Thursday, November 21, 2013

Non-potato latkes

Here are some alternative recipes to try for Chanukah! (And these are all tried-and-true. One year I made a Greek-themed medieval Chanukah feast for our SCA group.)

Onion Fritters
1/2 kg (aprox. 1 lb) onions finely diced
1/2 kg flour
Fresh spearmint
Oil for frying
In a bowl, mix well the onions, spearmint, flour, salt and pepper. Add enough water to make a thick batter. Heat oil in a frying pan. Drop teaspoons of batter into the oil. Fry until golden brown. Drain the fritters well and serve hot.

Aubergine croquettes (Eggplant)
aubergines (enough to make at least 2 cups of aubergine pulp)
2 eggs
Bread crumb
1/2 cup grated cheese (kefalograviera or parmesan)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Flour for coating
1 tspn baking powder
Wash the aubergines and pierce them in several places. Boil them in salted water until tender. Drain them well, peel of their skin, remove seeds and mash them well until they become a pulp. Place in a bowl. Beat the eggs with a fork and mix with the pulp. Add the bread crumb, 1 tspn baking powder, chopped onion and parsley. Work the mixture until all ingredients are unified. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. If the mixture is very soft and not thick enough add more bread crumb or some flour. Shape the mixture into croquettes or balls, dredge flour over them and fry until brown.
Tip: To soften the aubergines you can bake them for an hour in 190 C, if you prefer

Courgette balls (Zucchini)
1 kg (2.2 lbs) courgettes
1/2 tea cup grated cheese
200 gr grated feta cheese
3 eggs
flour for dredging
Olive oil for frying
Wash the courgettes and cut off their ends. Grate them and squeeze them to remove their liquid. Soak the bread crumbs and drain them. Beat the eggs. In a bowl mix the grated courgettes with the grated cheese, the grated feta cheese, the bread crumbs and the beaten eggs. Add salt, pepper and spearmint. Shape the mixture into balls. Flour the balls and fry them in olive oil until they take brown color.

Santorinian Tomato Rissoles
* 500 gr. tomatoes, rinsed and dried
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped (not grated)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt and black pepper
1 teacup fresh spearmint, finely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil 150 grams self-raising flour
sunflower oil, for frying
Put the rinsed and dried tomatoes whole into a large bowl. Squeeze and manipulate them with the hands, until they turn into a pulpy substance. This is the only way to do it as you need the skins to give some substance. Next, mix all the ingredients together, apart from the flour. Add enough flour gradually to make a thickish but moist paste. You will probably not need all the flour. The mixture can now wait until it is time to be cooked and eaten. Put about 2.5 cm oil in a large frying pan. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, drop in tablespoons of the mixture and fry, turning the rissoles over once, until lightly golden all over. Serve immediately.

*(I use peeled, whole, canned tomatoes and crush them between my fingers and just use more flour. I don't like the texture of the peel once the tomatoes are smashed).

Delicious yogurt dip to go with the above latkes
1/2 kilo (1 lb) strained yoghurt (I use a good quality goat yogurt)
1 cucumber
4 garlic cloves (more makes it with stronger taste)
Grate the garlic and mix it with salt and vinegar. Peel the cucumber, grate it and squeeze it until all its water is removed. Put the yoghurt into a bowl and add the cucumber into it. Then mix the yoghurt with the mixture of grated garlic. Whiz the content until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add some oil. Yoghurt dip can be served in a normal temperature but it is rather preferred cold.
Variation: substitute chopped dill for the cucumber or garlic.