The centerpiece of the Chanukah table is fried food, typically latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (doughnuts). It’s not a particularly diet-friendly festival, but who cares when you’re rejoicing?
Pereg Natural Foods and KosherMoms.com are joining forces to present Chanukah recipes. Pereg specializes in grains, spices and gluten-free products from around the world. KosherMoms.com is a new destination for Jewish moms looking for quick, healthy, family-pleasing meals. Together, they are putting a child-friendly spin on food.
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Holes
½ cup teff flour
½ cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons xanthum gum
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup milk
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Canola oil for frying
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ cup sugar
Fill a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart pot halfway with canola oil. Heat to 350 degrees. (You can test this by putting the back of a wooden spoon into the oil; if there is a steady bubbling around the spoon, your oil is ready for frying.)
Whisk together the flour, xanthum gum, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, combine the eggs, sugars, vanilla and milk. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix just until combined.
Scoop 1-inch balls of dough and drop them into the hot oil. Fry 1 to 2 minutes on each side until no longer doughy in the center. The doughnuts will rise when ready to be taken out. Do not crowd the pot; fry only a few doughnuts at a time.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the coating on a plate.
Prepare a second plate with 2 layers of paper towels. When the doughnuts come out of the oil, place them on the paper towels for 1 minute, then immediately roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve fresh.
Winter Roasted Rainbow Carrots
2 pounds rainbow carrots
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon Pereg ras el hanout spice
Juice of half a lemon
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spread the carrots in an even layer on a baking sheet. Cover the carrots with the olive oil, salt, lemon juice and ras el hanout. Roast for 30 minutes. Serve warm. The carrots are delicious and warming — perfect as an easy side dish and a healthy addition to all the fried food. They also look like a row of candles, ready to go into a chanukiah.
Still, no Chanukah celebration would be complete without latkes. Kosher.com celebrity chef Brynie Greisman, who has more than 300 recipes on the free site for kosher cooking, provided these tips for latke perfection:
- Use a frying pan that will heat evenly and withstand high temperatures, such as cast iron or heavy stainless steel. It’s not recommended to use nonstick pans. Remove any liquid from the grated potatoes or vegetables with which you are making the latkes; liquid makes for mushy latkes. But save the starch from potatoes at the bottom of the bowl; add the milky liquid starch back to the batter for the crispest latkes.
- Heat your pan first without oil. Use oil that won’t burn easily at high heat, such as canola, peanut or corn oil. Add the oil to the hot pan and allow it to heat to the point at which it shimmers and thins out. Turn the heat to medium-high, because if it’s too high, it will sear the outside, and the inside of the latke will be raw.
- Use about a quarter-cup of batter per latke. Do not crowd the pan, or else the oil temperature will fall. Flatten each latke slightly with a spatula to ensure that it fries evenly. Drain latkes on paper towels on a cooking rack so they don’t get soggy. Allow 30 seconds or so between batches to let the oil heat back up, especially if you’re adding oil.