A New Orleans style chanukah doughnut.
straight from the source, c/o marc
My first encounter with the delicious beignet was with none else than the fabulous writers of this here blog. A week of gutting walls, removing roofing, bonding with katrina survivors and avoiding crocs in the bayou was highlight by some fabulous New Orleans food, including a trip to Cafe du Monde. Their famous square, sugar-covered doughnuts are heavenly so it’s no surprise that they are a tourist hotspot. Since chanukah begs us to embrace the oiliest of foods, I thought this would be a fun twist on the french treat–you can let me know what you think. Wikipedia shares lots of fun facts about the beignet (did you know they were originally made with chestnut flour?!) but I’ll leave the rest of the researching to you. Let’s get eating…
p.s. for a more detailed explanation of sufganiyot, check out Amiee’s post.
Because Marc is wonderful and brought me a pre-made mix, I don’t know exactly what went into my beignets. I DID however find a yummy sounding recipe for beignets on this new orleans cuisine blog.
method after the break
honey yummy sufganyiot
Fried doughnuts or fritters are common at Hanukkah in almost all Jewish communities. In fact, you can probably determine the geographic origin of many Jewish families simply by finding out what they call these treats. Israelis and Ashkenazim call them sufganyiot and typically they are filled with jelly. Others are sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar or tossed in a sweet honey or citrus syrup. The European Sephardim call them bimuelos, in Egypt they are zalabia, Persians refer to them as zengoula, and my personal favorite are the Greek loukoumades, or as Greek Jews call them zvingous. I first encountered loukoumades at the fabulous Oakland Greek Festival, which is held every year in May. At this festival you can determine the best treats by the length of the line for it and in the case of the beer, gyros and loukoumades, the wait is totally worth it. (As an aside, we Jews could really take a cue from the Greeks on how to put on a super-fun ethnic festival, ours tend to lack beer, have a poor selection of food and are overwhelmed with organizational politics) So for this year’s Hanukkah I decided I would make my own loukoumades instead of having to wait all the way until May to get my next fix.
Apple latkes with powdered sugar and greek yogurt
and just for Ari… latkes: DESSERT STYLE!
I love latkes, really I just love fried potatoes and latkes give me the excuse, at least once a year, to eat massive quantities of fried potatoes. It got me thinking though, why stop at dinner with the latkes? Much like French (pomme de terre), the Hebrew word for potato (tapuach adama) translates as “apple of the earth”. This led me to the the brilliant idea to use apples to make a sweet dessert latke. Turns out it was such a brilliant idea that many, many, people have had this idea in the past and I even found a couple recipes for them. Claudia Rodan has a recipe in her cookbook, but they are really just battered and deep-fried pieces of apples. They sound delicious but not really what I was after. Joan Nathan has a good base recipe and all of the internet recipes seem to be based on hers. As usual, she screws around to have both parvre and dairy options. It also has so much added flour that it calls for additional liquid in the form of milk or orange juice. The only reason for flour is to compensate for the lack of starch that potatoes would normally supply to the mix. This got me thinking on other starches to bring to the table and I remembered that Cooks Illustrated recommends tapioca starch for fruit pies because it has no flavor and a very smooth consistency. I ventured on over to 99 Ranch and found a bag tapioca starch for 89 cents. Right next to it was a small bag of rice flour for 79 cents. I picked that up as well because rice flour often has a nice light crunchy texture when fried. I used a combo of granny smith for tartness and braeburn apples for sweetness. With all of these components I came up with the following recipe and it is delicious. This makes about a dozen latkes.