Gluten Free Hanukkah!!!

Why is this Thanksgiving season different than the rest? Simply because Hanukkah is falling on the same week of Thanksgiving this year. So lets take a break from the gluten-free mashed potatoes and turkey and focus on those classic Hanukkah goodies that can be easily made to be gluten-free. Hanukkah food tends to involve fried food, which isn’t gluten-free usually. However, we can still celebrate the miracle of the oil lasting eight nights with gluten-free fried food! Lets start with the latkes. A latke, otherwise known as a potato pancake is a very traditional Hanukkah food that can be easily made gluten-free following the recipe below!

Gluten-Free Latkes:

4 pounds Russet potatoes
1 large onion, peeled
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 cup Rice Flour Mix
3 eggs, beaten
Olive oil for frying

Preheat oven to 200 degrees or “warm” setting.

Peel potatoes and submerge in cold water. Grate the onion into a large bowl. Grate the potatoes using the larger grate of a box grater, or use the grater attachment of a food processor.

Quickly squeeze a handful of grated potatoes at a time over a second bowl (or the kitchen sink) to remove all liquid. Add the dry potatoes to the onions and mix as you go. This step should be done as quickly as possible to prevent oxidation of the potatoes.

Heat 1/4 inch of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet (cast iron works best) over medium-high heat, until just below the smoking point.

Add remaining ingredients to the batter, and stir until fully combined. Place a small handful of batter (approximately 1/4 cup) in the hot oil at a time, gently pressing each latke with the back of the spatula so that it is no more than 1/3″ thick. Do not press too hard, as the latkes will be more crispy if the the batter is not densely packed and each latke is thin and lacy (space in between the pieces of potato). Fry until completely golden-brown on the bottom and crispy around the outside corners. Flip and brown on the second side.

Transfer latkes to a plate lined with paper towels or several layers of brown paper (I use grocery bags). Allow paper to absorb excess oil, then transfer latkes to a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet in the preheated oven, where they will stay warm until ready to serve. Serve hot, with sour cream and applesauce.

Extra latkes can be frozen on a baking sheet in the refrigerator, with parchment paper or freezer paper between the layers. When frozen, transfer to ziploc bags. Reheat in oven on 400 degrees F.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Now for the matzah balls! It’s not a Jewish holiday without matzah ball soup! Here is a recipe for gluten-free matzah balls!
Gluten-Free Matzah Balls:
1/4 cup finely ground almond meal
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon flax seed meal (finely ground flax seeds)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon chicken fat or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or 1 tablespoon softened margarine
Beat egg with salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients, and combine well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Add additional potato starch, if necessary, until the batter is firm enough to be rolled into balls with your hands – It will still be sticky, but not too wet to handle. Using clean, dry hands roll a tablespoon of dough at a time into balls. Submerge in boiling water or soup.
Allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until each ball has puffed up a bit and is cooked all the way through.
For Vegetarian do not use Chicken fat.

All of these recipes and more can be found simply by typing in gluten-free Hanukkah foods on google! The power of technology will allow all you gluten-free Jews to enjoy the holiday season! Happy Hanukkah and let there be light!

-Ilyssa Frank


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