Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hot Jewish Potato Pancakes

Here is what Mum and I had for lunch today.

374. Char Siu 1
375. Char Siu 2
376. Latkes (Basics etc.)

Nigella has 2 recipes for char siu (AKA glazed roast pork loin, Chinese style) in the Low Fat chapter. She suggests making up char siu in advance, slicing it, and stashing it in the freezer to use when you want to add some meat to your low-fat supper. (e.g. soup noodles etc). I made both char siu marinades last night, and let the pork loins marinate overnight.

The first marinade contains:
- soy sauce
- tomato ketchup
- hoisin sauce
- sweet sherry
- honey
- dark muscovado sugar

I had all these ingredients in my pantry.

Marinade ingredients (1)

The 2nd marinade seems to just be made up of random shit that Nigella had lying around her fridge. It contains:
- soy sauce
- prune juice
- mushroom ketchup (huh??)
- miso
- mirin
- sesame oil
- garlic
- light muscovado sugar

I used regular ketchup instead of mushroom ketchup, and coca cola for prune juice (it was a long shot, but I just wanted something sweet. And hey, it worked for the ham).

char siu marinade (1 on the left, 2 on the right)

Today, I put the loins in the oven (200C for 15 minutes, then 160C for 30 minutes), and got on with the latkes. I do realize the total inappropriateness of having latkes (i.e. a hot Jewish potato pancake) with roast pork… but I just really, really need to get through these recipes right now. Besides, a latke is a “hot Jewish potato pancake” – there is nothing I don’t like about that description. How could I resist?

So to make latkes, you need to grate up a few potatoes (using a processor, natch)…

grated potato

...then drain the potato pieces, and mix them with some chopped onion, flour (or matzah meal), egg and salt.

Then you just gotta fry the pancakes in hot oil for about 5 minutes a side. I love frying food, it is just so much fun.

I believe I can fry


Here’s the char siu. Both marinades were pretty decent, even the weird one with the coke in it. I wouldn’t ever use them as a substitute for the real, red-glazed, deliciously greasy char siu that you find in Hong Kong BBQ shops, but for the purpose they were intended (addition of protein to low-fat meals), they are fine.

char siu

Ooh, but those latkes! They’re fantastic! So crispy and oily and totally compulsive.


They’re good plain, but I also served the latkes with cream cheese and smoked salmon, which was brilliant. Cream cheese + fried potato and onion = the same flavour combo as in sour cream and onion flavoured chips. In other words, I was in flavour country. It’s a big country.

smoked salmon on latkes

Check it out, I folded the smoked salmon pieces just like I used to at my old job at the buffet restaurant. Man, I remember having to fold hundreds of pieces of salmon a night, and arranging them on huge expensive glass platters to feed the greedy greedy crowds. It was such a crap job.

But onto dessert - the lemon balm and Sauternes jelly which I made last night. After lunch, I unmoulded the jelly, and ate it with my mum. We drowned it in cream, and it was lovely. Very refreshing and light. However, it was unexpectedly alcoholic, which is why I think it didn’t set very hard. Maybe next time I’ll use more sugar syrup and less alcohol. Either way, it tasted good.

sauternes and lemon balm jelly


Lady M said...

Mmmmmm, latkes! Those look sooooo good, almost wish it was Chanukah again!!
We eat this with cold cold sour cream - yumaroo! I don't get how people eat it with applesauce - blech. But post-project you should try N's apple pancakes in Feast - yumaroo again!
Anyway it's 8:40am here and I am looking at those pancakes and seriously drooling! Good work chica!

Lady M said...

p.s. and what on earth is mushroom ketchup????

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the latkes look soooo good! I eat them sometimes w/applesause, Metooka, but sour cream, too!
Wish I could help you on the potato-eating front, Sarah, I'm good at it.

Randi said...

As a jew, I feel very qualified to comment on the latka's. I'm surprised Nigella has you use the processor. My mom and everyone I know always uses a box grater. We serve them with sour cream and applesauce. Yummy.