Every year in December the Jewish Culture around the world celebrate Chanukah. One of their customs for this holiday is of eating food fried in oil to commemorate the miracle of a small flask of oil keeping the flame in the Jerusalem temple alight for eight days.
A vegetarian side dish of crispy fried potato latkes is a must with any 1st course of the holiday meal. You can have with it some salmon caviar salad, sliced goat cheese, and mostarda. With dish you have a traditional appetizer.
The world is always changing in the food and diets so my idea to help with this holiday is to make these potato pancakes (Latkes) with Green Apple Sour Cream. A variation is to mix the potato and onion with grated celery root along with the eggs, flour and salt.
So here we go for a dish ready in about 35 minutes for four people.
2 small baking potatoes (about 3/4 pound total), peeled
1 small onion
1 medium celery root (about 1 1/4 pounds) peeled
2 large eggs
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (s) salt
2 tablespoon (s) vegetable oil for frying
2 Granny Smith apples, 1 cored and thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup(s) sour cream
1. Line 2 wire racks with paper towels. Using the large holes of a box grater or the shredding disc of a good processor, grate the potatoes and onion.
2. working over a small bowl squeeze the liquid out of the potato and onion and transfer the grated vegetables to a medium bowl.
3. Let the liquid stand for 1 minute, then pour it off, leaving the potato starch at the bottom.
4. Scrape the starch into the potato shreds.
5. Crate the celery root and add it to the potatoes along with the eggs, flour and salt.
6. In each of a 2 large non -stick skillets, heat 1/4 inch of oil until shimmering. For each pancake, add a scant 1/4 cup of batter to a skillet and flatten slightly; you should be able to fit 8 pancakes in each skillet. Cook the pancakes over moderately high heat until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. I like to make mine bite size, about the size of a golf ball, and then flatten once in the oil. Top them with anything, like sour cream and salmon roe. Transfer to the prepared wire racks to drain.
7. Grate the whole apple and squeeze until dry; transfer it to a small bowl. Stir in the sour cream. Spoon the apple sour cream onto the pancakes, garnish with the apple slices and serve.
The 2nd course could be spinach and ricotta crespelle and a roasted garlic fonduta.
To continue with the third course, short ribs "Hamin" is a typical Shabbat meal of slow roasted meats, root vegetables, beans and eggs. "Hamin" are slow cooked meals so that there is no cooking on the Sabbath. It is served with soft quail eggs, slow cooked beans and heirloom carrots to finish the celebration meal.
Finish with the traditional Chanukah donuts. These jelly filled donuts are a classic with a creamy cheese cake and local satsumas.
Enjoy the Holidays with Peace with all people.
Have a Happy.
Larry Eiker is a Kennett resident who enjoys traveling all over the world and experiencing great food, while bringing some of those ideas back home to the Bootheel to share with others.