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December 2005/January 2006
Whole Lotta Latkes

Recipes by Joshua Ploeg


For this issue, I present some fun, colorful variations of this traditional Jewish holiday favorite. In all of these, flour may be left out if the main ingredients are grated and allowed to sit for awhile (natural binding agents in them will be freed), or use some corn or potato starch. Please enjoy!

Sweet Potato Latkes
These mildly sweet and fragrant latkes are served with a spicy and very savory sauce.

2 C. Sweet Potato, peeled and shredded
1⁄4 C. Onion, grated
1⁄2 t. Cumin Seed, whole
1 T. Fresh Thyme, minced (or 1 t. dried)
1/3 C. Flour
1 t. Paprika
1 T. Fresh Dill, minced (or 1 t. dried)
1 T. Oil or Margarine, melted
Sugar, Salt and Pepper to taste
Handful of Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
Lemon Juice to wet mixture

1. Mix the ingredients together and adjust to taste. A bit of baking powder may be added for a little extra bounce.

2. Allow the batter to sit for several minutes before frying.

3. Heat some oil in a skillet over medium temperature.

4. Fry 2 or 3 T. of the batter per latke, flattening with a spatula and turning once, until cooked and browned on both sides. This will take a couple of minutes per side.

Serve with eggplant and picante sauce, makes 12 to 16.

Eggplant and Picante Sauce

1 Eggplant, diced and sprinkled with salt and lemon juice
1 Red Bell Pepper, minced
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 Onion, medium, chopped
2 Tomatoes, diced
1 C. Corn Kernels, fresh and juicy
1 t. Chili Powder
1 t. Garam Masala
1⁄2 t. Cinnamon
1⁄2 C. Cilantro and Herbs, chopped
2 T. Olive Oil
1 C. Picante Sauce
Lime or Lemon Juice to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Any additional fresh vegetables

1. Fry eggplant in oil for several minutes.

2. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, garam masala, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and pepper, tomatoes and lemon juice. Stir and cover. Cook until the eggplant is tender. Add additional liquid as needed.

3. Stir in cilantro and picante sauce, adjust seasonings and cook for a few more minutes.

4. Add additional fresh veggies and corn and serve with latkes.

Very Horsey Latke
These high-impact latkes with their strong bite are accompanied by a cool tasting sauce, with a bit of garlic and clove added to liven up its personality.

2 Potatoes, peeled and grated
1 Parsnip, peeled and grated
2 T. Fresh Horseradish, peeled and grated
1 Carrot, peeled and grated
1⁄2 C. Granny Smith Apple, grated
2 T. Tahini or Tahini Salad Dressing
2 T. Lemon Juice
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1⁄2 t. Caraway Seeds
1⁄4 C. Chervil, Sorrel or Parsley, minced (or all three!)
1 T. Capers, smashed
2 or 3 T. Flour to bind the mixture (a bit of cornstarch may be added)
Horseradish to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Mix the ingredients together and let stand for several minutes. Again, a bit of baking powder may be added if you wish. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

2. Fry 1⁄4 C. of batter in oil in a skillet over medium heat, flattening with a spatula and turning once, until cooked and browned on both sides. Serve with sauce.

Makes around 16.

Pear-Dill Sauce
1 lb. Soft Silken Tofu
1⁄2 C. Lemon Juice
1⁄4 C. chopped fresh dill
2 Pears, diced
3 T. Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, Paprika and Sugar to taste
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 T. Onion, grated
1⁄2 C. Water or Broth
White Wine, a dash
1⁄4 t. Cloves, ground

1. Puree tofu with lemon juice, water, dill, garlic, half of the olive oil, onion and salt, pepper, paprika and sugar (if necessary). Adjust flavors to taste and set aside to flavor up a bit.

2. Heat the rest of the oil in a saucepan and cook the pears with a bit of wine, salt, pepper, sugar, paprika and ground cloves with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until soft.

3. Add the pears to tofu mixture and adjust seasonings to taste.

Squash Latkes
These healthy delights are coupled with an exciting soul-inspired salsa that will allow you to have some fun in the kitchen.

3 C. Squash, julienne (crook neck, pattipan, zucchini, or other with edible skin)
1⁄2 C. Onion, grated
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 T. Pumpkin or Sunflower Seeds, toasted
1 t. Coriander Berries, crushed
1⁄2 t. Cardamom, ground
1 t. Chili Powder
1⁄2 C. Cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1⁄2 C. Flour (more as needed)
1 t. Corn or Potato Starch
3 or 4 T. Orange Juice

1. Mix the ingredients together and let stand for several minutes. Adjust seasonings. (As before, you may add some baking powder if you wish.)

2. Fry 1⁄4 C. or 1/3 C. lumps of batter in oil over medium heat. Flatten with a spatula, turning once, and cook until browned and done on both sides. Serve with sauce.

3. Grated orange peel and chopped nuts may be added. Shredded carrots, cauliflower or broccoli are also good additions.

Makes 12 to 16.

Cherry Pecan Salsa
1 C. Pecans, toasted and chopped
2/3 C. Cherries, pitted and halved
2 Fresno Chilies, minced (more to taste)
1 Bell Pepper, minced
1 White Onion, minced
1 t. Chili Powder
1 t. Paprika
1⁄2 C. Cilantro, chopped
2 T. Fresh Oregano or Sage, minced
1⁄2 t. Coriander, ground
1⁄2 t. Cumin Seed, whole and toasted
1/3 C. Orange Pulp, shredded or chopped
1/3 C. Olive Oil
1 T. Red Wine or Cider Vinegar
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Allspice, Lemon or Lime Juice and Sugar to taste
Sprinkle of Kirsch, Rum or Tequila

1. Mix ingredients together and allow flavors to steep for half an hour before serving. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Have a happy new year everyone, and best of luck in ’06!

Recipe of the month, tour information and occasional diatribe: www.webspawner.com/users/joshuaplague. Contact Joshua at lefsewagon@hotmail.com. His cookbooks are available at www.krecs.com.

 


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