Frittelle di zucca (squash fritters from the veneto)

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 Butternut squash or pumpkin; (about 1- 1/4 lbs.)
2 cups Milk; or as needed
1½ cup All-purpose flour; or as needed
2 teaspoons Baking soda; dissolved in:
2 teaspoons Water
2 Eggs
1 pinch Salt
⅔ cup Granulated sugar; or to taste
Grated zest of 1-2 oranges
½ cup Candied citron; cut into small dice
⅓ cup Golden raisins
½ cup Pine nuts; toasted
Peanut oil; for deep frying
Confectioner's sugar; for topping

Halve the squash or pumpkin, scoop out and discard the seeds and fibers, peel, and cut into ½- inch dice. You should have 3 to 3- ½ cups. Place in a saucepan, add milk to cover, and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash breaks down into a smooth puree, about 30 minutes. Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled; it will smooth out.

Stir in the 1- ½ cups flour and continue to stir until the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed to bind. Beat in the dissolved baking soda, and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the salt, granulated sugar, orange zest, citron, raisins and pine nuts. Remove from the heat. Let stand for about 15 minutes until most of the moisture has been absorbed.

Pour oil to a depth of 3- inches in a deep frying pan or wok and heat to 375 degrees F. In batches, drop the batter by small (1- inch diameter) teaspoonfuls into the hot oil. (These should not be too large or the center will not cook.) Fry until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain briefly. Keep warm until all the fritters are cooked.

Arrange the fritters on a platter and sift a heavy dusting of confectioner's sugar over the top. Eat while hot or very warm.

Notes: Italian Jews commemorate Hannukah by the eating of fried foods such as these fritters which are served as a dessert.

Hint from Ms. Goldstein: It's may not always easy to find a squash that weighs exactly 1- ¼ pounds. Just make sure the cubed squash is covered with milk and add enough flour so that the mixture is similar to the consistency of sour cream. Since squashes vary in sweetness, adjust the sugar to personal taste.

Cucina Ebraica- Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen by Joyce Goldstein Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA 1998 ISBN: 0-8118-1969-8 Recipe by: Cucina Ebraica by Joyce Goldstein p. 137 Posted to JEWISH-FOOD digest by Linda Shapiro <lss@...> on Nov 24, 1998, converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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