Sunday, December 20, 2009

Latkes at a Christmas Party


Actually, my mother considers it more of a "Winter Solstice Party." Whatever you choose to call it, it's the party she has every year when the boat parade goes by her lakefront house, and everyone stands down on the dock waving and shouting, "Merry Christmas!"

Do I have pictures of said boat parade, you might ask? Heavens no. Do I have pictures of the latkes I brought to wish everyone a Happy Whatever the Heck It Is You Celebrate? Yey-ah! (Ironically they were a little late if you celebrate Hanukkah.)





I got this recipe off the incredible blog Las Vegas Food Adventures. Yeah, I know, you're waitin' for it... "What did she change?" Well, this time, it was nothing. Nada. Not a single...

AAAAAAAUGH!! I can't take the LIES!!! I used olive oil instead of vegetable, damn it!!!!!!! Are you satisfied?????!!!!!

Well, if so, you oughtn't to be. Because they turned out looking like horrid gray blobs instead of the pristine brown beauties in the original picture. Did they taste great? Sure. Did they go over well at the party? Definitely, but only because there was such dim lighting that I didn't get any decent pics of the final product until we had them for breakfast the next morning:


Awwwwwww, yuck, gross! What is that gray blob on the plate next to my mom's beautiful fruit salad? Did someone hock a... or cough up a... oh, wait, no, that's just my dumb ass using olive oil. Okay, phew. Thought that might actually have been cat barf there for a sec.

To make it crystal clear, this was no fault at all of the original recipe's. They would have been perfect if I had followed along verbatim. But the only oil I keep on hand in large quantities is olive. So my mom's party mood lighting is practically a Christmas miracle in my opinion. It allowed me to rake in the compliments that Las Vegas Food Adventures so deserves for this tasty Jewish-inspired dish.

Happy Hanu-kwan-rama-solst-mas! (Please let me know if I'm forgetting anyone, and I will make an addendum.)

P.S. If you had to pick one type of oil to keep in your house, which would you go with?


Beat the eggs. Whip the cream. Show no mercy.


16 comments:

Janis said...

Good job! Multicultural is always the way to go!

Olive oil is the one oil that I couldn't do without.

Kathy Gori said...

Bee-yoo-ti-fullll!

Tasty Trix said...

happy pagan hanu-mas to you too!

Jessie said...

I am making latkes for christmas dinner too! I figured they taste good anyway why not make them!

Brie: Le Grand Fromage said...

You. Are. Hilarious.

I give you extra points for using olive oil (it's healthier). I do not even allow veggie oil in my house. If I had to give up all oils, except for one, i'd have to go with coconut.

Tamar1973 said...

You had two separate problems with your latke experiment.

The first problem was using the wrong oil. Olive oil is not a "hot" cooking oil. I usually use grapeseed or coconut oil for frying.

The fact that the latkes turned gray is a separate issue that has nothing to do with your oil substitution.

Potatoes oxidize pretty quickly just as apples do. There are a couple of tricks you can try to prevent this oxidation from ruining your potatoes.

Option #1: Soak the shredded potatoes in salt water while you're prepping the other ingredients. Then drain and combine and move on from there.

Option #2 (which I use): I grate the potatoes and onion together and let them marinate together while I prep the rest of the latke batter. Then I drain the potato/onion mix and combine with the other stuff.

What is the one oil I can't live without? Sesame oil. It's a must have for Korean cooking.

Cookin' Canuck said...

These look fabulous! I love that you have pictures of the food, but not of the boats - sounds like something I would do.

The Chickenless Chick said...

@Tamar1973... Thanks a million for the info :)

Thanks everyone for your comments and holiday wishes!

kathy-Las Vegas Food Adventures said...

I always feel bad when one of my recipes doesn't work for someone...may I offer another observation? Looks like your grater produces thicker pieces of potato. In addition to really hot oil (I used peanut oil in the ones in the photo in my post), the potatoes are grated into thinner shreds. This allows you to squeeze more water out of the potatoes which is very important to achieve the crispy brown color. Too much moisture and they just sort of steam. I do hope you'll give them another chance...love your sense of humor and great photos!

Shirley said...

You are too funny! What's your name by the way. I dont like calling you Hey Chick!

The Chickenless Chick said...

@Kathy... I absolutely plan on giving them another chance; as mentioned, they tasted wonderful! Thanks for the encouragement and advice, and of course once again for the recipe.

wasabi prime said...

Latkes are the best -- and really, even if things don't look pretty, they still taste just fine. I made a freakin' Thomas Keller dish this weekend and it looked a bit like zoo barf, but it tasted great! When in doubt - put parsley on it!

Vegetable Matter said...

Who cares how they look if they tasted good! Maybe you should call them Festivus pancakes so no one will compare them to latkes...

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I couldn't do without olive oil. Of course, if we're going with only one in the house, I guess I'd do regular, not EVOO, so I could cook at higher heat with it. Sorry they weren't as perfect as you dreamed! Happy Festivus (isn't that like in the next day or two?) and Christmas and New Years and whatever else is left!

5 Star Foodie said...

Latkes are a hit at any time of the year or any kind of party. My mom's latkes always turn gray too :( I would use vegetable or grapeseed oil to fry them.

Mae said...

I think I would've used olive oil, too, I'm always throwing it in where it doesn't technically belong.

Hilarious post :)