January 12, 2015

Food, Family and Tradition by Lynn Kirsche Shapiro

My rating: 4 of 5 spoons

This is part cookbook, part memoir and completely inspiring. What began as finishing her father's autobiography and publishing her mother's recipes ended up as a lovely cookbook and a tribute to all Holocaust survivors. Pull up a chair and prepare to be inspired by this delightful book!

I love the layout of this book. It begins with the family's story and has sections on everything from kosher wines to Jewish holidays. The recipe section has lovely tidbits sprinkled throughout--everything from photos to traditions, stories and remembrances. As for the recipes themselves, you will find everything from Latkes (see below) to Poached Salmon, Candied Carrots, Brisket, Boiled Tongue, Israeli Salad, Traditional Potato Kugel, Cheese Danish and Baked Apples.

Surprisingly enough, I had never actually made latkes before, so I decided to try my hand at them. They turned out quite nicely, though grating them is rather labor intensive. If I make them again, I’ll probably use the food processor.

This is a lovely cookbook that is as interesting to read as it is to cook from. I definitely recommend it!

I received a copy of this book from The Cherry Press for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

They may not be the prettiest, but they are yummy!

Potato Latkes

4 med russet potatoes*
2 lg eggs
½ t salt, or to taste (mine needed more salt)
1/8 t freshly grated black pepper, optional
Vegetable oil as needed for frying

Grate the potatoes into a medium bowl using the second finest side of a box grater, or use the food processor fitted with the metal blade. Chop potatoes into chunks; grate finely by pulsing, but do not puree.

Transfer potatoes and their juices to a medium bowl. Add the eggs and salt. Add pepper if using.

In a 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat ¼ inch of oil. When a drop of water sizzles and evaporates immediately, the pan is hot. Drop latke batter by ¼ c ladles or large spoon carefully into the frying pan. Fry on one side until edges are crispy and golden; about 3 minutes. Turn once and fry until cooked through and crispy on the other side.

Transfer latkes to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat using remaining batter, adding more oil if necessary.

*A medium russet potato is 2¼ by 3¼ inches. If the potatoes are very large, use 1 egg per potato.

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