Thanks to my two fantastic Jewish roomies in LA, when fall rolls around, I get excited for the Jewish holidays and their gift of out of this world food traditions.
Do you think I married a Jewish man by accident?! I think NOT.
Al’s favorite traditional Jewish foods include; matzo ball soup and potato latkes.
Last year I attempted matzo ball soup from scratch and accidentally added so many cloves that it was a bigger culinary bomb than anything I’ve ever attempted. This year I planned to redeem myself, but I’m suffering from a MAJOR case of preggo brain (32 weeks!) and ended up ordering from Manny’s Deli.
HOWEVER- I did re create my famous latkes which are honestly so stupid simple, that anyone can make them. And now I’ll share them with you.
The Wifey’s Shiska Potato Latkes
What You Need/Grocery List:
- a bag of frozen hash browns (they should be left out to thaw before starting your cooking)
- a small yellow onion
- two eggs
- vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- sour cream/greek yogurt and or apple sauce for dipping
- a strainer
- a slotted spoon
- a large plate and paper towels
What To Do:
- pour your vegetable oil until it’s about a half an inch in a large pan and heat on low/medium. you DONT want it to burn but it needs to pass the sizzle test when ready. (drop a piece of hash brown in there and if it sizzles then it’s ready to go)
- put your thawed bag of hash browns into a strainer, cover with a napkin or paper towel and smash them down till most of the water has drained
- chop your yellow onion into small pieces (you can also buy pre chopped onion)
- dump 3 tablespoons of flour into a bowl
- good job! now add your two eggs, and chopped onion, plus a dash of salt and pepper and stir it all up.
- it should mix pretty well and look like this. now add your hash browns and give them a bath of your egg mix
- now is a GREAT time to check your oil since we’re almost ready to start cooking.
- now is also a great time to get out a large plate and line it with paper towels for blotting.
- oil is perfect? great, use your hands and roll these little bad boys into little balls- about the same size as if you were making cookies. (not huge, but not tiny)
- now, CAREFULLY lower about 3 of the potato balls into the oil at a time. If you drop them, the oil will fly everywhere, ruin your cute outfit and burn like hell…so don’t. then flatten them into “pancakes” with your slotted spoon.
- let them cook for about two mins- please resist the urge to check them every 10 seconds or they will fall apart.
- after your 2 mins are up , then you are allowed to pick them up with your slotted spoon and take a look at the other side- are they golden brown? great- then flip them over. if not- wait another 30 seconds or so and check again.
- depending on how you and your love like them cooked, they should look something like this. if you prefer more well done, let them sit longer (duh).
- let the pancakes sizzle for around two mins on the other side, do a check and if they look ready, ONE AT A TIME- use your slotted spoon to lift them out (let the oil drain thru the spoon) and put them on the plate with paper towel, blot them.
oh hey, aren’t I pretty??
- you’ll want to serve these right away – unless you are cooking for a ton of people and in that case, cover them in foil to keep them warm
- serve them with dipper of your choice and watch everyone fall in love with you as they eat them. MAZEL.
our holiday table for two
Let’s be honest- baking terrifies me. I failed math all thru school so it makes sense that I wouldn’t be into something so precise.
BUT, I opened up requests to Alex’s co workers and I got a “banana nut bread!” from the peanut gallery . I am NOT one to turn down a challenge so I immediately accepted and pretended it would be a breeze.
Since it’s pumpkin season and people go nutty over pumpkin, I decided I’d add that to the bread, since these types of breads can be very dry and I figured the pumpkin may help that issue. I searched my cooking bible (Pintrest) and came up with this base recipe for a starting place.
Apparently the flour Gods felt like blessing me cause this stuff turned out pretty darn well.
typical Wifey mess and glass of Rose
I borrowed Martha Stewart’s recipe for the frosting, and added a pumpkin twist. And it really was pretty easy to make…so now, I’m sharing it with you.
this little beggar was dying to lick the spoon
Banana Nut Pumpkin Wifey Bread
What You Need:
- measuring devices- tsp, tbsp and 1 cup
- three or four bowls
- a whisk
- a loaf pan- I use disposable so I can give them away, bought from my local grocery store
- cooking spray
- a can of pumpkin- NOT THE PIE FILLING- it looks the same, but just get the 100% plain pumpkin
- 3 really ripe bananas. like brown, if you can’t find them and are in a pinch- buy what you can find and put them in a closed paper bag to help ripen them
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (throw them in your pre heated oven and put a pat of butter on top and let them bake for 5 mins or so)
- half a small tub of cream cheese and half a small tub of pumpkin cream cheese
- 8 tbs of butter (yes EIGHT)
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
What To Do:
- preheat your oven to 350
- spray your loaf pan with the cooking spray
- make your dry bowl of: flour, salt,pumpkin pie spice and baking soda
- in another bowl crack your eggs and sugar with a whisk until they are “fluffy” (I did for about 5 mins before my arm felt like it was going to fall off and it all worked out)
- add bananas to the fluffy bowl and mash ’em down
- add pumpkin, vanilla and sour cream to the fluffy bowl and mix until everything is one big happy batter
- slowly (or fold) add your dry bowl and the nuts if you’re using them…mixing as you do this to evenly distribute
- pour into your pan and bake for roughly 45 mins. You should be able to stick a fork in there to test and have it come out clean when it’s done
- let cool, then frost that bad boy up (or frost right away and throw in the freezer for 10 mins) and serve or stash for tomorrow’s breakfast!
What To Do For The Frosting:
- while your cake is baking’, combine your two cream cheeses into a bowl and use a spatula to mix and soften them until they are bffs
- throw the butter in the microwave for :15 seconds so it’s soft and then dump that in the bowl with the cream cheese as you keep stirring.
- Martha says to “sift” the powdered sugar in, but The Wifey ain’t got time for that- so I just added it and continued to stir and it turned out perfectly
- finally, add your vanilla and stir it all in there. at this point I was using a whisk to get the job done, and boy- did it!
I am not a food photog and when I take pics of food- they look weird so you will have to take my word for it when I tell you it’s a messy masterpiece
I’ll be making this soon for the YouTube Channel in case anyone needs a step by step (ooo baby) tutorial.