Christmas 2011 and Easy Latkes Recipe

by Cate on December 27, 2011

Checking on Baby Jesus
I love that picture. That she asked about all the pieces inside. That she knew a bit about the story and Baby Jesus. That she stopped to take it all in. And was still. And so began Christmas morning.

Rock Star
One of Madeline’s requests from the past several months has been a guitar. Or “matar,” as she calls it. And this Paper Jamz that I debated about buying? Has been going non-stop since she opened it. She also requested glasses like Mommy’s that didn’t make her eyes blurry. Took me a few stores to find them, but luckily Claire’s had a stash that looked very similar to mine. And she’s been sporting them off and on ever since. In fact, last night at the movies she was trying to tell me that she couldn’t see the movie because we didn’t bring her glasses. Alrighty then.

The Cousins Christmas Day 2011
The cousins on Christmas morning. Two out of four looking at the camera. One loving her Christmas Eve pajamas so much that she wore them all day. Four happy faces.

Token Christmas Dog

Sadie nd Mimi

Gussied Up
Four hair clips in the hair? Check. Brand new J. Crew bracelet swiped from her grandmother? Check.

Table Setting

Mac and Cheese

Stroller Brigade

Christmas Donuts

Now for the latkes. When The Ex and I were married, I tried to include part of his family’s background at our Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve table, and now with Mystic, I wanted to do the same. I have next to no experience cooking anything Hanukkah-related, but with an eye on not making myself crazy, I settled on gelt and latkes. The choice of making latkes was simple once I found a baked version that still delivered on the authentic crispy potato taste. Because although I may like a good challenge, adding another labor-intensive dish to the menu that night just might have sent me over the edge.

I mixed up the ingredients a few minutes before everyone came and popped them into the oven. Because they’re baked in a little oil, instead of fried like their usual counterparts, I’d like to think this is a healthier version. But I might be rationalizing. That’s up to you.

Do make them though. Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah or not, topped with a little touch of sour cream or applesauce, it’s a tasty little side or snack dish. I bet a sweet potato version would be just as good. And as an aside, on a recent episode of The Chew, Michael Symon mentioned that he sometimes makes zucchini latkes. Double yum.

Tomorrow? Eat.Live.Be is back for our weekly edition, this time drawing inspiration from tv.

Oven-Fried Potato Latkes
Recipe via Kveller.  Adapted from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite, by Melissa Clark. As Melissa points out, this recipe is easily multiplied (or halved, actually). If you make more than one batch, add a bit more oil to cover the bottom of the pans after the first batch, and reduce the baking time to allow for the pre-heated pans.

Time: 30 minutes
Makes 24 latkes

2 large russet potatoes (about 1 pound), scrubbed and quartered lengthwise (I used Yukon Gold)
1 large onion (8 ounces), peeled and quartered
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
About 1 cup vegetable oil
Applesauce, sour cream or Greek yogurt, and smoked salmon, for serving

1.    Preheat the oven to 425? F. Line two large, heavy rimmed baking sheets with heavy-duty foil. Coarsely shred the potatoes and onions together in a food processor (or grate by hand with a box grater). Transfer the mixture to a clean dishtowel and squeeze and wring out as much of the liquid as possible.

2.    Working quickly, combine the potatoes and onions with the flour, eggs, salt, baking powder and pepper, tossing with a fork until well combined.

3.    Pour ½ cup oil onto each baking sheet, spreading it with a spatula. With a fork, scoop 12 small latkes onto each baking sheet, pressing to flatten into disks.

4.    Bake the latkes until crisp on the bottom and sizzling, about 12 minutes. Flip the latkes, rotating the pans from back to front and top to bottom, and bake until crisp on the second side, about 8 more minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels or paper bags, drain briefly, and serve.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne December 28, 2011 at 7:20 am

Maddie is absolutely going to be a rockstar before we know it with that guitar! I know she thinks she wants to be a doctor right now…but that thing looks GOOD on her. :P

Mmm latkes! My favorite Hanukkah treat! I love the sound of this baked version…and I adore Melissa Clark. How have I never noticed this recipe before in her book?

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Sarah Caron December 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Those baby buggies are the cutest ever. Where’d they come from?

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Cate O'Malley December 30, 2011 at 10:42 am

Those buggies were courtesy of my mom. She reports that they’re from JCPenney, and they’re now on sale for $19.99, instead of the original $69!). Go get ’em.

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