Hanukkah > for the love of latkes

Posted On December 29, 2009

Filed under Hanukkah
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As potatoes are shredded and oil is measured, family bonds season the Hanukkah kitchen.

Even with a traditional holiday such as Hanukkah, it’s fun to get creative in the kitchen.  If you ask 10 Jewish women how to make a latke, every one will have a different answer. Some like shredded potatoes and shredded onions. Some go for a more mashed potato consistency, made by first boiling the potatoes, then putting them through a food processor. Because Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of oil, fried foods such as latkes and doughnuts take top billing.

Traditional Potato Latkes
16 servings

Ingredients >
3 cups grated russet potatoes
1 large sweet onion
2 large eggs beaten slightly
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

Method >
1. Grate the potatoes and set aside.
2. Grate the onion into a separate bowl and squeeze out excess water.
3. Mix the onion and the potatoes; add the salt, pepper, eggs and flour. Mix well.
4. Drop by heaping tablespoons into oil heated on high.
5. Cook until brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
6. Serve warm with sour cream or applesauce.

Lower-Carb Latkes
16 servings

Ingredients >
1 cup grated russet potatoes
2 cups grated green zucchini (or mix zucchini with yellow squash)
1 leek, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup flour (or low-carb product)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

Method >
1. Grate zucchini, squash and leek into same bowl.
2. Drain excess water and pat dry with paper towel.
3. Mix in remaining ingredients.
4. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto heated, lightly oiled, nonstick griddle or pan.
5. Cook until brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
6. Serve warm with sour cream or applesauce.

Doughnuts
36 servings

Ingredients >
6 tablespoons sugar
5 teaspoons dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 F)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon salt

Method >
1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes.
2. Stir 4 cups flour, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt into yeast mixture to form soft dough.
3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Gradually add remaining flour to prevent dough from sticking.(Don’t add too much flour because dough will get dense.)
4. Place dough in large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm draft-free area about 40 minutes until doubled in size. Punch down dough; cover and let rise again for another 40 minutes, until doubled in size.
5. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, to 1/4 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or drinking glass dipped in flour, cut dough into 2-inch rounds.
6. If desired, place a teaspoon of jelly onto a cut circle and top with another circle of dough. Press edges together to seal. Leave on floured board covered with a damp towel until ready to fry.
7. For plain doughnuts, roll a piece of dough into a 6-8 inch length. Twist to form a circle and seal ends together. Leave on floured board covered with a damp towel until ready to fry.
8. In a heavy skillet or deep wok, heat 2 inches of oil to about 350 F-360 F. Place doughnuts gently in oil and fry until golden brown, turning once. Remove with slotted spoon or tongs and drain on paper towel.
9. Sprinkle with powder sugar or glaze and serve immediately.
Glaze: Half box confectioners’ sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water or lemon juice (for a lemon glaze).

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