Buried in the latest issue of Martha Stewart’s magazine, I found a small culinary gem. I confess, I read Martha because, amid the inane knitting projects or papier-mache rabbits, some cool recipe or handy cleaning tips can be skimmed.
We are approaching Passover and of the 12 boxes of matzo that were purchased on sale right after last year’s Passover, three are still lingering in the pantry. And I don’t even like matzo – like most Ashkenazi Jewish food, it’s an acquired taste, an insipid unleavened cracker with few redeeming qualities, eaten over the course of the Passover week (for the reason why, go scouring the net).
Other than for penance, it’s also eaten in the form of a brei, for breakfast or brunch, soaked and cooked with eggs and other ingredients according to time-tested recipes that abound in most Jewish families. Not a fan of brei other. But Martha or, rather, one of her food editors, suggested a banana matzo brei. The revelation! On Sunday morning I took the plunge and, having all the ingredients on hand, I made it, adjusting the original recipe to my palate. Sounds odd but trust me, worth every bite.
Break three matzo crackers in chunks and soak them in either water or milk. In the meantime, mash a very ripe banana with 3 or 4 tablespoons of maple syrup. Add 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, one egg and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
Drain the matzo, squeezing it gently and fold it into the egg mixture.
Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium non-stick pan and pour the matzo mixture in it. Flatten it with a spatula and cook on medium-high for about 5 minutes, until the underside starts to brown. Flip it over – it will break which is fine.
Cook for another 4 minutes.
Slide it onto a plate and top it with fresh berries and maple syrup. If you want to be really sinful, sprinkle it with powder sugar and top with whipped cream.