Archive for the 'Latke recipe' Category

12
Nov
12

Jayne Cohen’s Jewish Holiday Cooking


The Jewish calendar is filled with celebrations, each has its unique foods and traditions. What better way to celebrate than with columnist, blogger, cook author Jayne Cohen‘s Jewish Holiday Cooking? Ms. Cohen covers the spectrum of Jewish cooking around the world. Her dishes – though often traditional – include many a delightful surprise, an update in taste.

The recipes are peppered with quotes from the vast world of Jewish writing ranging from the Talmud to Nathan Englander, from Chaim Grade to Sholem Aleichem, from the Zohar to Shmuel Hanagid and more. It is obvious this is not just a cookbook, it is a paean to Judaism, its timeless spiritual and cultural values, with the recipes representing a way to celebrate it all.

As I browse through the pages, it is obvious the author loves many genres of books, her quotes, her references, her intros to the individual recipes, her writing in general becomes “unputdownable.” As you leaf through, as you read through, not only do you see yourself at the very locals she’s traveled but you can smell and taste as well. Written in the best tradition of M.F.K Fischer, Joseph Wechsberg, Hillaire du Berrier and Ruth Reichl, Ms. Cohen leaves you begging for more…

With Chanuka coming up in less than a month, what could be better than an interesting latke recipe to whet one’s appetite?

Garlic-Rosemary Potato Latkes

Pareve
Yield: About 4 servings

These exceptionally fragrant potato pancakes require no topping or sauce as adornment. They are perfect as is, ready to accompany any roasted or grilled chicken or meat.

Ingredients:

  • About 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold or 3 large russet (baking) potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon matzoh meal or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • About 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • About 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Sea salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Shred the potatoes, using the shredding disk in a food processor. (Don’t wash out the food processor–you’ll be using it again right away.) Transfer the potatoes to a colander or strainer and use your hands or a wooden spoon to press out as much moisture as possible.
  2. Remove the shredding disk from the processor and replace with the steel blade. Return about one third of the shredded potatoes to the food processor. Add the garlic and rosemary and process, using the pulse motion, until roughly pureed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the remaining potatoes, the egg, matzoh meal or flour, salt and pepper to taste, and the baking powder to the bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined. Let stand for 10 minutes to mingle the flavors.
  3. In a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (cast-iron is ideal), heat about 1/4 inch of oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Drop 1/4 cup of the potato latke batter into the pan and flatten with a spatula. Repeat with more batter, cooking no more than 4 or 5 latkes at a time; crowding the pan will give you soggy latkes.
  4. Regulate the heat carefully, reducing it to medium as the latkes fry until golden and crisp on the bottom, about 4 minutes. To prevent oil from splattering, use two spatulas (or a spatula and a large spoon) to turn the latkes carefully. Fry until crisp and golden on the other side.
  5. It’s best to flip the latkes only once, so that they don’t absorb too much oil. So, before turning, lift the latkes slightly with the spatula to make sure the underside is crisp and brown.
  6. As the latkes are done, transfer them to paper towels or untreated brown paper bags to drain.
  7. Continue making latkes in the same manner until all the batter is used. If necessary, add more oil to the pan, but always allow the oil to get hot before frying a new batch.
  8. Serve straightaway, sprinkled with a little coarse salt, if you’d like. Or if necessary, keep the latkes warm in a 200 degree F oven (arrange them in a single layer on a rack placed over an oven-proof platter or baking sheet) and serve when they are all ready to be brought to the table.

From Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover’s Treasury of Classics and Improvisations
by Jayne Cohen (print edition: Wiley 2008; e-book: 2012).
Visit jewishholidaycooking.com

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy! And… don’t forget to tune in this coming Wednesday at 10:00pm (Eastern Time) when we will be talking with Jayne Cohen; we’ll be waiting!

CS

03
Dec
10

Jeff Nathan’s Rosemary Potato Latkes with Honey Drizzle


Hanukkah at Abigael’s on Broadway

Gift Giving Special ~ Buy One, Get One
All gift cards ordered now through December 31st, 2010
will receive a 10 % additional card.

$ 100 gift card gets you a $ 10 gift card
$ 200 gift card gets you a $ 20 gift card

Each day of Hanukkah will feature three latke selections
~Savory or sweet, each one will be a treat!

407 Broadway – at 39th Street, New York, NY; Tel: 212.575.1407

—)x0x0x(—

Chef Jeff Nathan, from Abigael’s, has graciously agreed to share this delicious latke recipe.

Jeff Nathan’s Rosemary Potato Latkes with Honey Drizzle

Pareve
Makes about 20 latkes, 5 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes (2 pounds)
  • 1 pound yellow onions (1 pound)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil, for fryinghoney, (use varying flavors of honey for added taste, ie: clover, lavender, pine, blueberry)

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with papertowels.
  2. Using the large holes of a box grater or the grating disk of a food processor, alternately grate thepotatoes and onions into a work bowl (this provides better distribution of the onions). Using your hands,squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the potato mixture. Add the eggs, flour, parsley, garlic,rosemary and mint. Add in the salt and pepper, and mix well.
  3. Add enough oil to a large, deep skillet to come 1/2-inch up the sides. Do not skimp! Heat over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. In batches without crowding, using about 1/4 cup of the potatomixture for each pancake, carefully add the mixture to the oil, spreading it with a spoon to make 3-inchpancakes. Fry, turning once, until deep golden brown on both sides. Use a slotted spatula to transfer tothe baking sheet. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven while making the remaining pancakes.Drain off any excess liquid that forms in the bowl as you make subsequent batches.
  4. Serve hot drizzled with honey.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy. I can’t wait to try it!

CS

11
Dec
09

Bayamim Ha’em, Bazman Hazeh


[In 2007, I wrote the following on my other blog, I will re-post here some excerpts which best describe my feelings on Chanukah, our people and the millenia of Jewish struggle. CS]

Photo Credits: templeinstitute.org

Bayamim ha’em – in those days…
Roughly about 2100 years ago a ragtag army of Jews who refused to follow the fashionable Hellenistic ideas and culture, Jews who clung to their anachronistic religion and customs, decided to revolt against the Greek (Syriac) Seleucid Emperor Antiochus IV. Anyone with some practical sense or conventional wisdom could have easily predicted the revolt would end disastrously… but he would have been very wrong!!! This ragtag assembly of Jews faced overwhelming numbers of superior and superbly equipped Seleucid warriors (100 Greek soldiers for every Jewish one) destroying them, leaving the few remaining Seleucids fleeing in fright.

What was the motivation of this group, what made them fight with their every fiber of body and soul? The Hellenists unlike other conquerors of the Holy Land did not intend – originally – to exterminate the Jews, they meant no bodily harm… all they sought was for the Jews to abandon their old religious beliefs and become a part of the enlightened NOW of that time, to abandon their outdated, out of fashion creed and embrace the Hellenist enlightenment. They wanted the Jews to become immersed in Greek culture with its literature, its philosophy, its emphasis on physical prowess as practiced in the gymnasiums. They wanted the Jews to lose their spirituality and thereby their distinct identity. Many were seduced by those ideas so in vogue in the enlightened world and gave up their Judaism. Many went so far as to wear a special cup that would mask the mark of their circumcision. Many… but not all!

When Antiochus decreed that henceforth anyone who had their sons circumcised would be killed together with the new baby, most men gave up the ritual, many ceased procreating in fear of the death threat against themselves and their potential offspring. The men were ready to give up… but not their women! Many a woman would, in direct violation of the law, circumcise her son and rather than quietly await death at the hands of the Seleucid Greeks would jump from a mountain top and rob the hated oppressor of the pleasure of killing a Jew… The Nation of Israel was often roused from its slumber, from its complacency, from its hopelessness, by its courageous women… Examples abound!

Soon the rebellion spread and many who had already despaired suddenly found new strength, new hope, new reasons to stand up to the tyrants. As the women set the courageous example of resisting the oppressor, the men soon followed suit refusing to comply and taking up arms instead. The little flame that is forever lit in each and every Jew’s heart suddenly ignited and burned brilliantly. The terrible anger, humiliation and pain they experienced at the loss of their wives, their daughters, their mothers, the fury against an unjust oppressor who wanted to trample their religion and replace it with false gods, kindled within them new fires, new resolution, renewed faith.

Matityahu the Priest and his sons never wavered in their beliefs. They suddenly amassed many recruits, renewed cohesively with sense of faith and purpose, and succeeded against the best and fiercest army of the day. The Temple in Jerusalem was soon restored, cleansed of the Greek impurities and the Holy faith of the Jews again shone brightly within its walls. The wonder of finding one small vial of sanctified oil meant to burn one day and miraculously burning for eight (thus giving the Israelites enough time to prepare more of the consecrated oil) was a Divine message that their sacrifices, their faith and their refusal to give up their belief in Him had been acknowledged!

Since our earliest history as a people, the strongest empires, the mightiest armies, have conquered Israel. They scattered us throughout the world. Through harassment, persecution, rape and murder, they sought to break our spirit. Many broke and left the fold! Neither the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, the Persians,  the Babylonians, nor the Romans fully succeeded… nor are they, themselves, still around. The spark of Judaism that shines in every Jewish heart, can never be extinguished… it takes very little to reignite it, to bring it back to its full power.

The medieval blood libels, the Spanish (and Portuguese) Inquisition, the murderous Ukrainian Cossacks of Bogdan Chmielnicky, or Hitler and his willing accomplices, etc., etc., decimated us tremendously throughout our history. Many a European village, filled with Jews, was razed to the ground with its soil forever soaked in our blood. But the stiff necked, stubborn Jew, though numerically crippled every time, survived it all and improved.

Bazman hazeh – at this time…
British historian Arnold J. Toynbee, in his monumental A Study of History (on the rise and fall of civilizations), referred to the Jews as “the fossil of history.” Logically, we should have disappeared long ago. Logically, we should have barely made it, as a small footnote, in some forgotten history tome, but… we Jews are still here. The learned Professor Toynbee was grievously wrong! The Jews are not a fossil, a fossil has no life. A fossil is merely a bone, a fragment, a reminder, a remnant, of what once was very alive. Toynbee was wrong, the Jew LIVES! And… unfortunately, for the learned professor… WE RUINED HIS THEORY!!!

The Jew today is a vibrant force in whatever country he/she may reside, whether in the sciences, in the professions, in technology, in business, in education, in the arts, in literature, in every facet of modern life. Jews come in every hue of the political spectrum, we differ as much from one another as any other people or more. Yet, through it all, whether we follow Ashkenazi or Sephardi traditions, whether we are chassidim or litwisch whether we come from Uruguay, the US, Iraq, India, Poland, or Italy, or any place on this planet, every single one of us carries a small spark of that Hanuka oil burning in our hearts. That is the reason why no conqueror, no oppressors could destroy us, that is why we are still Jews today… and will still be Jews when those very oppressors and haters have themselves been relegated to the dustbin of history.

Enough of my ranting! Chanukka is a time of joy and renewal, so here is a very simple, delicious, heimische latke recipe. Enjoy it with your family as you sing, play dreidel, or just… enjoy!

Potato Latkes


10 large grated Idaho potatoes (hand grater preferred!)
5 tablespoon grated onion
8 eggs, beaten
6 teaspoons salt
Cover pan with oil, until 1/2″ heigh.

Put the potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring, getting rid of as much moisture as possible. In a bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly. In a large pan,over medium-high heat, heat up the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the mix into the hot oil, press down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. serve it hot. Makes 12 generous servings. When you are ready to eat you may put apple sauce on top or, if you are having it with dairy, add some sour cream, or just have them as they are. Enjoy!

May the lights of Chanukka forever burn brightly in every heart!

A freilachn


Chanuka!!!

CS




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