Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mlinci Brei, Slovenian-Jewish Fusion

There wasn't much left in the package of  Ljubljana Farmers' Market mlinci we brought back from our July trip to Slovenia. Just a few sheets and crumbles. I had the perfect solution. Matzo brei for our weekend breakfast, with the Slovenian dried flatbread substituted for Jewish matzo.

Matzo brei is Jewish comfort food. It is traditional at Passover, but in many families it is a year-round favorite. The dish is simple: pieces of matzo are soaked in beaten egg and browned in oil or butter. It is often referred to as fried or scrambled matzo, which sounds more elegant than "mash" or "pulp," the literal translation of the German word "brei."

My husband pointed out that my timing was perfect, since that package of mlinci had just passed the expiration date!

In most matzo brei recipes, the matzo is softened in warm water before it is mixed with beaten eggs. But I skipped that step, because these Ljubljana mlinci were so thin. I just broke up the crispy sheets and added them to the beaten eggs. I skipped the salt but added a little cinnamon, a suggestion I found in one of my Jewish cookbooks, and scrambled the mixture up in melted butter.

Mlinci Brei (Matzo Brei with Mlinci)

4 eggs, beaten
2-4 sheets of mlinci, crumbled
cinnamon (or salt and pepper)
butter or oil for frying

Beat eggs with seasonings. Add crumbled mlinci. (If necessary, mlinci can be softened briefly in warm water and drained before adding.) Let mlinci soak in egg mixture for a few minutes. Heat butter or oil in skillet and add mixture.  Can be scrambled or cooked in larger chunks and turned. 

The result? Slovenian-Jewish fusion at its best. Matzo brei can be either savory or sweet. I took the sweet route and served the mlinci brei with Greek yogurt, fresh apples, and orange marmalade on the side.  Delicious!

Now I have a new challenge: To tweak my recipe for homemade mlinci, so it comes closer to the real thing!


  1. Cool! Do you think matzo balls can be made with mlinci? I haven't seen matzo at the grocer stores in Dubrovnik (then again, I haven't looked too hard).

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Stephen! I make matzo balls with matzo meal, although I have seen recipes that use crumbled matzo. Probably worth a try, although the texture might be a little different. Are you living in Dubrovnik? Beautiful place.