Recipes: Chanukah Latkes and Brisket

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Editor’s note: Mindy Schreff is a longtime Maplewood resident, mother of two grown sons, and Director of the Linda and Rudy Slucker Religious School at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange.

She is also a fabulous cook, to which the The Village Green can personally attest!

My family’s must have recipes for Chanukah are brisket and latkes.

We like our latkes the traditional way: Potatoes and onions and fried in oil!
This year I made them two days ahead, and they were still delicious, although nothing beats them right out of the pan!

Latkes (This will feed 10 people with a few left over)

4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes- I wash them but don’t peel them
2 large onions
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
I use canola oil for frying

Shred or puree (your choice) the potatoes in a food processor in batches, removing each batch to a large bowl. Squirt with a bit of lemon juice if you don’t want them to turn brown.

Mix all of the other ingredients together and process until blended. Add to the bowl of shredded potatoes and mix well.

Heat a pan or two with oil and wait until it is hot. Use about 1/4 cup of batter for each latke, leaving some space between them. Flatten a bit as you place each one into the pan. Fry until they are really brown around the edges and then flip over. Drain on paper towels that have been placed on a paper supermarket bag. To reheat if they are made ahead or frozen: Place them on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 350- bake for about 10=12 minutes until heated through and crispy.

Brisket (this feeds 4- 6 people; I always double or triple it)

1 brisket- first cut, weighing 4-5 pounds
2 envelopes onion soup mix
2 jars of chili sauce
2 T. vinegar- any kind
1 T. salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix soup mix, chili sauce, vinegar and salt together to make a sauce. Pour some of the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Put brisket on top, with the fatty side facing up. Pour the rest of the sauce to cover the brisket. Use heavy duty foil to cover tightly, or several layers of regular foil.

Bake for three hours, remove from heat and open up to cool so you can slice it. Slice against the grain. Return to the oven and cover again, cooking for 1 hour.

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