matzo balls

  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 3 tbsp seltzer
  • 2 tbsp schmaltz, melted (preferably herb-infused)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup matzo meal
Mix the eggs, seltzer, chicken fat, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Gradually stir in the matzo meal, stirring until everything is well combined. 
Chill, covered, for at least 4 and up to 8 hours.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Using cool, wet hands, shape the matzo mixture into 8 balls, each about 1½ in in diameter. Reduce the heat to simmering and gently add the matzo balls. Cover the pot and poach the matzo balls in the barely simmering water for 25 min.

— poaching separately will preserve the flavors in the matzo balls so they don’t just taste like mushy bits of soup. The temperature of just water is also easier to control than that of a pot of soup.

spicy cashew-dill penne

  • 8oz penne
  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 3–5 dried chiles
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
  1. Cook the pasta, reserving 1c or more of its cooking water
  2. Rehydrate the tomatoes in the pasta water for 15 min
  3. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and stir-fry until the nuts are reddish brown and the chiles have blackened, 1–2 min. Remove them to a jar, leaving the oil over low to medium heat.
  4. Blend the nuts, chiles, ½ cup of the half-and-half, and salt together.
  5. Fry the garlic in the oil for about a minute. Add the spinach and stir-fry until wilted. Add the cashew-chile paste, and rinse the blender with the rest of the half-and-half, and add to the skillet.
  6. Pour in the cooked pasta, along with the dill and sun-dried tomatoes.
  7. Simmer for a few minutes, and serve.