Make the Yuletide Gay: “Teaching Topaz” by Tory Temple

Guest Blog by Tory Temple

Hi everyone! I’m Tory, and Keira asked me to write up a little post even though I don’t have a holiday release, and I was more than glad to do so. I’m right there in the swing of things with the mad shopping, baking, and wrapping. My family celebrates Hanukkah, my sister-in-law’s family celebrates Christmas, so we’re all together on Christmas Eve this year with menorah lighting and present opening. I’m looking forward to it. As long as I get all the presents wrapped, of course.

Anyway, my contribution to Christmas/Hanukkah dinner this year is the traditional latkes – potato pancakes. Hanukkah foods are often fried in oil to remind us of the miracle of the holiday. Here is my recipe, sort of adapted from Martha Stewart:

4 large russet potatoes, peeled
1 small white onion, finely grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying

Applesauce – optional
Sour cream – optional

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Shred potatoes using the large holes of a box grater into a large bowl of ice water. Alternatively, place half the potatoes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the shredding disk attachment and process until shredded. Repeat process with remaining potatoes; transfer to a large bowl of ice water. Using a strainer or slotted spoon, transfer potatoes, reserving liquid, to another large bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel; gently squeeze dry.

2. Set reserved liquid aside for 10 minutes to allow starch to sink to the bottom; carefully pour liquid from the bowl, reserving milky residue (potato starch), and discard. Transfer potatoes back to bowl with potato starch.

3. Add onions to bowl; stir in eggs, flour, salt, and pepper.

4. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. In a heavy nonstick skillet, heat 1/4-inch of oil. Spoon scant 1/2 cup of potato mixture per pancake into skillet, working in batches and taking care not to crowd the skillet.

5. Fry on both sides until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to prepared baking sheet to drain; transfer to oven to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining potato mixture. Serve hot with applesauce, or sour cream and caviar, if desired.

Serves 4 to 6

Do you have a favorite holiday recipe? Or another latke recipe I MUST try? You can put it in the comments, or just tell me your favorite holiday food. I’ll give away a copy of my newest release, Teaching Topaz, available now from Torquere Press. I’ll pick a winner by Monday morning, 9:00 am Pacific Standard Time. Happy holidays, readers!

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