Latkes

Makes about 14 latkes – serves 4 to 6.

– Ingredients –
4 medium potatoes – organic if possible
1 medium onion
2 eggs
2 pieces of matzo (or ½ cup flour)
1 Tsp. salt
¼ Tsp. pepper
Olive oil to coat the pan

– Method –
Wash and peel the potatoes. Grate them on the medium side of the grater (by hand- don’t use a food processor). Put the results into a colander and rinse well to get out the starch. Place colander over a large bowl. Press down on the grated potatoes to remove moisture. Leave the colander sitting over the bowl to drain out more moisture while you do the rest.

Peel off the outer layer of the onion. Slice off the top and bottom. Cut into four wedges and place into a food processor. Mince the onion in the food processor. Set aside in a separate colander over a bowl to drain.

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Add the salt and pepper.

Crush the matzo into tiny pieces – flour-like consistency. You can do this in a thick sandwich bag, using a rolling pin.

Gently mix the potatoes, onions, and egg mixture together in a large bowl. Fold in the matzo (or flour) Do not overmix – this will transform the grated potatoes into mashed potatoes, totally altering the texture.

Pour the oil into a pan and heat medium-high. When hot, use a tablespoon to scoop up the mixture. Flatten gently with the back of the spoon. Use two spatulas to turn, cooking the latkes golden brown on each side. You will likely need to add more oil to the pan as you cook the rest of the latkes.

Transfer the latkes to paper towels over newspaper to drain.

Keep them warm while you cook the rest by placing them on a cookie sheet covered with brown kitchen paper – placing them into the oven at 250 degrees.

Serve warm with sour cream or applesauce (traditional)

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Peanut butter and jelly JAM

Two waffles (I used Eggo)
A handful of mixed fruit (I used frozen)
a spoonful of jelly (grape is fine)
butter
peanut butter

In a small saute pan, heat up the fruit on medium heat. Once the juices are running out, add a spoonful of jelly. Use a flat wooden spatula to mix it together as well as to cut up any fruit that is large (like strawberries).

While that is heating, toast the waffles. I put mine through the toaster twice to make them extra crispy.

Once the waffles are heated, put them on a plate and quickly put butter on one waffle. Then put the other waffle on top to melt the butter. Wait a minute.

Open the waffles back up. Put peanut butter on the un-buttered waffle. Leave the other as is.

Pour the heated fruit / jelly mix on the waffle with the peanut butter.

Cut up both waffles and enjoy!

Tasty spicy carrots

Steam carrots that are sliced into pieces.

While they are steaming, put a few pieces of butter in the bottom of a large ceramic bowl. Add a generous amount of cumin and turmeric.

Pour the steamed carrots into the bowl. Quickly put a plate on top of the bowl, covering it completely. Do not let the carrots get cool too quickly.

Wait 3 minutes, lift off the plate, then use a spoon to toss the carrots in the bowl, mixing up the butter and spices. Put the plate back on top for a minute.

Serve with crumbled feta cheese on top.

Tabouli twist

I like tabouli, but I don’t like raw onions. I also think kale has far more health benefits than parsley. This twist on an old classic delivers familiar tastes in a new way.

Ingredients
Half a large white onion. (See notes)

Half a bunch of kale (about 8 to 10 stalks) – destemmed, torn into pieces

One large tomato, seeded, cut into bite-size pieces (just use the fleshy parts)

½ teaspoon seasoning salt

Lemon juice to taste (at least a tablespoon)

Olive oil for sautéing

Method
Julienne the onion and sauté it in the olive oil. Add seasoning salt (I use “Aunt Cora’s”). Stir often, cooking it until the onion pieces are translucent but still firm. Do not caramelize or wilt them.

Meanwhile, steam the kale. About 5 minutes in, stir it with a fork to further reduce its size.

Remove half the onion to use later. (see notes) and add the tomatoes and kale.

Add lemon juice. Stir frequently. Do not let the tomatoes get mushy.

Notes
I find it easier to cook the entire onion and save off half of it for another use. Store in the refrigerator and use within 4 days.

Serve with couscous. (I find Near East brand very good – tasty, and simple to make)
Makes four servings.

Spiced carrots

Ingredients
5 large carrots, julienne-cut
2 tsp cumin powder, divided
2 tsp curry powder, divided
¼ cup parsley flakes, crushed just before use
An inch of butter, divided

Method
Steam the carrots until they are medium-soft. You don’t want them mushy, but you also don’t want them so firm that they won’t absorb the flavor.

While they are steaming, prep a large glass or ceramic bowl. Put half the butter in the bottom, thinly sliced. (You want it to melt quickly.) Add half the cumin and curry powders evenly over the bottom of the bowl.

When the carrots are done, pour them into the prepared bowl and immediately put a cover over it. I used a plate, upside-down. It is ideal if there is a 1 to 2 inch space between the carrots and the cover. This will use the heat of the carrots to melt the butter.

After about 5 minutes, toss the mixture in the bowl and add the rest of the butter and spices, including the parsley. Work quickly to retain the heat. Put the cover back on. Let sit at least another 5 minutes.

Serve immediately, or you can refrigerate and serve the next day, when the flavors are even better.

Makes 4 servings.

Tzatziki sauce

Ingredients
2 containers (5.3 oz) plain Greek yogurt
1 cucumber
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Pepper to taste
Garlic to taste (up to 3 cloves, minced)
Optional – 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill.

Notes
Cucumber prep – Peel and then shred the cucumber (use a cheese grater for that part.) Put the results in a colander over a bowl. Add a little salt. Mix it in with your hands. Allow this to sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Then press the cucumber shreds down, even squeezing the mass with your hands. The goal is to get the majority of moisture out.

Concord foods reconstituted lemon juice instructions says that 3 Tablespoons equals the juice of on medium lemon – so for this recipe, use 1.5 Tablespoons.

Do not use flavored yogurt – even vanilla. The yogurt must be plain. Greek yogurt yields a better texture – regular yogurt will make this runny.

Method
Mix all ingredients together. You can serve it immediately, but the flavors will be better if served the next day. Makes 5 generous servings.

Roasted chick peas

Ingredients
1 can (15 oz) chick peas (also known as garbanzo beans)
2 Tablespoons za’atar spice blend (found in Middle-Eastern grocery stores)
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup vegetable broth

Method
Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl. Allow to marinate in the fridge at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

Drain the liquid away.
(A fine-mesh sieve works well, but you will have to scrape out the spices and add them back to the chick peas).

Spread the remaining mixture of chick peas and spices onto a large cookie sheet that you have put a layer of aluminum foil on.

Roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, turning half way through.

The result is crispy, crunchy, tasty chick peas. Serve with couscous and tzatziki sauce.