Okay, not a perfect rhyme. But close enough.
After taking a few years to become an occasionally competent home cook, I’m finally starting to find my creativity stride to create recipes that are fully my own. What I mean by that is, recipes with a story and a compilation of ingredients that can only be traced back to me.
When I first started writing recipes, it’d be slight alterations to the recipes that most inspired me in my sudden litany of cookbooks. Usually, I’d add cinnamon and honey where it applies. Maybe a minced apple. I like what I like.
But today, I have a couple of new recipes to share that are wholly my own! (My own, within reason. Every recipe gets its building blocks from another recipe.)
First, Food52 let me write about and share a recipe for my Latacones (Latkes + Patacones). I’m especially honored they wanted to share this recipe because there are somewhere around a billion latke recipes that already exist on the internet. Even more when you include “potato pancakes” in your search. You can find my recipe here.
Now it wouldn’t surprise me if someone else out there in the world has combined grated plantains with grated potatoes and onions and fried them up into potato pancakes. But it would surprise me if someone else did that because they learned how to make patacones in Costa Rica from their time living there before years later incorporating that knowledge into a latke recipe for celebrating Hanukkah in Germany during a time of year when the mere thought of being back in Costa Rica, sipping a cold can of Imperial on a Puerto Viejo beach, is enough to get you through another sadistically gray day in Berlin. That’s what Latacones are for me.
Something else that’s been even longer in the works is this story and recipe for Sufganimades (Israeli sufganiyot + Greek loukoumades) with Delicious Magazine. The recipe is a combination of the dominant culinary cultures in our kitchen––Jewish and Greek. Sufganiyot are fried doughnuts stuffed with jelly traditionally eaten during Hanukkah. In Germany, they’re also known as Krapfen, and yes, Berliner. (No, Germans didn’t think President Kennedy was calling himself a jelly doughnut when he said, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”)
Loukoumades are fried chunks of dough, often coated in a lemony-cinnamon glaze before serving. They’re a popular street food snack or dessert in Greece. Although sufganiyot have generally become the supreme leader of Hanukkah doughnuts, I have read that Greek Jews ate loukoumades to celebrate the holiday. (I guess any ole fried dough will do to celebrate the miracle.)
My recipe leans more in the sufganiyot direction, but I’d never seen a recipe that immediately dipped the fried dough into a glaze as you would loukoumades. (I’m sure it exists, so you don’t need to prove me wrong.) So in honor of our culinary cultures and lighting the candles together for eight nights, I created Sufganimades.
FYI: The link above will take you to the recipe, but you’ll have to get a copy of the magazine for the whole story of why I started celebrating Hanukkah. I should be getting a link from the editor shortly to allow people to buy a one-off issue with worldwide shipping. I’ll share it over social media whenever it comes in.
In other news…
I’m catching up on some overdue writing from the summer. Since I last sent this out, I’ve got a piece on our trip to Gdansk, a Potato Lentil Soup recipe, my overnight train journey from Sighet to Bucharest (video included), a roundup of my heritage visit to Sighet, and a roundup of things to do in Bucharest (running video included).
This could very well be my last newsletter of 2021. Assuming that’s the case, I hope you all find ways to stay happy and healthy as 2022 inches nearer. Now I’m off to fry up some Sufganimades before heading over yet again to the COVID test center for another Q-tip up my schnozz so I can go to our Hanukkah party this evening.