Monday, March 26, 2007

Hemp and Walnut Kneydlekh (Wheat-Free Matzo Balls)

The biggest difference in preparation between these guys and regular matzo balls is that you will make the batter just a tiny bit stiffer—matzo will continue to absorb moisture as the batter sits, but nuts do not. You could probably make this with all walnuts or all hemp seeds. I will be trying some other nut-combinations once the holiday begins. These kneydlekh are different from matzo balls, but they are satisfyingly toothy nonetheless. I will certainly be making them again, and I eat wheat all the time.

Hemp and Walnut Kneydlekh (Wheat-Free Matzo Balls)
(This recipe appeared in Yiddish here, along with a recipe for miso-ginger broth, which will be showing up in English sometime after Passover)

2 eggs

½ cup (2 ounces) lightly toasted walnuts

½ cup (2 ounces) lightly toasted hemp seeds

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter or coconut oil

salt, pepper, and paprika

Grind the walnuts to a fine meal. Grind the hemp seeds just to break them up very slightly, or leave them whole. Mix the nuts and seeds together. The resule should have the approximate consistency of Streit’s Matzo meal.

Beat the eggs, and season lavishly. Add oil or butter and the nut and seed mixture. Refrigerate the batter a few hours or overnight.

Bring a pot of enthusiastically salted water to a boil. Lower the heat so that it is simmering gently. Form the batter into balls and carefully lower the balls into the water. Cook for about forty minutes. Serve with soup.

Are hemp seeds kitniot?

Some folks say yes. Others say no. And then some say both yes and no. If you find in favor of hemp seed use for Passover, you still have to examine them thoroughly three times. I am pretty excited to be undertaking this task for the first time.

This year, Hungry Hungry Hippo Girl knocked my socks off when she told me about the process by which she examines rice for Passover. You put the rice on a platter, and then, with a fingertip, push the rice, one grain at a time, across to the other side. Then you do it again. And again. Now, this sounds difficult, physically exhausting, and really time-consuming. In other words, I couldn’t wait to try it. The idea of this process (so utterly about food, so completely Jewish) intrigued me so much that I almost wished I used kitniot. Now, with hemp seeds, I have a chance to indulge in two khumres that would normally cancel each other out. You think I am kidding, but I am not.

What on earth am I talking about? The best explanation is Attila’s landmark post on the 4 stages of kitniot.


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9 Comments:

Blogger ByTheBay said...

Thanks for alerting me to this post - I will include it in my Pesach roundup. I am trying two kneidlach recipes at home tonight so I'll post if either of them turn out well.

You cracked me up about being excited about the chumres! Too funny. My ex always calls us Jews an OCD people.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

Very interesting. I have to confess, I know embarassingly little about Jewish traditions and haven't even tasted Matzo balls, but I love the idea of making them out of nuts. This would be perfect for gluten-free cooks too.

5:11 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

bythebay,

Thanks so much! I will be looking forward to seeing your recipes. It is funny about how exciting the khumres can get--it only works for things I want to do.

kalyn,

you have *got* to try matzo balls, traditional or matzo-free. They are the best thing in the world.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Attila said...

Another ruling? "Israel group nixes pot on Passover." Or do you know about this one already?

9:46 PM  
Blogger Karina said...

These sound intriguing. I haven't made a good matzo ball since going gluten-free.

Food for thought here. Thank you!

11:05 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

Atila, Yeah, I saw that one, I guess they are counting the seeds as well. Add them to the kitniot column.

Karina,
I hope these work for you. Happy Peysekh!

10:46 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

Oh, and Karina, Be sure to check out bythebay's peysekh page. Much gluten-free peysekhdik deliciousness abounds.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Generic Cialis said...

I love food with hemp in it, it gave a taste and a flavor that it is just unbelievable, and of course the effect as well is amazing.

1:17 PM  
Blogger sharonafeder said...

Hi! Do you think I could replace the hemp seeds with flax seeds?
Thanks!

8:40 AM  

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