KOSHER RECIPES FOR GLUTEN-FREE LIVING
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Gluten-Free Matzo Balls - Recipe #1
You knew I wasn't going to let this week go by without posting a gluten-free matzo ball recipe, right?
Matza balls, matzah balls, matzo balls, kneidlach, knaidlach, knaidls.... However you choose to spell it, these tasty dumplings are the culinary focal point of the Passover seder for many Jews, myself included. Good gluten-free matzo balls are elusive - Most of the recipes I found online featured ingredients that are definitely not kosher for Passover, or that were far too obscure to be practical.
While nothing will ever be quite as delicious as the "real thing", these gluten-free kneidlach come closer to capturing the texture I was looking for than any other recipe I've tried. I can't see myself eating 5 of them (which is my usual matzo ball quota, when I can get away with it), but I definitely enjoyed two of them floating in my soup last night. The texture was closer to what I was hoping for than I'd imagined possible. Choose a very finely ground blanched almond meal for the best texure. If you aren't vegetarian, you'll find it well worth using chicken fat (such as the fat that you skim off the top of the chicken soup, allowed to cool and solidify) instead of oil.
There are three kinds of matzo balls, in my family's lexicon: "Clouds" are light and fluffy all the way through; "cannonballs" are dense and firm throughout; and then there are "Dad's matzo balls" a/k/a The Perfect Matzo Balls, which are firm and dense within but have a fluffier layer around the outside. Dad's matzo balls are preferable to me, followed by cannonballs. These gluten-free matzo balls undoubtedly fall into the cannonball category. If you'd like to try to get them lighter, I'd recommend whipping the egg whites into stiff peaks and gently folding them into the batter at the last minute.
A note about flax seeds: These are considered kosher for Passover by some, and kitniyot by others. If you use them, be sure to use finely ground flax meal. If you consider flax seed to be kitniyot, try omitting this ingredient.
Since many of you will be making these only for one or two family members with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, this recipe is for a small batch - It will make enough kneidlach to serve 2-3 people.
GLUTEN-FREE MATZO BALLS (KNEIDLACH)
1/4 cup finely ground almond meal
1/4 cup potato starch
1 Tbsp flax meal (finely ground flax seeds)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp minced fresh dill
1 Tbsp chicken fat, vegetable oil, or 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.