Dad’s Latkas

This is actually my interpretation of Dad’s recipe, as I’ve modified it a bit over the years.

Latkas

Ingredients

1 very large onion (or 2 medium onions), peeled
5 lb russet potatoes, peeled
3 eggs
Salt
1/3 lb matzah meal (or unseasoned breadcrumbs)
Olive oil

Directions

In a large bowl, grate the onion and the potatoes.  Break the eggs into a small bowl and whisk together, then add to the potato mixture.  Salt to taste.  (Though, don’t actually taste it.. I mean, there’s raw egg in there.)

Add the matzah meal and mix together.  There shouldn’t be a lot of liquid left at this point.

Place a paper towel on a plate and prepare a stack of additional paper towels.

Cover the bottom of a large pan with oil and heat over medium.  Give the oil a minute or two to come up to temperature, then add a heaping tablespoon of mixture to the oil.  Use the back of the spoon to flatten out the mixture.  Fry until you can see the sides browning, then flip over and fry for another minute or so.  This is your taster – make sure you have enough salt.

Making sure to mix to reincorporate the liquid before each batch of latkas, continue frying latkas until you are out of mixture.  You will need to add oil between every couple batches.  Place the latkas on the plate when done, adding a new paper towel between each layer.  (This allows the oil to drain into the paper towels rather than pool on the plate.)

Enjoy warm with sour cream or applesauce.

Notes:
Use a grater with large holes.
If the mixture is too liquidy, add more matzah meal.
Place the mixture against the sides of the pan to make oval latkas.

Bonus:  Sufganiyot!

Recipe here (though I didn’t know that at the time I made them and just rewound the video a bunch).  A note to make this easier, though:  the dough is super sticky, so make sure to flour everything thoroughly:  your hands, your counter, your rolling pin.  This also makes it a lot easier to pick the sufganiyot rounds up once they’ve risen; if they stick to the counter, they’ll become misshapen and not rise much during the frying part.

Also, I wasn’t able to get my deep fryer up to 350 for some reason, but they turned out perfectly around 310, so don’t stress too much.

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Asian Noodle Salad

Tonight, I made my Asian Noodle Salad, which is pretty straightforward and always a hit, so I thought I’d share the recipe.  When I create my own recipes, I tend to just throw things together, so this is almost stream of consciousness.  This technically makes about four servings, but, since we usually have it for dinner with nothing else, it really feeds two of us.

I also really like the Crispy Tofu in a flour tortilla with hummus, rice, and fried onions.  Great travel (or home) food!

Asian Noodle Salad

Ingredients

Two portions of angel hair pasta, uncooked
6oz of Crispy Tofu, recipe below
1-2 hearts of romaine, washed (DW prefers less lettuce so there’s more pasta)
1/2 container of grape or cherry tomatoes, washed
Toasted (or untoasted) sesame oil

Directions

While the tofu is frying (below), boil the pasta according to the directions on the box.  Drain and place into a large bowl.  Add the tofu.  Chop and add the lettuce.  Cut the tomatoes in half and add them.  Add a splash of sesame oil.  Mix and serve immediately.

Tip:  The reason that I try to boil the pasta while the tofu is frying is to keep the pasta from clumping together while it’s in the bowl.

Crispy Tofu

Ingredients

Oil (I use olive oil)
6-8 oz of extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
Soy sauce
Ketchup
Chopped garlic
Honey
Toasted (or untoasted) sesame oil
Orange juice
Sriracha, optional
Jam or jelly, optional (I love mango jelly for this)

Directions

Take a small glass bowl and fill it almost halfway with soy sauce.  Add some ketchup, a teaspoon of chopped garlic, a squeeze of honey, a pour of sesame oil, a splash of orange juice, and a squeeze of sriracha if using.  Mix together.  If you have some jam or jelly around, add a heaping teaspoon, then crush it into the sauce so that it mixes well.

Pour enough olive oil into a large pan to cover the bottom.  Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat; once the oil is hot, add the tofu.  (Make sure you pressed it really well before cutting it, or the liquid will cause burning oil to fly at your hands and arms.)  Spread out the tofu cubes so that they are in a single layer.  Stir them around every couple minutes until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes.  (If the tofu sticks to the bottom of the pan at first, scrape it up; those bits are delicious.)

When the tofu is done frying, take it off the heat for about a minute, then pour in the sauce and stir.  Return to heat and cook down, about five minutes.  The sauce should cook down to the point that there’s very little liquid left when you are done.