The true charm of the holiday season is in the homespun and personal. Homemade food in particular has an unmatched charm and joyfulness to it. Each of these delicious and simple recipes are multi-functional; both the fragrant mulling spices and sweet sugar cookies can be given as unique gifts, while a traditional Hanukkah staple, potato latkes can also make for a filling festive brunch or serve as a hearty party canapé if made smaller.
Makes about 20 latkes
• 2½ lb large potatoes (washed, scrubbed, and peeled)
• 1 large onion, peeled
• 3 eggs, lightly beaten
• 3 tbsp matzo meal (we got ours from the Chabad House)
• 1-2 tsp kosher salt
• Oil for frying
1. Using the coarsest side of a hand-held box grater, grate the potatoes and onion, and put into a sieve or colander over a bowl.
2. Wring out the potato mixture, squeezing as much liquid out as possible. Then let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.
3. Pour away the brown liquid at the bottom of the bowl, and save the pasty looking potato starch. It will help your latkes stick together.
4. Mix the potato starch, beaten eggs, salt, freshly ground pepper, and matzo meal into the grated potatoes and onion.
5. Pour oil into a frying pan to a depth of 1cm. Set the burner to a medium-high heat.
6. Take a spoonful of latke mixture and squeeze it into a flat patty. The thinner the latkes the crispier they are. Place the patty in the pan. Add two to three more patties, without crowding the pan.
7. Fry until golden brown, then flip until both sides are well browned. Add additional oil as needed, frying the entire mixture in batches of threes or fours.
8. Place the fried latkes on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.
9. Serve with sour cream and applesauce.
• 6 large sweet apples (e.g. Gala)
• 2 cups water
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1. Peel and chop the apples into chunks.
2. Place in a saucepan, and add the water, cinnamon sticks, and lemon juice.
3. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
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This article originally appeared on p58-59 in the December 2014 issue of beijingkids. To view it online for free, click here. To find out how you can obtain your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos: Uni You