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<i>Eating With the Stars:</i> Mayim Bialik’s Sweet Potato Matzah Ball Tzimmes with Apricot Sauce

Eating With the Stars: Mayim Bialik’s Sweet Potato Matzah Ball Tzimmes with Apricot Sauce

Eating With The Stars

Mayim Bialik Israel

“It sounds a bit complicated, but it’s so much fun to make and incredible tasting—it’s well worth the effort.  We get requests to make this tzimmes year round; so far, we make everyone wait for Pesach!”


Mayim Bialik became a star playing the young Bette Midler in Beaches in the late-1980s and then became much better known as TVs Blossom.  No dummy she, Mayim followed-up her successful TV run by attending UCLA and getting a doctorate in Neuroscience—not the typical child star trajectory.  She successfully returned to TV in The Big Bang Theory a few years back and has received a few Emmy nominations for her troubles.  She refers to herself as an “aspiring Modern Orthodox Jew,” so I figure she knows her way around some tzimmes.

Happy Passover from Stargayzing!

Matzah Balls

2 large, red-skinned sweet potatoes (a.k.a. yams), about 1 1/2 pounds

1 1/4 cups unsalted matzah meal

5 large eggs

8 tablespoons unsalted pareve margarine, divided

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt

1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger


Apricot Sauce

3 cups apple juice

1 6-ounce package dried apricots, chopped

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

4 tablespoons unsalted pareve margarine

1/3 cup apricot jam

chopped mint for garnish (optional)


1.  For matzah balls:  Piece potatoes with a fork.  Microwave on high until tender (about 10 minutes), turning once, or roast in 350°F oven until tender (about 45 minutes).  Cut them in half and scoop out enough potato to make 1 1/4 cups.  Let cool.

2.  Mix potato, matzah meal, eggs, 2 1/2 tablespoons margarine, sugar, salt, and ginger in food processor, mixer, or with a fork until well-blended.  Transfer this mixture to a bowl.  Cover and chill until firm, about 1 hour (or even overnight if you want).

3.  Using wet hands, roll generous teaspoonfuls of matzah mixture into little balls.  Place balls on a large platter or baking pan until all balls are rolled.

4.  Cook one-third of the matzah balls in a large pot of slightly salted boiling water, covered, until tender, about 6 minutes.. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a second platter or large baking pan.  Repeat with the remaining balls.  Let stand until firm, at least 30 minutes.

5.  For sauce:  Bring apple juice and apricots to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Cover and steep until apricots are tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain juices into a medium saucepan and add the cinnamon.  Add 4 tablespoons margarine and the jam.  Simmer over medium heat until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes.  Return the apricots to the sauce.

6.  Melt 5 1/2 tablespoons of margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add one-third of the matzah balls.  Sauté until they start to brown, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.  Repeat with the rest of the matzah balls.

7.  Preheat over to 350°F.  Spoon sauce over matzah balls.  Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.  Top with mint.

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