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The Cookstr Weekly: Festival of Lights

December 15, 2014
Latkes have been, for me, difficult to master. To achieve the ideal crispy edges, the potatoes have to be drained of their excessive water content. They must be seasoned just so. They can be grated and squeezed and mixed by hand, or food-processed, or thrown into the blender and spooned into hot oil with the brave and rewarding splat method. No matter how you make them, at their best, latkes are addictive, delectable, perfect for sharing and passing around on plates during each of Hanukkah’s eight nights. And with eight nights to celebrate, why not experiment? Apples, sweet potatoes, leeks, and other vegetables make for inventive spins on the classic.
Just add some sour cream, kugel, applesauce, and doughnuts and you’ll be set. Of course, a brisket and some roasted vegetables won’t hurt either, if you need a break from frying.
Warmest regards,

Kara Rota
Editorial Director
Cookstr

  by Amy Traverso

Every year, we host a big Hanukkah party for a couple dozen friends, serving up four or five different kinds of latkes (potato pancakes) at a time. These sweeter latkes, accented with the oniony bite of shallots, are always the first to go. And here’s a time-saving bonus: Because sweet potatoes contain less water than regular baking potatoes, you can grate them in the food processor without worrying about their releasing too much liquid.

More Hanukkah Recipes from Cookstr 
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Chefs’ Tips & Tricks: Carrot, Celery, and Leek Soup with Cornbread Dumplings
  by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds

 

We love recipes like this for their hearty, stick-to-your-ribs personality. The sweet leeks and carrots shine next to the tender cornbread dumplings, which soak up flavor from the stock and vegetables. Make this comforting, rich soup on a cold and stormy winter day and you won’t want to stop eating it.

“This recipe turns into a pot pie with the addition of chicken or turkey. You can poach a few chopped breasts in the stock with the vegetables or simply add leftover cooked chicken or turkey just before topping with the dumplings.”

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