Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Three Basic Chanukah Recipes

Is that time of the year when the oil is frying hot, the candles for the 8 nights are ready and the presents for children are wrapped and ready to be given. And so are the usual Chanukah stories told around the burning candles. First time after the birth of the baby, I was finally able to be full time in the kitchen, trying various classical recipes, to whom I gave, as usual, some special tasty flavor.
As for now, I recommend three easy recipes that can be prepared in less than one hour, that will bring you the full (oily) taste of Chanukah. A great company for the Hanukkah lights.

For all recipes, be ready to have some extra reserves of cooking oil - canola and sunflower are both fine - as well as special kitchen paper towels for absorbing the extra oil from the latkes and the sufganiyot. Also, keeping a baby carrot in the frying pan would prevent the burning of rests to get together.

Cheesy potato latkes

4 medium size potatoes - grated
100 gr. Grana Padana grated cheese
2 medium size eggs, beatem
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup margarine
2 tablespoon white flour
250 ml. or more cooking oil

Heat the oil at 250C, at least 10 minutes before starting the frying. Add each of the ingredients, one by one, while mixing slowly until a compact mix is created. Usually, I take out the extra liquid from the potatoes, but this time it was not in excess therefore it get along well with the other ingredients. Made by hand small balls of latkes and drop in the oil. I fried only 3 latkes at a time, for allowing enough space and energy consumption for frying well. Be sure that you turn them from one side to the other every 3 minutes or so. 
To be served together with cold sour cream.

Serves: 19
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Apple Latkes
This recipe I instantly fell in love with. It is the sweet equivalent of the potato latkes and goes along very well as a dessert to finish the Hanukkah table or as a morning nosh. 

4 red medium size potatoes, grated. I prefered to not peel them, as it gives a special aroma, which is a matter of choice.
2/3 cup white flour
1/4 brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
2 medium size eggs, beaten
250 ml. or more cooking oil

Heat the oil at 250C at least 10 minutes before starting the frying. Mix well the ingredients, by adding them one by one until a compact paste is created. You can eventually take the liquid from the apples out, otherwise it is too watery. Create small croquettes by hand and put them in the frying oil. Turn from one side to the other as often as necessary for frying properly on both sides. 

Serves: 19
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Sufganiyot (doughnuts)

For me, this is the hardest part, because it has to do with dough, and my relationship with dough is rather problematic. There may be cases when everything goes perfectly smoothly and me and the dough, we are a match made in heaven, with a perfect communication and outstanding results. But it can be also that although I am doing everything perfectly right, I still fail when it comes to the final results.
In this case, it was first time in a long time since I made some relatively complicated dough, and the results were just fine. Meaning, the dough raised and the sufganiyot fried well. My only problem was that I cut too bigger balls of dough, therefore, I needed to cover them in oil, in order to be sure that everything is deeply fried, in the heart of the sufganiya.
1/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1/3 cup oil for the dough, and another 250 ml. or more cooking oil for the frying
3 medium size eggs
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoon vanilla sugar
1/4 tablespoon sea salt
4 cups and more of white flour
You may need some confectionary sugar for decorations

Add the yeast to the water and wait until bubbling. Add one by one: the eggs, the sugar, the vanilla sugar, the oil, the salt and the flour. Mix all well and knit for a little bit. Leave the dough in the fridge over night, or at least for 3 hours. Knit the dough a couple of time more, to be sure that everything mixes well. With the top of a cup, separate the dough in small balls. 
Heat the oil at least 15 minutes before starting the frying. Add the balls, 2 or 3 at a time. And turn on both sides as often as possible. It might be that the doughnut looks very burned on outside - especially after a couple of batches - but the inside is in fact still raw. You need to add more oil and wait more. After that, this holiday is - when it comes to food - everything about fried oil, isn't it?

Serves: 17
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

All being said - and eaten - I might be back with some interesting Chanukah recipes soon, but at least I've got you the basics covered. 
Wishing all my Jewish readers a meaninful Chag Chanukah Sameah!

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