Ok, I needed to get that out of my system. I feel better:).
Today I made gluten free matzo balls, Almond Macaroons, Miniature Potato Knishes, and Roasted Vegetable Soup. As I make each of my dishes for the seder, I will blog about them. See recipes below.
Do the matzo balls taste like the matzo balls I love and cherish? No. Are they passable? Yes. More than passable. They are a new take on matzo balls. They even have a new name – Matzo Pattie Balls. Will I serve them to the 15 people coming to our house for the first night seder? Yes, and with a big smile on my face. They are respectable and lovely and I am very pleased.
I altered a recipe that I found online, originally developed by Beth Hillson from Gluten Free Pantry fame. I always tinker, as is my nature, so I tweaked and finagled and changed it to suit my fancy. They are very good, if I don’t say so myself, and there will be one in every bowl of gluten free homemade Roasted Vegetable Soup that we will be serving on Saturday night.
I took pictures but am up to my eyeballs in cooking. If I have time, I will upload them tomorrow, but wanted to get this online just in case anyone is looking for another gluten free option for matzo balls.
Note: The original recipe did not call for potato flakes. They were my addition. I didn’t decrease any of the finely ground almonds or potato starch. If you don’t have potato flakes, I think you can make these Matzo Pattie Balls and just leave out that ingredient without altering the recipe.
Gluten Free Matzo Balls (um, they’re more like Matzo Pattie Balls!)
based on a recipe by Beth Hillson, adapted by Ellen Allard
Yield: about 8 balls, 1 – 2″ diameter (original recipe says it yields 15 balls, but I made them bigger.)
2 eggs, separated
3/4 tsp salt
a few grinds of pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp finely ground blanched almonds
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tsp potato starch (NOT POTATO FLOUR)
1/3 cup potato flakes (the kind you use to make mashed potatoes – I used Shiloh Farms organic potato flakes, instant)
1 tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp flaxseed meal (this gave them the nutty flavor and texture)
1 tsp dried dill
1/4 cup plain seltzer
2 tbsp canola oil (orig. recipe calls for chicken fat)
To the yolks, add salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Mix well.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the yolk mixture. Fold the ground almonds, potato starch, flaxseed meal, potato flakes and dill into this mixture. Add the seltzer and oil and mix. Chill for two hours, per original recipe. Instead, I put the bowl into the freezer for 20 minutes which worked well.
Bring soup to a boil then lower heat to medium. Mix matzo batter lightly. Drop by tablespoons into the soup (I used a very small ice cream scoop). Return the soup to a simmer and cover (I didn’t cover them). Cook 15 minutes.
Since I made them in advance of the seder, I am freezing them. I will defrost them on Saturday morning and heat them directly in the soup prior to serving.
Light Almond Macaroons
posted by Mirj at www.recipezaar.com
(I will be using these as the base for a Frozen Strawberry Meringue Torte)
Yield: about 12, depending on size
2 cups finely ground unblanched almonds
1 pinch salt
cinnamon (optional, but I used it and would highly recommend)
Grated rind from 1/2 lemon
3 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine finely ground almonds, salt, cinnamon, and lemon rind. Mix well.
Beat egg whites until lightly foamy.
Stir egg whites into other ingredients to make a loose dough. It is so loose that you will think you made a mistake. Fear not. Plow ahead.
Pick up the dough by the teaspoonful and sort of coax onto a greased cookie sheet (I used a silpat mat).
Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until tops seem dry and golden brown.
Miniature Potato Knishes
original recipe Penina W. Freedenberg, adapted just a wee bit by Ellen Allard
3 cups mashed potatoes (I used 4 medium Idaho potatoes)
4 eggs (orig. recipe 2 eggs, I doubled)
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper (or few twists of pepper mill)
3/8 almond meal (orig. recipe matzo meal)
1 medium onion, chopped, sauted in olive oil until crisp and golden
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp water
oil for baking sheet (I used silpat mat on cookie sheet)
In medium bowl, combine mashed potatoes with eggs, butter, salt, pepper, onions, and almond meal. Form into walnut sized balls (I used small ice cream scoop). Brush with diluted egg yolk. Place on a well-greased baking sheet or silpat mat and bake in a preheated oven 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until well-browned.
Original recipe says it makes approximately 42 knishes – I probably made them bigger, as I only had about 36 of the little yummy suckers.
Original recipe says can easily double and also can subsitute 1 sweet potato when doubling.
BTW, I peeled the potatoes and then put them into a microwaveable dish and microwaved for about 10 minutes. Then proceeded with recipe. Very easy! Will freeze once they cool.
Regarding the soup, while I love the broth, it did need some doctoring on my part. Maybe the recipe doesn’t double well? In any case, I found it kind of watery. Thus, the next time I will cut back on the water. But after I added extra carrots and onions, and the fire roasted tomato (not in original recipe), and then LOTS of salt and pepper, it was quite tasty. I plan on serving this with the Matzo Pattie Balls!
World’s Greatest Vegetable Broth
original recipe by Tom West, adapted by Ellen Allard
I doubled it and prepared enough for 16 servings
2 lbs celery
3 lbs onion + 3 onions
2 lbs carrot + six carrots
1 lb green pepper
1/2 lb turnip
1/2 lb parsnip
1/2 lb leek
1/2 lb mushrooms
1/2 lb zucchini
1 28 oz can Muir Glen Fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
2 – 4 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic
6 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
12 whole peppercorns
2 bunches fresh parsley
2 gallons water (I might cut back on water next time, maybe 1 1/2 gallons)
S&P to taste
Dried oregano (just dumped, maybe 4 tbsp)
Dried thyme (just dumped, maybe 4 tbsp)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Remove leaves and tender inner parts of celery and set aside.
Toss all veggies except for celery with olive oil. Place in a roasting pan and put in the oven. Stir every 15 minutes. Cook until all veggies have browned and onions have started to carmelize. About one hour.
Put the browned veggies, celery, garlic, cloves, baly leaf, peppercorns, parsley, oregano, thyme and water into a large stock pot. Bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered for about one hour or until liquid is reduced by half.
Pour the broth through a colander, catching the broth in a large bowl or pot. Use immediately or freeze. Eat veggies if so desired.