The Miracle of Oil: Latkes and Jelly Doughnuts

For special occasions I stray from baking and write about other recipes, and in light of Hanukkah I have to pay tribute to my dad's wonderful latkes he made us every year on the first night of Hanukkah- A simple but delicious, full-proof recipe. You can make them for the any of the next seven nights of Hanukkah!

Dad's Latkes
 Serves 4
(The recipe says it serves eight, we had two guests and between the four of us they were gone, and so where all the jelly doughnuts, but it does make about eight latkes!)
  • 4 medium baking or Russet potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp matzo meal (found in the kosher section of the grocery store)
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 6 tbsp oil for frying- you'll need to add more as you go

1. Peel potatoes and either grate withe a cheese grater or use the grating disc attachment of a food processor. Transfer to a large bowl and with your hands or a cheese cloth squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the grated potatoes

2. Grate onion and add to the potatoes

3. Add all other ingredients

4. In a heavy, 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Create a mound of potato and put it into the oil. Flatten mounds slightly with a spatula. Fry for 3-4 minutes or until dark golden brown on the bottom. Turn with spatula and fry until the other side reach the same color.

5. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and keep warm in a 200F oven until ready to serve

Serve with sour cream and applesauce

The Hanukkah holiday celebrates the rededication of the Jewish temple after the Greeks took violent control  during the reign of Alexander the Great. A short story of the Hanukkah story can be found at Judaism101.com

According to Joan Nathan's The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen, "the young State of Israel has created many of its own customs. One is serving jelly doughnuts at Hanukkah, which are fried in oil to symbolize the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days instead of one."

I also made Jelly Doughnuts with real strawberry jam and a recipe from Gourmet cookbook. I'm not totally wild about and will try Mark Israel's of The Doughnut Plant in NY, next!

Easy Strawberry Jam
Adapted from allrecipes.com
  • 3 cups hulled, mashed strawberries (about 2 small baskets)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Juice of two small lemons
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220F (really important-If you don't heat it enough, the jam will not gel!) Transfer to a hot sterile jar, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch space at the top and seal. Since the jam will be eaten right away, refrigerate it. (You don't need to process it in a water bath first.) Follow this link for a yummy recipe and easy-to follow guide to make jelly doughnuts.

Though I am not religious, Hanukkah is a wonderful cultural tradition, reminder of my ancestors history, and a fun way to get friends together to enjoy delicious fried foods.

1 comment:

comments make me smile!