Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hey Hanukkah, enough already.

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
1 lemon
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.


DAVEMAN said...

Really liked this post. I spent a summer (long ago) working in a kosher food warehouse. I think potato latke mix comes in a box, but what's the fun in that? Answered your polls also, although I'm not sure if the questions apply to me...I've been married a while. Sorry gotta go. I forgot our anniversary a couple of years ago and I have to wash dishes as soon as i finish waxing the floor...consider yourself warned!

Nicole Leigh said...

I really liked your post because I love latkes and my mom makes great ones. Now, I can make my own.

Jet said...

Haha. You are hilarious. I love latkes. Don't know when I've even had them, but I have. You were being sarcastic about the commercialization of hanukkah, right? If not, then I must not pay much attention.

p.s. I take Tae Kwon Do. Let's kick ass. lol.

Lauraelena said...

Despite not having any Jewish in my family, I totally grew up on latkes (latkas as I would have wrongly spelled it). They are soooo yummy! My mother always put cinnamon apple sauce and vanilla yogurt, and it would be our dessert. You blog is fantastic...I'm pretty sure I commented even before we were suppose to! Keep it up...

P.S. I just showed my boyfriend your poll on "girlfriend and the dishes"...he laughed and laughed....'nuff said.

Pope Ryannn said...

I'm not Jewish but maybe this year I'll celebrate Hanukkah. And by celebrate I mean make some latkes and pretend I know what to do with a dreidel. This is a good resource for people who are kitchen retarded and can't cook for themselves or their girls for that matter. Luckily I already know how to cook and my girl actually likes to do the dishes. She's an Angel. Good posting, keep it up.

Zoe said...

Oh I love latkes. My grandma always made the best ones and would serve them with apple sauce, or if my sister and I begged enough she would give us Ben & Jerry's American pie ice cream on the side. Sooo good!

gwillis said...

Good job cracking me up this late at night. Seriously, when are they gonna stop pushing Hanukkah and let a little holiday called Christmas be promoted? =P

I love latkes too, I never knew how they were made, so that was insightful. I can't say that I will make them, but maybe I will if my "significant other" wants to buy the ingredients. And I do find myself cooking for guys I date, and still up doing dishes. Dicks.

49ers Faithful Fan said...

I love your blog. It's education (food wise) and hilarious. This is a great blog for guys to look through and get ideas on cooking recipes. I've never tried a Jewish dish, might want to try it sometime.

Overall, your blog is interesting and funny as well. Great Job! No need to make any changes.

Charlie_Six said...

Haha, I really like this blog. The humor is great. I once went to a middle eastern food place with a girlfriend. After ordering a Babaganoush side dish, I kept saying "Babaganoush!" over and over. I really liked saying the word. After a while she was like "OK, stop it." But I kept saying it. Soon after, she dumped me and I fell into a deep depression. But it was so worth it. Babaganoush!

No-No Spot said...

I think you should do Taekwondo, avenging your sensei's death, making latkes for your girl, AND light the Menorah...all at the same time...talent I say...it can be done. Nice blog. I'd cook...but, I'm lazy...so, I leave that up to other people...awesome. Anyway. Go off and Ninja in the night yo.

Divina Morales said...

Tell your friend Veronica, it's time you celebrate Hanukkah, I hope I get a harmonica, on this lovely, lovely Hanukkah (Adam Sandler's great, int he?) I freakin' love your blog. It's like Maxim meets Bobby Flay or something. I feel sheltered and a bit ignoramous for never having tried this latke that your speak of. You're a funny guy, though. Keep up the good work!

Somalian Banquet Coordinator said...

Nothing like hot salty... potatoe pancakes.

I'd be curious to see if the recipe holds up.