The 6th annual Manischewitz Cook-Off has crowned a Princeton University student King of Kosher for his matzo ball soup, which won him $25,000 if appliances, cash and a trip to New York.
Eric Silberman, 20, cooked up a recipe called “’Mod’ Matzo Ball Soup,” the Princeton University Patch reported.
Silberman, from a Chicago suburb, said his modern Orthodox family loves cooking and have participated in home town competitions.
Matzo ball soup is a tradition at the Seder table on Passover, but the Silberman family served it up for the Sabbath meal almost every Friday night. His contributions was to make the balls, but he thought about updating the recipe and adding vegetable broth and roasted vegetables while cooking the matzo balls in the soup instead of separately.
Using Manischewitz‘s Matzo Ball Mix, he won first prize among thousands of entries.
“I am thrilled to be named the Manischewitz Cook-Off winner,” he said. “I have loved Matzo Ball Soup my whole life, and now, for it to have made me a ‘cooking champion’ I am so excited!”
Here is the winning recipe, as published in the Patch, for anyone who wants to try it:
6 medium carrots, sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 medium turnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, diced
4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1 box Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix (reduced sodium)
2 large eggs
½ tsp. ground cumin + pinch
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (unflavored)
6 cups Manischewitz All Natural Vegetable Broth
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place carrots, turnips and onion in mixing bowl. Toss well with 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, a pinch of cumin, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Spread evenly on a metal sheet pan.
Roast in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until brown, mixing halfway to ensure even browning.
While vegetables are roasting, prepare matzo balls according to package directions with a few “secret” changes. Crack 2 eggs, into one mixing bowl, but instead of beating everything together right away, tilt the bowl and try to beat some of the whites separately until frothy, and once done, place the bowl back on the counter and incorporate the yolks as well. Add remaining 2 tbsp vegetable oil and whip again until fully incorporated and bubbly. Add packet of Manischewitz Matzo Ball mix and stir just until combined. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Combine 4 cups Manischewitz All Natural Vegetable broth, ½ tsp kosher salt and ½ tsp ground cumin in a 4 quart pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Remove matzo ball mix from fridge. Form into balls with hands, just under the size of ping pong balls; makes about 8.
Drop matzo balls into broth, cover and lower heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes. When vegetables are finished roasting, remove from oven and set aside briefly. Remove cover from pot and add remaining 2 cups Manischewitz. All Natural Vegetable Broth and diced tomatoes. Add vegetables and bring soup to boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 more minutes. Uncover and add salt, pepper or cumin to taste.