Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fun Playing with Latkes 2009

Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights ended Saturday. We had a great time playing with our food this holiday!

First - the fully lit Menorah, from Friday night (the last night - we start with one candle, plus the middle "helper" candle, then add another candle each night until the end):

But we all know what is really important about this holiday: Latkes! Our tutorial on the best way to make these crispy potato pancakes is here.

So, what did we eat with our latkes? We had brussels sprouts, either steamed or sauteed, throughout the holiday. The first batch came from Farmer Jones-The Chef's Garden, courtesy of our friend Nora's CSA basket. The bunch pictured below came from good friend and local farmer Herbthyme. You can get her goodies at the Geauga Farmers' Market, in season.

Herbthyne Sprouts, Raw

The Chef's Garden Sprouts, Sauteed in Bacon Fat

Yes, you read that correctly. After frying the latkes in peanut oil - my hubby decided the sprouts needed pork fat. Not very kosher - but very delicious!

Our entree the first few days was leftover turkey from our Thanksgiving Boubon Red. As that meat slipped past its prime, I asked Bob to come up with something else. He readily obliged:

Breychak Farms Lamb Roast

The only additions to the fabulous meat were a little salt and pepper. It was sublime, and a perfect companion to the latkes and sprouts.

As with our Breychak Ham, I found the skin and fat to be simply amazing eats - and I was raised to throw the skin away! Not here - at least not while it was crispy.

Bob's secret to keeping this type of meat from overcooking on reheating is to make gravy, and then simmer the leftovers in the gravy to reheat them. We lose the crunchy skin on the reheat, but the meat never gets dry or tough.

Lamb fat (and some schmaltz rendered from Aaron Miller chickens) is mixed with flour and made into a roux.

The balance of the roasting pan drippings from the lamb are added.

A bit later - gravy goodness!

Dinner is served! We also discovered that fresh dill is wonderful in the latkes, and it also complimented the lamb very nicely.

Here's hoping that you have fun playing with your food during the December holidays of your choice!


  1. Would you please post a recipe for your latkes? They look wonderful!

  2. @Bonnie - we documented the process here:

    The ingredients for a full batch are 6 medium potatoes, 2 eggs, 2 medium onions, 1/2 cup bread crumbs or matzoh meal, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper. We did "half" batches this year, so no leftovers.