As the days grow shorter and the temperature outside drops, my thoughts inevitably turn to Chanukah, and of the warming and comforting dishes I will make this year for my family and friends for the festival. We traditionally eat a lot of fried foods to celebrate the miracle of when a tiny jar of oil in the temple in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago lasted for eight whole days instead of the expected one or two.
And it’s not just about doughnuts! I always make potato latkes, which are the perfect accompaniment to meaty, fish or vegetarian dishes as they are vegan and very tasty. This recipe is based on the Evelyn Rose New Complete International cookbook recipe, and I love it as it is so easy to prepare, and can be made in advance, frozen and then reheated at the last minute.
The salmon cutlet recipe is another dish fried in oil, so very appropriate to the Chanukah theme. This is a simple, delicious recipe passed down to me from my lovely mother-in-law Freda more than 20 years ago, as my children adored them and begged me to make them too. They gleefully point out that though I have improved over the years, my cutlets still aren’t as good as hers! They can be eaten hot or cold and freeze beautifully. I have, of course, tweaked the recipe over time, but this is basically the same recipe made for over 100 years.
And finally the sweet potato soup is a real winter warmer. It is quick and simple to cook, and is probably the most delicious I’ve ever made. You should definitely try it!
(Makes approximately 18)
• 4 small cans or 2 large cans red salmon
(including the juice)
• 1 large onion
• 1 large eggs
• 5oz/140g medium matzo meal
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• Good squeeze tomato ketchup (optional)
- Peel and chop the onion in quarters and place in the bowl of a food processor and add the egg, salt and ketchup.
- Blitz until the onion is finely chopped.
- Add the tinned salmon including its liquid and pulse 4 or 5 times until the mixture is combined but not mushy.
- Tip the salmon mix into a mixing bowl and add ¾ of the matzo meal, combining with a fork. The mixture needs to be moist but firm enough to form balls. If it is too wet, gradually add more meal until you have the desired consistency.
- Form the mixture into patties and place on a tray to rest for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up.
- Pour 2cm of oil into a frying pan and place on medium heat until a cube of bread bubbles and rises to the surface, and then fry the patties until they are a rich brown colour. Flip and cook the other side, then drain on kitchen paper and serve. (By hand)
- Grate the onion and mix with the egg, salt and ketchup in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the salmon and its juice and mash it into the egg mix using a potato masher or a fork.
- Continue from point four.
• 1½ lb/675g potatoes (about 4 large
• 1 small onion
• 2 eggs
• 1 level tsp salt
• 4 level tbsp SR flour
• Vegetable oil for frying
- If using a food processor: peel and chop the potatoes and use the fine grating disc to grate them. Place the grated potatoes into a sieve and press down firmly with a spoon to remove as much water as possible and leave to drain.
- Peel and quarter the onion and place in the food processor bowl with the eggs, salt and flour and blitz until smooth.
Add the drained potatoes and pulse for a few seconds until they are finer but not completely a pulp.
- Pour 2cm oil into a 9-inch heavy frying pan and heat until a crumb of bread immediately sizzles. Put in tablespoons of
mixture flattening each latke with the back of your spoon.
- Cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes on each side until a rich brown.
- Drain on kitchen paper and serve as soon as possible. If making in advance, these can be reheated in a preheated oven gas mark 8 /230°C for 7 minutes.
CURRIED SWEET POTATO AND COCONUT SOUP
• 1kg sweet potatoes (3 large)
• 1 tbsp oil
• 1 red onion
• 3 garlic cloves crushed
• 1 tbsp medium curry powder
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp garam masala
• ¼ tsp ground ginger
• ¼ tsp ground turmeric
• Pinch chilli flakes (optional)
• 1 400ml tin full fat coconut milk
• 400ml vegetable stock
• 1 lime
• Chopped fresh coriander
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 4cm (1.5-inch) pieces.
- Finely dice the onion and sauté in the oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan until translucent then add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add all the spices and stir for 20 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the sweet potatoes, coconut milk and vegetable stock, bring to boil then simmer for 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft.
- Blend the soup with a stick blender until smooth and creamy.
- Add the juice from the lime and season to taste, serving with a garnish of chopped coriander.