It may not be the healthiest way to eat but with the cold weather upon us and Hanukkah nearly here, the truth is, it’s frying season. May as well embrace it in a way that’s clean and won’t leave you groaning. For starters, make sure the oil you use is as pure as possible. Forget, I repeat FORGET the mysterious and man-made canola oil and please use one that exists organically in nature. The key, however, is it must be an oil suited for frying with a high smoking point. This is when you definitely want to shelve the extra virgin olive oil in lieu of grapeseed oil, light olive oil, or avocado oil. All are great for frying at higher temperatures. Remember, smoking oil = carcinogens. Yuck!
Now on to the matter of what to fry. I’m not one to tamper with centuries-honored tradition, unless the circumference of my waistline is at stake. And in the case of potato latkes, it is. No one makes them better than Chef Bill, and this Hanukkah, I’ll definitely be indulging, but probably only once…on a day I get a nice, long workout on the books.
Other than that, I’ll be making my signature vegtable-based latkes. Those who have read “Clean Comfort” are already familiar with my Eggplant Latkes. And this year, I’m unveiling a new version: succulent and gloriously low-glycemic Onion Latkes! They are so delicious, and a little more fragrant than potato latkes. And you don’t have to limit them. But I do recommending blotting them.
Whatever holiday you’re celebrating this month, I hope it’s filled with people you love and delicious food.
5 large Vidalia onions
2 large eggs
½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs (plain)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Grapeseed oil for frying
Coarsely grate onions on a cheese grater, or coarsely chop in a food processor (don’t over-blend into mush). Blot or wring grated onions on heavy-duty paper towels to extract excess moisture. Place eggs in food processor or a blender and whip well before adding to a large mixing bowl. Add onions and the remaining ingredients (except oil) and mix thoroughly.
In a large skillet, heat oil (1/4-inch deep) on medium-high heat for about a minute. Using your hands, scoop onion batter and form into a ball about the size of 1 1/2 golf balls. Gently place ball into hot oil, then take a flat spatula and press down, forming a pancake about 4-5 inches in diameter. Saute on one side until golden brown, about three minutes. Gently flip over with spatula and sauté another 3 minutes. If pan is large enough, cook two to tree at a time. Serve immediately, or place on a baking sheet in warm oven until ready to serve.
Stacey Morris is a Loudonville-based cookbook author, health coach, and yoga instructor. Following a struggle with weight since childhood, she has been maintaining a 180-pound weight loss for nearly eight years. Her website is www.staceymorris.com.