Monday, December 3, 2018

Non-potato latke recipes

Chanuka is upon us, and that means we celebrate the miracle of the potato.

Wait, no, that's not right; we celebrate the miracle of the oil - a small pitcher of oil burning for 8 days in the Temple.

A favorite Ashkenazi way to observe this is by grating potatoes and onions, adding eggs, salt, and black pepper, and frying patties until crisp on the outside, and creamy on the inside.... and praying that the remaining batter doesn't go grey, brown, or black as natural chemicals in the potato react to oxidation.

One year, I cooked for a Medieval feast, where potatoes aren't allowed. And in an intentional bit of irony, I made the Chanuka menu Greek themed (for those who don't know, the ancient Greeks are the bad guys in the Chanuka  origin story). So I wanted potato alternative fried patties to make.

And here are the recipes I used:

Onion Fritters
1/2 kg (aprox. 1 lb) onions finely diced (leeks work wonderfully as well)
1/2 kg flour
Fresh spearmint
Oil for frying
In a bowl, mix well the onions, spearmint, flour, salt and pepper. Add enough water to make a thick batter. Heat oil in a frying pan. Drop teaspoons of batter into the oil. Fry until golden brown. Drain the fritters well and serve hot.

Courgette balls (Zucchini)
1 kg (2.2 lbs) courgettes
1/2 cup grated cheese
200 gr grated feta cheese
3 eggs
flour for dredging
Olive oil for frying

Wash the courgettes and cut off their ends. Grate them and squeeze them to remove their liquid. Soak the bread crumbs and drain them. Beat the eggs. In a bowl mix the grated courgettes with the grated cheese, the grated feta cheese, the bread crumbs and the beaten eggs. Add salt, pepper and spearmint. Shape the mixture into balls. Flour the balls and fry them in olive oil until they take brown color.

Santorini Tomato Rissoles
* 500 gr. tomatoes, rinsed and dried
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped (not grated)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt and black pepper
1/2 cup fresh spearmint, finely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
150 grams self-raising flour
sunflower oil, for frying

Put the rinsed and dried tomatoes whole into a large bowl. Squeeze and manipulate them with the hands, until they turn into a pulpy substance. This is the only way to do it as you need the skins to give some substance. Next, mix all the ingredients together, apart from the flour. Add enough flour gradually to make a thickish but moist paste. You will probably not need all the flour. The mixture can now wait until it is time to be cooked and eaten. Put about 2.5 cm oil in a large frying pan. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, drop in tablespoons of the mixture and fry, turning the rissoles over once, until lightly golden all over. Serve immediately.

*(I use peeled, whole, canned tomatoes and crush them between my fingers and just use more flour. I don't like the texture of the peel once the tomatoes are smashed).

Delicious yogurt dip to go with the above latkes
1/2 kilo (1 lb) strained yogurt (I use a good quality goat yogurt)
1 cucumber
4 garlic cloves (more makes it with stronger taste)
lemon juice

Grate the garlic and mix it with salt and lemon juice. Peel the cucumber, grate it and squeeze it until all its water is removed. Put the yogurt into a bowl and add the cucumber into it. Then mix the yoghurt with the mixture of grated garlic. Whiz the content until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add some oil. Yogurt dip can be served in a normal temperature but it is rather preferred cold.

Variation: substitute chopped dill for the cucumber or garlic.

No comments:

Post a Comment