subtitle II: i told you i was behind on my posts
the moment my dad realized i had surpassed a good deal of his cooking knowledge took place one hannukah, a couple of years ago. to be fair, the man taught me a great deal of what i know re: food. that is until i took an uncanny liking to watching the food network. then there were the food memoirs. and spending all of my cash eating out...
we were discussing one of the Great Debates: latke making. in fact, i'm pretty sure we have the exact same conversation every year. but let's pretend that the first one took place about five years ago, when i took on the task for the first time. the conversation probably included the issue of hand grating potatoes and how to keep them from oxidizing once they're shredded (place in cold water, then squeeze out when you're ready to use). more recent conversations included frying oils. my dad was shocked when i explained that the reason you had to fry in canola oil was because the smoke point was higher than that of olive oil.
this year i wanted to do something a little different. so i made a combination of potato and sweet potato latkes. and i threw in some chopped parsley for good measure. okay, so these weren't leaps and bounds, but a slight variation made me confident we'd still have something good to eat and i'd simultaneously get the satisfaction of trying something a wee bit different.
the lesson here is that you can use a variety of different vegetables to fry up something delicious. latke, fritter, call it what you will. squash, root vegetable, pome, it's all going to taste delicious. a few general guidelines:
- grate your ingredients. you want everything to be the same size/shred.
- use an oil with a high smoke point! (canola, peanut, safflower, or sunflower will work)
- don't skimp on the oil. not only do you need to entirely cover the bottom of the pan but the oil should make its way up the sides a bit.
- make sure to heat your oil before frying, or you'll end up with a greasy mess.
- dry/drain food as much as possible before frying.
- don't crowd the pan!