Sunday, May 17, 2009

Recipe: Matbucha

I've always liked matbucha, but when I was pregnant with the girls we went to catered sedarim and they had the best matbucha. Spicy, fresh, not too oily or salty. I packed away a lot of it and dreamed of replicating it. I tried a few times but it never worked. Last Pesah we went to the second seder which was catered by the same caterer. I was so disappointed in the matbucha, though. It wasn't the same. So I decided to master matbucha. It only took me two weeks to get it right and it is delicious!

bell peppers (I use mostly red, but you can put some green or yellows in there, too.)
olive oil
1. Coarsely chop up equal amounts of tomatoes and peppers. You don't have to be too picky about seeds or skin, but i try to get as much of the white membranes out of the peppers. You can be careful about seeding the jalapenos if you don't want it too spicy or just add it all in. Remove skins from garlic.

2. Place tomatoes, peppers and garlic into a wide pan. The wider the better because it will make the cooking a lot faster. Sprinkle with some salt, but not too much. I use a hefty pinch of coarsely ground sea salt.

3. Cover and turn the heat on high until you hear the pan start to sizzle. Then turn to low and cook. And cook. And cook. You want to cook it until everything is really soft. See how the pepper bends easily and the skin punctured? That's what you want. It took me about 90 minutes to get to this point.

4. Uncover and turn the heat up to medium-low or medium so that the juice bubble very lightly. Cook some more until the juice is just about gone. It took me another two hours. I usually make this in the evening so I refrigerate it at this point. You can do that or keep going.

5. Put the cooked peppers and tomatoes into a food processor and pulse until fairly smooth.

6. Taste and add salt as needed. Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy with challah, matza, crackers or just a spoon and bowl.