Tag Archives: latkes

Potato Latkes with Sriracha Cheddar Sauce

3 Nov

latke 9I love Shabbat.  I love it so much.  With a job that requires A LOT of giving and taking care of others, my need for ‘me’ time and being able to be with my hubby and daughter is invaluable.  As a result, I get a little selfish with my Shabbat.  I don’t like sharing my Shabbat time.  I want to be able to sleep when I want, eat when I want and relax on my time-table (well, the time-table that is Siona’s time-table, but whatever).  I get kind of sweaty when a proposal is made to go out for Shabbat, even if the invitation is from a loved-one.  I can’t help it.  My first thought is generally whether or not the host will have coffee and then that thought is quickly followed by a frantic search for my ear plugs in case there is some sort of noise-issue that I’ll need to cancel out (I’ve mentioned my anxiety before, right?) Anywho, a happy compromise of my own selfish need to NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE for one whole day has resulted in inviting our loved ones to us.  It works out perfectly.  I get to cook, sleep in my own bed and I KNOW there will be coffee. This Shabbat we hosted our dear friends, Zak and Batsheva (they happen to be bakers.  They happen to have brought AMAZING food with them).  It was a wonderful Shabbat.  I am so grateful.

Almost bedtime

This picture has no context within this post. I just love that face.

Adjustments.

Sand check.

And yet, here it is, 2pm on Sunday and all that rest from Shabbat has gone out the window.  Thanks to the awesomeness that is the ending of Daylight Savings Time, Siona woke up at ‘new’ 5:30.  Rather than wallowing in being awake WAY too early, we decided to make some delicious lemonade out of extremely tired lemons and hit the beach for a sunrise picnic breakfast.  So yes, it’s 2pm, I’ve already lost any remaining ‘restful’ feeling I may have had from this past Shabbat but I’m already in love with this weekend so much.  And if an amazing picnic breakfast wasn’t enough, we topped this off with an insanely decadent lunch of latkes with Sriracha cheddar sauce.  I’m sure I’ve written about my insane love of cheese fries before, right?  Just as a recap, I love them.  I love them so much. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Well if you love them so much, why don’t you just marry them?”  I would.  I would so marry cheese fries.  It had been a while since I enjoyed a nice basket of cheese fry-glory and my craving was getting intense.  And then it hit me.  Holy crap.  Latkes.  Thanksgivukkah is just around the corner.  I need to get a latke recipe out there and latkes are basically Jewish French fries.  Might as well make some latkes and top them with a boat-load of cheddar sauce so, badda boom badda bing, latkes with cheddar sauce. And while I was on the subject, might as well throw some Sriracha in there and make it a party, right? Right.

Hello lemons, meet your lemonade.

Hello lemons, meet your lemonade.

And now for your latke-viewing pleasure . . .

The cold soak prevents browning -- it's a MUST.

The cold soak prevents browning — it’s a MUST.

Fried Friends

Fried Friends

Nothing left to say.

Nothing left to say.

latke 4

Bring it on.  Bring it ALL on.

Bring it on. Bring it ALL on.

We survived.  Let's get decadent.

We survived. Let’s get decadent.

Potato Latkes with Sriracha Cheddar Sauce (latke recipe adapted from The Shiksa )

Latke Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large white onion
  • 3/4 cup matzo meal or bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • Sunflower oil for frying (about 1 1/2 cups)

Latke Directions:

Peel the potatoes, then grate them using a hand grater or food processor shredding attachment with fine holes (small shreds). I really recommend using the food processor, it saves a ton of time and will help you avoid onion tears when grating the onion.  Place grated potato into a bowl and immediately cover with cold water.

Meanwhile, grate the onion using the same grater or attachment you used for the potatoes (fine holes for small shreds).  Drain the potato shreds in a colander. Rinse and dry the bowl used to soak the shreds and set aside.  Place drained potato shreds and grated onion in the center of a clean tea towel or multiple layers of cheesecloth. Wrap the shreds up in the cloth, twisting the cloth to secure the bundle, and squeeze firmly to remove excess liquid from the shreds.

Pour potato and onion into the clean dry bowl. Stir the shreds with a fork to make sure the grated onion is evenly mixed throughout the potato shreds.

Add oil to a large frying pan that reaches a depth of 1/8 inch. Heat slowly over medium to about 365 degrees F. While oil is heating, use the fork to stir the matzo meal, , beaten eggs, Sriracha, garlic powder, salt and pepper into the potato and onion shreds. You can add more seasoning as you go.  I find the oil over powers so I add more seasoning as I go. You can also sprinkle on more salt to taste after cooking, if desired. Take care to make sure the egg and seasonings are fully mixed throughout the potato shreds.

Scoop mixture out with large kitchen spoon (usually I loose the spoon after a while and just get in there with my hands). Squeeze the mixture firmly in your palm over an empty dish to remove any excess liquid. (If you squeezed the potatoes out thoroughly in the cloth, you may not have much excess liquid to squeeze out).  Shape the potato mixture into a tightly compacted disk.

Place the disk carefully into the hot oil. Latkes can break apart at this point, they’re very delicate. If you can get them into the hot oil in one piece, chances are they will stick together – frying them is like the “glue” that holds them together. It takes a gentle touch, and it may take you some practice to get the “feel” for it.

The oil should sizzle, but not pop when the latke hits it; if the oil jumps wildly or smokes, it is too hot. If it only bubbles weakly, the oil is not hot enough. Use the first latke to test the oil temperature, and don’t fry a whole batch until the temperature is right.

Continue shaping the latkes in this way, using 2 tablespoons of potato mixture for each latke. Fry in batches of 4-5 latkes at a time (no more than that – don’t crowd the pan) for 2-3 minutes per side until brown and crispy. Note: If your latkes aren’t holding together, stir more matzo meal into the mixture, 2 teaspoons at a time, until the batter “holds”. You can also add another egg, if needed.  Remove the latkes from the frying pan and let oil soak on paper towel.

Sriracha Cheddar Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha (add more as needed)

How:

Melt the butter in a 4-quart sauce pan over medium heat.  When the butter has melted and has started to bubble, whisk in the flour; whisk continuously until smooth, about 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the milk until no lumps remain.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook milk mixture, whisking frequently, until it thickens and bubbles, about 3  minutes.

Remove sauce pan from the heat and by the handful, stir in the cheeses allowing all of the cheese to melt into the sauce before adding more.  Stir in the Sriracha until well combined.  Taste and add more Sriracha as needed.

DIY Hanukkah

9 Dec

Image

This holiday season is a little different for me. And by a little, of course, I mean A LOT.  The last few years I’ve sorta avoided Christmas.  Britney’s song comes to mind, I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.  You get the idea.  I was Jewish in spirit and solidarity.  Now?  I’m a woman, y’all.  Well.  You know what I mean.

 

In April I had my religion reassignment surgery so to speak.  I am Jewish.  And you know what?  It all seems easy breezy when you’re ready to make a switch.  You justify the change you’re going to make because you want to make it.  Then?  The reality sets in. Those Christmas trees look real cute this year.  They didn’t before.  The holiday lights?  I want to be wrapped in them.  I am not disappointed in choosing to become (BE) Jewish.  I’m just maybe having more of a Christmas Mourning (ha!) period than I had expected.

Image

 

Not to mention this time of year feels a little bit like living in a blender.  Holiday parties, shopping craziness, traveling to Florida with family.  It’s a crazy time.  Couple that with a busy work schedule (for me AND the husband) and you can only hope that a hot bath at the end of the day will bring you back to normal.

So what have I done other than purchase an enormous bag of lavender bath salts?  Well, Hanukkah started last night.  If I can’t really dig in to one holiday, how about another.  The trouble of course is that I’m a new Jew.  I don’t have a Bubbe’s recipe for latkes or a Zayde’s amazing recipe for applesauce that has been handed down for generations.  Sometimes you have to build it yourself.  So I did.

My favorite kitchen mentor at the moment is Ina Garten.  Ina who also happens to be a fabulous Jewess.  She’s not old enough to be my Bubbe, but let’s pretend for a moment.  It should come to no surprise to any of us that she made homemade applesauce AND latkes this week on her show.  One day when I’m old and gray, the recipes which follow will be the ones I pass to whatever little kids I can force to listen to me.  Let me just say this…you need to add homemade applesauce to your bag of Hanukkah tricks.  This stuff is worth fighting for.

Applesauce:

WHAT:

2 large navel oranges, juice and zest of

1 lemon, juice and zest of

3 lbs granny smith apples (about 6-8 apples)

3lbs sweet red apples (about 6-8)…I used honey crisps

1/2 cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

HOW:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the zest and juice of the oranges and lemon in a large bowl.  Peel, quarter and core the apples (reserving the peel of 2 of the red apples) and toss them in the juice.  Pour the apples, reserved apple peel and juice into a nonreactive Dutch oven or enameled iron pot.  Add the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and allspice and cover the pot.  Bake for 1 hour or until apples are soft.  Remove and discard the apple peel.  Mix with a whisk until it’s as smooth (or chunky) as you like.

Boom.  You’re life has changed.  ENJOY!

Latkes:

I know errrbody has their own latke recipe.  Here’s Ina’s.  Give it a whirl.

WHAT:

2 lbs baking potatoes

2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

6 tablespoons flour

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons clarified butter

HOW:

Peel the potatoes and grate them lengthwise. Place them in a colander or kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. combine the potatoes in a bowl with the egg, flour, salt and pepper.  Mix well.

Melt 2 tables spoons of clarified  butter in a skillet.  Drop a heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture into the sizzling butter. Flatten with a spatula and cook for 2 minutes. Turn, flatten again, and cook for another 2 minutes, until crisp on the outside and golden brown.

Now I didn’t do this fancy clarified butter business.  I went for olive oil, because I’m lazy. BUT…here’s a word on clarified butter from the Queen herself…

To make 6 tablespoons of clarified butter, slowly melt 8 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. Set it aside until the milk solids settle. Spoon off any solids that rise to the top and then carefully pour off the golden liquid, leaving the milky part in the bottom of the pan. Clarified butter has a higher burning temperature than melted butter.

May your Hanukkah be everything you wish for and may those lights be full of blessings for you and yours.  Hanukkah Sameach!

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