Matza cigars and chopped liver with home-made horseradish
Matza cigars and chopped liver with home-made horseradish
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Matza cigars and chopped liver with home-made horseradish

I love matza. I know that some think this is a culinary perversion, but I love matza. Period. I love matza with cold butter and a cup of coffee in the morning; I even love to crumble matza into instant coffee and eat it with a teaspoon. Fried matza roll-ups, or cigars, a lovely twist to a traditional ingredient, has become a common dish in many homes on the holiday eve and the next morning. You dampen the matzas, fill them with leftovers from the previous night’s meal − hard-boiled eggs, chopped liver or potatoes − and fry them in oil. If you serve the cigars on individual plates, with sharp horseradish and very thin slices of hard-boiled egg, this home-made dish becomes an impressive first course.

Recipe serves 6 to 8.

Chopped liver:
1/2 kg. chicken livers, cleaned
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced thin
5 hard-boiled eggs
black pepper
oil for frying

For the cigars:
3 eggs
oil for deep frying

For the horseradish:
4 medium beet roots
about 1/2 a medium-sized horseradish root

Chopped liver stuffing: Heat oil in a large skillet and fry the onion slices until brown. Season the livers with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and fry for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer about 1/3 of the liver and onion mixture to a cutting board, add 2 hard-boiled eggs and chop everything coarsely with a knife. Place in a bowl. Grind the remaining liver, fried onion and hard-boiled eggs in a meat grinder ‏(or in a food processor with short pulses, making sure not to turn the mixture into a paste‏). Transfer to the bowl with the chopped mixture and combine.

Cigars: Gently dampen 6 or 7 matzas, making sure they don’t disintegrate, and place on a kitchen towel. Divide each matza into 3 equal parts. With a teaspoon, place a strip of filling along the edge of the matza and roll it into a cigar. To seal the edge, add a small amount of filling toward the end and use it to close the matza roll.

Beat eggs in a wide, flat bowl. Dip the cigars into the beaten egg and deep fry until brown. Remove from pan and transfer to a plate lined with absorbent paper.

Horseradish: Cook the beet roots in water until they soften ‏(check with a knife‏). Remove and allow to cool to room temperature. Peel beets and grate on a coarse grater. Peel horseradish and grate. Mix together and add salt to taste. Add more grated horseradish for a sharper taste.