How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The best latkes - ever

Every year in honor of Hanukkah we make latkes. We have progressed in our 25 years together from a box mix, to actually shredding our own potatoes, and this year I serendipitously noticed a recipe in a never-before-used cookbook: The Wicca Cookbook: Recipes, Ritual, and Lore by Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt. Divided into nine sections (one each representing the 8 pagan holidays, plus an extra one for cooking with children) I happened upon a latke recipe while looking for something I might prepare for the upcoming Winter Solstice (stay tuned later this month for Bourbon-Rosemary Almonds!).The latke recipe is similar to the one we've been using for years from Deborah Madison, but this one includes apples in the mix. We peeled and grated 4 potatoes and two small apples and mixed them together. To this we added half  of a medium chopped onion, one egg and a dash of salt. We had recently read an article explaining the importance of the oil when cooking latkes, so I heated more than usual in my indispensable cast iron skillet, then added the the batter by large spoonfuls into the hot canola oil. I had to sacrifice the first pancake (but isn't that always true) while I was learning how to make sure they stayed crispy and didn't become an oily mess, but the rest turned out great. A perfect combination of textures - crispy, creamy (from the sour cream topping), and chunky (from James homemade apple/pear sauce). These were sweeter than our previous recipe, and required a bit more patience while cooking. These were so good, James even ate the "sacrifice" pancake. He asked afterwards if the recipe included flour, at which point I told him that I thought it did, but I  forgot to put it in! We enjoyed our homemade Chardonnay with this meal.

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