you wait for the soup you can begin making the matzah balls.) Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and discard the solids. Add the remaining carrots, celery and mushrooms and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

THE MATZAH BALLS

1 cup matzah meal
3 large eggs
¼ cup oil (canola)
¼ cup seltzer
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 tbsp dill, finely chopped
1 tsp mint, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, grated
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper

Beat eggs. Add seltzer, oil, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add chives, dill, mint and garlic. Mix. Add matzah meal and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate for ½ to 1 hour. Partially fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Moisten palms with cold water. Form mixture into balls about ½” diameter. Drop matzah balls into boiling water. When all the matzah balls are in the pot, reduce heat to low. Simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until done. Remove with slotted spoon to a large bowl. To serve, ladle about 1 cup soup with 3 matzah balls and garnish with a sprig of dill.

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