I finally cracked the code. The matzo ball code. For those of you who read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I’ve been having some trouble with this particular recipe. In fact, I dubbed it “The Holy Grail of Allergy-Friendly”. I’m not sure what finally shifted; perhaps it was the pressure.
I fell into a panic today. No sooner had I finished my various Thanksgiving recipe posts, and Thanksgiving leftovers recipe posts, then I realized Chanukah began December 1st. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but this year, I’d made a promise to tackle those gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free matzo balls in time for the winter holidays. And I still hadn’t done it. I mean, I tried (see here), and tried again (see here), and, yes, I tried again. But ultimately, I’d decided to move on to other recipes and go back to the dreaded matzo balls, once inspiration overtook me.
I had long suspected that the solution to these allergy-friendly matzo balls lied within the other familiar players of Chanukah foods: potato, applesauce, and onions. Thankfully, I was right. I also realized corn flour could mimic the lovely golden hue traditionally imparted by egg yolk. And I used a bit of quinoa flakes to create the texture of matzo meal. This recipe was my hardest non-nut to crack. But I did, and I finally created a delicious bobbing ball recipe, which might even make my great-grandmother Dora proud. Happy Chanukah!
Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Matzo Ball Soup
(Gluten-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, Tree Nut-free)
Makes 4 servings
These matzo balls look just like traditional matzo balls and mimic the texture very nicely. Be prepared to serve and eat them right away.
- 1/3 cup corn flour
- ¼ cup potato starch
- ¼ cup quinoa flakes
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 2 Tablespoons chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon applesauce
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 4¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock (Kitchen Basics is allergy-friendly)
- ¼ cup very finely minced yellow onion
- 1 ½ teaspoons finely minced parsley, plus more for garnish
- extra finely dill for garnish
- Measure out corn flour and potato starch by spooning into dry measuring cups, then leveling off with a straightedge or butter knife. Combine flours with quinoa flakes, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and a few turns of freshly ground pepper. Whisk well, and set aside.
- Whisk together egg replacer, and applesauce. Add canola oil and ¼ cup chicken broth. Whisk well.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add liquid ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon. Add minced onion and minced parsley, stirring to combine.
- Heat the remaining 4 cups chicken broth over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, wet hands slightly with cool water, and roll dough into balls, about 1 ½-inches in diameter, wetting hands again as necessary.
- Once chicken broth has come to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and gently add matzo balls to pot. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and cook 10 minutes. You don’t want to overcook them or they’ll get soggy, but cook them long enough to cook the onions. 15 minutes max. Remove from heat.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Spinkle in some parsley or dill. Serve immediately.
Tip: If you have had to let the matzo balls sit before serving, by some misfortune, reheat the broth to a simmer and heat until matzo balls are bobbing again.
Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Matzo Balls (and Matzo Ball Soup)
© 2010 by Cybele Pascal
(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)
SAFETY NOTE: Because each person's food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns beforeconsumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.
Cybele Pascal is the award-winning author of "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook" and the "Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook." She lives in Los Angeles with her food-allergic family: husband Adam, sons Lennon and Monte, and their dogs, Izzie and Carly (who also has food allergies). Please visit her website at CybelePascal.com or follow her on twitter @cybelepascal.