Two Potato Latke Recipes – You Decide!

Spiralized Potato Latkes, Sautéed Apples with Wildflower Honey, Sour Cream

 Spiralized Potato Latkes, Sautéed Apples with Wildflower Honey, Sour Cream

We eat foods fried in olive oil to commemorate the ancient miracle that occurred in the second century BCE. A jug of olive oil, which held enough oil to last for one day, burned for eight when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was rededicated.

Hanukkah doesn’t start ’til sundown tonight and we’ve already cooked two batches of latkes – our beloved potato pancakes fried in olive oil.

In the first recipe we used a food processor to grate potato and shallot. Ingredients include earthy parsnip, sweet fruity red bell pepper, and fresh bright herbaceous parsley. I joke about the curious red and green color combination in these latkes. But the flavor profile really is spot-on. Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!

The second latke recipe employs the new-fangled “spiralizer” to cut long skinny strands of potato, making for a lovely light and lacy pancake. Originally, I thought of the spiralizer as a gimmicky kitchen gadget, but I now find it to be quite useful. And fun. These spiralized latkes are for the purist – simply delicious fried potato served with sour cream. And for a sweet textural counterbalance, my sautéed fresh apples with wildflower honey stand in for the traditional applesauce.

Both recipes are winners in our book. You decide.

Two Potato Latke Recipes

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Hanukkah Brisket Tamales

Hanukkah Brisket Tamales
Hanukkah Brisket Tamales

Sending my warmest wishes to you at Hanukkah
May you be blessed with joy, good health, peace, and tender brisket….

Hanukkah Brisket Tamales

Oh how we adore our brisket. And since the cooking process takes over eight hours, I usually make enough for leftovers and extra to freeze for later too. This year – the intersection of Hanukkah, brisket in the freezer, spying some mouth-watering tamales at LA’s Grand Central Market, and a tamalada (my Latino friends’ traditional Christmas season tamale-making party) – led to a unique holiday treat…Hanukkah Brisket Tamales. Made with my super-tender beef brisket, from a recipe that we have been making for many years. It is so good it’s one of the few recipes that I never adjust. The addition of carrots sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with a bit of cumin, salt and pepper plus a medley of sautéed onion and jalapeño adds fresh flavor and spiciness. The (optional) gouda cheese brings another dimension of smokiness and creamy texture. And lastly, who could resist the adorable little packages all wrapped up like a present, representing the age-old Jewish custom to give gifts of gelt to children on Hanukkah.

Note: Omit dairy or replace with non-dairy vegan substitutes for your Observant guests who follow the laws of kashrut (Jewish dietary laws).

Hanukkah Brisket Tamales Recipe

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Curried Broccoli Latkes, Preserved Lemon Sour Cream

broccoli latkes
Curried Broccoli Latkes with Carrot, Scallion & Dried Cranberry
Preserved Meyer Lemon Sour Cream

May you be strengthened by tradition,
Warmed by the Hanukkah lights,
And may your life be touched with miracles.

We eat foods fried in olive oil to commemorate the ancient miracle that occurred in the second century BCE. A jug of olive oil, which held enough oil to last for one day, burned for eight when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was rededicated.

I make latkes every Hanukkah. And they are always a little different. Almost always the base is potato, but not this year. 5773 is the year of the broccoli latke!

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Peace. Love. Light. Latkes.

peace love latkes

Peace. Love. Light. Latkes.

I received a most meaningful card from one of my dearest cherished friends today,
on this first day of Hanukkah in the year 5772.

May you be strengthened by tradition,
Warmed by the Hanukkah lights,
And may your life be touched with miracles.

I hope these days are filled with great light.
Thanks for being a great light in my life.
With love and prayers…

 Could one possibly receive a sweeter gift than that?
Thank you FA, and Merry Merry Christmas to you.

Continue reading “Peace. Love. Light. Latkes.”

Roasted Salmon, Latkes, Slaw & Red Pepper Sauce

Roasted Fresh Atlantic King Salmon
Potato Zucchini Red Pepper Latkes
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Heart Healthy Cabbage Carrot Slaw

On this the Sixth Night of Hanukkah, I invited with my older brother, Bill, who is in town from Florida, over for dinner and to help make latkes! At nightfall we lit the menorah and recited the blessing over the candles.

Blessing over Candles
Hebrew: Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam asher kidishanu b’mitz’votav v’tzivanu l’had’lik neir shel Hanukkah.

English: Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the lights of Hanukkah.

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Savory Hanukkah Latkes

Potato Zucchini Latkes
Non-Fat Yogurt
Smoked Wild Sockeye Salmon
Whitefish Caviar

Today is the first day of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, referring to the lights kindled on each of the holiday’s eight nights. We eat foods fried in olive oil to commemorate the ancient miracle that occurred in the second century BCE. A jug of olive oil, which held enough oil to last for one day, burned for eight when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was rededicated.
The word Hanukkah means rededication. Our latkes (potato pancakes) are fried in olive oil and served with yogurt. Dairy products are also a traditional Hanukkah food, in honor of our Jewish heroine, Judith.

2 peeled russet potatoes
1 zucchini
1/2 red onion
fresh dill

Grate the potato, zucchini, and onion in a food processor.
Add a handful of fresh dill.

Remove the potato mixture from the food processor, one handful at a time. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible by hand. Place each handful in a large bowl. Add enough flour to lightly coat the mixture. Add Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Mix well. Lastly add egg whites to bind the mixture.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. When oil is hot, add mounds of the potato mixture. Turn the heat to medium. When the bottom of each latke is nicely browned, flip and brown the other side.

Cooking latkes over medium heat turns the outside a nice crispy golden brown and gives the interior a chance to cook through. Drain on paper towels.
Since the latkes are fried, non-fat yogurt is a balanced accompaniment while egg whites help keep the cholesterol content down as well. And with the salmon’s heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, could these latkes be considered a guilt-free holiday indulgence?

Smoked salmon rosettes are made by slicing the smoked salmon into strips with one end thicker than the other. Roll the thick end towards the thin end to make a rosette. Top each latke with a small dollop of non-fat yogurt, a salmon rosette, a small scoop of whitefish caviar, and fresh chive garnish. Serve with extra yogurt and fresh dill.
Enjoy the Festival!
Happy Hanukkah!

A Holiday Meal Extraordinaire

Our friend Susan hosted this event on the first night of winter. It kicked off our fabulous holiday season and it was also the first night of Hanukkah. Last week I wrote about how we spent the day preparing the food together and shared the recipe for the decadent tartiflette.

Susan’s Christmas decorations and Santa collection are amazing. And her dining table is jaw-dropping gorgeous! It was a pleasure to spend such a lovely evening amidst beautiful surroundings with my family and charming delightful friends, both old and new.

Susan presented Don and Kristy with an elegant Menorah. Here, they recite the blessing in Hebrew. The shamash candle (servant light) is lit, then it is used to light the other candle on this first night of Hanukkah.
The significance of Hanukkah and the Menorah:
The Jews had lost their religious freedom. In a rebellion led by the Maccabees, the Jews regained their freedoms and cleansed and rededicated the Temple around 165 BCE. The Jewish festival of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the Maccabees’ victory and the Temple’s rededication. The Hanukkah Menorah, with its eight candles plus the shamash, is lit to commemorate the one-days-worth of pure oil that miraculously lasted for eight days keeping the Temple lights burning until new oil could be obtained.

Let’s Eat!

Mussels with Pernod and Crème Fraîche

I sautéed sliced leeks and celery in butter, added white wine, thyme and bay then reduced. Later this mixture was transferred to a large pot with more wine, brought to a boil, then 5 lbs. PEI mussels were added. When the mussels open they were removed to the serving bowls and the sauce finished with a 1/2 c. Pernod, 8 oz. of crème fraîche and lots of chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the hot broth over the mussels. Serve with toasted French baguette.
The distinctive flavor of Pernod is created through a combination of star anise, fennel, parsley, chamomile, coriander and several aromatic herbs and plants. Pernod adds another dimension to this mussel broth. I look forward to cooking with it more often, specifically in vegetable and fish dishes. For interesting information on cooking with Pernod please visit here.

Chèvre Chaud, Green Salad, Dijon Vinaigrette

Filet Mignon Chausseur
Tarragon Horseradish Crème

Vol-au-Vent filled with Vanilla Yogurt 
Quince, Pear, and Orange in a Cinnamon Syrup
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Susan for her friendship, generous hospitality, delicious meals, the laughs and the good times. We look forward to spending more time together in 2009.
I hope you all had wonderful holidays. Wishing you an abundance of love, friendship, peace, health, prosperity and happiness at the New Year and always.