Cooking Kosher the New Way
by Jane Kinderlehrer
As a child brought up in a kosher home, changing to a vegetarian diet was not so difficult. I already had a restricted menu that was devoid of pork and shellfish, and dairy and meat meals were not mixed in any one meal, in according with Jewish dietary law. So I keep a couple of Jewish cookbooks on my kitchen shelf to get ideas or to find recipes not only for Jewish holidays, but also for vegetarian meals.
Every Jewish cookbook has recipes for meatless dishes using grains, beans and vegetables, fruit and dairy dishes, and pareve dishes. (Pareve foods are those that can be used with either a meat or dairy meal and these include eggs and fish, as well as fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans.)
Unfortunately, many commercial kosher foods are not healthy; they are heavily processed with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, as well as questionable additives, preservatives, and artificial colors. Fortunately, I have a copy of Jane KinderlehrerÃ¢â¬
The Introduction sets the tone of the book, because it is entitled Ã¢â¬ÅKosher is Not Enough.Ã¢â¬Â In this section the author explains the actual meaning of the word kosher, which literally means Ã¢â¬Åfit or proper to be used.Ã¢â¬Â Meat must be slaughtered in a certain way by a person trained to do this. There are other restrictions, which the book delineates, but for my purposes, the non-meat sections are my main interest. For example, Chapter Five is entitled “Expand Your Vegetable Horizons” and Chapter Fifteen is labeled “TOFU: The Pareve Wonder.” In browsing through the chapters, I think there may be more non-meat than meat chapters, which makes this a good recipe resource for me.
Perhaps the best part of this book is Jane KinderlehrerÃ¢â¬
For Hanukkah, I consulted two Jewish cookbooks: the one reviewed here and another one called The Gourmet Jewish Cook by Judy Zeidler, which I will review in a future posting, probably around Passover, because that cookbook has some interesting variations on a traditional food used at the Passover Seder. But for the December posting, I am printing Jane KinderlehrerÃ¢â¬
(This photo is from my kitchen, not from the book.)
5 medium-size unpeeled potatoes, well-scrubbed and cubed
1/4 cup wheat germ, whole wheat flour, or matzo meal
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste, or omit the salt and use herbal seasoning or a dash of cinnamon
Oil for frying*
In the bowl of a food processor, using the steel blade, blend all the ingredients (except the oil).
In a large frying pan, heat oil about 1/4 inch deep until it sizzles.
Drop the potato mixture by the tablespoon into the hot oil. Brown well on both sides, then drain on several layers of paper toweling. Serve the latkes piping hot with applesauce, sour cream, and yogurt.
*Note from Ellensue: When I fry, I use olive or macadamia oil, butter or coconut oil, whatever is available in my pantry or refrigerator at the time.
Yield: About 30 latkes, 6 to 8 servings
Baked Potato Latkes Variation: If youÃ¢â¬
Potato Kegel Variation: Pour the misture into 8 X 12 baking dish and place in a 350 degree F. oven for 45 minutes or until well browned. Cut into squares and serve piping hot.
Muffin Latkes Variation: Spoon the mixture into greased muffin tins and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degree F. (Check Kitchen Nutrition Recipe for my own recipe for potato-vegetable latke muffins.)
Note: You can freeze potato latkes, which will save you lots of hassle when you have a big crowd of latke-lovers to feed. After making the latkes, place them on a cookie sheet, freeze, then transfer to a plastic bag for easy storage. When you are ready to serve, arrange them on a cookie sheet and heat in a 450 degree F. oven for about 5 minutes.
Cooking Kosher the New Way is published by Jonathan David Publishers, Inc., MIddle Village, NY and was released in 1995.