Thursday, April 29, 2010

Potato Latkes

potato latkes

These Eastern European treats can best be described as 
fried potato pancakes.
Traditionally served at Hanukkah, latkes make wonderful treats for any time of the year and any time of the day or night!
Try them with applesauce and sour cream-
the most traditional way to serve them.

2 & 1/2 pounds russet (baking) potatoes
1 medium yellow onion, grated
2 eggs
2 Tbsp AP flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 to 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup applesauce
1 cup sour cream

Using a box grater, coarsely grate the potatoes.
Watch your fingers!
Place the potatoes in a colander lined with a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth and let the potatoes sit for at least 10 minutes to release some of their liquid.  Pick up the four corners of the towel and bring them together, then tightly wring the towel in the sink so that any extra liquid is squeezed from the potatoes.

Transfer the potatoes to a medium mixing bowl and add the grated onion, beaten eggs, flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder.  Using a wooden spoon, stir until thoroughly combined.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 cup of oil to the pan.  When the oil is hot, spoon the potato mixture, 1/4 cup at a time into the skillet to form individual cakes.  Using the back of a spoon, flatten each latke so that it resembles a pancake.   Cook until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Using a metal spatula or tongs, carefully flip the latkes over, making sure to watch out for any splattering oil  Cook the latkes until the second side is golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes.

Remove the latkes from the pan and set aside to drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet.  You can keep them warm in the heated oven while you cook the remaining latkes.  Add more oil as needed and continue to fry the latkes in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.

To serve, place a dollop of applesauce and sour cream in the center of each latke.  Serve warm.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Power Bars

Sorry, no photos today!

But here is our delicious POWER BAR recipe:

1 cup pecans
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup dried blueberries (or cranberries, or raisins, or chopped apricots)
1/4 cup flax seed
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2/3 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 & 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 & 1/2 cups rice crispy cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a baking sheet or 9 x 13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, mix the fruit, flax seeds, oats, rice crispies, and cinnamon.

On a rimmed baking sheet , toast pecans, almonds, and coconut in the oven for about 7 minutes.  Give it a stir once during that time.

Using a small skillet, heat the sesame seeds over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.  Stir constantly so the seeds do not burn.  Remove from heat when they become golden in color.

Combine the rice syrup (or honey), sugar, salt and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens  -  about 4 minutes.

Pour syrup over the dry mixture and stir until evenly incorporated.

Spread into the prepared pan.  With buttered hands, pat the mixture into place in the pan.  Cool to room temperature before slicing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fancy Fruits with Honey Yogurt Dip & Chocolate Fondue

This week in class, we learned about some interesting fruits and some yummy dips to serve them with.
After cutting, the students collaborated to make colorful fruit platters.  And using two easy recipes, we dipped the fruits into tasty flavors for a healthy, simple snack.

We learned how to cut a pineapple:
First take off the top,  using a long sharp knife.

Next, cut it in half.

Then, into quarters.

Using a smaller knife, cut down and at an angle to remove the tough skin.

Don't forget to remove the core.  

We also learned about cutting mangoes.
This is a honey mango.  It is smaller and yellower than a regular mango. 

With the mango standing, and using a small, sharp knife, we cut down one side of the core.
Then we cut off the other "cheek" as well.
And we were left with two fleshy halves.  (The core is a bit stringy and has only a small amount of edible meat on it.)

Now cut into the fruit without cutting all the way through the skin.
Invert the half,
and scrape the pieces off the skin!

As for the blood oranges and
 honey tangerines,
we simply peeled and segmented them, 
gently removing any seeds.

And the rest of the fruits we used included:
bosc pears, d'anjou pears, strawberries, and bananas.

Our tasty cold dip was made by whisking together 1&1/2 cups of plain yogurt,  1/2 cup of honey, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.
As easy at that!

And for the chocolate fondue:

In a saucepan, gently heat 3/4 cup of heavy cream over low heat.
Slowly add 8 oz. of your favorite chocolate.
Stir to combine, then remove from heat.
Serve while warm,  or better yet, use a fondue pot!

You can pick up a fondue set these days at almost any 
thrift store or garage sale.
I found this one for only $4!

Now enjoy all the flavor combinations,
served as a colorful, springtime treat.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dips - Hummus & Spicy Yogurt Cheese

Whether you serve them with tortilla chips, carrot sticks, pita triangles or any other favorite dipping device, these Mediterranean dips make a delicious and healthy snack.

1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
2 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
Measure all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until very smooth. 

Taste and adjust flavors according to your preferences.

Spicy Yogurt Cheese
3/4 cup plain yogurt (drained through a fine sieve for a few hours or overnight)
1 cup feta cheese
2 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

*** If you do not like a spicy dip, cut back on the cayenne a bit.