If you don’t know Tina Wasserman, you should check out her website. Not only is she a delightful person, she is the author of Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora. Today is the second day of Hanukkah 2015 and Tina is here to share her recipe for potato latkes and apple sauce. Of course she provides a little history of the dish.
“Latkes are traditionally served for Hanukkah because they are cooked in oil (to commemorate the vial of oil lasting for eight days), and freshly rendered goose fat was readily available. I serve them with homemade applesauce, alongside a brisket. Applesauce was the original topping for potato latkes in the early 1800s, when potatoes were popular.”
Now get busy.
1 cup water (or enough to
fill pot ½ inch)
2-inch cinnamon stick or
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Using an apple corer/slicer, core the apples and cut into eighths.
Cover the bottom of a 3-quart pot with ½ inch water. Place cinnamon stick and apples in the water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until apples are very tender. (Cooking apples with their skins on makes the sauce a rosy color.)
Remove the cinnamon stick and strain the water from the pot into a bowl. Set aside.
Place the apples in the basket of a food mill on top of a 2-quart bowl. Following the manufacturer’s directions, use the medium disk and turn the handle to pass the apple through the disk, leaving the skins in the basket and the applesauce in the bowl below. If mixture looks too thick, add some of the reserved liquid and cool. Mixture will thicken when cold. If necessary, add sugar to taste. Serve warm or chilled.
6–8 large, thin-skinned potatoes
(California Long Whites or
3 eggs, beaten well
1 tablespoon salt
Grate the raw potatoes using the large grating disk on a processor or the largest holes on a grater. Place grated potato in a colander, rinse with cold water, and drain.
Combine eggs, salt, pepper, and matzo meal in a 3-quart bowl. Mix thoroughly.
Change to the cutting blade on your processor. Add onions to the work bowl. Pulse on and off five times. Add ¼ of the grated potatoes to the onion and pulse on and off to make a coarse paste. Add to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
Add the drained potatoes to the bowl and mix thoroughly using a large spoon or your hands.
Heat a large frying pan or large skillet for 20 seconds. Add enough oil to cover the pan to a depth of ¼ inch and heat for an additional 20 seconds.
Drop mounds of potato mixture into the pan. Fry on both sides until golden. Drain fried latkes on a platter covered with crumpled paper towels. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.