latke hotdish

Made a latke hotdish because I couldn’t not, right?? And also because hotdish Hanukkah is the theme of this year’s holiday party. I probably won’t do this ever again unless you pay me a million dollars but that’s just meant to say more about my current overwhelming desire to be lazy, nothing about whether or not this is good or not. 

This is in fact very good!!! It’s meat and potatoes at its best: hella braised brisket and fried potatoes. There is nothing not to like.

Why is this hotdish different from all other hotdishes?

1. Obvious: it’s topped with latkes!! Tater tots are basically little latkes already so this route essentially just makes our favorite hotdish topping even better. It takes a lot more effort. But as someone who is royally dreading having to shred potatoes again this weekend, I can tell you that you definitely should at least try a brisket juice covered latke once in your lifetime. And I mean, if you’re going to be making latkes anyway, it really would behoove you to make a few extra, throw them on this hotdish, and then freeze it and reheat it for the last night of Hanukkah when you are totally done with flipping latkes. 

2.   It is dairy free!! While the traditional hotdish contains meat and creamed soup, it has also been important to me to find good dairy free/kosher options. In Molly on the Range, one recipe goes the coconut milk route, and I’ve made my classic hotdish a few times using olive oil in place of butter and stock in place of milk. But my new favorite option, I just realized, has been staring me right in the eye since Eggboy and I first started dating! The first recipe that Eggmom ever sent me (before we had ever even met I think) was her tomato soup that is thickened with squash puree. It is delicious and has proved to be one of the most popular recipes in MOTR. So thickening this tomato-based hotdish mixture with butternut squash puree is exactly what I’ve done here and the squash adds the most delicious warming undertones that make me forgive it for being such an easy vegetable to get sick of. 

3. It’s got an apples! Which is a nod to latkes + apple sauce, h/t to Kristin for this connection.

4. And rosemary and red wine and all sorts of things that will make your house smell so good that your guests will have no choice but to melt right down into the holiday spirit. I suck at decorating for the holidays but what I lack in greenery and tiny light up houses, I make up for in house smells. And that’s just as important, right??

Q: Omg you want me to braise a brisket, roast a squash, puree it, shred potatoes, and fry latkes all at once? Is this The Onion?? 

A: You can totally make the braised brisket mixture (including the part where you stir in the squash) a day in advance. It’ll probably even taste better that way. The latkes can also be prepped ahead. Assembly can also be done ahead. That’s one of the most beautiful things about a hotdish, it can all be prepped in advance and the only thing that really changes is how much time it spends baking. If you’re baking from the refrigerator, it’ll probably just need a few more minutes. If baking from frozen, cover with foil and bake at 350º for an hour, and then uncover and then increase the heat to 400º and bake for another 20-30 minutes, until the innards are heated through. 


latke hotdish

serves 6

ingredients

2 1/2 tb canola or vegetable oil, divided

2 lbs brisket, cut into 2” pieces

Kosher salt

Black pepper

1 large onion, sliced

2 carrots, chopped into 1/2” coins

2 celery stalks, chopped into 1/2” pieces

1/2 c red wine

1 tb brown sugar

2 tb tomato paste

1 (14-oz) can chopped tomatoes

2 c beef or vegetable stock

Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

2 apples, cored and sliced

1 small (2-2 1/2 lbs) butternut squash, halved and deseeded

A good pinch of crushed red pepper

1 batch latkes, recipe follows

Chopped fresh parsley, to serve, optional (if you’re feeling fancy)

clues

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the brisket, season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a few turns of black pepper and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the red wine and cook for a few minutes until it’s reduced by half. Add the brown sugar, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, stock, rosemary, and apples and simmer uncovered for 2 1/2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender. You want this to reduce and get quite thick and saucy, however if it reduces too far to where it’s more gloopy than saucy, add a bit more stock. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375ºf, brush the innards of your squash with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and a few turns of pepper and roast until a fork pokes easily into the center, begin checking at 1 hour. Puree the squash and then stir it into your hot dish mixture with crushed red pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning

Increase the oven heat to 400ºf. 

Transfer the mixture to an 8” by 12” casserole dish and top with latkes lined up in nice neat rows. Bake until the mixture is bubbly and the latkes are deep brown, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly and then top with chopped parsley, if using, and serve. 


latkes

Makes enough mini latkes for this hotdish, plus a few more to nosh on as you’re cooking

ingredients

1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes

1 large yellow onions

3/4 tsp kosher salt

2 large eggs

1 tb lemon juice

1/3 c (43g) all-purpose flour

Black pepper

 

Canola or vegetable oil, for frying

clues

Shred the potatoes and onions in a food processor or with a grater or mandoline. Place in a strainer that’s been lined with cheesecloth. Toss with salt and let sit over a bowl for 30 minutes. Gather the top of the cheesecloth and then use your hands to squeeze out as much excess moisture as you can. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the eggs, lemon juice flour, and a few turns of black pepper. Heat a skillet with a 1/4” oil until shimmering. Working in batches as not to crowd the pan, fry up loosely packed rounded tablespoons of the latke mixture until browned on both sides. Add more oil to the pan as needed. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside until ready to use. 


-yeh!

rose jam sufganiyot with vanilla glaze and pistachios

2017: the year I used up all of my rosewater

I never thought I’d do that because when I first bought it I’d occasionally add a couple of drops here and a couple of drops there but over time I learned to just start pouring in it. Or maybe it was that over time my one bottle of rosewater started weakening and I needed to be adding more. Oh shit. 

(No, I think it’s ok, its expiration date wasn’t until like 2019...)

I’m going to order some of this rosewater now which was recommended to me twice in one weekend, by Maureen and then by Zach, two people I’d trust my floral water life with.

This is part two of my sufganiyot double feature (see part one, starring savory onion jam sufganiyot here) and it contains a dough that you will want to poke your nose straight into. It’s a buttery rich dough scented with cardamom, cinnamon, and orange zest, and after getting fried and filled with raspberry rose jam, it gets a vanilla glaze and crushed pistachios. And rose petals because we are getting fancy. The flavors are inspired by malabi, a Middle Eastern milk custard that’s topped with rose syrup, pistachios, and sometimes a little cinnamon, and I will never stop singing praises about this combo. It is floral and warm and I love it.

A couple of notes:

Rather than piping in the jam from the side, I'm opting to go the top-down route for two reasons, 1) they looks like boobs and you get to call them boobganiyot, and 2) if your jam is on the thinner side, this is a great way to prevent it from spilling out all over the place. 

And just like the onion jam sufganiyot, these are indeed best within a few hours of being made, so for tips on making this as easy as possible and doing prep work ahead of time, see the notes in that onion jam sufganiyot post.


rose jam sufganiyot with vanilla glaze and pistachios

makes 18

ingredients

2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast

1/2 c (120g) warm milk, 105º-110ºf
1/4 c warm water, 105º-110ºf

1/4 c (50g) + 1 teaspoon sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

3 1/2 c (448g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Zest of 1/2 an orange

1 large egg + 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

6 tb (85g) unsalted butter, softened
canola or vegetable, plus more for frying

Filling:
1 c (304g) raspberry jam
1 tb rosewater

Glaze:

1 1/2 c (180g) powdered sugar
2 tb whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
A pinch of kosher salt

Topping:

Crushed roasted pistachios
Dried rose petals

 

 

clues

in a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm milk, water, and 1 teaspoon sugar and give it a little stir. let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top. 


meanwhile, in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the salt, flour, cardamom, cinnamon, orange zest, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. add the eggs, vanilla, and yeast mixture and mix to form a very very stiff dough. it will seem like the dry ingredients aren’t all going to get incorporated but try as best you can. knead for a few minutes and then with the mixer on, begin gradually adding the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon. this, too, will seem like it isn’t going to incorporated into the dough but keep on mixing for about 8-10 minutes more, scraping down the dough hook occasionally, until your dough is smooth and slightly sticky. transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature (or in the fridge, see notes) until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. 

turn the dough out onto a work surface and roll it out to 1/2” thickness. cut out 2 1/2” circles and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment. when re-rolling scraps, first press them together and then allow the dough to sit for about 10 minutes before proceeding. cover the circles with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let rise for another hour, until doubled. 

in a large heavy pot fitted with a thermometer, heat 3-4” oil to 350ºf. fry the donuts in batches of 3 or 4, for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. transfer to a wire rack to cool.

meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the jam and rosewater. Taste and adjust as desired. Fill a squeeze bottle or piping bag with the jam. 

To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt until smooth. It should be the consistency of a slightly thicker glue, if it’s too thick add a little more milk, and if it’s too thin add a little more powdered sugar. Dip the cooled donuts into the glaze and let any excess drip off (if the glaze has a hard time sticking to the donuts, that means it’s too thick and that you should add more milk). Stick the squeeze bottle straight down into the center of the donut, wiggle it around to make space, and fill it up with jam. Top with a sprinkle of pistachios and rose petals and enjoy!

-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett!

p.s. some quick things!

-i have joined the lineup of speakers at pesach on the mountain, in whistler! i'm so stinkin excited and have made a promise to myself to get o.k. at skiing by then. so if you need me during any weekend over the winter, i will probably be at the bemidji ski hill. and if you are looking for an amazing passover program, i have heard such amazing things about this one. so let's hang out!

-tickets for my class in sioux falls, south dakota are now on sale. i cannot wait to visit the other dakota for the very first time! 

 

glazed sugar cookies with buttercream "embroidery"

I have a new hobby!! Looking at embroidery Instagram. Some accounts started popping up on my discover feed a few months ago and I instantly got all heart eyes about the colors and dainty little details and fresh adorable designs. If you had asked me a year ago if I liked embroidery I probably would have been like no, I’m not a grandma. But I am proud to say that 2017 was the year that proved me a doofus for ever thinking that embroidery is just for grandmas and now I could stare at these accounts for hours. 

(Peep some of my fave accounts here, here, here, and here!)

A few weeks ago I realized that I should get off of my bum and actually put this inspiration to use with buttercream, my favorite medium, obvs, on a sugar cookie canvas. Sugar cookie canvas! Hehe. Some elements, like flowers, have proved to be way more difficult than my buttercream rose adventures earlier this year, but other simpler things like dala horses made of dots (err— French Knot inspired plops) and trees made with satin stitch-like lines are so gosh darn satisfying to make. And all you need to make them are some teeny tiny piping tips and a good lunch because if you’re hungry and your hands feel weak and unstable then it won’t be that fun. 

Because these decorations are most effective when they’re very small, sparse, and delicate (as opposed to covering the entirety of a cookie with flowers), I’ve decided to prime my cookies with a layer of glaze that gives them a pretty glossy finish. Without it I think these would look and taste a little naked. You can make the glaze any color that you’d like but I went with pink here, mostly to try and prove Eggboy wrong after he said that pink is not a holiday time color. How did I do? And this sugar cookie recipe is my favorite go-to for cutouts! It’s got hints of vanilla, almond, and lemon zest that make its flavor just slightly brighter than your average sugar cookie, and I love taking them out of the oven right before they start to turn brown so that they stay nice and soft. 

The tools that I’m using here are all from Pampered Chef!! Which I’m extra excited about because Pampered Chef items remind me of my wedding. Is it a uniquely Midwest thing that you simply cannot get married without receiving Pampered Chef gifts or does this extend to other regions?? Please discuss. Either way, everybody needs these stackable cooling racks so that you no longer have to cover every inch of counter space in your kitchen with cooling cookies during the holidays. And I am also obsessed with their nifty rolling cookie cutter and marble rolling pin, two a+ rolling things that played an important role in the rolling of these sugar cookies. (See below for a complete list of featured items!) Happy cookie-ing, everybody!


Glazed sugar cookies with buttercream embroidery

makes about 32 (2 1/2") square cookies cookies

ingredients

For the cookies:

4 c (512g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 c (226g) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 c (137g) sugar

2/3 c (80g) powdered sugar

zest from 1/2 of a lemon

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp princess emulsion (or another tsp vanilla)

3/4 tsp almond extract

for the glaze:

2 cups (240g) powdered sugar
2 tb (40g) corn syrup
2 1/2 tb whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Pinch of kosher salt
Food coloring

For the buttercream:

1 c unsalted butter, softened
3 c (360g) powdered sugar
Food coloring
 

clues

To make the cookies, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the lemon zest and mix to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each, and then add the extracts.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until blended. Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide into two large discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour, or up to two days. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375ºf. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a silicone mat and set aside. Working with one dough disc at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4” thick. Use a cookie cutter to make 2 1/2” squares and then transfer to a baking sheet, 1" apart. Re-roll scraps and cut out more squares. Bake for 10 minutes, until they’re thinking about starting to turn brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, milk, vanilla, almond extract, salt, and a few drops of food coloring until very smooth. You’re going for the consistency of a thick glue. If it’s too thick, add a couple more drops of milk, and if it’s too thin, add a few more spoonfuls of powdered sugar. 

To make the buttercream, in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Separate out into individual bowls (I’d suggest 5 or 6) and stir food coloring into each. Transfer to piping bags fitted with tiny round or star tips. 

To assemble, dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze, letting any excess drip off, and then place on a wire rack to dry. After a few minutes, once they’re mostly dry to the touch (they don’t need to be completely dry), you can go ahead and pipe on your buttercream decorations. You can go the freehand route or use cookie cutters to press indentations into the glaze which can serve as an outline for your decorations (like the dala horses in the photos).

Let dry and enjoy!! 
 


-yeh!


onion jam sufganiyot with za'atar, sumac, and yogurt powder

Hello! How was your weekend?? We had such a jolly holiday time tooling around town. We saw the community theater’s performance of White Christmas, had a great brunch at the town fancy restaurant that just started brunch, and did the holiday home tour where you get to tour a bunch of houses that are all dressed up for the holidays. It was so lovely and especially educational in our house planning stage. Eggboy got one of those laser measuring devices so anytime we found ourselves in a nicely sized living room, not too big/not too small/just the right amount of cozy, he would inconspicuously measure it go-go-gadget laser style. It was so cool. Then we came home and drew on graph paper and made hot cocoa with our espresso steamer. Excellent chill weekend!

Welcome to my first annual sufganiyot double feature, starring one savory recipe, one sweet recipe, and one silly sweater that I rented from the internet! Today I’m sharing the savory recipe which includes a buttery garlicky za’atar speckled dough that’s filled with sweet onion jam and dusted with vinegary sumac and yogurt ~powder~ that I had leftover from yogurt book testing. Yogurt powder is a lot like macaroni and cheese powder but tangier and less salty (but do you know what would work great in the absence of yogurt powder, should you not have time to amazon it?? Macaroni and cheese powder.) 

This one is for those people who would rather have a pile of cheese fries than a birthday cake (me). Or who want a next level garlic knot or savory monkey bread or any round bulbous soft hot bread thing (me me me). 

Early next week, right in time for Hanukkah, I’ll be sharing a rose jam sufganiyot recipe that follows the same general method so that you can get two great flavors for the price of one deep frying session. How long has it been since I complained about deep frying, am I due for a kvetch?

Actually on second thought, no time for that, I have to go order some books for Eggboy. The other day I half jokingly suggested that we do “Book Hanukkah” and gift each other one book for each night of Hanukkah (new, used, homemade… I think those are all the options). It was after we drew a two-story library into our home plan. I forgot about Book Hanukkah until a huge Amazon box arrived yesterday that was filled with books that I wasn’t supposed to see. So, ok, gotta go figure out what Eggboys read!!

A couple of notes:

-These are by far the best within a few hours of making them so if you’re looking to prep ahead, here are some tips: make the filling in advance (this can be made a few days in advance). For the first rising, the dough can stay in the fridge for a good day or two. Let it come to room temperature for about an hour before stamping out your circles. Once you have your circles stamped, you can keep them in the fridge for up to 3 hours. Fry them right before your party, and then maybe hand off the job of filling them to that friend who arrives at the party looking for a job to do in the kitchen. 

-I like frying in cast iron! It does a nice job of maintaining the temperature of the oil.

-You can use any onion jam of your choosing here. I've linked to a super tasty recipe that tastes rather sweet on its own, but once it's in the donuts, it really balances out quite nicely.


onion jam sufganiyot with za'atar, sumac, and yogurt powder

makes 18

ingredients

2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast

1/2 c warm whole milk (105-110ºf)

1/4 c warm water (105-110ºf)
2 tb + 1 tspsugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tb za’atar
3 1/2 c (448g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 large egg + 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
6 tb (85g) unsalted butter, softened

canola or vegetable, for frying

filling/topping:

about 1 c onion jam

a few tb yogurt powder, for dusting 

sumac, for dusting

clues

in a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm milk, water, and 1 teaspoon sugar and give it a little stir. let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top. 
meanwhile, in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the salt, a few turns of black pepper, garlic powder, za’atar, flour, and remaining sugar. Add the eggs and yeast mixture and mix to form a very very stiff dough. It will seem like the dry ingredients aren’t all going to get incorporated but try as best you can. Knead for a few minutes and then with the mixer on, begin gradually adding the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon. This, too, will seem like it isn’t going to incorporated into the dough but keep on mixing for about 8-10 minutes more, scraping down the dough hook occasionally, until your dough is smooth and slightly sticky. transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature (or in the fridge, see notes) until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. 

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and roll it out to 1/2” thickness. Cut out 2 1/2” circles and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment. When re-rolling scraps, first press them together and then allow the dough to sit for about 10 minutes before proceeding. Cover the circles with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let rise for another hour, until doubled. 

In a large heavy pot fitted with a thermometer, heat 3-4” oil to 350ºf. Fry the donuts in batches of 3 or 4, for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with the onion jam. Using a skinny knife, poke holes into the tops of cooled donuts and rotate the knife to create space for the jam. Pipe the jam into the holes. Dust the donuts with a light dusting of yogurt powder and sprinkle with za’atar and sumac. Enjoy! 
 


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett!