8 Nights of Rainbow Latkes!

Happy Chanukah

                                           From our Foodie Lit Blogger – Susan Weintrob                                                                                    96f3ff_2b594eb3581d421eb795503f6c681512-1everyday-happy-foods-320x62

Chanukah is a happy holiday, filled with candles, oil, miracles and victories. How about adding a little color with the traditional latkes? By adding different colored vegetables, you can make hints of yellow, orange, red, green or purple! Try one each night or use all for a party! Top with applesauce, sour cream, our own Pecan-Date Chutney, crème fraîche, horseradish sauce, mango chutney or red pepper jelly.

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Crash course in Chanukah

Chanukah, meaning “dedication,” begins in the year 167 BCE and the Greek persecution of Jews is in full swing. Greek troops showed up in the town of Modi’in, which you can visit today in Israel, and demanded that the Jews sacrifice a pig to the Greek gods. The elder of the town, Mattitiyahu (Matthew), who is a Kohen, a priest, refused and he with his five sons, led by Judah the Maccabee (the hammer) formed an army. After 3 years  of fighting the superior Greek army, the Maccabees retook Jerusalem, the capital, and cleaned and rededicated the Temple, used by the Greeks as a pagan sanctuary. On the 25th of Kislev, they lit a menorah but found only one vial of oil. They used this small vial and miraculously the menorah stayed lit for eight days, the time it took for fresh pure oil to be pressed and delivered to the Temple. You can read more in the Book of the Maccabees and in the Talmud.

Canukah – one of two holidays added to the Jewish calendar after the Biblical period – celebrates the military victory of the outnumbered Jews against the Greeks and the spiritual victory of religious freedom, symbolized by the lights of Chanukah. Oil is used in cooking a wide variety of foods to commemorate the miracle of the oil.

This year, the first light of Chanukah on December 24.

8 Nights of Rainbow Latkes

Base recipe

1 medium onion, grated

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup all purpose flour

1 medium potato grated and drained

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Olive oil for frying

Salt to taste

1. Mix together all ingredients except the olive oil.

2. Add one of the combinations below and stir to mix. Add a little more flour if too loose.

3. Heat a large skillet over a medium high heat. Pour enough olive oil to cover bottom of frying pan about 1/8” deep.  When oil is hot, drop 2-3 tablespoons into the skillet for each latke. Gently flatten to make a pancake.   4. Cook 3-4 minutes per side or until golden. Place on a paper towel lined baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat with rest of mixture, adding more oil as needed. You may serve now or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

5. When ready to serve if latkes were refrigerated, place latkes on baking sheet in a preheated 350. Reheat for 5-7 minutes or until crisp.

6. Select your choice of topping.

Rainbow vegetables grated

Rainbow Latkes

Rainbow Vegetables

1. White: Cauliflower

    2 cups cauliflower, cored, rough chopped until texture of rice and                       steamed for 2-3 minutes. Drain.

2.  Beige: Parsnip Latkes

     2 medium parsnips, peeled and grated

3a. Orange: Carrots

  1. large carrot, grated

3b. Savory Orange: Potato

    1 medium sweet potato, peeled, grated, rinsed and drained

    1/2 teaspoon rosemary, optional

    1/2 teaspoon thyme or leaves from 2 fresh sprigs, optional

4. Red: Beet Latkes

    1 medium beets peeled and grated

5. Green: Zucchini Latkes

    1 medium zucchini, unpeeled, grated and drained

    1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

    1 tablespoon fresh minced chives

6. Yellow: Yellow Squash

    1 medium yellow squash, unpeeled, grated and drained

7a. Purple: Exotic Purple Cauliflower

      2 cups cauliflower, cored, rough chopped until texture of rice and                   steamed for 2-3 minutes. Drain.

7b.  Purple potatoes

       1/2 pound, grated and drained

8. Confetti

        A little bit of everything mixed together!

Tips:

  1. Make sure all vegetables are dry before you add them to the basic recipe. It is helpful to wrap each vegetable in a paper towel or colander and squeeze the extra liquid out.

  2. Beets can stain your hands or the surface you are working on. Wear rubber gloves or wash your hands immediately afterward.

  3. If using a food processor to grate the vegetables, rinse out the bowl after each vegetable to keep the colors separate.

  4. If you have leftover vegetables, add any, except the beets, to a broth. Cooks in a few minutes and tastes fab!

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