Thursday, 13 December 2012

Traditional Latke with Applesauce, Jewish fried Pancakes

Latke Traditional with Applesauce, Jewish fried Pancakes

This is the time for Jewish Celebration of Chanukah's Menorah, the Celebration of Lights. During the eight days of the celebration of Chanukah (Hanukkah) Jewish families light the traditional light of Menorah and prepare wonderful dishes, mostly fried. There is a customary dish which is eaten and enjoyed by everyone at every Jewish family, called Latke. It is traditionally made out of Potatoes or other vegetables, at times and eaten hot with Home made Applesauce. I did not know much about Hanukkah, until one of my dear friends asked me about it. So I went through web and all the books I could lay my hands on, to know as much as I can about this wonderful tradition, where the whole family gathers around the Holy Menorah (the Lamp which keeps on glowing for all those eight days) and enjoy their meal together. What can be a better time to prepare something Jewish and enjoy with our family too...

Preparation Time :  15 minutes (for Latke) 20 minutes (for Applesauce)
Cooking Time      :  20 minutes  (for Latke) 25 minutes (for Applesauce)
Assembling Time :  10 minutes
Difficulty              :   Easy
Serves                  :   4 - 6

Ingredients :

For Latke :

  • 5 large Potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large Onion
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Flour (use all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Oil for frying
For Applesauce :
  • 11 large Apples, unpeeled, scrubbed, dried and each cut into 8 wedges (You can use any good grainy apple for this sauce)
  • 1 cup Apple Cider or Unsweetened Apple Juice
  • 1 or 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine table Salt
  • 1 scant teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Method :

For Latke :
  1) Grate potatoes and onion on the fine side of a grater, or in a food processor; or put in a blender with a few teaspoons of water. Try to keep off the water.
  2) Strain grated potatoes and onion through a colander, pressing out excess water. The end result should be almost dry. Set it aside in a big bowl.

  3) Add eggs, flour, and seasoning to the potato - onion mixture. Incorporate the ingredients well, forming a thick batter.

  4) Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil once it is sufficiently hot.

  5) Lower the flame and place 1 large tablespoon batter at a time into hot sizzling oil and fry on one side for approximately 5 minutes until golden brown.

  6) Turn over and fry on other side 2 to 3 minutes.
  7) Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain excess oil.

  8) Continue with remaining batter until used up, adding more oil when necessary. Keep the hot and ready Latkes in a flat dish and serve immediately with Home-made Applesauce.

For Applesauce :

To cook the apples:

 1) Place unpeeled apple wedges (including the cores) with the apple juice or cider and the cinnamon sticks in a medium sized heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir.

  2) Place the pan over medium high heat, cover and bring the mixture to a full simmer.

  3) Reduce heat to low and simmer the apples until very tender, stirring and mashing frequently, this will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

 To assemble the applesauce:

  4) Position a medium-mesh wire strainer or a food mill over a large bowl.

  5) Transfer the cooked apples, in batches, to strainer or food mill and force through into the bowl beneath, leaving the skins, cinnamon sticks and any seeds behind. I generally use a flat-edged wooden spatula for pushing apples through a strainer.

  6)  Discard what's left in strainer or food-mill and repeat with the remaining cooked apples.

  7) Once all the apple is completely stained, stir in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla.

  8) Cool the applesauce to room temperature, divide among jars or plastic containers and secure them with lids. The applesauce will keep perfectly for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. It did not last that long at my house at least...

 To serve:

Enjoy the applesauce chilled or slightly warmed along with Traditional Latkes.

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