Fry, Baby, Fry


Chanukah is mostly about presents. Every kid and wanna-be kid knows that. But it started as a celebration about finding enough oil to light candles. Or something like that.

And like most Jewish holidays, this translates into food. So, we celebrate and cook with oil for eight days. Well, not that every other day I don’t cook in oil , but still, I usually don’t go to the trouble of grating onions and potatoes.

Yes, those lovely potato pancakes – latkes.

Okay, switching stories now, bear with me.

(KOD and me!)

So a few weeks back, I took El with me to see Kim O’Donnel at her book signing for: A Mighty Appetite for the Holidays: Kitchen Tricks for the Feasting Season.

I love me some KOD: I read her blog daily and her chat weekly, so naturally, I had to support her first book. It’s a great, pint-sized, book that takes the reader from Thanksgiving to New Years, ensuring delicious food for the entire holiday season.

And, this collection of recipes receives the first “Seal of Simmer” from the Endless Simmer Book List. Congrats, Kim!

Okay, back to cooking. The first recipe I tried from A Mighty Appetite for the Holidays was latkes. Now, if you’ve followed ES for a bit, you’ll remember my previous potato disaster. Clearly, I was nervous. But, I trusted that KOD could guide me to perfect potato pancakes.

Recipe from A Might Appetite for the Holidays


3-4 medium potatoes
1-2 medium yellow onions
approx. 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs or matzoh meal
1 large egg, beaten
at least 1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
approx. 1/3 cup oil (combo of olive and canola)

Grate the onions and then peel and grate the potatoes – place in two separate bowls. Oh, and if your eyes are sensitive to cutting onions, you’re in for a real special treat when grating onions. Drain the water from the grated onions and then combine with the potatoes. I used a combination of panko and matzoh meal, but whatever crumbs chosen, add that in with egg. Kim says, “Add more breadcrumbs if mixture seems too wet when formed into a ball.” Then season with salt and pepper.

Form small patties in your hand and add to pan when oil is bubbling. Cook until brown on both sides.

I think the latkes work best when formed into very thin patties. I unfortunately didn’t learn that until I worked my way halfway through the mixture. The Project Runway dinner crowd (yes, every Wednesday my neighbors and I get together to eat a collection of food and make fun of Sweet P on PR) enjoyed the fried potatoes, especially when spread with 80P’s chipotle dip (recipe to be revealed in later post.)

So I guess I broke the curse of the *grated potato*. I give credit to Kim, of course. You should buy her book too. Who knows what other magical powers it holds within its 79 pages. Although with a recipe called “Hangover noodles” I’m crossing my fingers for some miracles.

Oh, and with the leftover latkes, throw some sunny-side up eggs on top for your next meal.

eggs and latkes

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