Passover Cooking Day With Nina
Yesterday was a day well spent. As always, when my friend Nina comes over to cook, her creativity and knowledge never cease to amaze me. Nina said she would teach me to make filled individual rolls, like egg rolls with a meat filling. The idea is ingenious. Everyone loves that famous Passover pie of meat, mashed potatoes, and parsley, Megina.
We cooked a filling of onions, mashed potato, seasoned ground beef, and parsley. Next we moistened matzo just to the point where it was pliable enough to roll without disintegrating. We made strips and filled them and rolled them closed. Next we dipped the individual Meginas in egg and deep fried them. Delicious is all I can say. Try this and your family, kids especially will love them.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, very small dice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound of ground chuck
Fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup parsley, washed and chopped
1 large baking potato
1 box of matzo approximately 12 whole sheets
1.5 quarts of vegetable oil for deep frying
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and after it is hot add the oil and then the onions. Sauté the chopped onion until translucent and sweet. Add the garlic, stir, and season with salt and pepper. Push the onions to the side of the skillet and add the ground beef. Sauté the ground beef until browned, mixing in the onions and garlic as you stir. Add the paprika and parsley. Taste with a small teaspoon and adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat and set the beef aside.
Peel and slice the potato into ¼ inch thick rounds. Place some water in a small saucepan, add the potato, and place on the heat. The water should cover the potato. Boil the potato until it is soft enough to mash. Drain the liquid from the potato, taking care not to burn your arm with the steam. Mash the potato and then add it to the sautéed meat. Mix the potato and meat together, taste and adjust the seasoning. Set the filling aside.
Run the individual sheets of matzo under cold water. After you have 6 sheets, wrap them in a clean dish towel or tea towel and give the chance for the moisture to sink in. You want the matzo to become pliable without being mushy. Too crisp, and the sheets will break when rolling, too soft, and they will be mushy. Keep re-wetting the matzo sheets until they are just right.
Remove one sheet of matzo from your covered stack and place it on a cutting board. Slice the sheet in half, parallel with the lines and undulations in the matzo sheet. You should have two pieces lasagna noodle size. While you are preparing the matzo, start to heat the oil for deep frying in a deep sauce pan or Dutch oven or deep fryer.
Take about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of meat filling and shape like a log at the bottom of one of the strips. Roll up the rolls and leave them seam side down on the cutting board. Continue until you have enough pieces for one batch, depending on the size of your deep fryer. Whisk the eggs for dipping in a bowl. When the oil is ready you can dip the rolls in beaten egg and lower them one by one into the hot oil. The oil should not be smoking and your rolls should float to the top the moment you drop them in the oil.
Turn the rolls once with a tongs, do not pierce the rolls. Remove with a mesh strainer or slotted spoon when the rolls are light golden brown. Place the individual Meginas on paper towel to drain. Repeat