Chosen Bites: Burning the midnight oil

This Hanukka, break out of the usual latke habit with some savory and sweet fritters.

Root vegetable fritters 370 (photo credit: Laura Frankel)
Root vegetable fritters 370
(photo credit: Laura Frankel)
This year to commemorate Hanukka, I'm breaking out of my usual latke habit and shaking things up a bit with savory and sweet fritters. Fritters are defined as a wide variety of fried foods, usually consisting of a portion of batter or breading which has been filled with bits of meat, seafood, fruit, or other ingredients. Sounds good right?
I am so excited I cannot wait for Hanukka. I love my theme this year. Don’t get me wrong, I am wild about latkes, all crackling hot and sizzling right out of the pan with just a little bit of salty greasiness. I will definitely be making and eating those too, but the fritter has unbounded possibilities. I can use anything, bind it up with a little batter and fry away. I am craving something different this year, and the fritter has unlimited potential and variations.
Root vegetable fritters with smoked paprika aioli
Yields 2 dozen fritters
2 medium parsnips, peeled and grated
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 medium celery root bulb, peeled and grated
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne
1 egg
Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
1. Mix all of the vegetables together in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
2. Heat 2 inches of oil in a pan over medium high heat. When the oil reaches 360 F, use either an ice cream scoop or teaspoon to portion the batter. Place the fritter batter, gently, in the oil and fry, turning occasionally until brown on all sides.
3. Transfer the browned fritters to a paper towel lined sheet. Garnish with sea salt
For the dipping sauce
½ cup aioli, store bought or homemade
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon warm water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1. Mix the paprika and warm water (this helps the paprika “bloom” a bit).
2. Add the paste to the aioli and the lemon juice.
3. Serve the dipping sauce with the fritters.