Festival of fritters
Change the Hanukkah celebration's fried element to a sweet dessert with Spanish roots
Happy holidays: Hanukkah begins at sundown on Dec. 8 this year; greet it with a big plate of freshly fried bimuelos. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
Makes: 20 fritters
Note: Tori Avey of The Shiksa in the Kitchen blog said this recipe stems from her Israeli mother-in-law. The original called for yeast and needed time to rise; Avey uses baking powder to speed up the prep. Her mother-in-law also uses a syrup flavored with rose water or orange water for a "wonderful, exotic Middle Eastern twist." Look for them at specialty or ethnic markets.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
Grapeseed or peanut oil for frying
For the syrup:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon rose water or orange blossom water
1. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl with a fork. Beat the egg in a separate bowl. Whisk the milk into the egg until well combined. Add the egg-and-milk mixture to the flour mixture; stir with a fork until a batter forms.
2. Heat about an inch of oil in a deep skillet or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until hot enough for frying, about 365 degrees. Working in batches, use a metal soup spoon to scoop up by heaping tablespoonfuls; drop into the hot oil. The oil should sizzle but not splatter; if the oil pops or splatters, let it cool slightly before proceeding. Fry the fritters until golden brown on both sides, turning once during cooking, 2-3 minutes total. Drain fritters on rack set over paper towels.
3. For the syrup, heat the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally; add rose or orange blossom water. Reduce heat; simmer until the liquid thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Serve hot, with warm syrup poured over freshly fried fritters.
Per fritter: 119 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 18 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 44 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.