this post is intended to up your matzah pizza skills. thus, enjoy.
the matzah pizza was once an act of desperation. kosher for passover food of the past was unkind. in our house the food offerings were limited. ketchup, american cheese, and matzah were pieced together to form a primitive version of matzah pizza.
over the years, kosher food products have greatly improved. both tomato sauce and pizza sauce are now on the shelves as a holiday staple. cheese varieties have expanded as well. both mozarella and pizza cheese are available. as a result, the matzah pizza has emerged as delicacy. one could argue that “matzah pizza” translates to delicious cardboard.
there has been claims that matzah was a creative force behind the creation of pizza. there are claims that egyptian flatbread was an influence. it is alleged that greeks and romans took back the flatbread and started adding toppings. in naples, italy, the pizza was invented and culinary history made.
in preparing this post to give “matzah pizza” tips, i was shocked as to the dishes popularity. it not only has its own wikipedia page dedicated to it, but martha stewart has offered up her own recipe for making “matzah pizza.”
while the intent of this post is to offer tips on making “matzah pizza,” i was shocked at what a cultural phenomena is has become. “matzah pizza” unlike me has its own wikipedia page. likewise, the likes of ms. martha stewart has offered up her version of “matzah pizza.”
how “matzah pizza” became a phenomena is simple. it is easy to prepare and quick to make. and, for those suffering during passover, it is a bright moment of enjoyment.
while, i am not a recipe person, i am one of technique and concept. thus, we will walk through “matzah pizza” controversies.
toast oven vs. full sized oven: toaster oven preferred.
matzah on the rack or pan: the toast oven tray lined with tin foil is best. it keeps over clean and allows for easy transfer of the matzah pizza onto an awaiting plate.
cooking temperature, and time: 375 to 400, and 5-6 minutes. the challenge with matzah pizza is to not burn the edges. thus, once the cheese is properly melted, it is time to take out. thus, a careful eye and nose is needed. timing the take out is huge. cooking temperature and time to be determined by what type of oven is being used. toaster over, 375 for about 5 minutes may work for you. at about 4 minutes, the eyes must be on the prize!
spaghetti sauce vs. pizza sauce: there is really no difference. with various seasonings, i.e. oregano, garlic and onion salt, the sauce can be transformed. the key with the sauce is to spread it out real thin. too much liquid will make the matzah soggy. three teaspoons of sauce is recommended amount.
shredded vs. sliced cheese: there is no substantial difference. the key of course is that less is more. spreading it out is key. again avoid too much liquid as it will make matzah soggy. i am starting to like sliced cheese. usually broken in half with strategic placement as opposed to shredded.
type of cheese: your preference. pizza cheese is perhaps an overstatement. mozzarella may be better. adding to parmesan is good. for some reason, i like provolone. cheddar cheese is an abomination for matzah pizza.
toppings: fresh cut vegetables and fresh cut garlic are great. fresh herbs such as basil might be best put on near the very end of cooking. for fresh garlic and dried herbs, i recommend putting them on top of sauce before placing the cheese.
the most important thing to do is to cut the pieces small and thin so they will cook in the short time in the over. also, make sure that they are spread out and do not create excess water that will make the matzah soggy. canned mushrooms and olives work to. with canned items, drain as much water as possible out of them. large mushroom pieces will not necessarily cook. they must be broken down into smaller pieces. tomatoes can be good. a mandolin is recommended to cut them super thin. roma tomatoes are recommended.
in sum, the two major concerns are too much moisture and trying to not burn the edges. with those two things out of the way, you are destined for “matzah pizza” greatness.
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