Bubby's Perfect Latkes
3 large potatoes
1 large yellow onion
1 large egg
pinch baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
approx. 1/2 cup flour
Grate the pototoes and onions by hand,
into a large bowl.
Using a food processor is cheating
and the texture of the latkes will suffer.
(Remember, latkes are not REAL latkes without a few drops
of your knuckle blood and the salt of your tears from grating the onions.)
If you simply MUST use a food processor,
use the grating blade.
DO NOT PUREE!
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
If the mixture seems too runny, add more flour.
Heat a large frying pan or skillet on high.
When hot, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan about 1/4" deep.
Allow the oil to heat. Spoon a tiny dollop of the potato mixture into the hot skillet
When the bottom of the pancake gets crispy, turn it over and brown the other side
Line a large tray with newspapers, cover with paper towels and lay the pancakes on this to drain.
Taste your first pancake for doneness, so you have a sense of how long
they'll take to cook through. (Often they look done on the outside, but are raw within)
Add more salt, pepper, flour, if you think it needs it.
Fry up the rest of the latkes.
You can keep the pancakes hot by laying them on a baking sheet,
and keeping them in a warm (300°F) oven. This is also helpful if the latkes are
very brown on the outside but underdone on the inside, and
you don't want to keep frying them, lest they burn.
You can finish cooking them in the oven.
It's best to make the latkes as close as possible to the time of eating.
If you are having a large party, it may be necessary to prepare them well in advance
and freeze or refrigerate, but they will become somewhat soggy and leaden.
If you want your latkes to truly be perfect, they should be made no earlier
than an hour before eating.
Bubby's "Get Drunk" Charoset
(This ain't rocket science. It's a very forgiving recipe, made
in accordance to personal preference and adjusted to taste.
It's best to prepare a day or two in advance,
to allow the flavors to mellow and blend.)
2-3 large cooking apples ( i.e.
Rome, Gala, Winesap, Fuji -- or one of each)
At least a 1/2 lb. of walnuts
Manischewitz extra heavy Malaga wine (the sweeter, the better!)
A drizzle of honey (about 1 TB)
a teaspoon or two of sugar
Chop the apples into a fine dice.
(If you have the type of multiblade chopper used to incorporate
butter into dough, it will make the fine chopping go very quickly.)
Put the chopped apples in a bowl and gradually add enough wine
to cover and absorb into the apples, tossing between splashes of wine.
The exact amount of wine will depend upon how many apples
you've used as well as how much wine flavor you like,
however there shouldn't be so much wine
that it accumulates at the bottom of the bowl.
You want it all be absorbed into the apples.
Next, coarsely chop a large handful of
walnuts and add to the bowl.
There should be a nice textural balance between the slightly bitter, crunchy walnuts
and sweet, soft apples. Add more nuts, as needed, a little at a time, until you have
achieved the right balance. The proportions are again a matter of personal
preference so you're just going to have to sample as you go along.
You can add a little more wine if you like, to flavor the walnuts.
When you have achieved the right consistency,
drizzle about a tablespoon of honey
on top, and toss, to help it all stick together. You can also add a light sprinkle of granulated sugar (optional).
Keep refrigerated for a day or two, to allow the flavors to blend.
I usually make more than I need
for the seder,
so I have plenty to eat on matzo, for breakfast, for the rest of the week.
A Ziesen Pesach!
Makes 4-5 dozen
Dough (per batch):
*Usually available in the frozen kosher food section of your supermarket or from a kosher butcher. Note: Last time I made these, I had a heck of time finding chicken fat anywhere. (Rendered fat usually comes in a small can or jar and is the consistency of cold olive oil -- kind of viscous and creamy) After running around to about 10 stores, I finally found Empire brand UNrendered fat in the Food Emporium. This is the solid fat with skin. It comes in a small plastic bag within a butter-size box. Before use, you will have to render it: basically, throw it in frying pan on a medium heat, until the liquid separates from the solid pieces. Pour off and reserve liquid for frying your meat. (Freeze what's left over) As for the solids, this is gribenesds." Sure, they are like little heart attack pellets, but wee doggies, they's gooood! Guhhead...taste just one! Jewish soul food!
Make the dough: Beat the eggs with the salt. Mound about a cup and a half of flour on a board or flat surface and create a well in the middle. Slowly add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, using a fork to gently incorporate the flour into the egg, until you have a workable dough. Knead gently for a few minutes until smooth, soft and elastic -- like a newborn's tushy! Be careful not to overknead or your dough will be tough. Stop kneading as soon as the dough holds together.
Drop into boiling, heavily salted water (I like to throw a little chicken fat into the water both for flavor and to keep them from sticking together), and remove as soon as they float, into a covered bowl or plastic container.
NOTE: Don't leave the uncooked kreplach sitting out too long or they will dry out. As soon as you've formed about 5-6, drop them in the boiling water. Go back to forming kreplach and by the time you have another 5-6 ready for the pot, the previous batch will be floating and ready to remove.
Refrigerate. You can make these a day or two in advance. On the day of your dinner party, drop them into your boiling chicken soup, giving them just enough time to warm through. (5-10 minutes) Serve 2-3 in each bowl of soup.
Make plenty 'cause they go fast!
Note: If you have extra dough left over at the end, try doing what I do:
NOTE: Hooray for me! Today (9/28/08)
Watch video tutorial below:
¼ lb of farmer cheese
1 cup flour
Powdered sugar, applesauce, sour cream,
In a small mixing bowl, make the filling. Set aside.
In another small mixing bowl, make smooth batter of crepe ingredients, taking care to break up any lumps of flour. Heat and lightly grease an omelet pan (a 10” is perfect.) Using a serving spoon, pour in a few spoonfuls of batter into the bottom of the pan, and quickly swirl it around, so you have a very thin layer coating the bottom. Let it sit, undisturbed for a couple of minutes, until you notice some bubbling on the top. (Use a spatula to lift the edge. If it holds together, it's done.) Fry ONLY ONE SIDE! (Don't let it get too brown, because you'll be cooking them again!) Slide the crepe onto a plate – uncooked side up -- and start making a new one.
While your second crepe is cooking, place a large dollop of filling (couple tablespoons) onto the edge of the first one, and roll up, like a jelly roll. Set aside on another plate. By now, your second crepe should be ready to come off the heat. Repeat this process until you have used up all the ingredients. (You may not come out even, but I'd rather throw away crepe batter than filling.)
When all your blintzes are all made/rolled, stoke up your pan again – greasing lightly oil (perhaps a bit of butter if so inclined) – and lightly fry them on both sides, until just golden brown.
Serve 2-3 per person. Sift on some powdered sugar
ADRIENNE'S ORIGINAL PUMPKIN RAISIN BREAD
Makes 2 loaves [9 x 5 x 3], 5-8 servings each
(unless you're a pig like me who can eat an entire loaf in one sitting!)
2/3 cup butter (or other shortening), softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup heavy, sweet red dessert wine, sherry, port, plum wine or apple juice/cider/Jack
(This is a great way to use up all that extra Manischewitz!)
1 (one) 16 oz. can pumpkin
1 2/3 cup white flour
1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
4 tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cardamom (optional)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (plain or honey-roasted)
1 cup raisins
[Optional: Let the raisins soak overnight in the wine. Note: the alcohol will evaporate during baking.]
TOPPING: 2 tbls. butter; 2 tbls. flour; 2 tbls. brown sugar; 2 tbls. crushed walnuts
Heat oven to 350F. Grease bottoms only of two loaf pans (9x5x3 or 3 pans 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½)
Mix shortening and brown and white sugar in a large bowl.
Beat in eggs.
Spoon in pumpkin. Mix.
Add wine or juice/cider/Apple Jack.
Gradually blend in dry ingredients.
Stir in raisins and nuts.
Pour into baking pans.
Prepare topping by crumbling all ingredients
together with your fingers and sprinkling across the top
of loaves. (More topping may be added if desired by
combining equal parts of all ingredients.)
Bake until knife comes out clean, approximately forty-
five minutes to one hour. (Start checking after half an
Leave loaves in pans and cover with foil to
(though in my house they rarely last long enough to get stale!)
ADRIENNE'S ORIENTAL SALAD DRESSING
3 TB rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp walnut oil
2 TB olive oil
1 tsp thick soy
1 heaping TB OJ concentrate
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp honey
1" piece of peeled fresh ginger
Blend all ingredients except ginger. Add whole piece of ginger to bottle of dressing
and leave it there to marinate.
(I usually double or triple the recipe since it lasts for a really long time in the fridge.
Best on mesclun salad or red leaf lettuce. )
Adrienne's Banana Bread
8 TB sweet butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup shelled walnuts, crushed (optional)
handful of raisins (optional)
¼ cup orange juice concentrate
1 TB fresh orange peel
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9 x 5 x 3 pan
Cream butter and sugar until light a fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together white flour, baking soda and salt.
Stir in whole wheat flour and add to creamed mixture, mixing well.
Add orange juice and peel.
Fold in mashed bananas, vanilla and walnuts.
Pour mixture into prepared pan.
(Optional: mix together two TB of butter, white flour and
brown sugar and sprinkle on the top for a “struessel” topping)
Bake for 50-60 minutes or til knife comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes before eating.
(No, it's not made from buffalos. Probably originally came from Buffalo, NY
The first my family heard of it was in the Catskills in the 60s )
1/2 lb. butter (or margerine, if you must)
1 tsp Vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 pkgs. chocolate chips, melted
(just nuke 'em in a bowl for 2 minutes)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda
Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
Add vanilla and alternately add flour mixture & sour cream.
(It will be a thick batter)
Butter the bottom only of a spring form pan
or a couple of loaf pans, and dust with flour.
Put in about 1/3 of the batter and add the melted chocolate
and swirl it around trying to cover most of the surface.
Sprinkle brown sugar (and nuts if used) over this.
Then add the balance of the batter and top off
with the remainder of brown sugar (and nuts).
Bake in preheated oven for @ 350 for 45 min.
Test with toothpick or clean knife.
Caviar - Egg Salad
10-12 hardboiled eggs (see recipe below)
Dollop of mayo
Crackers of your choice or bagels
Make a finely chopped egg salad, using just enough mayo to hold it together.
On serving plate, spead a thin layer of the chopped onion.
Mound the egg salad on top of this, shaping it into a low dome, no more than a couple of inches high in the middle. (Note: piling the egg too high will throw off the proportion of caviar-to-egg in each bite.)
Carefully coat the mound of egg with the sour cream or softened cheese, using an icing spatula if you have one. (If using cheese, it must be VERY soft, which is why I find sour cream easiest)
Carefully apply caviar to the sour cream/cheese layer and press it in evenly all around, so that none of the white cream/cheese shows thru.
The result is a beautiful, sparkling orange dome! For a pretty dab of color, top with a sprig of parsley or basil leaf.
Serve with crackers (also great on bagels!)
Perfect Hardboiled Eggs - Every Time
Place eggs in a saucepan and fill with enough
cold tapwater to cover all the eggs completely.
Add about a 1/4 tsp salt.
Put the pan on the stove and turn to a medium-high heat,
allowing the eggs to heat up (and boil) at the same rate as the water.
Once the water is boiling, turn a timer on to 8-10 minutes.
When the timer goes off, turn off the heat but leave the eggs in the water,
on the stove, to cool (even overnight is fine)
The point is the eggs and water should come
to a boil together and cool down at the same rate.
Peel when cool.
Brie in Puff Pastry
Another really easy but impressive looking party food...
consumed at parties in about 30 seconds!
1 one lb. wheel of brie
1 sheet of puff pastry (usually available in the frozen foods section)
Apricot preserves or mango chutney or pesto
1 beaten egg for egg wash
Preheat oven to 350F
Follow package directions for defrosting puff pastry.
Lay out one sheet of pastry on cookie sheet
Spread preserves, chutney or pesto on the top of the cheese wheel.
Sprinkle nuts on top if you like.
(Pecans, pistachios or pine nuts are good choices)
Flip cheese over onto pastry sheet.
Shmear some jam/pesto on the sides and bottom of the cheese
and fold up the corners of the pastry so they meet in the middle.
Cut off excess and reserve.
Seal flaps on the bottom of the cheese and turn right side up.
If you want to make things a little more fancy,
use the excess pastry you cut off the bottom to form leaf shapes*
and create a wreath around the outside of the wheel.
Or roll and braid it and use as decoration.
Or roll it out and make shapes with cookie cutters and place on top
(good for themed or seasonal parties!)
*just cut with scissors and use knife to draw leaf veins
Give the whole thing an egg wash and
bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Most packages of puff pastry come two in a pack. You can use other sheet to make another party favorite:
Pastry sheets usually come folded in thirds. Unfold completely, then fold in half. Cut narrow strips (1/4"- 1/2" wide). Hold one end and twist the other, and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmagiano, paprika and a very light dusting of ground chipotle powder. Follow baking directions for brie, above.
Note: Keep the kids and hubby out of the kitchen when you pull these
out of the oven otherwise there won't be any left for the party!!!
Healthy, Relatively Fat Free cookies
last update: May 22, 2013