If you're like me your love for the Festival of Lights burns bright inside you like a bug-zapper. But also like me, I'm sure you are sick and tired of Hanukkah before it even starts due to the constant barrage of advertising that saturates the airwaves starting around Passover. If I see one more Macy's Hanukkah Sale commercial while I'm trying to watch a hockey fight I'm gonna throw down like a drunken Canadian logger. I used to love The O'Reily Factor, but in recent years that guy won't stop yapping about Hanukkah and how great it is, and how much he loves Jewish people and Democrats. What a schmuck. But you're not here to kvetch about the commercialization of Hanukkah are you? Of course not. You're here to get some bad-ass recipes to cook for your girl! Now since I'm not entirely an expert in Hanukkah dishes (due to my mastery of Taekwondo, I don't have much time for anything besides kicking ass and avenging the death of my sensei), I consulted the experts in Jewish cuisine: The Food Network. So, the following ideas were inspired by (see stolen from) recipes found there. Thanks Emeril, you're a real mensch.
I'm just gonna cover the basics here, buddy, 'cause I've got a Hanukkah date with Mel Gibson's daughter, and she is hot. So let's make some f*ckin' Potato Latkes!
Here is Joan Nathan's take on this tasty treat. . .
2 pounds russet (baking) or Yukon Gold potatoes
1 medium onion
1/2 cup chopped scallions, including the green part
1 large egg beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
Peel the potatoes and put in cold water. Using a grater or a food processor coarsely grate the potatoes and onions. Place together in a fine-mesh strainer or tea towel and squeeze all the water over a bowl. The potato starch will settle to the bottom; reserve that after you have carefully poured off the water. Mix the potato and onion with the potato starch. Add the scallions, egg, and salt and pepper. Heat a griddle or non-stick pan and coat with a thin film of vegetable oil. Take about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten as best you can. Place the potato mixture on the griddle, flatten with a spatula, and fry for a few minutes until golden. Flip the pancake over and brown the other side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately. You can also freeze the potato pancakes and crisp them in a 350- degree oven at a later time.
This seemed to be the best recipe they had, and I did some focus groups that proved it was a great recipe.
Latkes are traditionally served with applesauce, but if you're like me, you already serve everything with applesauce. But here's a homemade recipe that'll taste just like Grandma's. . .
4 pounds apples
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup apple juice, cider, or water
Honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup to taste
Quarter the apples and the lemon. Place in a heavy pot with cinnamon sticks. Add apple juice, cider, or water. Cover, bring to a boil, and them simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally to turn the apples and making sure they do not stick. You may want to add some liquid. Cook about 20 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Remove cinnamon sticks. Put the sauce through a food mill and adjust seasoning by adding honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup to taste.
Look, dude, I know making you're own applesauce sounds like a lot of work. But really it's not that bad. Of course, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do, unless you're having Hanukkah dinner at David Copperfield's place. Some store bought stuff will be OK, but is sure not to impress the way a-sauce from scratch will.
I would put a brisket recipe on here (The Food Network wants to pair their Latkes with Pork Chops, those fools) but I think you've got enough here to get your girl calling you Moses. For your sake, though, let's hope she's not thinking about Moses Malone.
Hanukkah, dude. Hanukkah.