Author Notes: This dish is a nice alternative to Hanukah latkes and can be served as Hors d’oeuvres, a snack or as a First Course with a hot bowl or a cup of Golden Chicken broth or any other soup. It takes a little more time and work then traditional cooked matzo balls but your efforts will be repaid when you taste these delicious fried balls. Inspired by a similar recipe from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen and then adjusted to my taste and also changed the assembling technique. —Kukla
• 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for frying
• 1 cup Crimini or any mushrooms of your choice, finely chopped
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1/2 medium onion, diced
• 1 carrot, grated
• 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon potato starch
• 1/2 cup cold chicken stock, preferably homemade
• 8 large eggs, separated
• 2 tablespoons seltzer water
• 2 cups matzo meal (not cake matzo meal)
• 2 tablespoons fresh parsley plus 1tablespoon dill, chopped
- In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the mushrooms and a couple pinches of salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- To the same pan add 1 tablespoon of oil, the onion, carrot, celery and a couple pinches of salt and pepper; cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan and stir until well combined.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the potato starch in chicken stock, pour into the pan with mushrooms and vegetables, bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from the heat and let cool; transfer the vegetable mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until the mixture has cooled and is set, about 1 hour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/2 cup oil and seltzer water. Add matzo meal, about 1 teaspoon of salt, some more pepper, parsley and dill; stir until well combined; then gently mix-in the chilled mushroom and vegetable mixture.
- Beat the egg whites until medium peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gradually fold the egg whites into the whole mixture.
- Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the batter, gently form into balls and place on a baking sheet or tray lightly dusted with matzo meal. To ensure the matzo balls are tender and light, try not to compress the balls while forming them. The mixture can be a bit sticky, so it helps to first grease your hands with oil. You may need to rinse your hands a few times and grease them again.
- Transfer matzo balls to the refrigerator until ready to fry and serve (not less then 2 hours).
- In a medium, deep pot over medium-high heat, warm 2 inches of oil to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer.
Carefully drop 6 matzo balls at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the matzo balls to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
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Photo by Williams-Sonoma Kitchen