Shiitake Mushroom Matzoh Balls
1/4 cup melted chicken fat or vegetable oil
4 scallions, white and half the green part, thinly sliced
3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, finely chopped (1 to 1½ cups)
1 envelope matzoh ball mix, such as Manischewitz
1/2 cup matzoh meal
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Kosher (coarse) salt
Dash of white pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder (see Note)
2 tablespoons club soda, chicken broth, or water
1. Heat the chicken fat in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallions and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
2. Combine the matzoh ball mix with the matzoh meal in a medium-size bowl. Add the eggs and mix well. Stir in the mushroom mixture, parsley, 2 teaspoons salt, the white pepper, and the baking powder. Add the club soda and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and lightly salt it.
4. Form the mixture into balls that are a little larger than a marble, wetting your hands if necessary to keep them from sticking. Drop the balls into the boiling water and cook, covered, at a slow, steady boil (not a hard boil) until tender, 30 minutes (depending on the size of the balls).
5. Carefully remove the matzoh balls with a slotted spoon, and serve in soup.
Makes 24 to 30 golf-ball-size balls
Notes: For Passover use kosher-for-Passover baking powder, or if unavailable, it may be omitted. You will find that after cooking these matzoh balls, the cooking liquid is so flavorful, it is almost a soup in itself, particularly if you have used chicken fat. I use this broth instead of water in soups and stews and for cooking rice.