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Published: Sunday, 12/6/2009

Latkes are a part of traditional Hanukkah dining

Potato latkes are traditionally served during the Hanukkah season. The food commemorates the miracle of the rededication of the Temple, when a single cruse of oil burned for eight days.

In today's recipe, Traditional Latkes are made with potato, egg, onion, salt, pepper, matzo meal and oil for frying. Sauted in a skillet until golden brown, latkes are delicious served as a sweet or savory side dish.

The secret to preparing a "perfect" potato pancake is to have more potato and less water, according to the Idaho Potato Commission.

Eileen Goltz, who writes about kosher food, believes that starchy potatoes - Russets and Yukon Gold - are the best choices. In an article she wrote for Hanukkah (see ou.org and type in "chanukah food" in the Search) she notes the debate about the best recipe for the traditional potato/egg mixture. She includes a variety of recipes, from Peppered Sweet Potato Latkes and Parsnip Sweet Potato Pancakes to Apple Latkes made with yogurt and seasoned with cinnamon.

2 pounds potatoes (about 6 medium),

peeled

2 eggs

1/2 cup minced onion

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup matzo meal

Peanut or canola oil for frying

With a box grater or food processor, shred potatoes and place in a colander in the sink. In a large bowl, mix eggs, onion, salt, and pepper. Set aside. Gently press the liquid out of the potatoes. Further dry them on paper towels. Add potatoes and matzo meal to the onion mixture; mix well.

Heat 1/2 cup oil in large, heavy frying pan until very hot. Test with a cube of bread: it should sizzle and color right away. Using a 1/4 cup measure, carefully ladle mixture into hot oil, patting down the back of the measure to make 3-inch flat cakes. Cook 4 to 5 at the same time until golden brown on both sides (2 to 3 minutes per side). Drain on paper towels.

Serve with applesauce and sour cream

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Source: Idaho Potato Commission

There's still time to enter an original kosher main-dish recipe made with Manischewitz Ready To Serve Broth in the fourth annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off. The dish should be simple and able to be prepared in one hour or less. The contest encourages home chefs to experiment with different ethnic foods when preparing a kosher-inspired meal. The deadline is Jan. 31. Finalists will be chosen in February to compete in the March finale in New York City. Chef Jacques Pepin will host the cook-off. The grand prize is $25,000 and includes GE kitchen appliances and cash. For information or to enter, visit manischewitz.com.

Kitchen Tools & Skills has a few spaces left on Jan. 5 and 19 featuring the Boeuf A La Bourguignonne recipe and menu from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. This is the popular menu that has been repeated numerous times since August.

A new menu for 2010 Julie & Julia-inspired classes from Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes From a Lifetime of Cooking by Julia Child will be taught by Chef Geoff McKahan on Feb. 2 and repeated Feb. 9 and 16 and later in March. Classes will include Leek and Potato Soup, Fillets of Sole Meuniere served with Braised Rice-Risotto. Dessert will feature the Queen of Sheba Chocolate Almond Cake, which was Julia's favorite chocolate cake. Classes are $40 each. Call 419-872-9090.

Other classes scheduled include Hungarian Cuisine with Joe Karakas assisted by Tony Packo on Jan. 26 as well as two children's classes in January and February.

The Earth-to-Table Dinner will feature Chef Lee Anne Wong at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio. Ms. Wong, who was a finalist on Bravo TV's series Top Chef, will feature international influences with dishes such as duck cassoulet and steamed fish made with bok choy, black bean and orange. Vegetables will included Mirin Glazed Fennel and Carrots and Wild Mushroom Fried Rice. For dessert, butternut squash miso pudding and apple chestnut dumplings will be served. The dinner is $55 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). For reservations, call 419-499-7500.

If you are looking for a holiday package, consider "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" from Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls in Logan, Ohio. The package provides one weekday night's accommodations for two in a guest room; a gourmet candlelight dinner in the inn's restaurant, housed in an 1840's log cabin; a full country breakfast, and a holiday cookie tin filled with fresh-baked cookies. Valid Sundays through Thursdays through Dec. 24 for $199 plus tax. For information, call 800-653-2557.

Kathie Smith is The Blade's food editor.

Contact her at:

food@theblade.com

or 419-724-6155.



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