Posts Tagged ‘hanuka’

Chanukah Hush Puppies

November 18, 2013

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A popular theme for Chanukah this year is “Food that is Thanksgiving-ish or Autumnal but still recognizable as Chanukah fare.” Put another way, the question is: What Thanksgiving food can be fried as latkes or sufganiyot?

I offer you hush puppies. It is fried–perfect for Chanukah. It is a traditional recipe from the American South that is a twist on cornbread, a Thanksgiving classic. Basically, hush puppies are mini latkes made from cornbread batter. Or maybe it is more accurate to say that hush puppies are to cornbread what latkes are to kugel.

Why hush puppies are not more popular (outside the South) I will never understand. They are, according to one journalist, “the best fried food in existence.” Hush puppies may be ready to have their moment, though. The New York Times just featured an article about quinoa hush puppies, as served at Market Table. I wouldn’t be shocked if the NYT quinoa hush puppies recipe makes the rounds for Chanukah.

There are a lot of stories about how Hush Puppies got their name. A popular story is that hush puppies were made from cornmeal leftover from frying fish and thrown to the dogs to quiet them.

My husband was reminiscing recently how his mother would make little latkes from matzoh meal/breadcrumbs and egg that was leftover from breading something for frying. I’ve done that, too. You don’t want to throw away the extra egg and breading, right?

That is kind of what hush puppies taste like, those little breading latkes, but there are also little bits of onion, like with potato latkes. Actually, they also kind of remind me of falafel, but cornbread flavored, of course.

Traditionally, hush puppies are served with fried fish and tartar sauce, but I am not such a fan of dipping deep-fried food into a fat-based sauce. I think the hush puppies taste nice by themselves or served with cranberry applesauce.

But serving hush puppies with a rich sauce is apparently the norm. Curious whether anyone else is serving hush puppies for Chanukah, I came across an article about Amanda Cohen chef/owner of Dirt Candy in New York City. Apparently, Dirt Candy has a super popular appetizer consisting of hush puppies with a side of maple Dijon butter. Market Table offers a spicy aioli to go with the quinoa hush puppies, which is a mayo-based sauce. If that appeals to you, follow the links to get the Maple Dijon Butter and Chili Aioli sauce recipes.

There are lots of recipes for hush puppies, but I offer you the recipe I have been making for many years, which comes right off the side of a bag of Indian Head cornmeal.

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Easy Rugelach (aka Babka Bites)

November 11, 2013

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Did you know that you can make rugelach from challah dough? Well, you can!

These won’t be super flaky yeast dough rugelach. For that texture, you need what is called a “laminated dough,” or a dough that has layers of butter or margarine rolled into it (like puff pastry, croissant or danish dough). The difference between these rugelach and the super-flaky kind is the difference between doughnuts and cronuts.

If you want super-flaky yeast dough rugelach, take a look at this. If you want something easy to make and trans-fat free (no margarine!) that tastes like bite-sized chocolate babka, read on.

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Daring Bakers: Chanukah Challah (from Stollen Dough) Plus Rugelach Babka

December 23, 2010

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book………and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

The egg-enriched dough for the stollen recipe reminded me of challah, and the powdered sugar topping made me think of soufganiyot, the jelly doughnuts served on Chanukah.  Doesn’t this close-up make you think of a plate of soufganiyot?

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Happy Hanuka!

December 7, 2010

Time once again for my Hanuka Mac & Cheese! This was last year’s version. (more…)

Whipped Feta Dip for Hanukah

November 30, 2010

Here is a really great dip/spread adapted from The Greek Vegetarian, by Diane Kochilas (p.31): Kopanisti. The name is Greek for whipped or beaten, and it consists of feta cheese that is whipped with olive oil, lemon juice, and freshly ground black pepper.

There are many variations on this theme which incorporate other ingredients such as red pepper, herbs, garlic. You might see feta cheese dip recipes under these names, as well: Tirosalata, Htipiti, Htipi Tirosalata. The recipe can also include some Greek yogurt.

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Super Duper Easy Sufganiyot

December 23, 2008

I tried to resist. I really did. Even though my sister, who is a fantastic cook, has the cookbook, I shied away from Jamie Geller’s Quick & Kosher: Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing.

I figured that I was not the target audience. I guess I figured wrong.

It was my mother who drew my attention to Ms. Geller’s article in The Jewish Press. My mom loved her Chanukah menu of  spinach balls, crudites, hummus, pita chips, guacamole, charif, and macaroni salad (appetizers), and Caesar salad with herb croutons, ziti, spinach fettuccine, and sun-dried tomato crusted tilapia (main course), with sufganiyot as a dessert. So I gave my mom the recipes.

Flash forward: It is dinnertime and my husband and son keep asking when I am making the latkes and sufganiyot. I assume that either they are kidding or I can placate them with purchased donuts and frozen latkes.  No.

I find potatoes and onions on the counter and my husband kindly offers to get the ingredients for the jelly donuts so that they will be ready in time for dinner. My son pulls up his stool to the counter, all ready to help. Right now.

I bring the potatoes and onions back down to the basement and bring up a box of mix. My son and I make the mix latkes. They are not so good. My son pushes them away and asks about the jelly donuts. I suddenly remember Jamie Geller and her recipe in The Jewish Press (also here with a picture, too).

I cut the recipe down and changed it a bit. I was going to just cut the recipe in half and use 8 ounces of yogurt, but I found a 6 ounce container of vanilla yogurt in the fridge, necessitating cutting the recipe down slightly more. 

My son loved mixing together the ingredients. It was so easy: just dump and stir. They fried up nicely and I stuffed them with strawberry jelly. I let my son shake them up in a bag with powdered sugar. He and my husband were thrilled. They are not quite the same as yeast raised sufganiyot, but they were quite tasty.

Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts)
6 ounces of vanilla yogurt (I bet lemon yogurt would be excellent)
1 Tbl. sugar
1 egg
3/4 – 1 cup of flour (my son spilled a little of the flour, but it should have been a scant cup of flour)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/8 tsp. salt

Mix together the ingredients and let them rest while you heat up oil in a pan. The instructions say to let the batter rest, covered, for 15-20 minutes. I really don’t know why this is necessary. I just let the batter rest until the oil got hot. Jamie calls for heating 6 cups of oil in a 6 quart stockpot, but I used about 2-3 inches of oil in a 3 quart saucepan because I was making so few donuts. I also did not cover my pot while heating the oil.

How do you know the oil is hot enough? If you a deep frying or candy thermometer, the temperature will be 360 to 375 degrees. I waited until I saw the oil start to move under the surface or shimmer and then dropped in a drop of batter to see if it fried up right away. If the oil smokes, then it is too hot. Safflower oil is a good oil to use.

I made my donuts about half the size that Jamie suggests. I used a heaping teaspoon instead of a tablespoon to drop batter into the oil. I also needed to use a second spoon to scrape the batter off the first spoon. Fry the donuts until they get brown on the bottom and then flip them over. Continue to fry until the donuts are golden brown all over.

Drain the donuts on a paper towel lined plate. When they have cooled, cut a slit in the side and stuff them with strawberry jelly. Piping the jelly in in is best, but I had success just using a butter knife to shove in blobs of jelly. Put the donuts  (just three at a time) in a bag with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and shake until the donuts are dusted with the sugar.