The Mediterranean diet is widely accepted as the pinnacle of health, so it should come as no surprise that even their deep-fried desserts somehow manage to be less destructive than our beloved doughnuts. Say yasou (Greek for hello) to the loukoumade, a beignet-like fritter that’s popular in Greece, where they’re served with both sweet and savory complements.
This version of the Hellenic treat, dreamed up by James Beard winner Jody Adams, is topped with either a honey glaze or Nutella and sprinkled with salty-sweet Baklava crisps at Boston’s newest restaurant Saloniki Greek. While these sizzling bites of heaven are far from health-giving (they’re still bathed in oil), Adams, the chef and co-founder of the eatery, notes that they are relatively more wholesome than their traditional ringed counterparts since they use minimal sugar in the batter (honey is a natural sweetener) and do not include butter. Read on for the recipe.
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer and allow to proof uncovered.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the milk, salt and sugar and beat well.
When the yeast has started to bubble, it should take about 5 minutes, add the milk mixture to the yeast and water and mix with the paddle attachment on the lowest setting.
Add the flour and mix to a lumpy batter, about 4 minutes.
Cover with plastic wrap and proof at room temperature for at least 1 hour. The batter will rise and bubble.
In a deep sided saucepan, heat 3 inches vegetable oil to 375˚F. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop the batter by the spoonful into the hot oil. Fry until golden and crisp, 2 minutes per side.Do this in batches so the oil isn’t overcrowded. Drain the cooked loukoumades on paper towels.
Drizzle with honey, dust with cinnamon and sprinkle with chopped nuts.