Man In The Kitchen

Special Hanukah Edition

Chocolate coins, candles and dreidels are all well and good – but from a culinary standpoint, Hanukah is a celebration of oil and all things fried and what can possibly be wrong with that? EVERYTHING tastes better when it’s deep fried! The trick is to use the right oil (olive oil isn’t going to work) and to make sure your oil is hot enough when you start. A candy/deep fry thermometer is an invaluable tool.

Double Fried Chicken with Honey & Sriracha Drizzle

Ingredients:

1 4 lb. chicken, cut into 10 pieces

2 tbsp. Smoked Paprika

2 tsp. Kosher Salt

1 tsp. Black Pepper

Egg wash (2 eggs beaten with 2 tbsp. Water)

2 cups Flour

3 tbsp. Sriracha

3 tbsp. Honey

Oil for Frying (Vegetable, Canola or Peanut)

Directions:

1.      Generously season the chicken pieces with the paprika, salt and pepper.

2.      Take a piece of chicken and dredge it in the flour, shaking off the excess. Coat the chicken in the egg wash and then dredge it back into flour one more time. Set aside on a baking tray. Repeat until all of the chicken has been coated. Let the coated chicken sit on the tray for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the oil for frying.

3.      Pour oil into a large pot or Dutch oven until it comes about 4” up the side. Heat the oil to 325 degrees (use a thermometer).

4.      Beginning with the thighs, add the chicken to the pot, making sure not to crowd. (This may take several batches.) Fry until golden and cooked 80 percent through, about 8 minutes. Move the chicken to a wire rack to cool and repeat with the remaining chicken.

5.      Once all the chicken is done, heat up the oil to 365 degrees. Add the chicken in the same batches and cook until dark golden and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes more.

6.      Whisk together Sriracha and honey in a small bowl and drizzle over the fried chicken.

Zucchini and Sweet Potato Latkes

It just isn’t Hanukah without latkes. Here’s a modern twist on the classic.

(A food processor equipped with a shredding disk makes very quick work of the grating.)

Ingredients:

3 Medium sized Zucchini, grated with the peel on (about 2 cups)

2 Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and grated (about 2 cups)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 eggs

4 tbsp. Matzo Meal

1 tbsp. Kosher Salt

1 tsp. Black Pepper

Oil for frying

Directions:

1.      Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

2.      Heat a large frying pan and add 4 tablespoons of oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, carefully drop tablespoons of the latkes mixture into the pan. Fry the latkes, turning when the edges start to crisp. Add oil as necessary. Move to a wire rack to drain and cool.

3.      Serve with sour cream & chives, Greek yogurt & mint or applesauce.

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It’s January. Winter is in full swing and it’s officially cold outside. That means it is soup season! A hot bowl of soup during the cold winter months is the ultimate comfort food. Here are two of my favorites guaranteed to get you through until the spring.

Yemenite Soup

There are as many different versions of “Marak Yemeni” as there are cooks. A favorite restaurant on Kings Highway makes a great version and mine is patterned after that one. Hawaij, a curry-like Yemenite spice mix, is a key ingredient and can be found in most local kosher grocery stores. (Pereg brand makes a good one.)

Ingredients:

2 lbs. flanken or stew meat, cut into large cubes

1 large Spanish onion, chopped

10 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 bunch of cilantro, divided

8 cups beef stock

6 oz. can of Tomato Paste

2 tbsp. Hawaij

3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled, cut into large dice

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.      Put the beef, onion, garlic, half the cilantro (stems and all, tied together) and the stock into a pot and bring to a boil.

2.      Add the tomato paste and hawaij, drop the heat and simmer for two hours. Remove cilantro stems.

3.      Add the potatoes, bring the pot back up to a full boil, then drop the heat again and simmer for another hour.

4.      Add salt and pepper to taste, chop remaining cilantro and add just before serving.

Red Lentil Soup (Addes)

The king of all winter soups! Thick and hearty, almost porridge-like, this is an easy to make,

go-to soup on those brutal winter days.

Ingredients:

2 cups Red Lentils

8 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp coriander

2 tsp cumin

1 tbsp. Kosher Salt

Directions:

1.      Add 2 quarts of water to 2 cups of lentils in a pot. Bring to a boil. Drop the heat and gently simmer until the lentils start breaking down, about an hour.

2.      Mash the minced garlic together with the coriander and salt and lightly fry in a little oil until just brown.

3.      Add browned garlic to the lentils. Add the cumin. Stir together until smooth.

4.      Soup should be thick and creamy, but not TOO thick. Add water in small amounts to achieve the proper consistency. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.

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