An appetizer of fried olives
It’s not kosher to boil a kid in its mother’s milk (Deuteronomy 14:21). So here’s my question, is it kosher to fry an olive in olive oil?
I was thinking of this a few weeks ago as I sat, tired and recovering from a cold and several days of travel at Palace Kitchen in Seattle where a friend had taken me and insisted that I have some olive poppers before indulging in a really remarkable hamburger. It reminded me of a different take on fried olives that I had loved at a place called Downtown in Berkeley. A week later I walked past and saw that they were gone so I decided that I would try to recreate their tasty feat for the oil drenched holiday of Hanukkah.
Hanukkah celebrates the fact that the oil on hand lasted 8 days, seven days longer than expected. As an aside it also celebrates the defeat of the Selucid Greeks at the hands of the Hasmoneon rebels (aka the Maccabees). But since their descendants had more than a few Rabbis killed our tradition concentrates on the oil.
Animal Style with cheese, onions and fry sauce
Do you live in California, Nevada, Arizona or Utah? Do you know how to get a double-double animal style? If not, you might want to check out this regional fast food. Now, what would happen if the good folks at In ‘n’ Out were of the Hebrew persuasion rather than the decidedly Christian bent?
Well then there might be latkes on the secret menu. Since they aren’t going to make them, I will. I started off with the same potato they use, the Kennebec. Prized for its large size, thin skin and its flavor. They also slice very easily which is a bonus when you have to reduce them for use in latkes.
I decided to keep these simple, plain to the point of boring to highlight these potatoes and their crisp texture. Upon consulting several cookbooks I learned that another key is to rinse the potatoes of their excess starch with hot water and then allow the potatoes to drain so that you reduce the amount of water that ultimately goes into the fat. I also disposed with any notion of going “light” and fried them in a 1/2 inch of oil in the bottom of a dutch oven.
Recipe after the break