12 December 2007

Holiday Cooking, part 1

Well, Hanukkah has come to an end. As I mentioned, I had two wonderful Hanukkah dinners last weekend and I wanted to share a couple of the recipes. Even though Hanukkah is over, these would still be delicious for any holiday or even just a regular meal. I made vegan potato latkes for the second year in a row. Last year, when I first read my mom the recipe we both thought "that sounds good, but it won't taste like a real latke" ("real" latkes have eggs and no carrots). However, I was surprised by how much they really did taste like traditional latkes. When Jared first tried them, he said "it tastes like a tater tot, where's the ketchup?" Can you tell he's not Jewish?! (For a great read about latkes, check out Emily's post).

Anyways, in addition to the two recipes listed below, I also made this delicious white bean salad. I've never had white bean salad on hanukkah before, but the recipe came up when I googled "vegan hanukkah recipe" and it looked good, so what the heck. Also, Cranberry-Orange Tart has nothing to do with hanukkah either, but it fits the season, and again, the recipe sounded good. As you can tell, there really aren't that many traditional hanukkah foods- just fried things (mainly latkes and jelly donuts) to commemorate the miracle of the oil lasting for eight nights. My family was never big on jelly donuts, and even if they were- they're not so much vegan (although I did just come across a decent-sounding recipe for vegan donuts- I'll have to test that one out later). So here's what I've got...

Vegan Potato Latkes (from Myra Kornfeld's "The Voluptuous Vegan")
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup minced onion
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 tbl soy milk (or rice/oat/almond milk)
canola oil for shallow frying

Peel potatoes. In a food processor, puree half of the potatoes and grate the other half (this should be about 4 cups). Place potatoes in a strainer over a bowl and drain for about 10 minutes. Let the liquid sit and the starch settle to the bottom. Pour off the liquid, saving the starch. Mix potatoes into the bowl with the starch. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, onion, carrot, scallions, and soy milk. Heat about 1/2 inch of canola oil in a shallow frying pan. Press a heaping tablespoon of potato mixture in your hands to form a pancake and drop into the hot oil. Fry latkes for about 3-4 minutes on each side until brown. Keep warm in the oven. Eat with applesauce (you bet your ass I used up some of that applesauce I was swimming in way back when).

Cranberry-Orange Tart (from Myra Kornfeld's "The Voluptuous Vegan")
Crust: 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
pinch of salt
Filling: 1 cup walnut halves
3 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup apple juice or cider
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbl orange zest
1 tbl agar flakes
1 tbl arrowroot powder
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 almond butter

Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 and oil a 9-inch tart pan. Spread the flour on a baking sheet and toast for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a bowl. Add the baking powder and mix. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, maple syrup and salt. Add wet ingredients to the dry. The dough should hold together easily when squeezed in your hands. If it seems too dry, ad a little bit of apple juice or water. Press the dough into the tart pan and bake for 15 minutes or until it's brown. Remove the crust and let it cool, but do not turn off the oven.

Make the filling: Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the walnuts in a strainer and rub agains the sides of the strainer to loosen the skins. Chop walnuts into small pieces and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine cranberries, apple juice/cider, maple syrup, cinnamon, orange zest, and agar flakes. Cook uncovered until the agar flakes have dissolved, the cranberries start to pop and the liquid reaches a boil (about 8-10 minutes). In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot and oj and mix to create a slurry. When the cranberries start to bubble, add the slurry and stir constantly until the mixture changes from cloudy to clear and the cranberries begin to bubble again. Remove from heat. Spread a thin layer of almond butter over the bottom of the crust, sprinkle a layer of chopped onions evenly on top of the almond butter, and pour in the cranberry mixture. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes to set the filling. Serve cold or at room temperature.

1 comment: