Makes about 18
A few years ago I dated a human whose legacy lives on in two tasty ways: his mom’s meatless meatballs and his dad’s latkes. His dad’s latkes were perfect. Crispy on the outside, soft and flavorful on the inside. I remember being in shock when I first had them at his family’s annual Hanukkah party, because not even the best delis could make them this good. And since then I haven’t had the pleasure of post-break-up latkes (has anyone?)….
So finally I just sucked it up and Facebooked the man…. The point is, I got the recipe, a bit of Jewish guilt, and the best damned latkes I ever damned made. (Now I wonder what kind of karma I have to acquire in order to get his mom’s meatless balls recipe.)
5 medium russet potatoes
1 medium yellow onion
Salt and pepper to taste (about 5 large pinches of salt)
Juice of 1 lemon
6 egg whites
1 c all-purpose flour
Oil, for frying
Apple sauce and sour cream, for serving
(1) Shred potatoes and onion using a food processor or mandoline. Add salt and squeeze out as much moisture as you can by pouring them into a cheese cloth and squeezing over the sink. Place in a large bowl, and add pepper, lemon juice, egg whites, and flour. Mix well. (2) Heat about ¼ inch oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, and then scoop spoonfuls of mixture (I use an ice cream scoop) into the pan. Flatten a bit with a spatula, and brown on both sides. (3) Remove from the pan and pat off excess oil with paper towels. Serve with apple sauce and sour cream.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Donuts
IDK if it was obvious or not, but these past few months I’ve fallen so hard for baked donuts that I almost forgot about reeeeeal friiiiied donuts. OMG they’re so good. Thank you, Hanukkah, for giving me reason to recall this! So as we head into sufganiyot season, I am 1) presenting you with a classic jam donut that gets a lil’ unsolicited help from my good friend cream cheese, and 2) going to teach you something I learned recently when I spent the better part of last month deep frying foods: Deep frying in cast iron is the best way to keep the heat of the oil at a consistent temperature. Before I discovered this, I thought I was going crazy when I had to constantly adjust the heat knob in order to keep the oil at a fry-able temperature.
2¼ tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
¾ c warm water
¼ c + 1 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
3¼ c all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
⅓ c flavorless oil, like canola or vegetable, plus more for frying
8 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ c blueberry jam
(1) In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, and 1 tsp sugar, and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.
(2) Meanwhile, in a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the salt, flour, and remaining sugar. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil. (3) When the yeast is foamy, add it to the dry mixture immediately followed by the egg mixture, and stir to combine. Knead, either by hand on a floured surface or with a dough hook for 7–10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary (but try not to add too much), until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough. (4) Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. (5) Fill a large, heavy pot fitted with a thermometer with 2 inches of oil, and heat over medium-high heat to 360˚F. (6) On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out 3-inch circles, re-rolling scraps until the dough is used up. Cover the circles with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 more minutes. Fry in batches for 1–1 ½ minutes on both sides, and use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a wire rack. (7) To make the filling, mix together the cream cheese and blueberry jam. When the donuts are cool enough to handle, use a skinny knife to poke a hole in the sides and rotate it to create space for the filling. Use a piping bag to pipe the filling into the donuts, dust with powdered sugar, and serve.
Tahini Hot Chocolate
Makes 2–4 servings
Until embarrassingly recently, I’d only ever made hot chocolate from a store-bought mix, and that might have been why I phased it out of my life. But a hot chocolate recipe from Hemsley + Hemsley, which uses coconut milk as the base and just a touch of sweetener, inspired me to revisit my old friend. Of course, as with nearly everything in my life, I added tahini. The result is nutty and not too sweet.
1 (13.5 oz) can light coconut milk
¼ c cocoa powder
3 T tahini
2 T honey, or more to taste
¼ tsp salt
Splash of vanilla extract
Pinch of cinnamon
Whisk all ingredients together and warm over medium heat. Serve with whipped cream, marshmallows, a cinnamon stick, candy canes...
Recipes courtesy Molly Yeh, excerpted from her blog, “My Name is Yeh.”