Chanukah & The Silver Platter: Simple to Spectacular, Family Friendly Recipes

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Chanukah, the Festival of Lights,  is only a few days away.  It commemorates the    miracle of  oil, a one day supply which burned for 8 nights. It is a holiday filled with games for kids and plenty of food (much of it fried to celebrate the oil).  One traditional food is potato latkes.  You simply cannot celebrate Chanukah without latkes.

If you’re looking for inspiration  in the kitchen, there’s still time to run out and pick up a copy of the new cookbook, The Silver Platter: Simple to Spectacular, Family Friendly Recipes by Daniella Silver with tips and techniques by Norene Gilletz  (ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications).

Better yet, buy it as a Chanukah gift if you’re looking to be in someone’s good books. The Silver Palate is a kosher cookbook but it’s quite unlike any other I’ve come across.  There are 160 recipes, each with a beautiful full-page photo which makes you  want to run into the kitchen to cook up a storm.  Simply put, the preparations are showstoppers.

It’s a fresh modern take on Jewish cooking  –  but that may be the wrong way to describe the book as while it does have some traditional foundation (of course it has brisket recipes – how about a Balsamic Braised brisket? ), many preparations (think Edamame, Corn & Black Bean Salad or  Mango Chicken with Leeks & Red  Peppers) would be welcome on anyone’s table. Daniella has partnered with Norene Gilletz, who has long been known as a cooking maven,  to come up with creative offerings with a huge number of tips and general cooking info.

Each recipe  is accompanied, along with nutritional information,  by detailed info such as whether you can freeze the dish, whether it’s gluten-free or free of dairy products and various substitutions.

Here’s a sampling of  latkes from the Silver Platter along with a delicious salad to  serve alongside. They’ve been reproduced with permission from the copyright holders, ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications.

 

Parsnip Potato Latkes

Parsnip Potato Latkes

Yields 12- 15 large latkes

1 lb/500 g parsnips, peeled
(2-4, depending on size)
1 large potato, peeled
(preferably Idaho/russet)
1 medium onion
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
 (or gluten-free flour with xanthan gum)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
grapeseed or vegetable oil, 
for frying

Sour Cream Dill Topping
11/2 cups sour cream 
or Greek yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
(preferably fresh)
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
freshly ground black pepper
additional dill for garnish

Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor fitted with the shredding disk, shred parsnips, potato, and onion, using medium pressure. Transfer vegetables to a large colander and press firmly to drain excess liquid.

Place veggies into a large bowl. Add eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and dill. Mix well.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, drop large spoonfuls of batter into hot oil to form pancakes, flattening them slightly with the back of the spoon. Do not crowd the skillet. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden.

Drain well on paper towels. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and place into oven to keep warm.

Topping: Stir together sour cream, lemon juice, dill, and pepper. Place into a serving bowl; garnish with additional dill. Serve with latkes.

Norene’s Notes
Latkes freeze well. To reheat, place frozen latkes onto a large baking sheet. Bake, uncovered,
at 400°F for 10-15 minutes, or until hot and crispy. If the latkes weren’t frozen, reheating time will be slightly less.

Nutrition information per latke (with sour cream):
•    Calories:  139
•    Protein: 3 grams
•    Fat: 7 grams
•    Saturated fat: 1  gram
•    Carbohydrate:  32  grams
•    Dietary fibre:  5 grams
•    Sodium:  51  milligrams

Red Cabbage & Kale Salad

 

SilverPlatter-cabbage and kale salad

Yields 8 servings

Massaging kale transforms the leathery leaves into a sweet, delicate salad.

1 medium bunch kale (about 1 lb/500 g)
1 pkg (16 oz/500 g) sliced red cabbage
1 can (14 oz/400 g) sliced hearts of palm, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds (see Norene’s Notes, below)
Dressing
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp honey or  pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper

Wash and dry kale. Remove and discard tough stalks and center veins. Massage kale with your fingertips for about 5 minutes, until leaves have wilted. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
Combine kale with cabbage and hearts of palm in a large bowl. Cover and chill.
Dressing: Combine dressing ingredients in a glass jar; seal tightly and shake well. Refrigerate.
Toss salad with dressing shortly before serving. Top with sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

Norene’s Notes
To toast sunflower or pumpkin seeds, spread in a 9-inch pie plate and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant.

If you have both sunflower and pumpkin seeds on hand, use a combination.

Nutrition information per serving
•    Calories: 189
•    Protein: 8 grams
•    Fat:  12 grams
•    Saturated fat: 2  grams
•    Carbohydrate:  18 grams
•    Dietary fibre: 5   grams
•    Sodium:  720  milligrams

Up next: I’ll repost my baked latke recipe tomorrow along with my rationale as to why they really should be low fat.

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Book Review, Recipes

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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