Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Misadventures in Cooking: Eat Something Fried, It's Hanukkah!

His Hanukkah cookie house decorating skillz are off the hook.
Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, so naturally I spent this morning barreling down the aisles of my local Target store in an attempt to both start and finish my holiday shopping all at once.  It's been so long since I've actually left my couch to go shopping that I'd forgotten how horrible it is out in the real world during "the most wonderful time of year".  Honestly, it's like every single crazy person in the city of Los Angeles decided to do their holiday shopping this morning.

I thought it might be fun to get you into the holiday spirit by writing a little Hanukkah ditty about all the sites I saw during my expedition this morning...

On the first day of Hanukkah my Target gave to me: 
a drunk guy in the toy section feeling up Rockstar Barbie.

On the second day of Hanukkah my Target gave to me: 
two women coming to blows over the last set of Star of David dish towels.

On the third day of Hanukkah my Target gave to me: 
a kid with the stomach flu throwing up in aisle 12.

On the fourth day of Hanukkah my Target gave to me:
a homeless man sleeping on the blow-up mattress display. 

On the fifth day of Hanukkah my Target gave to me: 
a toddler pooping in his training potty while riding in a cart. 

On the sixth day of Hanukkah my Target gave to me: 
a near death parking lot experience in which I was almost run down by Kia Spectra.  

On the seventh day of Hanukkah my Target gave to me: 
some truly excellent makeup tips from the Transvestite prostitute shopping in the Cover Girl aisle.

On the eighth (and final) day of Hanukkah my Target gave to me: 
proof that there's a reason I only shop online;
 if I'm going to put up with this sh*t, I better be drinking wine. 

If you're celebrating the Festival of Lights, I hope you have a wonderful Hanukkah.  As a special gift to you this year, I'm sharing my no-fail, gluten free latke recipe.  Remember, the secret to crispy latkes is to make sure the oil is really hot.

Crispy Latkes 

2 lbs. russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
1 medium onion
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup superfine brown rice flour
salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying (I use Trader Joe's canola oil)

Peel the potatoes and put into cold water.  Using a grater or a food processor coarsely grate the potatoes and onions.  Place the grated veggies in a fine-mesh strainer or tea towel and squeeze out all the water over a bowl.  The potato starch will settle to the bottom; carefully pour off the water and save the starch.

Mix the grated potato and onion with the potato starch.  Add the eggs, flour, and salt and pepper.

Pour about three inches of vegetable oil into a deep frying pan.  Be sure and heat the oil until it's really hot (test it by throwing one string of potato into the oil - when it sizzles fast and furiously, it's ready).  Take 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten as best you can.  Once flat, use a spoon to drop into the oil.  The latkes cook quickly, so keep an eye on them and turn them over after two to three minutes.  When pancakes are finished, remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.  Serve immediately with applesauce and sour cream.

Here's a helpful tip for kitchen morons like myself: don't overfill your frying pan with pancakes, because then the oil will overflow and catch fire.  If you do inadvertently start a latke fire, remember to only use salt to put out an oil fire, not water.

Have a happy and safe Hanukkah, my lovelies.  May your latkes be crisp, your brisket tender, and your wine glass never empty!

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