Dec 252011
 

image-spinach patties7

Have you done a lot of frying this Hanukkah?

Me, I usually adapt fried foods to baked, but on Hanukkah, latkehs have to be fried at least once. So I fried traditional potato latkehs the first night, but until last night, I kept Husband and the Little One happy with fishy things like Slow-Cooked Salmon and Tajine of Red Mullet in Chermoulah. Then I decided to succumb to tradition and fry something. Hanukka’s winding down, after all.

I came across cookbook author Gil Mark’s Keftes de Espinaca – spinach patties.  Perfect – Husband’s favorite vegetable is spinach.  The Little One could do without it, but even she ate and took seconds of these patties. And to my delight, they needed but little oil to fry up into delicious, crusty morsels with tender insides. I served pasta with tomato sauce on the side and we had a great vegetarian meal.

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Dec 112009
 

Happy Chanukah!

Fried potato pancakes. Doughnuts!

It’s a yearly treat. Has to be, because it takes all year to work off the calories. Is it worth the work and the smell in the house and the rising numbers on the bathroom scale?

Well, it is, if you value tradition. I love to see my family and friends  seated at the table on a Hannukah night, and how they smile as the first sizzling batch of  latkehs is set down. I know that my grandchildren will always remember Grandma’s latkehs as the best, the only latkehs in the world. I know that as years pass, more and more family memories will emerge, and the smell of grated, fried potatoes and onions will bring back the room and its furniture, the way the light fell on our faces, things we said, how old each one was.  I’ll always cherish memory a picture of a very little boy struggling out of his mom’s arms to stick his fingers in the applesauce, and his mom, my daughter, laughing and holding him back.

How will they remember me? I kind of hope they’ll remember me smiling and handing out those delicious fried foods, and that the taste memory will get all mixed up with the picture of our Hannukah party.

5  Hannuka Recipes:

Nov 262008
 

Yesterday I saw these apples at a discount. They were big and awkward looking, with peels that bore tiny nicks and sunspots, even a few bruises. I looked at them and thought: Chanukah is coming up. I’m going to be needing plenty of applesauce for latkehs. So I brought them home and went to work. It’s risky buying class B fruit, but these apples were firm and sweet inside.

Applesauce

Yield: 4 3/4 -5 cups

Ingredients:

1.5 kg. apples. Tart green apples are best, but any variety will do.

1/4 cup sugar. Use brown for a deeper taste, white for a lighter color

1 stick of cinnamon

1 slice of lemon if apples are sweet rather than tart.

Method:

Peel the apples, if you are so minded. As I blend them when done, I just pare away anything unslightly and leave the most of the peel on for a chunky texture.

Dribble a tablespoon or two of water into the cooking pot. This is just to keep the apple slices from scorching initially.

Put the apples in, and put the sugar, cinnamon and optional lemon slice on top.

Start cooking over a medium flame. About 5 minutes later, you’ll hear a dry, scorching sound. Just stir a few times to help release juices.

Cook, turning the apples over ever so often, for 15 minutes. It will start looking soupy in there, but the apple pulp will re-absorb the juice eventually.

Taste for sweetness, and if it’s not sweet enough for your taste, add sugar by tablespoons. Remember, it will taste sweeter when it cools down. Cook a further 30 minutes.

Remove the optional lemon slice, and allow the applesauce to cool. Hunt for any stray apple or lemon seeds; remove the cinnamon stick.

Blend or mash the applesauce. If the apples weren’t peeled, it’s best to blend in the appliance of your choice.

Serve as a topping for latkehs, or yoghurt, or rice pudding, or next to cake, or just alone in a bowl, with a sprinkling of powdered cinnamon.

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