Thursday, December 30, 2010


Tonight's dinner was supposed to be a Black Bean Soup that I read about on the Eats Well With Others blog. That plan quickly fell apart  because a) there was no mango juice to be had in this entire snow-struck town, and b) I realized that the recipe called for four ingredients that at least one member of my family won't go near (cooked peppers, cooked tomatoes, cilantro, and cloves). SIGH. I'll eat just about anything. But there are some picky eaters in my household.

The beans were soaking away happily so there was no turning back. (Not that I wanted to, I was pretty excited about the hearty bean soup thing, especially after braving the cold to find mango juice.) So I decided to create my own version. It turned out really good. If you care to check out the original recipe on Eats Well With Others,  you'll see lots of similarities (and MUCH prettier photos; mine just didn't come out very good).  Thanks for the inspiration, Joanne.

Black Bean Soup
The original recipe, on Eats Well With Others, recommends that you keep the water that the beans have cooked in and use it in the soup. I know that this technique makes for a tastier soup, but I find that draining the water and using a fresh batch in the soup makes the beans more digestible. If you're not sensitive to beans, feel free to use the cooking water. 

1 cup dry black beans, soaked overnight in cold water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp lime juice
Yogurt or sour cream (optional) for serving

Drain the beans and place in a medium stockpot covered with water. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about two hours until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large frying pan or shallow pot, heat the oil and then saute the  onion and carrot until softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the cumin and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Add the orange juice to the pan and cook uncovered on medium-low heat for 15 minutes longer. 

Pour the onion mixture into the stockpot with the cooked beans. Add enough water to cover the beans (it will be around three cups), plus the salt and cayenne. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook on low heat for about 1/2 hour, checking the water level occasionally. (Add more if needed.) 

Remove the pot from the heat and use an immersion blender or food processor to blend the soup until smooth.  Keep warm over low heat if needed. 

Right before serving, stir in the lime juice. Serve hot, garnished with yogurt or sour cream if desired. 

Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

4 comments

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I have to give my kids all the credit for tonight's fantastic creations. They were bored and (just a little) cranky. I had a headache and was in no mood to entertain them. So I set them loose in the kitchen and told them (in these exact words) to "leave me alone, I'm really not in the mood to bake or cook tonight."

About ten minutes into their escapades, they realized that we were out of eggs. (BAD Mommy.) In an effort to salvage the recipe, these ingenious modern-day kids decided to do a Google search for "egg substitute in cake." Voila. Did you know that there are at least a dozen things you can substitute for eggs in a pinch? They debated between applesauce and mayonnaise. My eight-year-old son loved the gross sound of the mayo but, in the end, applesauce prevailed.
















They substituted 2 tablespoons of applesauce for the 2 eggs in the original recipe. We held our breath for the entire twenty minutes that they baked. (Just kidding. We didn't.) They came out looking perfect, even more perfect than they do when I make them the 'right' way with real actual eggs.

Next up was the icing. In my words: "No way are you kids making icing at 8:30 at night." So, they improvised yet again and melted some chocolate chips with just a bit of canola oil to make it spread easy. (Sarah's idea.) They collected LITERALLY every topping I had in the cabinet: two varieties of sprinkles, sugar pearls, mini chocolate chips, and flower confetti. Wow. These cupcakes are more beautiful than anything I have ever made (which isn't saying very much, but they really are). And, they taste fantastic.
















Chocolate Cupcakes
This recipe makes about 24 cupcakes.

1/2 stick margarine
1/4 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons applesauce (or 2 eggs, if you prefer)
1 teaspoon coffee, dissolved in a little water
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups water


Preheat the oven to 350*. Combine the margarine, oil, sugar, vanilla, applesauce and coffee in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with a stand- or handheld-mixer for a couple of minutes until well combined. Turn off the mixer, and add the remaining ingredients. Turn it back onto low speed and mix for a couple of minutes longer, till well combined.


Pour the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake holder. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Prepare a simple icing by melting about a cup of chocolate chips in the microwave with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Spread the icing onto the cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles, chips, or whatever your heart desires.







Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

2 comments

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My friend Jill just tried my challah recipe and added a wonderful twist! She decorated the rolls with a combination of black and white sesame seeds! I'm posting her picture here for all of you to see. The black sesame seeds are a bit harder to find, but they are a wonderful touch. (You can also try poppy, if you like the taste.)

Jill's challahs. The one on the right has all black sesame
seeds. The one in middle is a mix of black and white. 

Do you decorate your challah or leave it unadorned? Share your tips here.

Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

6 comments

Saturday, December 25, 2010

This week, the hardest thing about making our chulent-of-the-week was getting the ingredients! This recipe, courtesy of my cousin Ley Taubs from Argentina, uses dried white corn. I'm sure there's lots of it to be had in Argentina, but it's not so simple in New Jersey, especially if you don't know what the ingredient is called in English!  (In case you are wondering, it's maiz blanco pisado in Spanish, which Google translated into "trodden white corn." Hmmm...try asking for trodden white corn at Shop Rite.)

Three supermarkets later, I got the goods. It turns out that Goya makes it and it's pretty easy to find. (They had it at all three supermarkets, but I just didn't know what I was looking for!)

White hominy corn, one of this week's chulent ingredients

Oops, there's a little person asking for Mommy's attention.

A closeup of the dried corn.

Once the main ingredient was secured, this chulent was a cinch. And, next to my mother's meat chulent, this is in next place for our favorite meat chulent! The dried corn is a lot like barley or wheat berries but has a lighter feeling, and a really nice taste.

Argentinian Meat Chulent
The corn and barley absorb quite a bit of water so make sure to put in plenty of water. My cousin Ley puts tomato sauce and honey in her version, but I left that out. Feel free to add those in if you want to experiment!


1/2 bag mixed chulent beans, soaked overnight and drained
2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
1 onion chopped
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 Idaho potatoes, cubed
1-2 pounds of flanken, preferably bone-in, cut in chunks
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup dried white hominy corn
2 teaspoons salt

In a large pot, heat the oil and then add the onions, potatoes, paprika, and garlic powder. Saute for about ten minutes until the vegetables are beginning to brown.

Add the flanken and saute for a few minutes longer.

Add the remaining ingredients plus plenty of water to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low. Leave the chulent simmering on low until Shabbos morning, or until you're ready to eat it, at least 24 hours if possible. Ley recommends uncovering the chulent a couple of hours before serving so the extra liquid cooks out and it's nice and dry.

Serve hot.

The chulent ingredients,
ready and waiting

Chopped potatoes and onions

Spiced onions and potatoes,
browning in the pot

Chopped flanken

Dried corn


Posted on Saturday, December 25, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

4 comments

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Challah braiding is one of those things that people can get very passionate about. Do you make your challah using three, four, or six strands? Do you bake your challah on baking sheets or in oval shaped challah pans? Water or egg? Fresh yeast or dry?

I make a four-braid challah, and I bake my challah on the heaviest baking sheets I can get my hands on. But I confess that I don't feel really passionate about my technique. When my eleven-year-old daughters braid the challah for me (which is almost every batch) one of them does it my way, and the other one prefers a three-strand braid.

You can read my challah recipe here. Tonight's topic is braiding, though. I asked Sarah and Malkie, my wonderfully helpful eleven-year-old twin daughters, to walk us through the process while I snapped away. Here's our lesson.

Step 1: Make your favorite challah dough. My recipe, for a sweet eggy challah, is here.

Step 2: Divide your challah into even portions. I make six challahs out of five pounds of flour.

Step 3: Divide each portion of dough once again into four even portions.You don't need to bring out the measuring scale, but do try to make them as even as possible.
One portion of dough, divided into four even pieces.

Step 4:  Roll each portion of dough into a long rope that is not at all lumpy. (My daughters do a much better job at this than I do. I rush this part and mine come out looking like a snake who just feasted on whole eggs.) We make ours about 12 inches long but you can make them longer if you like long and skinny challah, or shorter if you prefer yours more wide and squattish. 


Sarah's delicate hands rolling the dough into ropes.

Step 5: Once you have four ropes that are pretty even in length, line them up next to each other and pinch them together at the top.

Step 6: Take strand 1 and put it over strand 2, then under strand 3, and then over strand 4.

Step 7: Next, take strand 2 (which is now the first in line) and put it over strand 3, under strand 4, and over strand 1.

Steps 8 till whatever: Keep at it until you've worked your way through the entire length of each of the four strands.

Pinch the ends together tightly.

Finally, let it rise and brush with egg as directed by your recipe.


Malkie's challahs all in a row (these are three-strand braids)

Bake as directed.


See my post on Yeast Spotting.

Braiding on FoodistaBraiding

Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

6 comments

Monday, December 20, 2010

Today started and ended with a throbbing headache. But the saving grace was sandwiched between the two headaches: a gratifying meal built around last night's leftovers that tasted like something right out of a gourmet cafe (if I do say so, myself!).

Over the weekend - anticipating a really hectic work week - I baked two loaves of fantastically soft bread. Amazingly, a half a loaf was leftover and it made for a wonderful dinner for me and my husband tonight.

I don't really have a recipe to share here. Here's how I built dinner.




First, a batch of Maple Oatmeal Bread. Really, any favorite bread will do but it's got to be homemade or REALLY good store-bought stuff. My Sandwich Bread or any favorite of yours is just fine.



Slice the bread good and thick. I made mine almost an inch thick. You don't want it to get dried out when you toast it.



Let the toast cool for a couple of minutes so it doesn't melt the cheese. Spread it with some mayonnaise (confession: I used store bought) and layer with your favorite sliced cheese. I couldn't decide between mozzarella and cheddar so I made one of each.



Top with sliced tomatoes or roasted peppers, or just serve it next to a simple salad. (I made a salad out of baby spinach, sliced grape tomatoes and a few jarred olives.) Sit back and enjoy immediately.

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

No comments

Sunday, December 19, 2010

















I promised myself I'd eat just two slices, but there is something irresistible about this bread. It's soft and chewy and has just the right amount of sweetness. Four slices and lots of butter later, I found myself staring at a cutting board piled with crumbs and a much smaller loaf of bread than it had started with. In short, this bread is wonderfully addictive. Try it!

Last week, I blogged about my homemade sandwich bread. A friend suggested I try an Irish Oatmeal Bread from Cooking Light. I tried it today - with a few changes (maple syrup instead of sugar, regular oats instead of steel cut) - and it was a big hit. Thanks, Ley! This is a really soft, mild bread that's wonderful fresh as well as leftover. Don't eat this bread too warm, though, or it'll fall apart. Here's my modified recipe for you to try.

Maple Oatmeal Bread
This is quick work if you have a stand mixer. Serve this bread with eggs, sliced cheese, or simply with some butter, honey, or jam.

2 1/4  cups  boiling water
1 3/4  cups  raw oats
1  tablespoon  salt
3  tablespoons  butter, margarine, or canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
a drizzle of honey
1 tablespoon dry yeast (a little more than one packet)
1/2  cup wrist-water temperature water
3 1/2  cups  whole wheat flour, divided 
3  cups  all-purpose flour

Combine the boiling water, oats, salt, butter, and maple syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix well with a spoon. Let the mixture stand for about 25 minutes until it comes close to room temperature. (If it's too hot, it will kill the yeast.) Meanwhile, make a sponge. Mix the honey and yeast with the 1/2 cup wrist-water temperature water. Let it stand for about 5 minutes or until foamy and then stir in 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.

Let this rest for about 25 minutes, too, while the oatmeal mixture does the same. 

Combine the oat mixture and the sponge and begin mixing in a stand mixer. Gradually add the remaining whole wheat and white flour and knead for about 5 minutes until well combined and elastic. (You may need a bit of extra flour. The dough shouldn't stick to the sides of the bowl.)

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Cover and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.  Punch the dough down and divide it in half. Use a rolling pin or the palms of your hands to flatten each half into a rough oval shape about 8 inches wide in the center. Then, just roll the oval up jelly-roll style (lengthwise) and place each one, seam sides down, in a 9-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Let the loaves rise for another hour or so.

About 15 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350* and bake for about 45 minutes, till the loaves are golden and sound kind of hollow when you tap them. Cool the loaves on wire racks (this is important; they will get soggy if you let them cool in the pans) for at least two hours before serving. Note that this bread freezes wonderfully. Just wrap the loaves well in foil after they have cooled thoroughly and freeze for up to a month.

See my post on Yeast Spotting.
I shared this post on Countdown to 2011!




Linking this up to Koab Recipe Exchange.

Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

2 comments

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Well, we just finished the fourth week of our chulent (a.k.a. cholent) mission. (I'm trying a new recipe every week, as long as my friends continue providing!) This week was somewhat of a fiasco. I had planned to try my cousin's South American Chulent, which uses dried white corn. I thought I remembered seeing dried corn at the supermarket, but the one I visited on Thursday didn't have any. I already had the meat, so we fell back on a tried-and-true recipe this week: my mother's chulent! And we had to admit that this is our favorite of the meat chulent's so far. (Esther Shemtob's Hamin is the only one we've tried with lamb, and that's also a definite 'keeper.')

Here's the recipe for our long-standing family favorite. The cumin and chili powder are unusual but REALLY good. Thanks, Mommy!

Mommy's Meat Chulent
1/2 bag mixed chulent beans
1 cup pearl barley
3 Idaho potatoes, cubed
1-2 pounds of flanken
1 onion chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt

Soak the beans overnight. Drain and combine with the remaining ingredients. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low. Leave the chulent simmering on low until Shabbos morning, or until you're ready to eat, at least 24 hours if possible. Serve hot.

Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

2 comments

Monday, December 13, 2010

homemade bread, part whole wheat
















This is one of our very favorite weeknight meals. I know that homemade bread sounds intimidating. But if you have a stand mixer, it's one of the easiest things to make, and is so popular with kids. Since I use a lot of whole wheat flour, and all natural ingredients, I feel really good about serving this for dinner along with eggs or cheese, and some fresh salad. It's one of the few dinners that ALL the kids enjoy.

I have a few bread recipes but this is the one I return to most often because it's easy and always works. It's from Molly Katzen's Enchanted Broccoli Forest, one of the most well worn books on my cookbook shelf.

Molly Katzen's Basic Bread Recipe (with some tweaks)
Please use dry yeast for this recipe, even if you normally use fresh. It's so much more reliable. I buy it in bulk at Costco and it lasts for months in the fridge. Be sure not to use the Rapid Rise variety. Just the ordinary dry yeast.

SPONGE:
2 cups wrist-water temperature
1 tablespoon or 1 package dry yeast
a drop of honey or molasses
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

MIX: 

4 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
4 more cups whole wheat flour
3 cups white flour

First, make the sponge: In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Stir in the honey or molasses. Let it sit for a few minutes till it's bubbling and then stir in the flour with a whisk or wooden spoon.

Let the sponge sit, covered with a clean dishtowel, for 45 minutes to an hour. If you have more time, you can put it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

When you're ready, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl in the order listed. Use a stand mixer to knead the dough for about 5 minutes till it's nice and smooth. You may need a bit extra flour - add it if you think you need it, just a little bit at a time, till the dough is smooth and doesn't stick to your hands. Take care not to add too much, though, or the dough will get dry.

Cover the dough with a clean dry dish towel and allow it to rise in a warm spot (I use my bedroom, the warmest spot in my house!) for about two hours (more or less).

Grease two loaf pans well with oil, margarine/butter, or some Pam. Divide the dough in half and use a rolling pin or the palms of your hands to flatten each half into a rough oval shape about 8 inches wide in the center. Then, just roll the oval up jelly-roll style (lengthwise) and place it into your prepared pans.

Let the loaves rise for another 45 minutes or so. About 15 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 375* and bake for about 45 minutes, till the loaves are golden and sound kind of hollow when you tap them. Cool the loaves on wire racks (this is important; they will get soggy if you let them cool in the pans) for at least 1/2 hour before serving. Note that this bread freezes wonderfully. Just wrap them well in foil after they have cooled thoroughly and freeze for up to a month. When you're ready to use them, unwrap them and let them sit at room temperature for a few hours. Warm up in a 350* oven for about 10 minutes to refresh the bread.

See my post on Yeast Spotting.


Posted on Monday, December 13, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

7 comments

Sunday, December 12, 2010

roasted string beans with onions
















Here's a simple formula for string beans, along with three variations to create three unique dishes. This is standard Shabbos fare in our home, usually the onion variation. Prep time is under five minutes, and these can be eaten hot out of the oven, or at room temperature a few hours later.

Do you have any favorite string bean techniques? Share them in the Comments section below. I'm always on the lookout for new ways to prepare this favorite vegetable. 

Roasted String Beans, Three Ways
My local Costco sells two pound bags of french string beans which I make sure to buy whenever I can. French string beans are hands-down the best way to prepare this recipe. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan, or your beans will steam instead of roasting. If you want to double the recipe, use a second pan.
 
1 pound string beans, preferably French, trimmed if necessary
2 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola
1/8 teaspoon salt
a dash of black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350*. Pour the oil onto a large baking sheet that will hold all the beans in one layer. Add the string beans, salt, and pepper and mix well.

Then, add one of the following:
  • For the ONION version, add one sliced yellow onion
  • For the GARLIC version, add six garlic cloves, cut in half both lengthwise and crosswise
  • For the CHINESE version, add six scallions, coarsely chopped
Mix well  and roast for about 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the beans are just beginning to brown.

Remove from the oven and while still hot, add one of the following:

  • For the ONION or GARLIC version, add 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • For the CHINESE version, add 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Mix well and either serve immediately, or allow to sit at room temperature for up to a few hours before serving.

Posted on Sunday, December 12, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

2 comments

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This Shabbos was the third week of our chulent (a.k.a. cholent) mission. (I'm trying a new recipe every week, as long as my friends continue providing!) This week, we tried another flanken chulent. This one has no beans, but lots of barley, potatoes, and meat. Once again, it was a hit with the kids, especially on Friday when it was a bit less cooked. But I'm beginning to think that my husband and I are so accustomed to my turkey chulent that we're simply not going to find a meat chulent that isn't too heavy for us. The kids are loving this experiment, though. I just may end up making two chulents every week after this is over: a rich meat chulent for the kids, and a lighter turkey version for us.

The jury's still out on the favorite recipe so far. The adults really liked Esther Shemtob's Hamin and the kids are split between this one and Ayala Cohen's. I'll keep at it till we find one that gets unanimously high reviews. Please help me by posting your recipes in the comments section below. If you don't have a real recipe, just list the ingredients and I'll figure the rest out.

Sarah Stampler's Meat Chulent
Sarah's version includes beer and barbecue sauce but a few members of my family wouldn't touch it if they had even the slightest suspicion that the chulent had beer in it. My husband and I are finding the barbecue sauce flavor a bit strong for our tastes. I left those two ingredients out, but feel free to add them in if you like. One last comment: Sarah says that it's really important to cook this chulent in a pot on the stove (with a blech, for Shabbos), and not in a crock pot. I used to be dead set against crock pots, too, but lately I find that the even cooking is really a pleasure. On the stove, it's easy to go wrong if you leave the flame slightly too low or high. So, I'd say that you can feel free to switch this recipe to a crock pot if that's your preference.

2 cups pearl barley
About ten whole garlic cloves
3 Idaho potatoes, cubed
1-2 pounds of flanken
some chopped fresh cilantro (I used just a little bit; I must admit it was scary!)
2 onions chopped
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2-3 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups very sweet red wine (I used Kedem Cream Malaga)

Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot, in the order listed above. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low. Leave the chulent simmering on low until Shabbos morning, or until you're ready to eat, at least 24 hours if possible. This chulent is especially good on Friday afternoon / night, too, when it's a bit less cooked. Serve hot. 

Posted on Saturday, December 11, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

5 comments

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Pear Apple Cranberry Crisp

















This post isn't so much a recipe as a formula. A formula for a wonderful, EASY crisp which you can make with just about ANY fruit. Serve it for dessert (with vanilla ice cream if at all possible) or as a side dish next to meat or chicken. I make it almost every week and we never get tired of it because I use a different combination of fruit every week. For this week's crisp, I used three pears, two apples, and about a cup of cranberries. I mixed in some extra sugar to balance the tartness of the cranberries.

Any-Fruit Crisp
This is a basic formula which you can use with lots of different combinations of fruits. I mostly use fresh seasonal fruit but I've also had really good results with frozen cranberries,cherries, and blueberries. My favorite combinations: 
  • pears, apples, and cranberries
  • peaches, nectarines, and blueberries
  • apples (granny smith or any other firm favorites)
  • apples and pears
  • strawberries, blueberries, and apples
  • plums and apples
  • peaches, apples, and cherries

about 6 cups of your favorite fruit, pitted, peeled and sliced as necessary (see introductory note for some suggestions)
2 tablespoons flour
juice of one lemon
1-2 tablespoons sugar, optional, if the fruit is tart or if you like a sweeter crisp
1 stick margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup pecans or slivered almonds, broken into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 350*.

Combine the prepared fruit, lemon juice, flour and salt in a Pyrex pie plate. Mix well. (Here's my favorite on Amazon.)

In a mixing bowl, combine the margarine, brown sugar, oatmeal, flour and nuts . Crumble the mixture with your fingers to make a coarse crumb. Scatter the crumbs evenly over the fruit. Bake for about an hour, till the top is beginning to brown.

Serve warm or refrigerate for up to three days. If you are refrigerating it, bring it back to room temperature before serving. 

Posted on Thursday, December 09, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

5 comments

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

a homemade Chanukah donut
A freshly fried homemade donut

















Here is a wonderful Sephardic Chanukah treat I discovered last year. These really aren't so much donuts as sweet fried pillows of dough. They're so much easier than the traditional donut recipes where you have to roll out and shape the dough (and fill or ice the donuts, if you’re ambitious). This recipe takes just a few minutes of prep, plus I think it’s a lot tastier!

I served these at tonight's Chanukah get-together, intending it mostly for the kids (the adults had pecan pie) but we adults enjoyed it plenty. The platter was licked clean!

Sephardic Chanukah Donuts
You'll want to be sure to serve these fresh, within a few minutes of frying. 


2 teaspoons of dry yeast
1 cup water
1 t sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
2 cups flour
2 cups oil

First, make the dough: Combine the yeast, water, sugar and salt. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. Add the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon or in a stand mixer. Let rise for two hours.

While the dough rises, make a topping. Here are a few choices; choose ONE.
  • Make a simple dessert syrup by combining 3 cups sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice in a saucepan. Put in a little lemon zest or rose water if you like. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, till thick.
  • Another good option (this is our favorite) is a simple cinnamon-sugar mix. I use 1 tablespoon sugar for a ½ cup sugar, but you might like yours more or less cinnamon-y.  I make a bowl of it and put it in the center of the table for dipping.
  • Sprinkle the donuts with confectioner’s sugar.
Next, deep fry the donuts: Heat the oil to about 350 degrees. (You can drop a bit of the dough in to test it. It should puff up and sizzle.) Drop the dough into the hot oil 1 teaspoon at a time and fry till golden, flipping halfway through. You’ll probably need about a minute per side, but it depends on the exact temperature of the oil, so watch the puffs carefully.

Drain on paper towels and serve warm. Right before serving, sprinkle the donuts with dessert syrup, confectioner’s sugar, or cinnamon-sugar mix.

See my post on Yeast Spotting.


Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010 by Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

2 comments