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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Traditional Latkes To Celebrate Hanukkah

Griffin Shapiro

Frequent visitors to Hawaii, Randi and Peter Shapiro of Syosset, N.Y., also enjoy MidWeek online. They are the proud new parents of first-born son Griffin, their own little miracle, who keeps them very busy and will celebrate his first Hanukkah this week.

Randi is an expert baker and owns an online bakery called For Goodness Bake, and Peter is an executive with Hollyrock Entertainment, a premier party entertainment company (hollyrockentertainment.com). They are looking forward to their next visit to Hawaii!

Here is a traditional, old family recipe for Hanukkah they sent me to share with MidWeek readers.

Hanukkah originated when Judah the Maccabee and his followers reclaimed the temple from Syrian King Antiochus IV. The temple was then cleansed and prepared for rededication, and the sacred temple Menorah (candelabra) was relit. There was only enough sacred oil, however, to burn for one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted eight days, and in remembrance, a candle is lit each of the eight days of Hanukkah. You also will see this holiday spelled Chanukkah and perhaps even Hannukah because of different translations and customs. During the

Hanukkah holiday the traditional foods consumed are mostly fried in oil, which is symbolic of the oil that lasted eight days.

Pancakes are one of these dishes served as a reminder of the food hurriedly prepared for the Maccabees as they went into battle, along with the oil they are fried in as a reminder of the miraculous oil.

Happy Hanukkah!

THE SHAPIROS’ FAVORITE LATKES

* 3 large potatoes
* 2 medium carrots, peeled
* 1 large onion
* 2 eggs or 4 egg whites, beaten
* 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
* 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
* 3/4 cup matzo meal
* olive oil, for frying

Grate potatoes, carrots and onion on fine grater. Add eggs, salt, pepper and matzo meal; stir well. Add more matzo meal if needed to form a thick batter. Taste for salt and add, if needed.

Pour olive oil into large frying pan and heat until sizzling. Drop by tablespoonfuls into hot oil in frying pan and slightly flatten with spatula. Cook until crisp and golden on one side and turn to cook other side. Drain on brown paper bag or paper towels.

Serve with sour cream and applesauce.

Makes six servings.

Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.

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